Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Discussion about Modding the XBOX, including hardware and software hacks.
retromonger
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Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

Hi Everyone.

I am a heavy user of the good old original Xbox the first ONE.
Using XBMC as a dash im looking into making the fat Lady into a all time Retro Gaming Machine.
But to make it a bit more comfortable to use some Mods had to be done.

One of the Mods include a replacement of the old IDE HDD.
The old (2004) Samsung Spinpoint 80 GB HDD was loud (but more silent than the original i guess).
It is not really nice to hear your HDD spinning and jerking around while playing a game or a movie for that matter.
Using FTP as a transfer solution for "stuff" can also be very annoying because the latency on such an old thing is huge. It make FTPing a ton of small files painful.
Power consumption is also a problem. You can not compete as an All Time Retro Gaming Machine if a Smartphone wastes less energy.

Something had to be done.

What have i done :o
Put in a Compact Flash to IDE adapter an plugged in a 32GB CF cart.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

Its amazing. Its silent. Its fast. Its efficient.
What amazes me is you wont hear anything on behave loading anymore. The reaction time non existin. Everything is just there.
And it is running with 1 Watt.

Of Course you loose a ton of Memory. But i play only a couple of xbox exclusives and Roms from very old systems.
4 GB of music still Fits and movies are only played by tv itself (Samsung LCD Media player) or stream over LAN of course.
So there is more than enough for me.

Look at the Pictures and you see how much room it lefts when replaced by a CF Cart. Fat Lady lost some weight too.
The reason why i spent about 40€ for everything, instead of putting a cheaper 3,5" SATA HDD is >>> the IDE CF does start immediately. Not like SATA taking up to 10 Seconds to load.
Its on like BAM !

Made some test of course.
Loading:
FAST FAST FAST.
Halo took 30 seconds at a specific point (after caching reloading) with HDD. Now it take 15 secs.
Burnout 3 - first level in US- from 6 to 4 sec. (XD)
Too be onest i did not test that many games but its evident.

FTPing Furius Kartin over to xbox takes about 40 Minutes and not 3 hours or more.
You know how angry you can get while waiting for 42000 !!!FOURTY-TWO-THOUSEND!!! files to be transferred ?
Starting the game is also nicer.
Reading ID3 tags and all the small stuff is also a quick job.

Less Power consumption is also a huge win:
XBMC homescreen: 42,5W instead of 50W
Playing a music file 44W instead of 49W
Xvid (SD) 43,5W instead of 50W
Burnout menu 54W instead of 61,5W
Level 1 in US 58W instead of 65,5W

About 7 Watt less than befor.

SILENT

Now its a legit System to be relevant, at least for me.

ufff XD
ImageImageImageImageImage

Molex to Mini Molex
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B009VYG ... UTF8&psc=1
DeLock Card Reader IDE 40pin to Compact Flash
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B001C85 ... UTF8&psc=1
Transcend Extreme-Speed 400x 32GB Compact Flash Cart
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B002WE4 ... UTF8&psc=1

Missspellings are aloud. Im german and got only some middle-school skills XD.
Last edited by retromonger on Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
hawsey
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by hawsey »

Nice idea and good job thanks for the detail , love it .
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professor_jonny
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by professor_jonny »

that card is quite pricy what is the cut off speed before it fails 200X? as the slower cards don't meet the speed requirements and fail to boot I brought a 64 gig card and it would not boot but it was only 16x

there is also no wear levelling with the cache partitions you can get a cheap ssd and sata to ide for around the same price these days they are getting cheaper.
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

professor_jonny wrote:that card is quite pricy what is the cut off speed before it fails 200X? as the slower cards don't meet the speed requirements and fail to boot I brought a 64 gig card and it would not boot but it was only 16x

there is also no wear leveling with the cache partitions you can get a cheap ssd and sata to ide for around the same price these days they are getting cheaper.
Well yes. the price is high. BUT only because of the size. There are much cheaper bigger ones. And they are slower. though fast enough for xbox.
Im fine with my purchase, because ones the xbox is done it can be used in a mPCIe in my Notebook as a boot drive/partition. No long term investment. Just a neat idea to get a more responsive system.

Speed is above the advertised specs. With 4 Channels its also good in IOPS. Since the xbox can only FTP at ~10MB and put 64 MB into RAM even a read Speed of 30MB/s would be enough.

The reason why i did not use a SATA to IDE is because of the start-time. It takes quiet a while to launch XBMC.
IDE to "IDE" over CF is a more comfortable solution. And as i sad. ~30 gig is more than enough for my use.

Yes i know Prices get low these days. Specially with Marvels 36cent per GIG SSDs. Doesn't change my thought about the purchase.


Now i have to get rid of the blob and splash image. Maybe some bios tweak need to be done.

This one is quite a bargain. I choose Transcend because of quality.
http://www.amazon.de/Komputerbay-Profes ... rds=128+cf
Last edited by retromonger on Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Rocky5
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by Rocky5 »

I have a sata to ide adapter & its instant boot, was shocked due to my previous one taking 35 seconds when the DVD drive is connected.


http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... =40#p22734
Download Xbox Softmodding Tool & Extras Disc
XBMC4Kids Mod


Xbox Gamertag = Connxtion
PSN ID = JCRocky5
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

Rocky5 wrote:I have a sata to ide adapter & its instant boot, was shocked due to my previous one taking 35 seconds when the DVD drive is connected.


http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/forum/viewt ... =40#p22734
You forgot all other aspects ;)
Personal preference may also be considered.
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xman
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by xman »

I get consistent 10-12 second boot times from cold boot to XBMC startup screen or else something is wrong on 1 and 2Tb sata HDDs. I do have a spare laptop 320Gb sata HDD I wish to use in a future project that requires more space in a slim build I want to do when my parts required for it arrive in the post. Still I do like the CF card adapter idea. I know Asbo had one of these adapters working on a project he did a while back. Just wondering, did you just install the adapter with the CF card in place and load to it using an install disc or create the whole CF data on the P.C. and then attached it to the Xbox?.
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

Ones the HDD was replaced the installation was managed completely with the AID Disk.
After formatting and a rudimentary installation of EVO X i just transferred my old stuff back to the xbox.
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blighty
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by blighty »

Sounds like the perfect setup for a Gentoox box or similar! I may have to do this :D
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

I would like to know if a fast CF Cart can be used as a RAM expansion for N64 Emulation and Chihiro Arcade Emulation ?
Like a virtual Ram.
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by professor_jonny »

mame has a swap file setup but it is really only for loading big roms the issue is the ide throughput is no where near that of the actual ram.
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

well yes its not that fast, but Mame and N64 were not that much faster. the ide Connection in Xbox should allow up to 60MB/s.
i know N64 is about 400MB/s, but not all games really rely on such throughput. its more about low latency and quick access.

Is Emulation on xbox actually still in development ?.
the last time i heard of development was in 2012 and than all was gone.
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by xman »

Maybe this might be a better solution these days with the price of SD cards dropping as quickly as they are. The reviews seem to add some ideas and now you have 64Gb of capacity. Any thoughts on this alternative/. Any reason why it wouldn't work?.
http://www.amazon.com/44-Pin-Male-IDE-C ... B003MN1H9U
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

Its a way to go. But than you need one more adapter.
One wich converts the 40 IDE to a 44 pin (2,5" laptop IDE HDD)
http://www.ebay.de/itm/310865432302?ssP ... 1439.l2649

Look for a SD to IDE
http://www.amazon.com/SDHC-SDXC-Memory- ... =SD+to+IDE

XD
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flashto IDE adapter

Post by asbo »

xman wrote:I know Asbo had one of these adapters working on a project he did a while back.
Actually I went for a ZIF HDD in the end, I think at the time it was far cheaper :)
pics if anyone is interested
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Post by hawsey »

I think for emulation on the Xbox a lot of folk use Coinops (Google ) but I think that just cobbles together lots of old emulators in to one package with tweaks to get problem games working .
Would a SSD work in the same manner that you got this CF set up going ? They seem quite cheap now .
retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

AHhh ok Coinop is something i heard of. Will look into it.

An SSD would work. As any other SATA drive with a SATA to IDE adapter.

I choose a drive with IDE Mode because of start time i did not like with SATA solutions.
people here have different experiences. So a good chance you will get happy.

Maybe a This one is worth a look
KingSpec SSD 2,5 Zoll PATA IDE 44pin , 64 GB intern Solid State Drive MLC, 4 Chanal , KSD-PA25.6-064MS
http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00JH11 ... =1&s=ce-de
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GhostlyGamer
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Post by GhostlyGamer »

if you are going for speed then why not use a Class 10 SD card and an SD to IDE, much cheaper, much faster, much bigger. or just a dang SSD
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retromonger
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Post by retromonger »

GhostlyGamer wrote:if you are going for speed then why not use a Class 10 SD card and an SD to IDE, much cheaper, much faster, much bigger. or just a dang SSD
There were other preferences. i need a CF Card anyway.
When its done on Xbox it will be placed somewhere else. it was in no way just a xbox thing.i never buy electronic stuff for one purpose.
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Re: Xbox with CF Mod - Compact Flash to IDE adapter

Post by bigkidoz »

This would be good if you were making a super slim xbox.
Sent from my android coz apple is for pie.
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