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X-elixis Review

This review was done by http://www.xbox-info.com/

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X-elixis Review
The package contained:

One - X-elixis LPC adaptor
One - X-elixis Plug-In
One - SST49LF020 Flash Chip

Initial Impressions:

The X-elixis mod chip arrived well packaged and secured in a bubble-padded envelope. The shipping time from Greece was impressive, the mod chip arrived three days after I was offered a review sample.

The X-elixis mod chip is based on Andy Green aka Numbnut's cheapmod solution utilizing the SST49LF020 a 256k (2mbit) flash chip.

The main difference between the X-elixis mod chip and others currently on the market is the flexible circuit board. Overall build quality was of a high standard; all the soldered joints were clean and bright.

The X-elixis Plug-In is a 32 pin PLCC socket holding the SST49LF020 flash chip, this also on a flexible circuit board, with an edge connector to slot into the socket on the X-elixis LPC adaptor.

Installation:

After removing the outer case, DVD and hard drive. Thus leaving the motherboard exposed I decided to install the mod chip with the motherboard still mounted in the case. I loosened the torx screw nearest to the LPC header, then slid the X-elixis LPC adaptor underneath the torx screw, aligned the holes ready to be soldered and then tightened the screw. There are 11 points that have to be soldered 9 on the actual LPC header and either end of the wire.

The soldering was simple, but to be fair I have installed a number of mod chips. I also tested the flexible PCB's resistance to excessive heat by leaving the soldering iron on the solder point far longer than you would normally the PCB did not melt or burn. So even for the less experienced fitters you should not be able to damage the flexible PCB easily. I then attached the wire to the point on the motherboard and the other end to the flexible PCB.

Once the LPC adaptor had been installed, I connected the plug-in and tested the Xbox by powering it up. The red LED on the plug-in lit up and the Xbox booted as normal.

During the test I decided to see how strong the edge contacts on the plug-in were I repeatedly removed and re-inserted the contacts into the connector, the durability of the flexible PCB is high and the backside of the exposed contacts is strengthened with a slightly thicker layer of plastic.

I then proceeded to test a range of different 256k BIOS images, all of which were flashed using the Evolution X dashboard and performed as expected. All homebrew software and original Xbox discs worked without problem.

Overall:

Only a 256k flash chip - larger sizes up to 1024k are planned.
Flash updateable using the latest Evolution X dashboard software.
Flexible circuit board enables you to easily check the quality of your LPC header solder joints.
LED for checking the flash chip version requires a multimeter (red for v1.0, green for v1.1).
Ability to easily flash blank SST49LF020 for use in cheapmod projects.
Current estimated retail price of $50.00 may be on the high side.

Conclusion:

The design of the flexible LPC header adaptor is definitely unique, making installation easier and faster than either of the original X-Ecuter mod chips. The current 256k flash chip size limitation is acceptable because all the major groups are currently releasing 256k BIOS images, but as the Xbox scene moves forward the 256k limit may be a disadvantage. GRmods will need to produce larger flash chip plug-in's if they are to succeed long term with this mod chip. The only other key area I feel would have been a benefit is the inclusion of a two pin header this would enable easy installation of a on/off switch, although this can currently be achieved by breaking the wire with a switch.


Official website and installation guides are here: http://www.x-elixis.com/




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