Hardware vs. Software mods, which is better?

Discussion in 'Switch - Hacking & Homebrew' started by unvaluablespace, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. unvaluablespace

    unvaluablespace Advanced Member

    Aug 3, 2014
    United States
    I'm more of a software mod guy myself, but then again I've never really done a hardware mod, but with the recent announcements, I'm curious: does one form of mod provide anything the other can't? Any features? future proofing, etc? Does one excel more than the other in certain aspects?
  2. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

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    Oct 11, 2011
    В небо
    The only way for 360 to run unsigned code is with hardware mods that enable software mods.

    I'm pretty sure TX has produced a glitch chip, akin to the 360.
    Seeing they both use eFuse technology.
    brickmii82, MushGuy and Orangy57 like this.
  3. Jacklack3

    Jacklack3 ( ゚ヮ゚) buddie was here

    Oct 6, 2015
    In your basement Dick Size: 5 meters.
    Hardware can be never patched, depending if it uses a exploit which is about the hardware itself. Really the same goes with software, but it's less likely to show up anytime soon.

    I go with software, though it depends on the console, for the switch? If it's a flashcard and it doesn't look like software would evolve anytime soon, then yeah, if it's a modchip and software is on the rise, i'd wait. (If I was on the right version of course lol.)
    Extrasklep and lordelan like this.
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Depends entirely upon the nature of the mod in question.

    If I can stick a specially named file on the root of the SD that the burned in silicon will load without question then the hard mod had better do something seriously special (overclocking, more processing, dual nand where a virtual one is harder, shared nand, rapid fire buttons, easy access to something I might not have access to, debugging capability and so on) for me to consider it.

    As that is unlikely to happen in the modern world we are back to considering what goes. We might also have to consider the nature of any support for them but I will assume it is acceptable.

    Hardware mods. Traditionally a bit harder for device makers to work around which seriously lessens the "my little brother updated" type thing. If they come with perks like those mentioned above then so much the better.
    Software mods. Their only saving grace is being software you can mostly download it for free (there are things that you get to pay for from time to time, sometimes because the people doing the deed are using lots of computing power to make something, other times because the people doing the mod reckon they can get away with it which I guess is fine as well). I don't particularly consider soldering and related activities that troublesome for most of the things out there, would prefer not to have to hook probes onto a BGA though or remove epoxy in some cases.

    Really though until we know more about the attack surfaces of the switch and how things will play out it is all basically complete speculation that helps nobody. Such things are a bit of a spectrum anyway -- the average 360 DVD mod could be done on some fairly popular motherboards with a sata lead and then assembled back again, however as it involves pulling something apart it was still hardware according to some, compare that to some of the later RGH stuff where you had to run wires around certain locations to avoid inducted noise... it is not even close.
  5. Xathya

    Xathya is still the shill??

    Aug 20, 2017
    green hil zone
    the softwares becose hardware can permantanly damage the cpu is deliding or undervolting the grapich sometimes which may result in vvoids of warranty is nitendo can detecc
  6. DSpider

    DSpider GBAtemp Fan

    Mar 14, 2015
    Software mod is better, cleaner, cheaper, and you don't void you warranty either (well, if you can remove the patches and/or update to a newer official firmware, and if the damn thing still works, at least partially, to be able to do these).

    But if you send it into warranty with the modchip removed, there WILL be signs of tampering, and there's a very high chance that they will refuse repairs and send it back to you.
    PotatisKnug likes this.
  7. CosmoCortney

    CosmoCortney Chemtrail Pilot

    Apr 18, 2013
    on the cool side of the pillow
  8. linuxares

    linuxares GBAtemp Psycho!

    Aug 5, 2007
    Yes, yes it can. The hardwares entry points can sometimes be patched. It's nothing new.
  9. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    You have to look on a case-by-case basis. There are hardmods that are clean, stable and a breeze to use, hardmods that require fiddling or the perfect firmware. Some softmods are a mere matter of clicking "ok" while others require multiple attempts or have reports of bricking.

    If given the choice, I think most people would want to go with softmods. It doesn't require purchasing things from shady sites or a steady hand (soldering may not be as hard as it may sound, but I don't want to try it out myself), there's usually more feedback in terms of support, and depending on the type it may also be updated more often.

    What are you clowns on about? Hacking your console voids your warranty, period. This whole "the warranty isn't voided if they can't detect it" is just a childish attempt to justify something illegal*.

    *note: the actual hacking might not be illegal (depends on the country and what you actually do after hacking it), but afaik every console and handheld of the last few generations have explicit wording that the manufacturer's retain the right to void warranty in case of tampering. Most hacks also note this same thing in their documentation, btw. As such, sending back a broken console after hacking - even if the problem isn't related to the hack to begin with - is the exact same fraud as attempting to have a console repaired that's outside the warranty period.
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I am not sure about that. If it is related to the hacking (your mod chip power source overloads something and cooks it and that is all you, your mod probably does not trouble the switches in the buttons, nor the ribbon cable attaching the screen, nor a whole host of other things).
    The classic example, and one from several big court cases the world over, is car warranties. https://www.keithmichaels.co.uk/news/vehicle-modifications-and-warranty/
    Morally speaking I would have to go with that as well. It could get a bit hazy if we have to consider some aspects of software (some would try to argue any mod there, I would argue it still has to be relevant to the fault) but that is still nowhere near your reasoning.

    "outside the warranty period" is a more nebulous concept in Europe where most states have something like the sale of goods act in the UK where things have to last a reasonable lifetime for the device in question -- people saw MS extending the warranty for RRoD and thought it nice, I thought it just something to fall in line with consumer protection laws. The one or two year thing may be the enhanced we send out an engineer/courier type thing but the period itself is a different matter.
    Quantumcat likes this.
  11. Jacklack3

    Jacklack3 ( ゚ヮ゚) buddie was here

    Oct 6, 2015
    In your basement Dick Size: 5 meters.
    I said "depending" since I know not every hardware exploit is unpatchable.
  12. a9lh-1user

    a9lh-1user GBAtemp Fan

    Apr 1, 2016
    Gambia, The
    I have a question that i thing some people should ask themself:

    "So you are willing to gave your Switch a Hardware mod and still thinking about the warranty?!"

    If you modify your HW (Console/Handheld/Smartphone....) forget about the warranty .... it should be a toy now you can have fun with .... and if something goes wrong during the Hardware mod it shouldn't be a problem for you because thats the risk if you temper with HW that doesn't come from the original publisher.

    Only my opinon but i question some answers in threads today because they are very strange IMHO.
    Taleweaver likes this.
  13. Memoir

    Memoir A Hero to Zero

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    I honestly believe the warranty should expire before modifications could be considered.
    Mystic Shadow likes this.
  14. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

    Aug 28, 2003
    United Kingdom
    I prefer software, but that's just because I'm lazy. No problem with hardware mods if that's what it takes.

    Warranty, meh, if it goes wrong, it goes wrong. Can't afford to replace it, don't tamper with it.
  15. Taffy

    Taffy h

    Mar 3, 2017
    United States
    Hardware mods (if they are well-made) are near-impossible to patch without a hardware revision, which is expensive.

    Software mods are easier for normal people to use but can be patched more easily.

    Then you have other things like NTRboot which are a bit harder to classify, but I guess it falls under hardware because the target console was designed to allow something akin to it.
  16. Hondyn

    Hondyn Advanced Member

    Jan 2, 2018
    Software. Easy to-do process , most of time its for free and if something goes wrong along the way thats easier to get problems solved. But i honestly dont think thats what we ll be getting.
  17. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    hard always squashes soft
  18. xabier

    xabier GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 10, 2006
    Not clowning, software mods are legal where I live. Nintendo can't get away with a hardware defect whatever software I install on my device. The only thing they can do is repair my device and (probably) wipe the softmod.

    It's the same as a phone, tablet or computer. If I break the software it's my fault and I won't be covered by any warranty (although phone companies flash your device for free), other issues MUST be covered by the warranty.
  19. smf

    smf GBAtemp Maniac

    Feb 23, 2009
    I think you'd struggle in court if you made an illegal modification to your car and wanted the warranty honoured though, due to the unclean hands principle.

    Console modifications are illegal in a lot of countries, Nintendo have been known to seize shipments.
  20. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I agree it is not a clean cut argument but just as many places also have turned around to specifically allow tinkering with your devices. Consoles do seem somewhat absent (phones, cars, TVs... all other types of embedded computer).