There are a few hardware diferences and software diferences between development kits, but generaly the following hardware is known to be exist:
- Alpha I and II kits
- DVT3 Development Kits
- DVT4 Development Kits
- Debug kits
Further more are diferences internaly from diferent MCP revisions, GPU revisions and board layouts. Sega Chihiro boards seem to be based on DVT4 Development/Debug kits. either using overproduction or on purpose produced MCPX-X2 as found in the developement kits and debugkits.
Some rare boards are found with diferent MCPX chips that also have a special port near the CPU, and a extra USB port on the backside of the board (connected to the MCPX to unkown port) its been rumoured that the blocked USB port (unblocked on DVT3) on the back of Developement kits where either a leftover of these extra usb port or used for JVS development and/or testing.
[FIXME] Contructed using "off the shelf" hardware, probably before retail release from Intel. The alpha hardware allowed kernel debuging to be done over one of the rs232 ports and standard WinDBG software can make these messages and control work. This allows of carefull debugging of the running kernel and diagnose occuring faults or errors. At early boot of the recovery software an network ip adress is attempted to setup probbaly for another way of diagnosing and remote control using the availeble software like later xdk software.
The Alpha is build with the following parts or software:
- Intel VC820, running a prerelease Bios
- 128Mb RDRAM with an terminator
- 600Mhz CPU
- Nvidia Geforece3 NV20 prerelease hardware? [FIXME]
- An OPTI 82C861 2 USB port PCI card
- Intel 82559(ic) Network card [FIXME]
These where then programmed by use of a recovery disk that "recovered"
The Alpha II was a upgrade kit or constructed the same as a Alpha I with the following upgrades:
- 733MHz CPU SL3XN[FIXME]
- Nvidia Geforce3 NV20 (64MB ram) with a Preretail firmware
An supplied Recovery made the nececairy firmware upgrades and updated the dashboard.
This is a listing of notes on how to make a Alpha I or II yourself, also known as a FrankenAlpha/
Same hardware as a Alpha I/II, but you dont seem to need the preretail firmwares or bioses. Also, any Geforce3 is rumoured to work, as long as the GPU is of the NV20 series. The AV out suboard isnt nececairy, as VGA seems to work fine. color or diferent kinds of fans, cooling blocks or OEM vendor names doesnt seem to matter. The Opti usb board can be green, yellow or black. as long as the IC sports the 82C861 wording. if the VC820 sports any USB or Sound, it will not be used, the listed hardware boards are used instead, regardless of other hardware. (drivers arent in the kernel).
Posible solutions on fixing a (franken) alpha(2)
While fixing a frankenalpha, the following kernel errors occured while on purpose incorrectly installed or configured the computer. These results may vary with official parts, configs, bios or firmware. Or due to diferences in hardware. these are results from recovery 3521 as earlier ones did not work on the Alpha under test.
- IDEX hard disk not configured (status=51).
- HDD too small
- IDEX hard disk not configured (status=ff).
- HDD on the wrong bus, put on primairy channel.(maybe wrong place on the cable itself) maybe add a jumper for master select?
- IDEX hard disk not found (status=7f).
- HDD not connected (or dead)
- MP No video output because you are using an older video card.
- Well, insert a Geforce3 card (NV20 based)
- WRN[XNET] EnetInitialize failed 0x801f0001
- Logo loads, with a halt when the sparkly bit is on the B of Xbox. The network card is missing, insert a GD82559 based intel network card FCC: EJMNPDALBANY (worked for me)
- [XNET] NicExecuteActionCmdAndWait failed!WRN[XNET] EnetInitialize failed 0x801f0001
- Network on wrong pci lane or no screen connected (VGA or S-video)
- Tested Slot 1 as good (real close to the GPU, would not recommend)
- Tested Slot 2 as not good
- Tested Slot 3 as not good (*** Assertion failed: hwres.ResourceData.Address.Type == CmResourceTypeMemory
- Tested Slot 4 as good
- Tested Slot 5 as not good
These might be wrong for official alphas or only for the particular motherboard that was under test.
Shaped and main parts consist of retail hardware with the following differences:
- 128MB ram instead of default 64MB ram
- MCPX revision X2, thus capable of running only Debug signed code[FIXME]
- Hardisks loaded with retail and Debug shell files
Harddisk is said to be locked by default with a 16size byte 0x00 key, but allowing to run with an unlocked harddrive of any size(larger then 20GB for minimal OS).DVT3 seems to have the back USB port to be uncovered and a slightly more glossy or shinier jewel on the top of the case. According to some sources, the DVT3 cannot be updated to further kernels/dashboards than 3911, the lowest/oldest being 3823.1(Borman said this?)
All functions a debug with the addition of: