The GP2X hardware has undergone several revisions since its original release. The versions are basically the same with a few tweaks to fix hardware faults that occurred in the previous revisions and as such, the same software and firmware is usable on all versions of the GP2X. By obtaining the latest version of the hardware you can guarantee that nearly all of the potential hardware problems are solved.
There are two main hardware versions of the GP2X, the Mark 1 and Mark 2 (often shortened to MK1 and MK2 respectively). However, there are also several versions of the MK1.
- First Edition Mark 1 - This is the first release and so has poor build quality for many units.
- First Edition Mark 1 (B) - A second version in which an incorrect resistor was changed to prevent screen flicker.
- Second Edition Mark 1 - The second revision of the hardware covered the battery and power LEDs.
- Mark 2 - The curent revision which carries a rotated joystick and a different LCD screen from the Mark 1.
Identifying your GP2X version
There are several things to look out for to identify the hardware revision of a GP2X.
- First Edition logo - First Edition units have a special 'First Edition' logo directly beneath the GP2X logo on the front.
- Screen flickering - If your GP2X screen flickers (not wavy lines, this is a different problem), you have a First Edition Mark 1.
- Power and battery LEDs - On First Edition GP2X units, these have a transparent window covering them. The Second Edition Mark 1 has a white translucent cover over the LEDs.
- Language of label - If the label on the back of the unit is in Korean, you have a Mark 2 unit, otherwise it is English and is a Mark 1 (this doesn't affect the language of the console).
Here is a list of all the things that were changed between revisions of the GP2X.
First Edition Mark 1 to First Edition Mark 1 (B)
- A surface mount 654 resistor was replaced with a 614 to prevent screen flickering.
First Edition Mark 1 (B) to Second Edition Mark 1
- The first edition logo on the front of the case was removed.
- The power and battery LED covering was changed from transparent to translucent white.
- The pads on top of the MagicEyes chip which hold the LCD in place were removed as they pressed down on the screen when the stick button was pressed causing strange effects.
- The headphone connector is better soldered so is much less likely to fall off or not function correctly.
- The rubber USB/power cover had two moulded rubber bits sticking out to fit into both the power socket and USB socket on the First Edition. On the Second Edition, only the USB socket had a moulded rubber part sticking out (though the rubber sheet still covers both sockets).
- The speakers now have a cloth cover over them.
- The speakers are attached by longer wires and are glued in place.
- The unusual coating used on the battery contacts in the First Edition units is no longer used.
- The part where the cap attaches to the joystick shaft has been slightly shortened to improve responsiveness.
Second Edition Mark 1 to Mark 2
- Joystick was rotated by 45 degrees so that the bias was horizontal/vertical rather than the previous diagonal bias (which made it tricky to play some games). It also comes with a new cap which is concave rather than the old convex cap which provides improved grip.
- A new LCD has been used which no longer suffers from the wavy line problem (which was fixable using the LCD adjustment anyway) and is brighter, though has a reduced viewing angle compared to Mark 1 screens.
- Many people claim their Mark 2 units output 5V on the EXT port rather than the 3V the Mark 1 outputted, though this is disputed and GamePark Holdings have previously denied this change taking place.
Many new members of the GP2X community are confused about the apparent 266MHz model. In short, there is no such thing - all GP2Xs are rated to run at 200MHz only (though many distributors advertise them as being 240MHz and will replace lower clocking units as so few cannot reach this speed). gp2x.co.uk started selling a '266MHz model' a long time ago, but in reality this was just the same as the standard GP2X but tested to overclock to 266MHz. This testing was only carried out on the main CPU core (920t) and was unreliable, so the company stopped offering the service. The second CPU core (940t) is known to overclock less than the main core, but the performance gained by using it generally outweighs any benefit gained from overclocking.
Current GP2X models
Any GP2X bought new from a distributor now should be a Mark 2 unit. Any unit purchased from June 2006 should be a Mark 2. The Mark 2 is generally considered to be the best revision of the GP2X and those interested in purchasing a GP2X are advised to buy this model unless there is the prospect of getting an older version for significantly less money.