We’re always happy to bring you firsts here at bit-tech and today’s review is certainly a big one – the Lian Li PC-XB01 is the very first full replacement chassis for the Xbox 360, and for those brave enough to dismantle Microsoft’s eponymous console, promises greatly improved cooling and significantly reduced noise levels.
As any 360 owner will tell you, the stock cooling solution is far from unobtrusive, with silent sections of gameplay and DVD playback spoiled by the incessant whining of the consoles’ DVD drive and dual 70mm cooling fans. The stock cooling solution has also been blamed for the now infamous “red ring of death” general hardware errors, with criticism that the original 90nm Xbox 360’s high operating temperatures have led to a failure rate rumoured to float around the level of thirty percent.
There’s even been a flourishing market in additional cooling for Xbox 360’s, with additional fans and coolers promising to improve console reliability. However, no company has yet gone to the next level and completely replaced the Xbox 360’s entire chassis – a gap in the market that Lian Li has decided to fill with the PC-XB01.
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Lian Li itself hardly needs introducing, being one of the most widely known and well respected case manufacturers in the world, and having produced some of the most iconic PC chassis ever. The PC-XB01 signifies a new market not just for Lian Li, but for every mainstream case manufacturer, and we’re sure that competitor’s eyes will be carefully watching the level of success that the PC-XB01 achieves – don’t be surprised if other PC case big guns jump onto this band wagon before too long if people take to this in a big way.
However, there are more than a few questions that the XB01 will have to answer first, and the biggest is that of the Xbox 360 warranty. By transplanting your 360 into the PC-XB01 you forfeit Microsoft’s generous (nee necessary) three year warranty, not to mention risk breaking your console in the process. There’s also the degree of skill required to dismantle the Xbox 360 in the first place; a consumer device end users were never supposed to go tinkering around inside of, and the fact that you’re making your 360 even bigger than the original Xbox, whose size and weight have become something of a running joke.
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With the numerous design problems of the original chassis to improve upon, but with just as many issues of its own before we’ve even opened the box, The Lian Li PC-XB01 certainly has a mountain to climb to win us over. However, the same could be said of the Xbox 360 itself, which despite its flaws is the console (or one of) that rests underneath most of our TVs here at bit-tech – so let’s not be too judgemental just yet.