Considering a 360...best option?

Discussion in 'Xbox 360 - Games & Content' started by Skizzo, Nov 26, 2009.

Nov 26, 2009
  1. Skizzo
    OP

    Banned Skizzo Banned

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Country:
    United States
    We're considering getting a 360 soon, and I was wondering what the best bang for the buck option would be, while still being 'safe' for Live? Is the LE CODMW2 unit a good deal at $400, assuming I'd want the game anyways and would definitely want a 2nd controller, or would it be cheaper to get another unit and mod the HD myself and purchase the other items individually?

    What's the story with the Jasper chipset and is it worth getting a unit with it? I do want to eventually mod it to be able to play backups but I might wait out the warranty first. I understand a lot can happen in a year's time, but would a new unit purchased today still likely be able to be modded after a year? I've got a Wii, so how does the 360 compare with regards to Nintendo sending out system updates that mess up things for those running backups? Do you have a choice in accepting these updates? Do they come on the game discs and can you not run the game unless you update first like the Wii (assuming the unit isn't modded)?

    What's the best up-to-date guide out there now and the best site to find this information, if someone isn't willing to answer here?

    Anything else I need to know?
     
  2. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The newest of the new 360s have a (presently) unhackable drive and that does not look set to change soon.

    The basic DVD drive hack to allow copied games is a hardware thing and software/kernel/dashboard updates have nothing to do with it. Any homebrew hacks will have been closed by the time you get around to it.

    Guides, probably jungleflasher guide although there are many knowledgeable people around the 'temp too:
    http://jungleflasher.net/files/JungleFlasher.pdf
     
  3. Skizzo
    OP

    Banned Skizzo Banned

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Country:
    United States
    So, given recent developments http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=193838 I guess your comment about 'does not look set to change soon' was a tad bit off? [​IMG]

    Seriously though, according to the reply to my question, assuming it's accurate, all 360's can now be hacked, so is the COD MW2 LE console the best value? If I did go another route to get the same result, I'd have to get a system with the smallest HD, buy a replacement and swap it out, purchase COD MW2, and purchase an extra controller. If the price difference wouldn't be too great, I rather just get the legit system, especially if it has been upgraded with a better chip that is more robust. And now there appears to be no reason not to, correct?
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I was going on the then comments of "no other way we can see" that littered the relevant forums from the relevant people, I dare say this was somewhat unexpected though although that is not to say I am unhappy about the situation.

    All 360s can be hacked but we have no firmware for the 9 series drives right now and even though there is a hack it is but hours old at this time and still quite complex to pull off. This will probably change a bit in the next few months though so if you do not mind waiting (which is probably for the best as it seems it is the hacked firmware that causes troubles for people).

    Pretty much all 360s made in the 12 months will have a "Jasper" motherboard model so that is OK there. I would definitely get one over the earlier models.

    Hard drives: if you want you can grab a given model of drive and stick that in there instead.

    Cheaper: 50/50 really, it is all in the hard drive as MS charge ridiculous prices for what they are.
     
  5. Skizzo
    OP

    Banned Skizzo Banned

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Country:
    United States
    Yeah, I was just kidding about the 'tad bit off'. I'm sure had anyone else knowledgeable on the subject replied, they would have said the same.

    I'm debating between the 360 and PS3 (which as I understand really can't be hacked and probably won't be anytime soon, if ever). If I wasn't ever planning on modding the system, I think the PS3 has some nice features, but I'm not sure I'd ever really use them. I certainly wouldn't be buying and/or burning any Blu-ray movies. And since I really am wanting great online play, I think I'll get the 360.

    Having said that, I guess I'll just dig in and do some research as to what is best way to get the most for my money. I definitely want some kind of HD and it appears the 250GB is a pretty decent value in the LE pack. When you put the games on the HD, you still have to have the disc in the drive, even if using backups, correct? Do the games get 'scrubbed' when they are put on the HD, taking up different amounts of space depending on the content, or do they all take up the space of a full DL disc?

    And I don't mind waiting with regards to modding. Depending on how 'easy' modding these newer units becomes, I may even wait until the warranty has expired, 'collecting' backups in the meantime. [​IMG]

    Thanks for your replies.
     
  6. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,151
    Location:
    London, UK
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    From my experience, games installed on the HDD tend to take between 5-7GB. There doesn't seem to be much towards shrinking games down. And yes, the disk must still be in the drive to play - if it is not, it will ask for the disk before starting, and I've not tried to take the disk out midgame.

    For the waiting stance, it truly is the best way to go about it. Developments come in waves, both on M$ side trying to clamp down on piracy, and on the scene side trying to combat M$, if not in support of piracy, then at least in allowing the more lawful of us to play the backups of our own games without risking major disk scratches should the Xbox be tipped over.

    Or the third option is to grab a RRoD Xbox off ebay, fix it up, flash it, and use that to play your backup games. Of course, this comes with its share of risks (such as if the RRoD cannot be fixed by the usual methods) but it is cheap and a good experience in any case.
     
  7. Skizzo
    OP

    Banned Skizzo Banned

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Country:
    United States
    Is there a good site that explains repairing RRoD's? I might even just get a new one and one of those if they're not too expensive and the repair isn't too difficult.
     
  8. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Repairing RRoD:
    RROD is a somewhat generic term as red lights come up for many errors, usually though it refers to hardware failure as follows. I do not really rate any one guide and many have incorrect info or blatant misinformation buried within them, only real way to get this is to read many guides.

    Basic idea is that courtesy of lead free solder and a poorly supported motherboard (which leads to bending/warping of the board with the CPU/GPU taking much of it) the connections on the bottom of the CPU and/or GPU which use a form of connection known as ball grid array (as the name implies rather than pins to hold it on you have little ball of solder) either break, creep, bridge (whiskers) or otherwise become malformed.

    Every fix you will see on the internet is a way to try and fix this, they range in quality and effectiveness but a rough overview could be:

    Towel fix: do not do this ever, I mention it only so you do not do it. It overheads the entire 360 probably taking most of the electronics (or at least a good chunk of their lifetime) with it in an attempt to heat the CPU/GPU connections and get them to reform (remember solder is fairly easy to form at room temperature and the 70 something Celsius the 360 overheats at is good enough to start reforming.

    Cent fix/penny fix. Varies slightly according to the guide you follow but generally you bind two or three pennies/cents together with electrical tape (to prevent electrical bridging) and stick them on the bottom of the RAM chips (sometimes three of them, sometimes all four of them). This redistributes the stress over the motherboard (aiming to entirely free it of them actually) and so helps with the connections.
    It can work by itself (indeed I have done such a thing) but it is usually coupled with either the heatgun method or another method.
    Similar methods have also been used with xclamp replacement and bolts and custom force redistribution methods.

    Xclamp fix: varying kits here and probably all about as good as each other.
    Similar idea to the cent fix above but instead of redistributing stresses over the motherboard it adds stress to the heatsink which pulls down on the chips hopefully fixing bad connections. Usually coupled with a heating fix.

    Heatgun method.: Here you take a heat gun (electronics rather than paint stripper if you can, some buy their own and some make one from a powered desoldering iron and a pump which can create a stream of air) and heat the CPU and/or GPU up in an attempt to reform connections (some advocate a more general heating pattern, I am not convinced it does anything other than waste time), it is usually worth supporting the CPU/GPU at the time to prevent the self weight of the chips from "squashing" the solder beneath it and many also shield everything but the section they are heating with tin (aluminium) foil.
    A major problem with this is popcorning where the chip case has water in it which turns to steam (expands) or the case otherwise expands too fast and fractures the surface (usually not bad in and of itself but it does a good job of destroying any heat transfer ability beyond the repair capability of most people.

    Crude alternative: if the CPU overheats the 360 more or less stops but if the GPU overheats then all is good apparently. Turning the dual fans 90 degrees allows you to cool the CPU and allows the GPU to overheat and so fix connections (at least in theory).

    BGA reworking: if you have played at all with modern electronics you will probably know about surface mounted devices. While still technically a surface mount technique I personally rate it as harder to play with than surface mount. Search youtube for BGA rework videos and know that the hardware to pull it off is quite costly (even if you do not buy the special stuff) and the skills to do it are a cut above normal soldering (especially if you are not going in for the good equipment) although you can net things from places like virtual village and ownta for the job. It is very much as case of if you have to ask you are not ready for it yet.
    A video to get you started (not for the 360):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdN53F5YQwk&fmt=18
    Every other fix method before this attempts to either achieve similar results or addresses a cause of the problems, as such this is the king of all methods but as I have hopefully made clear this is no simple feat.

    Long story short it is entirely possible to fix most RRoD consoles and aside from BGA it is entirely possible for anyone for anyone who has basic reading ability.
     
  9. Skizzo
    OP

    Banned Skizzo Banned

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Country:
    United States
    Wow, thanks for that. Sounds tempting, but my only real concern is that I buy a RRoD that someone else has already attempted to fix and failed miserably. Would it still have the rings lit up or would the bad fix cause the system to go completely 'dead'? If the unit turns out to be unrepairable, are any of the components usable. For example, can the drive be swapped to a newer unit if it's more easily flashable?

    BTW, I've seen some RRoD units that appear to come with a wired controller? Can the new units also use a wired controller, or is it only wireless now? And what's considered a 'fair' price for a RRoD unit, not including anything else.

    Thanks again for the info.
     
  10. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Flashing a drive is usually not the problem although yes you can spoof a drive as another type (or if it is the same type just use the key from the destination 360). The only drive you can brick through software is the Hitachi drive and if someone manages that through RRoD repair then well.... (you can brick all drives if you have an older kit and insert the power lead upside down but that is a different matter).

    If you are inclined towards electronics then other components can be used but for most it is mainly just the drive.

    As for the buying a truly dead 360 it is always a risk with this sort of thing, buying one from a neighbourhood kid is probably the best here although be careful again as this is where I usually see the towel fix used. Regarding ebay I do not use it myself but from links in IRC and the like the few times I have seen such consoles for offer they are usually labelled as such (our team failed to repair it), it seems many live in fear of/are kept up at night by the prospect of negative feedback though.
    On the flip side there are many with a bit of electronics skill who know all of what I just typed or others who buy them and send them back to MS to get refurbished or others still who do caseswaps and all scour such sites for this sort of thing (a quick search of this very section could probably drum you up examples of all three).

    This being said it will usually still light up if someone messes up the repair but as mentioned lights can be for many faults and some repairs can mess stuff up further.

    RRoD systems seem to come in varying configurations:
    Some will come with a 20 gig drive
    Some with come without power* or video cables.
    Some will come with a wired controller (usually as an appeasement of sorts), you can use wired on any 360 (they just go into the USB ports)
    Some will come with a mixed combination of the above.
    Some will just be the main 360 box.

    *old power cables work with all 360s, new power cables only work with newer models (lower power draw in these models).

    Prices vary as well and with this recent banning stuff I am not sure how it changed the game. I would not pay more than the price of a newly released game though.
     

Share This Page