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SmartXX v2 LE/SE Hardware Review
This review was done by Xantium of Xbox
Scene all thanks and credits go to him for a great review.
BUY YOUR SmartXX v2 LE/SE
CHIP FROM Divineo
USA or Divineo
Official Website:: http://www.smartxx.com
Where to buy::
USA and Canada: Extreme-Mods.com,
With some delay (blame me), here's the chip/hardware review
of the SmartXX v2 Special Edition Pack. A separated overview/review
of the latest SmartXX OS software will be done later.
Here a pictures of the 'simple' SmartXX v2 package. It includes
the chip itself of course, a headerpin, a pre-stripped wire
(for D0/Lframe) and a SmartXX case sticker all packed in an
The sample we received from freakware is the Limited Edition
Halloween edition, with the orange PCB color. The 'normal'
Special Edition Pack contains exactly the same but with a
blue PCB color (like the chip in the image above). The Limited
Edition Halloween edition is no longer in production, but
the 'normal' Special Edition still is.
This package includes: a SmartXX v2 PCB modchip, a Xebian(info)
(Debian for Xbox) pressed CD, a SmartXX case-sticker, a "xbox
v1.6 Recovery PCB", a headerpin (not on image above,
but it's in the pack) and an USB-adapter allowing you to easily
connect USB devices like keyboard, mouse and others.
Hardware Feature List:
* Ultra Highspeed SysCon
* 4MB Hardware protected flash rom (max. 8MB)
* Emergency recovery switch
* Quicksolder Install & PIN-Header Install
* GND / 3.3 & 5 Volt solderpads
* LED (1x blue and 1x red) for Status / Programmable
* Direct Bootup Config (Emergency Recovery)
* External Switch Connector Port
* X-Display Support
* Dual-side X-Display contrast control
* Highspeed Transporter IO BUS 4 Port !
* Highspeed transport IO bus ( LCD/I2C/SPI/LPC) Port
* Works on any XBox ( v1.0-v1.6 )
The SmartXX v2 PCB comes with a few 'optimizations' compared
to the original v1 PCB.
* The LCD contrast pot is now accesible from both the front
and back of the PCB. So even if you install your modchip using
the headerpin method you can easily access the LCD contrast
* The 6 dip-switches have been replaced by 1 switch on PCB
v2. This has probably been done as cost-saving ... 5 of the
dip switched where never really used by end-users, so it has
been replaced by 1 normal switch. This switch allows you to
change between the normal mode and the emergency recovery
mode (if you main SmartXX OS flash is broken for any reason).
* The green led became blue. The red led is still red.
* On the backside of the PCB there is now a new SmartXX logo.
The PCB is still of the same high quality as the original
v1 PCB, thick/solid PCB and all ICs are very cleanly installed.
The ICs themselves haven't changed, the controller is still
a highspeed QuickLogic chip and the flash is a 4MB MX chip
(some early v1 chips were AMD afaik).
It's also clear SmartXX thrusts their own quality as they
offer 1 year of warranty if you buy your chip from one of
the 'SmartXX Warranty Centers'.
This is the USB adapter that is now delivered with the SmartXX
SE/LE package. It fits nicely in the Xbox controller ports.
It has a design looking a lot like the design of the connector
on the official controllers ... thus matches nicely with the
look of the Xbox console. There's also a blue led on the adapter
that allows you to check the status of the USB connection.
This USB adapter will allow you to connect any type of PC
USB-peripherals with your Xbox. It's very useful for Xbox
Linux distros that have support for several USB devices (keyboard
and mouse being the most important and useful for Linux),
but also some homebrew Xbox applications have support for
a PC keyboard or even mouse.
The Xebian CD
This is the CD that comes with the SmartXX LE/SE package.
The CD is not burned but pressed which should make it readable
even in the worst Xbox DVD-drives.
As the name of the CD says ... it includes Xebian (the Debian
Linux distro for Xbox), but it will also contain all the installation
guides and manuals and other info found on the smartxx website.
You'll also find 2 pdf files to print out a SmartXX or Xebian
DVD-cover for the CD.
The v1.6-recovery PCB
This is the recovery PCB for Xbox v1.6/v1.6b that has recently
been added to the SmartXX LE/SE pack.
It allows you to easily repair the missing data points on
the Xbox v1.6/v1.6b LPC. Just place the PCB on the back of
the Xbox motherboard so the LPC holes matches with the holes
on the recovery PCB ... and you can directly repair (solder)
the missing LAD's on the Xbox v1.6(b) LPC. Advantage is you
don't have to buy/cut/strip wires or search for the points
on a diagram. You could call it the 'quicksolder' method to
repair LPC. This will not really make the points easier to
solder, but it's certainly a lot faster.
The recovery PCB is not of the same high quality of the modchip
PCB, but that's probably to keep the PCB as thin as possible
so it doesn't touch the inside of the xbox case and also to
keep the production price low (after all you get it in the
LE/SE package without any price raise).
Again the image above is from the Limited Edition Halloween
edition - the 'normal' LE/SE pack will contain exactly the
same recovery PCB, but in blue. This recovery PCB is also
Compared to when the first SmartXX originally launched, Team
SmartXX has also been working to optimize a few other things:
- You will now find full quicksolder and headerpin installation
guides in english for all Xbox and SmartXX versions on their
- While the SmartXX was original hard to find outside germany,
the SmartXX modchip is now also widely available on many internet
shops all around the world.
+ Very high quality PCB build.
+ Modchip is very stable in operation.
+ Fully compatible with xbox v1.6.
+ Huge 4MB flash that should be more then enough space to
save all your bioses on.
+ Safe chip to use, with the recovery mode you should always
be able to restore even if something goes wrong with the SmartXX
OS bios image.
+ LCD contrast pot now also accessible from the back of the
+ All solder-install methods possible: quicksolder, headerpin
and using wires (connected to quicksolder pads)
+ The SE/LE pack offers a great and complete package with
an USB adapter, CD with all manuals and the Xebian distro
and a recovery PCB for faster installation on Xbox v1.6(b).
+ 1year warranty from 'SmartXX Waranty Centers'
- No 1st party solderless adaptor yet. Seeing the succes of
solderless solutions ... it's still something missing in the
current SmartXX offerings.