Introduction

The Original Xbox was one of the best selling game consoles of all time, it had amazing graphics compared to the Playstation 2, the Nintendo Gamecube, and the Nintendo 64. Now, lets take a look inside...

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Xbox, use our service manual.

The Xbox, Not as Pretty as it was when I bought it 7 years ago. The Xbox, Not as Pretty as it was when I bought it 7 years ago.
  • The Xbox, Not as Pretty as it was when I bought it 7 years ago.

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To begin dissasembly, flip the console so it is upside-down. Remove the 4 Rubber Pads with a flathead screwdriver, or a heavy duty spudger. It takes a little force to get them off.
  • To begin dissasembly, flip the console so it is upside-down.

  • Remove the 4 Rubber Pads with a flathead screwdriver, or a heavy duty spudger. It takes a little force to get them off.

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Doing this should reveal 4 T10 Torx Screws, But, there are 2 More hidden by stickers. The other 2 are shown in yellow. Removing the 2 screws hidden by stickers will void your warrenty, even though, I'm sure that your warrenty has already expired.
  • Doing this should reveal 4 T10 Torx Screws, But, there are 2 More hidden by stickers.

  • The other 2 are shown in yellow.

  • Removing the 2 screws hidden by stickers will void your warrenty, even though, I'm sure that your warrenty has already expired.

On my Crystal Xbox the screws on the bottom (Step 3) were T20 screws not T10 screws

Christopher S - Reply

@Yaro

Now that Microsoft and Sony are both veterans in the console market, your allegation that x86 would only be chosen by an inexperienced newcomer doesn't hold up. My guess is you know less about the issue than you think you do--not about the motivations behind choosing an architecture nor about the performance considerations involved.

Further, Apple didn't switch to Intel to ease developer pains. At the time and for a long time afterward (still a problem today, in fact), writing software that compiles to native code for both OS X and whatever else remained a problem. It had little to do with developers; after all, in the high-level languages developers spend most of their time in, the target microarch is of little consequence. Rather, it had to do with IBM repeatedly failing to meet performance milestones. Their PowerPC products of the era simply weren't keeping up with Intel's x86.

For immediate applications, that PPC can do better doesn't matter when it is not doing better.

James Beach - Reply

Removing the 6 T10 Screws. Hmm, where heve we seen these before?
  • Removing the 6 T10 Screws.

  • Hmm, where heve we seen these before?

  • My Xbox 360 Teardown, of course!

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To remove the top half of the console, flip it upright, and use a flathead screwdriver to seperate the two halves. To remove the top half of the console, flip it upright, and use a flathead screwdriver to seperate the two halves. To remove the top half of the console, flip it upright, and use a flathead screwdriver to seperate the two halves.
  • To remove the top half of the console, flip it upright, and use a flathead screwdriver to seperate the two halves.

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Simply lift the top half off. This reveals the drives.
  • Simply lift the top half off.

  • This reveals the drives.

  • From Left To Right: The DVD-ROM Drive, And A Seagate 8GB Parallel ATA Drive

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
Removing The Drives Start By removing the ATA Cable from both drives. There might be a piece of double sidded tape holding the ribbon cabble in place.
  • Removing The Drives

  • Start By removing the ATA Cable from both drives. There might be a piece of double sidded tape holding the ribbon cabble in place.

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Then Remove the power cables from the drives. The Hard Drive Uses Standard Power Adaptor, but the DVD-ROM drive, uses a proprietary xbox connector similar to that of the xbox 360.
  • Then Remove the power cables from the drives.

  • The Hard Drive Uses Standard Power Adaptor, but the DVD-ROM drive, uses a proprietary xbox connector similar to that of the xbox 360.

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Removing the DVD-ROM Power Removing the DVD-ROM Power
  • Removing the DVD-ROM Power

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Before we can continue, there are 3 T8 Torx screws hidden here that we need to remove.
  • Before we can continue, there are 3 T8 Torx screws hidden here that we need to remove.

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Lift the hard drive and the plastic attatched to it out, you will need to route the power cable so you can get it out. Lift the hard drive and the plastic attatched to it out, you will need to route the power cable so you can get it out.
  • Lift the hard drive and the plastic attatched to it out, you will need to route the power cable so you can get it out.

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Removing the DVD-ROM Drive. Lift the DVD-ROM drive and the plastic attatched to it out. This reveals the logic board. Lift the DVD-ROM drive and the plastic attatched to it out. This reveals the logic board.
  • Removing the DVD-ROM Drive.

  • Lift the DVD-ROM drive and the plastic attatched to it out. This reveals the logic board.

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The Logic Board
  • The Logic Board

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Removing the Heatsinks. The Big one to the right, is the CPU, the smaller one to the left is for the GPU.
  • Removing the Heatsinks.

  • The Big one to the right, is the CPU, the smaller one to the left is for the GPU.

  • Lift the black tab up on the cpu heatsink. this will release the tension on the chip.

  • Then use a flathead screwdriver to remove the clip. Then Lift the CPU heatsink out (this may take some force)

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The CPU
  • The CPU

  • So What's Under Door Number One?

  • An Intel Pentium III CPU running at 733Mhz.

  • This is actualy a surprise, because almost every other console out there uses an IBM PowerPC CPU, this makes us wonder, could this console emulate windows?

  • It also raises the question, why did Microsoft Switch to PowerPC, around the same time Apple switched to Intel?

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The GPU Push on the tab on the GPU Heatsink, While doing this, use a flathead screwdriver to push on the tab, so when released, it clears the latch Be Careful, if you break any one of these tabs, then, your heatsinks will not be usable, and your console will fry, if you try to run it.
  • The GPU

  • Push on the tab on the GPU Heatsink, While doing this, use a flathead screwdriver to push on the tab, so when released, it clears the latch

  • Be Careful, if you break any one of these tabs, then, your heatsinks will not be usable, and your console will fry, if you try to run it.

  • Removing the GPU heatsink, revealls a NVIDIA Custon Chip.

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The Logic Board Overview:
  • The Logic Board Overview:

  • The CPU: An Integrated Intel Pentium III CPU Clocked at 733Mhz with a 100Mhz Front Side Bus

  • The GPU: A Custom NVIDIA Chip. I can't find much info on this chip, but I will try to update this.

  • The Power Supply: Be Carefull When Working on this, you can get shocked by this if you touch it. The power connector is similar to that of an AT Power Supply found in 90's computers

  • The ATA Header: This connects both drives to the Xbox Logic Board.

  • The A/V Ports

  • The Ethernet Port

The NVidia GPU is similar to a GeForce 3 Ti/500. The 733MHz Intel CPU is a Coppermine core (the second P6 core to support SSE) but the specs (cache etc) are somewhere in-between what would be branded as a Celeron and a Pentium !!!. The OS is based on the Windows NT 5.0 kernel, but without Windows 2000’s GUI. The console’s RAM is 2x 32MB for a total of 64MB, running in dual channel mode. I believe the GPU steals some of this, but that’s my weak point with the Xbox specs. I notice that the DVD-ROM drive is a Philips in your console; doubtless different consoles will probably have DVD-ROM drives (and hard drives) supplied by different manufacturers. Speaking of the hard drive, later units’ hard drives were 10GB parts but still formatted to 8GB.

Rowan Lloyd - Reply

Chris Green

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Since the CPU has only 128kB L2 cache, it's actually the Celeron version of the Pentium III processor. Which was meant for office work, not gaming. :/

Saberus Terras - Reply

The original XBox was x86 largely because Microsoft had no clue what they were doing when they first designed the console. x86 is a dreadful architecture to work with outside of PCs, and even in the PC industry, x86 isn't really all that wonderful and is only in use because of how the PC market works. Apple knew if they stuck with PPC much longer on Macs they'd lose critical mass with software developers and they'd end up selling very expensive paperweights in a few years if they didn't do something.

As for game consoles: PPC has been demonstrated and proven time and time again to be technically superior to x86. To this day (April 2013) this is still holding true. Microsoft ditched x86 for PPC in the 360 when they realized basing the XBox on the x86 architecture was a horrible idea, both power and power-consumption-wise.

Alas, the next XBox and the PS4 are both going x86, whereas Nintendo is wisely staying PPC with the Wii U.

Yaro - Reply

Lol.

I am from the future and here to tell you how stupid that statement was.

Sources:

Xbox One - AMD Bulldozer

PlayStation 4 - AMD Bulldozer

Bobby Dazzler -

Oh, hello there Bob!

Still using AMD on upgraded tech, called Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation 4 Pro :P

Have fun,

Blinx

Blinx -

Oh hey and now Nintendo moved to Arm... Why leave PPC? Well, you know... Mobility and less power consumption...

Adriano Brito -

And considering the power and the longevity, the xBox One and the PS4 were clearly a fail. Building a gaming console so similar to a PC that developers dont have to do any optimizations to get the game to run, breaks the whole idea of consoles: Optimizing the games to run perfect on exactly that architecture and run better than PCs with superior hardware. Have you seen The Last of Us on the Playstation 3? Now keep in mind how old that console is and how bad the hardware is.

Chuckiele -

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