Revision Identification Guide


Site Robot
Jan 28, 2016
Why Revisions Matter
Nintendo made several changes to the Wii throughout its 7 year life cycle, presumably to reduce price, reduce unit failure rate, and replace discontinued parts. However the biggest change was when they performed a die shrink of the GPU. This resulted in a HUGE reduction in power consumption and heat generation. When redesigning for these new chips, Nintendo also reduced the number of circuit board layers from 6 to 4. For trimming purposes, revisions can be sorted into 2 categories: 4 Layer boards and 6 Layer boards. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a general overview:

6 Layer boards:
- Consume much more power
- Create much more heat
+ Are more common: easier to find
4 Layer boards:
- Consume much less power
- Create much less heat
+ Are less common: easier to spot

NOTE: All Wii revisions support GameCube controllers.

Overall, a 4 layer Wii board will consume about half the power of a 6 layer board. This will result in a portable with much better battery life. A 4 layer board will also generate less heat, so it will run much cooler. The only tangible downside to a 4 layer board is that wiring the bluetooth module (which is optional as of RVLoader) requires soldering 2 small wires to 2 very small traces on the board, whereas a 6 layer board has vias for the bluetooth connections which are easier to solder to.

How to Identify the Revision of a Wii
1: Identification based off of shell.
Nintendo didn't release Wiis in colors other than white or Wiis without GameCube ports until after they switched to the newer die-shrunk chips on 4 layer boards. This information is very useful for tracking down a 4 layer board. However, it is less reliable for determining if a board is 6 layer, so methods 2 and 3 are preferred.

2: Removing the battery tray
By unscrewing a single phillips screw, you can figure out the exact revision of a Wii without completely dissembling it. Inside is a 2-3 digit code silkscreened onto the motherboard. See the table below to match the code with a revision.

3: Complete Disassembly
By completely disassembling the console, the revision is clearly visible in the location circled below.

@Shank - writing entire guide
Updated: 25/01/22
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