Thanks very much for those pictures blaze3927, although some pictures from your HQ camera would be fantastic
I am very intrigued to hear about a 1998 PAL revision, I can only guess it is an NUS-CPU-01-1 revision? I am not sure if pictures or scans would be better, I guess it really depends on the quality of the camera/scanner used?
For a supplier of "RDRAM36-NUS" I just searched on http://www.hkinventory.comhttp://www.hkinventory.com/public/Offer ... mit=Search
The chip supplier who gave me the $4.00 quote was called "Thanku (HK) Electronics Limited", they are not on the above supplier list but you will find that most Hong Kong chip suppliers dont actually stock the chips they sell and usually just go around buying them from other chip suppliers when you place an order, so some suppliers have quite a high markup.
You may be able to get an even cheaper quote with a little shopping around, but keep in mind the shipping cost - many sellers only want to use an expensive tracked service like DHL, and also many dont accept PayPal. Also theres always the risk of a scam and its very difficult to know if the supplier is trustworthy, so sometimes you kind of just have to take a risk. Lastly, these chips could be 'factory seconds' that were thrown out by NEC/Nintendo, but I think in this case its more likely that the RDRAM36-NUS chips were just overproduced.
I hope that helps