203w ago - We all heard about this back in March, that Sony was releasing a new model PS3 TOOL, the DECR-1400A. I have been anxiously waiting (as well as about 4 other people on the planet) for the release of the new TOOL.
Questions buzzed through my head, does it have one NIC or two? We know that since it was in the original PS3 form factor it would have only one HDD, of unknown size, as the other HDD, which is used for BD emulation can now be done via USB.
But, back to the NIC issue - on a TOOL, it has multiple Network Interfaces, one for the PS3 side (or three, for the really old TOOL's), and one for the Communication Processor (the DEBUG side).
The Communication Processor helps facilitate LV2 (kernel) debugging as it is a pure hardware interface, and does not totally rely on software to capture data.
So, the CP Debugging is quite a bit more "low level" than that of a PS3 TEST. Now, the CP is useful when debugging your game, as if it crashes the kernel- one can see why.
Hense our dilemma - a TOOL really needs a CP to do its job, and it would be hard to squeeze that in. However, with the decrease in size of the PS3's motherboard, it is now quite possible to add in the PCB.
Also the ram has increased in density, allowing them to add additional memory for a higher capacity, 512MB system memory in the tool, plus 256MB video memory, compared to a retail PS3's 512MB combined memory (256MB+256MB)
So, the new DECR-1400A features dual lan ports (for the kernel debugging), as well as expanded main memory (512MB vs 256MB), and can support BD Emulation like a TEST through its USB ports, for much cheaper than the DECR-1000 list price (which includes a license) at $10,250. The DECR-1400A lists at around $2000, however it lacks a license.
Below are pictures that came to us that show off the units difference, the rear Network Interfaces (dual), and the top cover's "TOOL" markings.
Of course - if you happen to have a TOOL (old, or new), and want to help out, or sell it, don't hesitate to contact us!
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Is the dual-LAN new? I seem to remember when I was working at EA right before the PS3 launched the TOOLS had dual-LAN - one for loading the game isos from a PC and the other for actual online functions.