Xbox Hardware and Software
This page describes the hardware and software of the Xbox console. The major parts of the Xbox console are discussed below.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The central processing unit (CPU) of the Xbox is a custom 32-bit 733 MHz Intel Pentium III-based Mobile Celeron. It is a Coppermine-based processor in a Micro-PGA2 package, with 32 KB L1 cache, and 128 KB on-die L2 "Advanced Transfer Cache". This processor is made with a 180 nm process.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The graphics processing unit (GPU) and system chipset are combined in a 233 MHz "NV2A" ASIC. This GPU/Chipset was co-developed by Microsoft and NVIDIA, and it contains 4 pixel pipelines with 2 texture units each. The GPU is similar to the GeForce 3 and GeForce 4 PC GPUs.
The Xbox memory is 64 MB DDR 200 MHz SDRAM memory shared between the CPU and the GPU. The memory is supplied by Hynix or Samsung depending on manufacture date and location of the Xbox.
Hard Disk Drive Storage
The Xbox storage system consists of an 8 or 10 MB 3½ inch 5.400 RPM internal harddisk (formatted to 8 GB) using the FATX file system.
FATX File System Description
The Xbox uses the FATX filesystem. This FATX filesystem is based on the FAT (File allocation Table) filesystem, but limits filenames to 40 characters.
Hard Disk Partitions
The Xbox's hardisk is split into several partitions:
  • C:
  • D: The D-drive is not fixed, it points to the current directory.
  • E:
  • T:, U:
  • X:, Y:, Z:
A custom harddisk can contain additional partitions. Drive letters F: and G: are ordinarily assigned to these additional partitions.
Optical Drive
The dvd-drive is a custom 2x - 5x (2.6 MB/s 6.6 MB/s) CAV DVD-ROM, manufactured by Thomson, Philips or Samsung.
DVD Drive Determination
The type of dvd drive can be determined by looking at the tray of the dvd drive (see images below).

Dvd-drive determination based on tray
Custom DVD Drive Replacement
The Xbox's original dvd-drive can be replaced with an LG dvd-drive. The LG dvd-drive reads any kind of dvd+/-r, cd-r, and cd-rw disks, reaching much higher transfer rates than the original Xbox's dvd-drive. Only a modded Xbox can use a custom dvd-drive. Two LG dvd-drives can be used as a custom dvd-drive; the LG GDR-8163B and the LG LG-8164.
It is possible to replace the Xbox dvd-drive with an LG GDR-8163B dvd-drive. It requires a firmware flash, and both soldering the dvd-drive's hardware and sawing the casing and the tray of the dvd-drive.
Talismoon dvd-adapter
Talismoon dvd-adapter for the LG-8164 dvd-drive
It is also possible to replace the Xbox dvd-drive with an LG LG-8164 dvd-drive. The firmware of the LG dvd-drive has to be flashed, and the dvd-drive requires a special connection to the Xbox. Unfortunately, there are some unresolved firmware issues with dual-layer game-dvd's; games like Jade Empire do not work with this modded LG drive.
Controller and Controller Ports
Video and Audio Connections
Network Connection
An integrated 10/100BASE-TX wired ethernet port provides the Xbox with a network connection.
Power Supply and Power Cord
Information on Power Cord Replacement
Microsoft is providing replacement power cords because component failure in a small number of consoles about 1 in 10,000 has caused burning inside the console or melting of the power cord where it connects to the console. Microsoft has designed the replacement power cords to protect you and your Xbox from these component failures and a potential fire hazard. This component failure only affects consoles that are manufactured before 23 October 2003. All affected consoles seem to be version 1.0 and 1.1.
Although Microsoft did not reveal anymore technical details, the failing component seems te be the Foxlink power supply. The solder joints between the power connector (where the Xbox connects to the power cord) and the power supply unit appear to be fragile. These joints can break, possibly resulting in smoke, sparks and even fire.
15-10-2008 - 09-01-2013 / Marijn Hubert