Xbox Differences: Information

See versions.htm for closer details on some of the different versions of things.

Information you can get about your Xbox:

There may be some versions with minor differences to a motherboard as Microsoft tries to thwart users and particularily installers of hardware mod-chips, but many of these really have little effect on soft-modding.

There are some things you can tell about your system without opening up outer shell in a way that Microsoft doesn't expect end users to do. One thing you can do is to check out the Xbox-Linux Finding out your Xbox Version HOWTO

The Xbox-Linux Xbox Versions Database Entry Form allowed people to submit information about their Xboxes. Some results are found on the Xbox-Linux Xbox Hardware Database.

Xbox Differences

Motherboard model

In general, the different versions of an Xbox refer to different versions of the motherboard layout and/or the things on the motherboard (video encoding chip, power connector style, fan or heat sink on GPU).

Information found from Xbox Version Detection v1.0.5 *BETA* and Xbox-Linux site. Here are some details about the different versions. Versions include:
1.0 uses a different RC4 Key than newer models of the Xbox. 1.0 uses the Conexant video encoding chip. 1.0 has a fan placed right over the CPU, rather than a heat sink like all other versions.
1.1 has a different power connector than later Xboxes. 1.1 uses the Conexant video encoding chip.
There appears to not be a major difference between 1.2 and 1.3, as Xbox-Scene's tutorial on identifying an Xbox version says to check Xbox-Linux's Versions Finding page and looking at a serial number, and that "There's no perfect method to see the difference between v1.2 and v1.3 (yet)." There must be some difference, though, since the Xbox hacking community seems to be in agreement in calling these things different versions. "We do know that all PAL Special Edition translucent green xbox consoles (not the new NTSC Special Edition Halo xboxes) are still v1.2."
The 1.4/1.5 Xboxes use the Focus video encoding chip. The difference between the 1.4 and 1.5 is that the "LPC 3.3v/ground is disconnected" on the 1.5, but Microsoft seems to have disfavored the 1.5 and stopped manufacturing them, instead making version 1.4 Xboxes again until 1.6 came out.
The 1.6 Xboxes use the "xcalibur" video encoding chip, which is most easily identified by having an Xbox logo on it, whereas other video encoding chips had large names of the previous video encoding chip manufacturers.

Information on what version your Xbox is can be found at One of the most important differences is whether an Xbox is version 1.0 (if last four digits of the serial number are 03, or if the last four digits of the serial number are 02 and the manufacturing date is November 2002 or earlier), or any later version (if it is not a 1.0 Xbox using the information just described), because all later versions use the same RC4 Key but that is different than the RC4 Key that version 1.0 uses.


The most important difference for soft modders may be the RC4 Key/EEPROM key, which hasn't changed frequently but there are a few different ones that Microsoft has used. If some software says an Xbox is a 1.1 Xbox that may actually just be referring to the EEPROM key being used, and the Xbox may be a later version, possibly as late as 1.5.

DVD Drive

What DVD drive do I have?, Samsung, Philips or Thomson? The three drives, as pictured on the URL linked to, are Thomson, Samsun, and Philips. Thomson has a simple U-shaped hole in the tray, being circular in the middle and going back to the system. The outer and inner rings of the plastic on the tray are about the same size. Comments on that page suggest it is the best one at reading different disc types like DVD+R discs, although the opinions do seem to vary widely. A drive by Phillips has a bit more of a keyhole-shaped hole, with a larger circular hole in the middle of the tray, and the circular portion of the hole is wider than some of the rest of the hole which goes back towards the system. The inner ring of plastic is fairly small. Another drive is one made by Samsung, and it has two extra holes in the tray under where the disc would go, as well as a couple of additional holes in the plastic towards the outside of the system.

UnleashX can report what version of a DVD is being used.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD, Hard Drive)

It seems there are four different hard drives. The best hard drive to have would be the white (faster) Seagate (10GB) drive, instead of the black (older) Seagate (10GB) drive or one of the Western Digital (8GB) drives.

UnleashX can report what model of hard drive is being used. Here are some models I have been able to get information on:

Suggestion: Try looking up the model number UnleashX gives on but realize that this page has reported the ST310211A as being 40GB, which is very unlikely if the ST310211A is included in an Xbox as X-S reports. X-S is likely right in calling it a 10GB drive. Perhaps more information can be found on other links at forum post on hard drive lockability