Original Xbox vs Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi
Image via Russ Sanderlin (Flickr)


Since we're an Original Xbox blog we want to show the readers just how powerful the console is. Within the last two years the Raspberry Pi has been making a buzz. Chances are you probably only know one or the other but the Raspberry Pi is shares similar computer comparisons with the Original Xbox. Here we'll show you just how powerful your original Xbox really is when you softmod it. Keep in mind softmod means there's no need to dissemble anything, it's a breeze soft-modding. The OG Xbox and Raspberry Pi are both computer systems which have homebrew capabilities. The Raspberry Pi is a computer first and the Original Xbox prioritizes in gaming, both are capable of similar hacks and advantages. We're going to compare a soft-modded Original Xbox with a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit (Model B) which includes all the required accessories to start up.

The purpose for using the devices will change with each person. For those that have an un-used original Xbox it may be in their interest to softmod it and take advantage of it's features.

Release Date
Original Xbox: November 15, 2001

Raspberry Pi: February 29, 2012

The Original Xbox has an 11 year gap between the Raspberry Pi's release date and still holds up. This goes to show just how advanced the original Xbox was when it was released in 2001. 

Original Xbox: $30

Raspberry Pi Starter Kit (Model B): $70

The Raspberry Pi might start out at $35 but it still requires accessories i.e. power supply, pre-loaded SD card and an HDMI or video/audio cables. Otherwise, a video game console is always packed with all the necessary cables and a controller to plug & play. An Original Xbox softmod costs varies upon what the user has available. 

Original Xbox: Emulation, Play original Xbox games, homebrew Xbox games, online gaming via Xlink Kai (2003-present)

Raspberry Pi: Emulation

Both systems are capable of emulation for playing retro games i.e. Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Atari, M.A.M.E. etc.

See the complete list of Original Xbox emulators

Original Xbox: XBMC, XBMC4Xbox, CD, DVD Player (region-free) *DVD Movie Playback Kit not required with a softmod install

Raspberry Pi: XBMC

Both run the XBMC media center. Till this day, the original Xbox continues with updates on the now known XBMC4Xbox. With these media centers you have the option to network your device and stream music, videos & photos with ease.

Learn how to install XBMC on the Original Xbox

HD (High Definition)
Original Xbox:
480i/480p/576i/576p output at 480p (Not Scaled)
480i/480p/576i/576p output at 720p (Upscaled)
480i/480p/576i/576p output at 1080i (Upscaled)

Raspberry Pi: 1080p, 720p and lower resolutions.

The high definition capabilities go to the Raspberry Pi. The original Xbox at best can upscale to 1080i.

Video Output
Original Xbox: Component, S-Video, Composite RCA (for computer monitors)

Raspberry Pi: HDMI, raw LCD via DSI, Composite RCA (for computer monitors)

Audio Output
Original Xbox: Standard audio component, optical digital audio (required Xbox Advanced AV Pack)

Raspberry Pi: HDMI & 3.5mm jack

Original Xbox: Large machine

Raspberry Pi: Pocket size

The Original Xbox is notorious for it's bulky size while the Raspberry Pi is a modern pocket size design comparable to the size of a mobile phone.

More Tech Specs...

USB Ports
Original Xbox: 4 USB ports (female USB to Xbox converter required)

Raspberry Pi: 2 USB port on Model B

A powered USB hub may be required if you plan on gaming on the Raspberry Pi. This is due to there only being 2 USB ports and one of them is required for the power supply while others are used for the mouse, keyboard and other peripheral could be in use by the only 2 USB ports. The original Xbox comes with 4 USB ports but requires a female USB to Xbox converter or purchase a SmartJoy FRAG to connect a PS/2 keyboards & mouse.
*PS/2 is the older way in which keyboards & mouses were connected, before the USB

Original Xbox: 733 MHZ X86 Intel Celeron/Pentium III Custom Hybrid CPU

Raspberry Pi: 700 MHz ARM1176JZF-S core

Original Xbox: 233 MHz nVidia custom GeForce 3 NV2A DirectX 8.0 based GPU

Raspberry Pi: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz
OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS)

Storage Memory
Original Xbox: either 8GB Western Digital or 10GB SeaGate Hard-drive formatted to FATX (upgradable)

Raspberry Pi: 8GB SD Card *included in the $70 starter kit

Learn how to upgrade the Original Xbox hard drive

Memory (RAM)
Original Xbox: 64MB DDR SDRAM @ 200 MHz; in dual-channel 128-bit configuration giving 6400 MB/s

Raspberry Pi: 512 MB (shared with GPU)

Original Xbox: built-in 100 Mbit ethernet

Raspberry Pi: built-in 10/100 ethernet

Both systems have ethernet ports capable of accessing the internet or for networking. The original Xbox must install xDSL (damn small linux) to have the ability to browse the web.

Learn how to install xDSL (damn small linux) on the Original Xbox 

Sources: en.wikipedia.org and www.penguintutor.com