The Xbox As A PC
The Xbox is very suitable for use as a multi-purpose platform since it has standard components, including DVD drives from Philips, Samsung and Thompson, an 8 GB Seagate hard drive, a 733 MHz Pentium III, an NVIDIA graphics processor and a simply-designed motherboard. This is also how Microsoft managed to bring the pricepoint down to $200.
The Xbox Mod
Boosting the Xbox' performance and harnessing its potential largely hinges on a modded processor. A mod chip for the Xbox first switches off the signature poll designed by Microsoft to run at the start of any program (mainly from DVD). To do this, the BIOS Flash ROM in the Xbox requires a chip with modified system software. Depending on the mod chip used, a plethora of new options becomes available:
- Any software not signed by Microsoft can be run;
- Use of hard drives up to 120 GB;
- FTP data transfer to the Xbox using various dashboards (e.g. the XBMC);
- Use of 128 instead of 64 MB RAM.
However, installing a mod chip in the Xbox involves some work. Alternative modding methods that dispense with a chip are not necessarily any easier. An Internet search yields technical information and instructions, such as those found at www.xbox-scene.com.
Another option is to have your Xbox modified by a third-party for a reasonable fee. An Internet search is also a good way to find numerous offers for this service.