Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later
no

 





Crave Online

X-B.I.T review 08 October 2003

Where to buy:
* divineo.co.uk (official reseller)

 

Official X-B.I.T website:
* http://www.dms-x-bit.com

 

What's in the package:
* X-B.I.T modchip
* external adaptor with usb-connector, bios switches and enable/disable switch
* wires needed to connect X-B.I.T with external adaptor
* diod (for optional power-button support feature)
* screw and spacer (for pogopin/nosolder install)
* wire connector (for wire install)
* All packed in a static shielding bag

 

Pictures:




 

Install the Modchip:

DMS made all the installation guides, you can find them on their website: http://www.dms3.com/xmanuals.htm.
You have the choice between 3 install methods:

* The PogoPin/Solderless install
Most people will probably install the X-B.I.T this way ... you pay for those pogopins, so might aswell use them.
I was surprized how easy the pogopins aligned. I don't know how they managed to do it ... is it due the spiked pogopins (for "d0" point), is it because the board is pretty large and fits around the corner of the IDE connector (which also causes it to be stable)? ... anyway the modchip alligns very easily. Just put the LPC pogopins on the LPC points, and the d0 pogopin is almost automaticly correctly alligned.
The X-B.I.T has 2 spiked "d0" pogopins, so it installs soldeless on all xbox versions till xbox v1.4 (power and ground are disconnected on LPC on xbox v1.5 ... so it will need 2 extra wires).
There's also no stability problem with the pogo-pins, they keep good contact with the LPC points and with d0.
I installed it on a motherboard with 'empty' LPC holes ... but I think it will also align without too many problems on filled LPC holes (v1.0 and early v1.1 only).

* The wire install
It's a typical wire-install for a LPC modchip. The X-B.I.T comes with a wireconnector, so you don't have to solder any wire on the modchip itself ... only on the xbox motherboard.

* The Headerpin install
Honnestly I have no idea why DMS decided to ship the X-B.I.T with a male headerpin soldered directly on the modchip.
While the actual install method stays the same ... it takes away all advantages of the headerpin (easy to swap/upgrade, mass flash modchips, easy to remove, ...)
For those who already installed a male-male headerpin in their xbox and don't want to solder to upgrade to X-B.I.T, there's only 1 solution ... get a female-female headerpin block at your local electronic shop.
If you want to solder your X-B.I.T, I suggest you use the wire-install.

* Optional En/Disable with Xbox power button.
With 2 optional solderpoints (1 on modchip, 1 on xbox motherboard) you can use the xbox power button to enable/disable your modchip. If you press power button 1sec modchip will be enabled, if you press power button 3sec your modchip will be disabled.

 

Testing:

The biggest new features on the X-B.I.T are:
- 2MB flash size
- PC flashing via USB

The PCB pogopins and ic's look very solid and of high quality.

The X-B.I.T can very easily be programmed with your PC using the USB port. You can download the flashing software for free from http://www.dms3.com/xdownload.htm.
Because it's using USB, there will be no compatibility problem people had with LTP (parallel port) programmers.
Also the modchip must not be installed to be programmed - it gets power from the USB. Their software is fully grafical and very easy to use.
Programming/Erasing itself is alot slower then I expected using USB ... but Team DMS explained why the flash speed is so slow here (because they use unshielded wires).

Xbox booted with the expected bios from the first try.
Bios swithching also worked correctly (1-3 switch on the exterenal adaptor). The bios selection is explained here.
The 4th switch is the enable/disabled switch (they call it 'Stealth-Mode'). You have the choice between these bios split-ups:
1. 1x2048k
2. 2x1024k
3. 2x512k 1x1024k
4. 2x256k 1x512k 1x1024k
5. 4x256k 1x1024
6. 4x256k 2x512k

On the external adaptor (that should be placed on the backside of the Xbox) there's a small led that shows if your modchip is enabled or not ... very useful to check before you go on xlive.

The X-B.I.T allows flashing directly from the Xbox software as far as I know, but so far no xbox program has support for the 2mb of the X-B.I.T. A new or updated (evo-x for example) program will probably be released sooner or later. I tried to add the correct flash-line in the latest evo-x ... but the program hang when I tried to flash ... I guess it doesn't like the 2mb file yet.

One feature missing is the 'flash protection' (there's a 'seal' on the X-B.I.T, but you have to remove it to install the X-B.I.T ... so once installed your X-B.I.T is always flashable). But so far MS has never tried to flash the bios ... and even if they did - you can always reflash your X-B.I.T via USB. So this feature is certainly not essential.

 

POSITIVE:
+ 2MByte flash size
+ 6 different bios split-ups possible and upto 6 different bioses on chip.
+ PC flashing via USB (no compatibility problems)
+ High quality PCB board
+ External adaptor with bios selector and en/disable switch+led
+ 3 ways to install it - you can choose
+ Pogopin/soldeless install: aligns very easily and stable
+ Wire-install: using connector so no need to solder on modchip
+ Optional en/disable with power-button

 

NEGATIVE:
- Very slow USB flashing/erasing
- HeaderPin install: Male headerpin soldered directly on X-B.I.T motherboard
- No flash disable (but you can flash via USB ... so it's really no must-have feature)
- Bug in flash software if you put window to background (will be solved soon)
- Can't flash directly with Xbox software yet (needs update of evo-x probably).

 

XanTium 08 October 2003

 

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