Qoob PRO Gamecube Modchip Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by jumpman17, Jun 7, 2005.

Jun 7, 2005
  1. jumpman17

    Former Staff jumpman17 He's a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action!

    Apr 11, 2003
    United States
    GBAtemp.net Review Of The Qoob PRO Gamecube Modchip
    Reviewed by jumpman17

    The Nintendo Gamecube was released in 2001 and was the first Nintendo console to use disc media. Nintendo did their research though and created a seemingly un-modable console.

    Through the years, many have tried to create a modchip in the past but have failed. Many gave up hope to there ever being a Gamecube modchip, myself included. Others thought the only solution to be a complicated one known now as the PSO hack.

    Now in 2005 though, we see the release of the Qoobchip, a modchip for the Gamecube. The chip comes in two varieties, the Qoob PRO and the Qoob SX.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    PRO Vs SX
    The PRO promises the following:
    * Direct boot of all media, without swapping!
    * Supports all regions PAL / USA / JAP
    * On-board MP3 Player included
    * Super easy USB upgrade system (USB transfer cable included)
    * DVD Disc upgradeable
    * Network(*) upgradeable
    * Bios selection/control supported
    * Supports all retail hardware (DOL-001 USA, JPN, EUR and DOL-102)
    * Fastboot of original discs
    * Compatible with "GCOS" and other IPL replacements, allowing homebrew development via SD card (**) and/or network (*)
    * Comfortable easy to use Windows PC flash software (in download section)
    * Supports homebrew and open-source coding
    * Integrated media compatibility check (checks all sectors of inserted media)
    * Streaming Audio Fix
    * Integrated status LED
    * Easy Installation, only 6 wires (no soldering on qoobchip required, special cable included)
    * Multicolor graphical user interface for easy operation
    * Supports Mini/DVD-R, Mini/DVD+R
    * 16MBit on-board Flash to store homebrew applications
    * High secure - low power Actel FPGA
    * Packed in a stable cardboard box including all wires, 3D Sticker and USB transfer cable
    * Supports multi-game discs (game compilations on one disc)
    * Supports multi-disc games (games on more than one disc)
    * Supports Panasonic Gamecube
    * Supports Action Replay cheat codes (***)
    (*) BBA required
    (**) SD card adapter required
    (***) Original Action replay needed once

    The SX is the same as the PRO except it doesn’t include the following features:
    * On-board MP3 Player included
    * Super easy USB upgrade system (USB transfer cable included)
    * Comfortable easy to use Windows PC flash software (in download section)
    * Supports Mini/DVD-R, Mini/DVD+R
    * 16Mbit (It’s only 1Mbit for the SX) on-board Flash to store homebrew applications
    * Supports Action Replay cheat codes (***)

    Meeting The Promises
    I have yet to find any kind of MP3 player on this chip. I also don’t have an Action Replay, Panasonic Gamecube, "GCOS" and other IPL replacements to test but I’m sure they would work. Everything else on the list is present though so they met their promises. Although I’m not quite sure what they mean by “Multicolor graphical user interface,” all the menus are in black and white.

    My Qoobchip arrived in a standard USPS shipping box. Inside I found a small plastic bag containing the following:
    * Qoob PRO
    * Installation Wires
    * Ribbon Cable
    * USB Transfer Cable
    * Qoob Sticker

    The first thing I noticed was the lack of any instructions what so ever, not even a paper directing me to the official website. The website does offer pictures of how to disassemble the Gamecube and where to solder on the chip, but that’s it. No other instructions. The next thing I did was toss the sticker to the side. Other then that, everything looked nice. The USB Transfer Cable was neatly coiled and tied and the actual chip was even wrapped in a static shielding bag.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I enlisted the help of my father for this part seeing as I’ve never soldered before in my life and some prior experience seemed like a pre-requisite. My father is an electrician/technician so he didn’t have much of a problem. He did say that the solder points were so small that he had to borrow a smaller soldering iron. I guess the four soldering irons he already had weren’t small enough.

    The chip does have a snap-off section on it so it forms an L shape to prevent the blocking of air circulation. You connect the main chip to the USB hookup part by a copper ribbon cable. You can either mount the USB chip on the bottom of the Gamecube, under the Hi Speed Port covering, or on the side of the Gamecube. I mounted it under the Hi Speed Port since it’s only used for the Gameboy Player and seeing as how I don’t have one, nor plan on buying one, I mounted it there. Shaun however mounted it on the side and since he provided the pictures, it's on the side for the picture.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Software - Bios
    Okay, the chip comes with the 1.0 bios already loaded on it. Since that version doesn’t support back-ups, I needed to update to a newer version. The download section on the official site had the 1.0 Release 4 bios. I downloaded that and installed it using the flashing software (next section) and booted the Gamecube up. Oddly, it still wouldn’t load my backup. So I did some searching and found the 1.3a bios. I found this odd since the official website didn’t have it but realized they needed to keep the site legal. Fair enough. After installing the 1.3a bios, the backups loaded right up.

    Software - Flasher
    I downloaded the flasher program off of the official website. It’s a simple little program that lets you write to the chip’s memory. All you have to do is connect the USB Transfer Cable from the Gamecube to the computer, load the program, and click connect. I wanted to overwrite the default bios though so the system would boot directly to the new one instead of booting to the default, which makes you press B, then choosing the new bios. I deleted the bios with the flasher and then discovered I couldn’t write new bios. I started panicking. I couldn’t boot the Gamecube at all now. Luckily shaun bailed me out and told me about a newer version of the flasher. This version let me change the bios and had a much sleeker interface. Again though, this newer version wasn’t on the official website.


    Burning Discs
    You’d think this wouldn’t be a necessary section, but it is. Seeing as I now have a lovely collection of new coasters, I’d thought I’d inform you on what to do. Make sure you burn the discs as slow as you can. Burning at 4x on normal sized DVDs resulted in them working but the game would freeze randomly during play. Burning at 4x on small DVDs resulted in read errors every time. Slowing the burn process down to 2x though resulted in less errors and the mini DVDs booted every time.

    EDIT: Upon finding a bios update for my burner, I can now burn at full speed.

    Another area you wouldn’t expect to see, but yes, it’s here. Of the games I’ve tested so far, both Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean and Star Fox Assault have some sound errors. It’s nothing major, it’s only when the characters speak. I’m not sure if I would describe it as a small echoing noise or if it sounds like they are speaking to your through a walky-talky. It doesn’t really bug me though. Others on the internet have noticed some sound problems too so it’s not just me.

    Test Results
    NTSC Tests:
    1080: Avalanche [PASS]
    Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean [PASS, 1 random lockup so far]
    Metroid Prime 2: Echoes [PASS]
    Pikmin 2 [PASS, 2 random lockups so far]
    Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc [PASS]
    Star Fox Assault [PASS]
    Super Monkey Ball [PASS]
    TimeSplitters: Future Perfect [PASS]
    XG3: Extreme G Racing [PASS]

    Import Tests:
    Viewtiful Joe (PAL) [PASS]
    It worked fine, but was black and white which was because my TV doesn't support PAL.

    I've played about 25 hours so far and I've only gotten 3 random lockups, so I'd say it's a rare occasion.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    * Games quickly boot.
    * Updateable Bios.
    * Supports mini DVDs.
    * Supports NTSC/PAL/JAP regions.
    * No swapping.
    * 16Mbits onboard flash.

    * Soldering skills required, small soldering points don’t help.
    * Little to no instructions.
    * Occasional lockups here and there.
    * A few sound problems.

    Bottom line, it’ll take some work to get it running seeing as there are no instructions, but hopefully this review will help. Once you get it going though, the games boot just as fast as they normally would and work perfectly except for the rare lockup and sound glitches. I’m going to have to count some points off though for that and the difficulty of setup.

    Final Score = 8/10

    Thanks for reading and thanks to shaun for providing help on setting my Qoobchip up and for providing the pictures. Also thanks to the rest of the staff for any suggestions.

    Official website: http://www.qoobchip.com
  2. Costello

    Administrator Costello Headmaster

    Oct 24, 2002
    Affiliated sites
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  3. Kadano

    Newcomer Kadano Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    Where have the images gone, I've now gotten one myself and would really need them so I can install it :(
  4. Kadano

    Newcomer Kadano Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    shaunj66 sent me the images:

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