I recently purchased a Japanese Dreamcast, after getting a Japanese Sega Saturn before. They’re pretty great. The main benefit being cheap hardware and relatively inexpensive games. Here’s a pretty good example, check out these two Saturn Bomberman games:

Saturn Bomberman US

Saturn Bomberman Japan

Anyway, the downside of getting a Japanese Sega Dreamcast, is that it is loud. Extremely loud. Just listen to it:

After switching mine on for the first time I was convinced it was broken. PAL Dreamcast aren’t exactly whisper quiet, but this is something else.

Luckily there’s a way to reduce this dramatically. This video by Mark Fixes Stuff goes over the process of lubrication the gears in the Dreamcasts’ GD-ROM drive. Disassembling the device takes some time, but it’s a very straight forward process that pays off immensely.

At the 18.48 second mark, you can hear the difference. Definitely worth the effort. If only my step-down converter (European 220V to Japanese 110V) could be silenced the same way… I currently use one half of a clothespin that’s wedged between a radiator and the converter in such a way that it presses down on a specific part of the container, which reduces the buzzing to a minimum.

Step-down converter silencer

While the Dreamcast was disassembled I also replaced the internal battery, so it saves the date information when it loses power (every time I turn off that horrible step-down converter).

Replace Dreamcast internal battery

If you’re comfortable around a soldering iron, it’s a trivial procedure. Desolder three points and install one of these. Pro tip: don’t pay any more than a few cents for these vertical holders.

And that’s it, my Dreamcast runs pretty silent for a Japanese model and it remembers the date. 👌