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X-Tender Xbox Case Extender Review
review was done by XBox
Scene thanks go to them
You can Buy the X-Tender Case Extender
X-Tender Case Extender comes with the following parts:
Front Panel Extender with IDE switch Pcb
* 2 Side Panel extenders
* 1 Rear
* 1 Long IDE cable with clips for 1 DVD drive and 3 Hard Drives
6 Wire Connector for Pc to Xbox motherboard connections
* 6 Long Screws (to
place the current Xbox Case screws)
* 6 Extender distance Bolts
1 HD mounting panel (hold 2 drives)
* Various other screws to secure the HD
mounting panel to the xbox, and the hds to the panel.
* 1 Manual
Stock Xbox Case
* Soldering Iron (15-30w will do)
The Review (1):
on sales sites dont really do this case extender justice. People are often
confused what they are getting for their money when they see this product. To
be clear: this is not a full case. You will need a complete and functioning xbox
case to use this product. As the name implies, this product will extend the stock
xbox case by about an inch and a half in height. (Keep that in mind when purchasing
this product if you intend to keep it in standard entertainment stands)
professionally packaged in a slick box. Inside, youll find the parts are
foam sleeve packed to protect the panels from scratches. The screws and bolts ‰
are equally well packaged. All of the extender panels are also plastic covered,
which you can peel off after youve completed the mod.
With the parts
stretched out on the table, and the manual in hand, this project looks easy enough.
After all, its just a variation on Project 411 methods for multiple hard
drives with an Xbox. The manual falls short of expectations, as its filled
with low resolution and unclear shots of key areas, including one of the solder
areas on the motherboard of the xbox. Not a huge deal, especially for anyone vaguely
familiar with the innards of their xbox.
the xbox case, remove the stock case screws (youll never need these again)
and turn the top upside down. Secure the distance bolts to the top, making sure
to not over torque while securing. (do not strip those holes or youll end
up being very creative trying to fix them). With the top shell upside down, bend
some of the shielding as shown in the manual. (it allows for a better fit of the
rear panel extender.
Following the manual we secured the IDE switching pcb
of the front panel extender to the to the eject point. (Youll be soldering
a single wire to the Power/Eject pcb that comes with the xbox). We also secured
two other wires to the motherboard following the manual. (Again, the supplied
manuals pictures are not great) Securing the extra hard drives to the mounting
panel is as easy as can be expected, just attach them with the supplied screws
and that part is ready to go. Then place the mounting plate over the DVD and primary
hard drive as shown. Secure with screws.
With the soldering done, and the
hard drives mounted, connect the stock power molex connector to the female connector
of the front panel extender. Then, connect the 3 male molex connectors to the
hds installed. (The connectors are numbered but you can connect them in
the order you wish) Then fire up your origami paper folding skills and get that
IDE connected. Its not hard, but getting it to look right may take more
than one attempt. (Avoid sharp creasing of the ide cable)
hds are connected. Now to place those panels, side ones were easy enough.
Place a rubber spacer (provided) and then place on the sides of the case. Rear
panel sits easy enough on the rear of the case. The front panel was the only one
to give me any grief, and as directed by the manual I used some tape to temporarily
hold it. Popped that lid on, ensuring all the panels are where they are supposed
to be. Flip upside down, and secure the top to the bottom of the case with those
6 long screws supplied. (btw with 2 more hds, and all the metal panels and
plate your xbox has now gained a lot of weight)
mods go this one was pretty painless. It can be done in a few minutes by a novice,
with nothing more needed than a screw driver and a soldering iron. The result,
is an xbox case that is now taller and can accommodate 2 extra hard drives without
major surgery to the innards of the xbox. (Anyone familiar with Palmores
work knows 4 hard drives in a stock case are possible, but with major surgery)
buttons, one each to select the active hd, with matching LEDs showing activity.
Its simple, clean, and it works.
If there is a negative to this case
extender, then it is in the material chosen for the extender panels. Instead of
opting for a plastic material, like black ABS plastic to match the stock case,
they went with a heavy gauge of steal bent to shape in a metal bender and cut
to shape. This works fine, but doesnt continue the detailed design of the
xbox case. People looking for a fine esthetic look will be disappointed by that
The other issue is the price. You arent getting a full case
for the price, you are extending an existing one you already own. However, some
people would gladly pay that price to get the trouble free hard drive switching
pcb and wiring.
Overall, the extender is an interesting product, and fills
the needs of a niche market well. If you have a need to have more than one hard
drive in a stock case, and to easy switch from one hard drive to the next then
this is definitely a product to consider. Ill definitely continue to use
this product, as it is ideal for the modded xbox user. One stock hard drive for
live use, and 2 more large hard drives installed for games, emulators, and movies
and music. All just one button away.
+ Well packaged
Easy to install
+ Works as advertised
panels (as opposed to matching plastic ones to complete the case look and feel)
Lack of decent quality photos in the manual
The Review (2):
I also received a sample of this X-Tender case so I'll also let you know my opinion.
personally did not have any problems with the installation manual. Even if the
images aren't very clear, it should be enough for most of you, and I think the
full color printed manual manual that was included was great. Problem though is
it doesn't cover all different xbox versions, but a newer version of the guide
is available online here.
This case 'extender' is without any doubt the
easiest and fastest way to cleanly install 2 extra harddrives and keep your original
xbox HD and DVD-ROM intact. Specific to this mod is that your extended console
will still look like an Xbox. Other casemods often completely change the look
of the console, but with the X-Tender people will still directly recognise it
as an Xbox ('non-freaks' probably won't even notice the difference if not put
next to each other). See some pictures of the X-Tender Xbox next to a normal Xbox:
front, side, back.
One thing that's a bit strange is the choice of material:
metal instead of plastic. But as it's painted in black, the difference with the
platic of the original xbox case is not that big (certainly not if seen from a
The choice of metal was probably also to improve the solidity ...
the X-Tender case is really solid ... it won't fall into pieces and the internal
parts won't move either.
Once installed you will be able to easily switch
between the 3 harddrives by just pressing one of the 3 buttons on the extended
front panel. Once pressed the Xbox will automatically reboot with the chosen harddrive.
Because of the reset control required, you will have to solder 3 points to fully
install the X-Tender.
All the X-Tender parts are very well packaged in dual
coating bags ... no matter how it's shipped to you (within limits of course ;))
it should arrive unscratched.
+ Easiest, fastest and clean
way to install 3 HD's in your xbox and keep your dvd-rom.
+ Your 'X-Tended
Xbox' still looks like an xbox
+ Solid ... your X-Tended Xbox case will not
fall into pieces easily.
+ Very well packaged
Use of metal instead of plastic