Hoarder's notes or Xbox 360 buying and pitfalls in 2019

Last time, which, by StopGame blogging standards, was quite a while ago, you and I discussed buying a PlayStation 2 handheld, going over technical features, revisions, chips, and much, much more. If you missed this blog, it's not unreasonable to read it, for a fuller understanding of the context.

This time we are going to take a closer look at the opposing camp - Microsoft, and their Xbox 360 console. Traditionally, this article will be broken down into points for better understanding. So, let's begin.

General information and console revisions

Let's start with the obvious stuff. Actually, why pick up an Xbox 360 in 2019 when there's an Xbox One and its big brother, the Xbox One X?
For one thing, it's cheap. Seventh-generation consoles are pretty easy to find at a reasonable price, especially if you live in capital cities and major cities. Oddly enough, this really matters. Xbox 360 prices vary not only because of revisions and other technical features, but also by territorial distance.
Secondly, a fairly large library of games, and arguably the best tech in the seventh generation. A significant portion of multiplatform projects perform better on the Xbox 360 than on the PlayStation 3. The most telling case is the first part of Red Dead Redemption. Here Microsoft has a significant advantage: a more stable framerate (though still "dancing" from location to location), sharper textures, less swoops, and increased drawing range.

One of the screenshots from the version comparisonDon't

forget about the exclusives: Gears of War, Halo, Forza Horizon, as well as games that came out exclusively on consoles: Condemned 2, Daf Jam: Icon,Lollipop Chainsaw

, and much more - will become available to you when you buy this console.

Since the console has long since been discontinued and is no longer supported (Microsoft reported this in 2016), you and I will be looking at buying exclusively from hand. Perhaps in some cities there are still electronics stores with in-store Xbox 360, however, I have not found any in my city.
As a bulletin board I recommend, very carefully, Avito, as well as widely known in narrow circles GBX. It is on the ads of these sites and I will refer to as an example.
The most common revisions for March-April 2019 (in Saratov) are FAT, Slim. Less often come across E. Why so? About that a bit later.

FAT, Slim, and E-revision Xbox

360FAT-revisionIt's worth diving into history for a moment. You probably remember back in 2006-08 when every other gaming or near-gaming magazine was reporting overheating problems in FAT-versions of consoles. The famous "Three Red Lights of Death" (or Red Ring of Death) was overheating, most commonly "falling off" (where the copper cores, as a result of constant temperature spikes, flattened out, causing contact with the motherboard to fail) of the graphics processing unit (GPU). Recall that in earlier versions of Xbox 360 inside the console was not a single processor responsible for computing, and for graphics, and two separate, modeled on the average PC. More often than not, a similar fate plagued all the early FAT consoles. Because of the engineering shortcomings (banal lack of additional heat sinks) and exploitation factors - early FAT-versions had a very short lifespan. And of course folk craftsmen through the GPU chip heating with improvised means learned to revive these devices, though not for long. And just this is worth being wary of when buying. But do not assume that all the "fat" devices necessarily burn and fail. Only the first versions of motherboards are prone to this problem and we'll talk about them below.

FAT-version of console in white color

FAT-version motherboardsHepop

(Zinon) - the very first and the most problematic motherboard, released in 2005

(in 2007 in Russia).

All set-top boxes of 2005-2006 year were built based solely on it. In the presence of poor cooling, fairly high tech (90 nanometers), and as a result - the most frequent "failures". You can tell this motherboard from the rest without opening the console, by the absence of HDMI-port on the back, the power supply connector, as well as the power consumption label on the back of the power supply (203 W). These consoles are sold at flea markets at the lowest price possible - 4-6 thousand roubles. Have you seen one in a photo or in the hands of a "seller" at a meeting? Bravely refuse to buy and turn in the opposite direction. If you decide to take the risk, carefully examine the cooling grid on the sides of the case and pay attention to the smell of the case. Strange as it may sound, but the smell of burning inside the console, or when opening the drive tray indicates that the console has recently undergone an emergency lift straight from the other side by heating up one of the chips. Accordingly, no one knows when the processor will be bad again, and whether it is possible after another such attack to raise it to working condition.

Zephyr is similar to Xenon, only with one condition: the board now has HDMI-out. Sorenesses are exactly the same as in the younger version, the cost on the secondary market is almost the same.

Falcon (Falcon) - this version has reduced power consumption, as well as introduced a smaller processor (65 nanometers), HDMI is present. It can be distinguished from the previous two versions by the power supply connector, as well as by the changed current strength.

Jasper is in fact the best of the FAT versions. It features additional cooling focused on the graphics processor, which has greatly reduced the cases of Xbox 360 overheating.
When inspecting the console, pay attention to the power connector and power supply output, the Jasper has 150 W. Among users it is considered the most "unkillable" among the first FAT-version.

Power supply connectors differences on different FAT-Revision motherboardsThe

FAT-version is not recommended for purchase, but if your budget is very limited and you really want to play, it is advisable to find the FAT-version with Jasper

motherboard in your town.

It is much more durable than all previous motherboards of fat consoles. Plus FAT-version is easy enough to connect to old TV sets and VGA monitors, the corresponding cable is included, but if it is not present, it will not be difficult to purchase - you can get both the original "complete" wire, and the Chinese counterpart, which is not inferior in functionality. It is worth noting that the HDMI to VGAadapter works well with any Xbox 360 without additional power in contrast to, say, PlayStation 4, where you need to "fiddle".

The original VGA-cable with support for audio outputSlim-RevisionIn


, Microsoft released a "refined"-version of the Xbox 360, which strikingly differs from the previous revision of the compact design, enabling protection against overheating in case of critical temperatures (yes, yes, the FAT-revision

in this case to the end, and literally "burns to work"), and active cooling (cooler).

An undoubted aesthetic plus is also the touch buttons on the front panel, replacing the mechanical ones.
If you caught a glimpse of an ad with this console, it's definitely worth considering. The Slim is quite resistant to overheating console, and emits much less noise than its big brother.

In shape Xbox 360 Slim looks like an

hourglassMotherboards Slim-versionsTrinite

(Trinity) - the most common motherboard installed inside the Slim-versions


Its distinctive difference from the others, is the reduced power consumption and the thinnest (45 Nanometer) process technology.

For those who don't know: the lower the process technology, the less heat is produced by a chip - this allows the cooling system in a system to be optimized, without affecting the performance of the processor.

It can be distinguished by a reduced current draw of 10.83 amps. It is indicated on the back of the console.

Corona is used both in Slim and newest E versions. Both hardware and connectors are the same, but E-version doesn't have usual AV-out, only digital and HDMI, but it has an opportunity to connect usual 3.5mm jack speakers or headphones.

On the whole, in the case of the Slim versions, the motherboard version is not so important, both representatives do not suffer from overheating, serving faithfully to their owners.
What's the difference between E and Slim, and why it's so important - we'll talk straight through the course.

E-RevisionThe latest



the Xbox 360 before discontinued production. It came out in 2013. It differs from the Slim revision minimally: the buttons, instead of touch buttons, became mechanical again, and took up significantly less space on the front panel. The case itself is partially matte, due to which it gets dirty quickly.
In fact, the E-Revision is a cheapened Slim, and, it would seem, why does it get so much attention? The answer is simple - the possibility of hacking...

E-revision - in "zero" standing

A little about the pirates and "lawmen "

Xbox 360

, particularly in Russia, was incredibly popular because of the ease of hacking.

Of course, no one stops you from buying licensed discs, and buying in electronic form on the Xbox 360 is quite possible, but not all things are sold on the disc in the form in which we would like you and me.
For example, Grand Theft Auto IV on this console is devoid of Russian localization, Fable II, in Russian, you can buy only on hand, because the version in the store Microsoft again devoid of any translation. A similar situation with the aforementioned Red Dead Redemption. SoftClub simply did not translate the game, and the honest customers received the game "As is" with the English box.
In case of pirate versions the situation is much better, Exclusive studio made excellent translation of Red Dead Redemption, the fans ported GTA IV translation from PC version, and a lot more. If this or that point is important to you, then you should think about flashing the console, but if not, then get a licensed copy on the same Avito is pretty easy, but will have to shell out a bit (from 500 to 2,000 rubles per disc).

Firmware typesThe

Xbox 360 there are two possible types of console hacking:
L.T 2.0/3.0

- breaking the drive console.

The console has a system of protection against overwriting the licensed discs. If you insert a licensed disc from the console into the PC, you will only see a short video file asking you to insert the disc into the Xbox. The rest of the files will simply not be seen by Windows. Cracking the drive is pretty simple and allows you to burn game images to a double-layer disc and run them on the console. The good thing about this method is that this hack will allow you to fully play multiplayer and log into Xbox Live from your console. Microsoft of course does regular "purges", but it's pretty much non-existent at the moment.
Minuses - to record certain games you need a special drive, which allows you to finalize the drive and write information in sectors inaccessible to a normal computer. Only relevant for recent releases. You will also have to manually set the transition point to the next layer, and it is different for games (depending on their size). Well and most obviously, hard drives, especially cheap ones, have a habit of wearing out pretty quickly, especially with careless users.

Freeboot - Hack targeting the dashboard ( Xbox operating system) and the console motherboard. This hack resembles in some way chips Modbo and Mars Pro on PlayStation 2, in fact on the motherboard console exactly the same chip is soldered, which tips CPU software code that allows you to run unsigned code from USB flash drives, external drives, as well as directly from the installed inside the HDD. The drive is not affected in this hack. The pros are obvious, you just download the desired product, whether it's a game or software, write to any USB-drive and run it on the console, but you have to say goodbye to the licensed multiplayer and Xbox Live. Because of the modification of the motherboard changes the hardware signature, which is immediately detected by Microsoft, followed by instant locking of the console. Offline play is still possible, but there is no access to the network. In the case of Freeboot, there are alternative services, similar to Hamachi and Tunngle, for cooperative passing and network play.

Freeboot consoles significantly more expensive than L.T. and licensed, the average price in the secondary market 7-9 thousand rubles, depending on the configuration and design of the case. Versions with a hard drive inside are naturally more expensive than without it. However, if you have a Freeboot console without a hard drive - any 2.5' hard drive will fit, all you have to do is to buy a case.
E-revisions based on Winchester motherboards are not amenable to any of the above hacks due to reduced processor size and inability to solder post-fix (stylus). Be careful when buying if you expect to get one of these, a "special" console.

Comparison of processors on Corona and Wintershter


you should pay attention to when


a licensed console


you should pay attention to the following things:

equipment - in the case of the Slim-version in the package should be a black gamepad, the console itself, the power supply, as well as all the wires for connection, including AV-cable


For the E-version, the package comes with two gamepads, the game, and Kinect, as well as similar wires except the AV cable. If you are not in the box and the price is not satisfying, it may be an argument for lowering the price.

Condition of the gamepad - remember, gamepads in the Xbox 360 run on batteries, or on batteries that need to be purchased. If the gamepad drains quickly, or the console asks you to reconnect the gamepad every ten minutes - this should raise some questions for you.

Console noise - if the cooler is constantly running at high revs, you'll hear it - I guarantee it's an indication that there's quite a bit of dust inside, and dried up thermal paste. A couple of extended sessions on a console like this will end up pretty miserable.

Drive wear - Before buying it is advisable to get a pair of licensed discs for Xbox 360 - they are sold in a special, green box, inside there is a manual, and around the drive noticeable holographic symbols Xbox 360. Insert such a disc in the drive, and if you hear a characteristic grinding, noise, or laser attempts to "grab" the zero track - the drive is worn, and the console functionality will be limited exclusively to the digital library of projects. Relevant for those looking to pick up a console with L.T version two and three.

The Borne Conspiracy disc from the author's personal collectionIf

you take a console with Freeboot

- actions are similar, except for the last point.

In our case you need not a disk, and a few games, recorded on a flash drive or an external hard drive (I recommend it, because the speed of reading from USB directly affects the loading levels, trailers and loading textures. Also, in the case of Freeboot you can see the temperature gauges and assess the performance of the cooling system under load.

Startup time - it is worth noting that unlike the licensed console, the console with Freeboot starts up longer. This occurs because the chip needs to slip the required code to the processor and only then let it start. To do this, the console is rebooted several times, and after a successful operation startup occurs. How can I tell if the console has started? The indicators around the power button will form a green circle and the external hard drive will start, if one has been plugged in.

Slim consoles on Trinity start almost instantly, but E-revisions on Corona motherboards start rather slowly - one to three minutes. Sometimes not from the first start. Here everything depends on the chip, and in general on the wizard and the motherboard itself. A long Freeboot startup time on E-versions is quite normal, so, take this into account when buying, and don't look at the seller with a surprised look. I warned you.
But if the console doesn't start at all, or from the third, or fourth time - this should be alarming...

Many sellers, as features of their console, write about the custom firmware installed


Freestyle 3 or Aurora. The price tag grows exponentially, and the newcomer overpays for, supposedly, undeniable advantage.
In fact, putting the custom firmware, with the proper knowledge or instructions is a matter of 30-40 minutes. In addition to this, many write about the presence of games inside, but again, the games on the console with Freeboot are not that important, they are easy to install, they are very easy to remove. Don't let greedy sellers sell you the standard functionality of a jailbroken console under the guise of something special at double the price.

The menu of the Freestyle custom firmware looks like this About

hard disks, their features, and emulationThe licensed

console can be delivered, both without a hard disk ( Arcade

version), and with it.

Obviously, the larger the disk capacity, the higher the price of the console. If you don't have a hard drive in your console and can't buy one - you can flash your regular hard drive with a PC, the same goes for the LT-versions of consoles.

If you have a Freeboot console at hand without a hard drive, then no extra steps are required. Simply install the 2.5' HDD into a special case and connect it to the Xbox 360. After that, format it using the system's own tools.

What is the built-in hard drive for other than storing games? Emulation!

Freeboot, as well as the licensed console allows you to run and pass a fairly large number of games from the Xbox Original. Only in the second case you will need a licensed disk. The emulator works exclusively with the internal hard drive. This is how I began to get acquainted with the series Ninja Gaiden, the emulation of which had no problems found.
In addition, you can emulate Sega Mega Drive, Dendy and some other "classic" consoles, even PlayStation One.


Summing up, we can definitely say that the Xbox 360 is a very versatile console, which has a pretty good, by the standards of his generation of hardware, as well as extensive features, including a variety of homebrew software

, classic games, and the juiciest multiplatform in the seventh generation.

I hope this blog, I helped you choose your Xbox 360, if you have decided to get one. I would also love to hear your comments on the console and this blog.
If you spot an error or inaccuracy, feel free to let me know in the comments - this will make the blog better for all readers.

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