As described in the SNES Version Compare section, the 1CHIP SNES is the best version of the original Super Nintendo system.  I list a few tricks below on how to narrow your 1CHIP search, but the only way to be 100% sure that you have a 1CHIP, is to open the console:  Use a 4.5MM game tool to take the top off and then remove the metal cover plate (under the cartridge release lever).  Then, just read the markings on the motherboard as shown in the pictures below.

What to look for:

1CHIP (good):

Others (bad):


Other tips on how to narrow your search:

North American 1CHIP consoles are found in consoles with serial numbers that start with "UN3".  Not every "UN3" is a 1CHIP, but every 1CHIP I've seen (that wasn't moved in a case swap) has a serial number such as "UN321907569".  It's possible serial numbers starting with "UN31" were the first to include the 1CHIP, but I've seen the occasional SNS-APU-01 motherboard in a case starting with that serial number, so there really is no other sure-fire way to tell, other then opening the console.

A few places have stated that PAL 1CHIP consoles are much easier to find.  I haven't been able to test this myself, but it's been said that if you remove the expansion door on the bottom of the console and it looks like the top photo (no dots), it's a 1CHIP.  Click for full sized:

Superfamicom.org also lists ways to use a few game's debug menu's to list what chips are inside.  This is handy if you already own one of the games listed, or if you have a ROM carthttp://superfamicom.org/console-serial-database

For more info, you can check SNES serial lists.  The second link also lists games with test menus:



Feel free to go back to the main SNES page.  If you'd like info on mods for other systems, head to the Getting RGB From Each System page or check out the main page for more retro-awesomeness.