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SmartXX LT OPX Review

This review was done by Xantium of XBox Scene

Official Website::
http://www.teamxecuter.com

Where to buy X3(CE) and add-ons::
USA and Canada: | Extreme-Mods | Divineo.com |
Europe: MrModchip | Divineo.co.uk |
Rest-Of-World: Divineo.cn

Official Website::
http://www.smartxx.com

Review::
The SmartXX LT OPX (SmartXX LiTe One Point siX) is the little brother of the SmartXX v1/v2 modchip. It's a generation4 modchip aswell as the modchip comes with it's own OS, a 'lite' version of the SmartXX OS(info).

This is the default SmartXX LT OPX package. You get the modchip itself, a pre-cut pre-stripped wire for the D0/LFRAME point, a pinheader and a SmartXX case-sticker.

As we are used to see from SmartXX, the build quality is once again very good. While the modchip 'feels' a bit less solid then its big brother (probably because the PCB is thinner - done so it doesn't touch the case when you fit the modchip at the backside of the motherboard), the finishing is on the same high level as the SmartXX v1/v2. The modchip also comes with a 1 year warranty (nomatter where you buy it from) which confirms SmartXX's own confidence in their product.
As you can see the shape of this modchip is somewhat special. This is because the modchip can be directly 'quicksoldered' on the back of a Xbox v1.6(b) motherboard. That's also the reason the SmartXX LT OPX has a 'break-off' headerpin, as it's too high when installing the modchip on the back of the motherboard.

Installation:
* PinHeader: Nothing special to say here, it's a typical pinheader install. For the D0/LFRAME wire you get a pre-stripped wire that you have to solder on both ends: modchip and D0/LFRAME motherboard point. Special is that D0 (xbox v1.0-v1.5) and LFRAME (xbox v1.6(b)) have different pads on the modchip. Difference is that it's not grounding LFRAME. While no real problems arise when grounding LFRAME Team SmartXX has found it's safer not to ground it all the time and therefor decided to make a separated pad for it.
* Wire-Install: There are pads on the modchip if you want to install it using wires. No plug or wires are delivered with the modchip, so this means you will have to cut, strip and solder each wire on both modchip and xbox motherboard. So unless for some reason you really want a wire install I suggest you just do the headerpin install on Xbox v1.0-v1.5 and QuickSolder install on Xbox v1.6(b). For D0/LFRAME the wire-install uses the same separated points as explained above.
Freakware also told us the modchip has been specially designed so wires can easily be 20cm long without causing any problems (they even tested it successfully with wires of 40cm). I did not test this myself.
* QuickSolder v1.6(b): You probably already know the "LPC repair PCB's" ... well the SmartXX LT OPX is a repair LPC on it's own. That's great for all Xbox v1.6(b) owners. The modchip has tinned holes on the PCB so you can place the modchip on the back of the Xbox motherboard and (quick)solder the modchip directly on the motherboard. So no need to do a headerpin install and then using a LPC repair PCB or repair the points manually with wires (where you have to cut/strip and search for each point manually).
Was also a good idea from SmartXX to put the solder pads for the LCD addon and external switches on the border of the modchip so that they stick out of the Xbox motherboard border. So this makes these points accessible from the top side of the Xbox motherboard aswell.

* Solderless v1.0-v1.4: There is no solderless adapter made by SmartXX yet (althought they plan to release one soon), but the SmartXX LT OPX works fine with any universal solderless adapter. Pin4 of the headerpin is internally linked with D0.

The Modchip::

The flashchip is 1MB and comes pre-flashed with the legal linux based SmartXX Lite OS. This OS is 256KB and is based on the full SmartXX OS used on SmartXX v1/v2. This means you will have 768KB left to store your own Xbox bioses on. Word from Team SmartXX also told us a possible 2MB version of the SmartXX LT OPX will reach the stores soon.
The SmartXX LT OPX has a highspeed and secure QuickLogic FPGA syscon. While for the end-user this only means it's a quality/solid controller, it also means the chip is very hard to clone. So this also means endusers will most likely never end up with a low quality clone chip.

As the modchip comes pre-flashed with its legal OS, once installed you can directly flash all bioses/kernels you want on the chip. You can flash from a file on the Xbox HD or CD/DVD and if your xbox is connected via network with your PC you can flash using a handy web interface or using SmartXX' remote flasher program (win32) aswell. More details about the SmartXX Lite OS will be posted soon in a SmartXX OS review.
An OS upgrade seems to be safe as it uploads the new OS in 2 steps, the old OS build will only be replaced by the new after the upgrade-procedure checked the newly flashed OS is OK.

There are lots of solderpads on the modchip for external (optional) addons:
* It's possible to connect an LCD screen with the modchip. It can be used in the SmartXX Lite OS and in XboxMediaCenter(info) and maybe later in more homebrew programs. There are solderpads for all the points you need for an LCD screen. For the constrast control there's no pot (trimmer) on the modchip like on the SmartXX v1/v2, but there are solderpads to install a constrast controller yourself.
* Quatro I/O bus solderpads for eventual future upgrades. It's a fast external port that could be used for many things. For now there's no addon released using it.
* Soderpads to install an external status led
* Solderpads to install external switches for 'hard' bios bank selecting


POSITIVE::
+ Cheaper
+ Good value, probably modchip with most features in its price category.
+ Works with universal solderless adapters on Xbox v1.0-v1.4
+ You can 'quicksolder' the modchip directly on the back of an Xbox v1.6(b)
+ Very good build quality
+ Has many external 'ports' to install bank-switches, leds, lcd and a generic 4x I/O.
+ Pre-flashed with own made, linux-based legal 'OS'.


NEGATIVE::
- All external 'ports' are solderpads, no easy plugs.





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