Standard XBOX 360 vs. Xtreme XBOX 360
The intention of this guide is to help you choose the right XBOX 360, and to give you details of the different options currently available.
If you are not sure about the standard XBOX 360 specifications then have a look at the official site. (I am unable to post external links in this guide, so you will have to google it yourself)
Do you want an XBOX 360 that can do more than a standard version? Maybe an Xtreme XBOX 360 is for you...
The most popular feature of an Xtreme XBOX 360 is that it allows you to play your backup games. This allows you to keep your expensive original games in pristine condition. You need a special kind of DVD drive installed in your computer to read an XBOX 360 game, so most people buy backups using a 3rd party service. Remember, you should only have backups for original games you own.
The Xtreme XBOX 360 has a special firmware modification installed on its DVD drive. It is unlike a standard modchip as it doesn’t require you to physically solder anything to a circuit board. The Xtreme modification is very safe to install, it can be removed and the original DVD firmware reinstalled to return the XBOX 360 normal. An Xtreme XBOX 360 can still play original games and can be used on XBOX Live without any problems (update: a new firmware has been released for the Toshiba/Samsung drive to resolve the XBOX Live banning problems).
An XBOX 360 would usually have either a Toshiba/Samsung or a Hitachi/LG DVD drive. It doesn’t matter which drive you have as they can all be modified, but the process for modification and ease of modification will vary.
You will find that there are a number of different firmware types available. The best option for a Toshiba/Samsung DVD drive would be the standard Xtreme firmware (currently version 5.2). The best option for a Hitachi/LG Drive would be the MaximusGaryopa Stealth firmware.
Unless you are suitably technically skilled then it is not recommended that you try to perform the modification yourself. Opening an XBOX 360 to carry out the modification can be awkward unless you know the best method, and installing a firmware onto the DVD drive requires you to connect the drive to your PC. The 360 DVD drive has a SATA connection, and is known to cause problems unless connected to a compatible SATA controller card.
The modification can be done in under an hour by someone with experience. You would usually expect to pay around £40 to have this modification done, but you will find that you can buy an XBOX 360 that already has the firmware modification installed.
I hope that this updated guide has been helpful. Feel free to contact me directly if you want any further advice.