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X-Tender Xbox Case Extender Review

This review was done by XBox Scene thanks go to them

You can Buy the X-Tender Case Extender from

Divineo USA

Divineo UK

Divineo China

Lik Sang

X-Tender Case Extender comes with the following parts:
* Front Panel Extender with IDE switch Pcb
* 2 Side Panel extenders
* 1 Rear Extender
* 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 hd’s to the panel.
* 1 Manual

Requirements:
* Stock Xbox Case
* Soldering Iron (15-30w will do)

The Review (1):
Pictures on sales sites don’t 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)

It’s professionally packaged in a slick box. Inside, you’ll 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 you’ve completed the mod.

With the parts stretched out on the table, and the manual in hand, this project looks easy enough. After all, it’s just a variation on Project 411 methods for multiple hard drives with an Xbox. The manual falls short of expectations, as it’s 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 process…

Open the xbox case, remove the stock case screws (you’ll 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 you’ll 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. (You’ll 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 hd’s 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. It’s not hard, but getting it to look right may take more than one attempt. (Avoid sharp creasing of the ide cable)

Soldering done, hd’s 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 hd’s, and all the metal panels and plate your xbox has now gained a lot of weight)

Done.

As case 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 Palmore’s work knows 4 hard drives in a stock case are possible, but with major surgery)

3 buttons, one each to select the active hd, with matching LED’s showing activity. It’s 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 doesn’t continue the detailed design of the xbox case. People looking for a fine esthetic look will be disappointed by that one fact.

The other issue is the price. You aren’t 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. I’ll 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.

Pros:
+ Well packaged
+ Easy to install
+ Works as advertised

Cons:
- Price
- Metal 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):
Well, I also received a sample of this X-Tender case so I'll also let you know my opinion.

I 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 distance).
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.

Pros:
+ 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

Cons:
- Price
- Use of metal instead of plastic




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