LT OPX HARDWARE Review - February 2005
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.
* 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.
* SmartXX LT OPX from another angle
* SmartXX LT OPX back of PCB
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.
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 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
+ 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'.
- All external 'ports' are solderpads, no easy plugs.