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Lian Li PC-XB01 Review & Installation Guide

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DougEdey 29th August 2008, 10:27 Quote
A minor question about the motherboard mounting, on the pictures there appears to be x-clamps on the actual case, are these fixed and do they replace the existing x-clamps on the motherboard? If they are fixed then I see that as a major issue as the x-clamps actually cause most of the problems with the 360.

The x-clamps are exceptionally tight on the motherboard and since the 360 has no central support under the board the x-clamps cause bowing around the GPU, CPU and GPU RAM (which is under the board on older models, but Microsoft have moved to the top of the board on the latest revisions), this continued bowing/flexing during the heat/cooling cycles causes the solder joints to dry and cause the RROD.

The way I repaired my 360 (out of warranty because I repainted the case a couple of years ago) was to remove the x-clamps completely and replace the matching fixings on the heatsinks with M5 screws & washers, this removes the tension and puts the force where it should be, whilst at the same time allowing the board to be supported more appropriately on the existing case.

If those are x-clamps on the XB01 then it'll mean I'll have to drill mine out as soon as it arrives next week!

I also think that the massive amount of unused space was to provide a large volume of cool incoming air and the height of the 120mm fan.

Is the build quality 6/10 just because of the front hatches?
liratheal 29th August 2008, 10:35 Quote
The only thing that stops me getting a pair of these is the hard drive.

I need to be able to swap them over, because a friend brings his over - My profile being on a memory unit, we play using his HDD for a number of games, yay achievement whoring, and this case would basically crap all over what we do :(

Other than that, I'd probably buy a pair.

Maybe with XB02, eh?
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 10:43 Quote
Just modify the case, run an extension to the HDD port...
Bindibadgi 29th August 2008, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey

Is the build quality 6/10 just because of the front hatches?

Because of the excessive internal space, the gaps for the plugs, the excessive gap over the USB ports, the non-removable hard drive, the lack of gromits for DVD drive. The actual construction is solid, as we'd expect, but it doesn't do any more than necessary and it's far from perfect.

The Xclamps on the board are just representative - they don't do anything for the build. They are just to show you where the heatsinks go in the middle.
Baz 29th August 2008, 10:50 Quote
editted - Bindi said it better
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 10:57 Quote
I'm sure it'll be easy enough to adapt the HDD for removability, but I don't remove mine at all, it's 120GB so I have no need to switch it over, I don't need to transfer data to mates as we all download the same stuff. Grommets are easy enough to come by anyway, but you are right about the plug gap, that was mentioned on the first build and actually the original builds had the USB plugs not lining up correctly preventing you from attaching devices.

With the internal space, I reckon it's also there to allow for water cooling, it must be fairly easy to add a small radiator in that space no?
liratheal 29th August 2008, 11:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Just modify the case, run an extension to the HDD port...

It'd be more modification of the cable that'd be the hard part. Since the 'plug' it seats itself in is hardwired to the board, and to be able to use my friends hdd without modification would require that to be accessible, it'd be a nightmare.

Moding the case to have a few clips, though, would be the easy part :D

I see this case being better for the 360 W/C crowd, due to the internal space, which is where (I assume) their (Lian Li) target is.
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 11:18 Quote
I think you're right, I'm still getting one as I am very much a minimalist case design person, even though I don't watercool, but the ports at the back of the case look like they've designed it so the pipes can go out to a passive radiator, as I mention above there should be enough space for an internal radiator, especially since people have squeezed one into the original 360 case.

I wouldn't go for a window personally, but I can imagine people will fit a side panel window (for the board) and then a top window & a DVD window
liratheal 29th August 2008, 11:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
I think you're right, I'm still getting one as I am very much a minimalist case design person, even though I don't watercool, but the ports at the back of the case look like they've designed it so the pipes can go out to a passive radiator, as I mention above there should be enough space for an internal radiator, especially since people have squeezed one into the original 360 case.

I wouldn't go for a window personally, but I can imagine people will fit a side panel window (for the board) and then a top window & a DVD window

I can definitely see that happening, especially with the people on XB-S and Llama.

Personally, I'd put the radiator externally, simply because if it was internal, you'd maybe get a 120 on the fan hole, but if you had it on/by the side panel, you would probably be firing hot air straight back at the things you're cooling, unless you reversed the airflow, which might not end too well.

Only one way to find out, I guess :D
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 11:36 Quote
Since you're watercooling it surely it's not going to heat up the water within the blocks is it?
liratheal 29th August 2008, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Since you're watercooling it surely it's not going to heat up the water within the blocks is it?

Well, I was thinking the rest of the board more than anything.

I can't remember, off the top of my head, what temperature rating the capacitors are - They're already going to be warm, firing 40-50 degrees of heat back at them isn't going to be the best thing in the world, IMO. Considering the instability of the console as it is.

I think this case makes it more suitable in appearance for sitting near a HTPC/in that general area :D
Jamie 29th August 2008, 12:21 Quote
The fact that the case has watercooling ports suggests the the radiator should be mounted externally. I personally have never understood these ports since have bits of your watercooling external to your system makes it a pain in the ass to move and spoils the looks.

On a second note, why have they called is a PC-XB01 when it's not a PC case? It should just be the XB01.
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 12:25 Quote
That's why I think it's for a passive radiator, something like a reserator which is massive.
BlackMage23 29th August 2008, 12:39 Quote
If Peole are that bothered by the sound and heat, then surely water cooling is a better option.

I had my xobx for 2 years before it finally gave up with the red ring. MS sorted it out really fast and I had it back in just over a week.
Not sure what they did, but the new one seems a lot quieter. I know it is the same case, but I guess they changed the motherboard.
The DVD drive now make most of the noise on the machine.
Veles 29th August 2008, 12:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
The fact that the case has watercooling ports suggests the the radiator should be mounted externally. I personally have never understood these ports since have bits of your watercooling external to your system makes it a pain in the ass to move and spoils the looks.

Due to it's large size it's not really going to be as easy to move about anyway.
_DTM2000_ 29th August 2008, 13:58 Quote
If I had more spare money and time to use the extra modding space provided by this case, I might think about getting one of these. However, as it stands, I just can't see a reason to void the 3 year warrenty to get something slightly quieter.
Votey 29th August 2008, 14:45 Quote
1. Maybe there is a way to cram that HUGE power brick into some of that empty space, so the unit only needs a standard PC power cable.
2. What I really want to know is, how long until someone fits a gaming PC into one of these?
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Votey
1. Maybe there is a way to cram that HUGE power brick into some of that empty space, so the unit only needs a standard PC power cable.

I'm working on that :)
Jaguar_Infinity 29th August 2008, 15:25 Quote
Surely fitting an Xbox and a PC in the same case would be interesting. I mean having a ITX or PicoITX based system in there for office, photo and web tasks and the xbox for gaming. A slim line DVD drive and a HDD. most monitors now adays have multiple source inputs so being able to select the PC or the Xbox would not need anything more than changing the monitor source. Finally Keyboard, mouse and gamepad are all wireless and so you would have a good little system there for gaming, office use and looking smart.

If your willing to void your warranty
hawky84 29th August 2008, 15:43 Quote
nice review, I am actually thinking about turning to the dark side and buy an old 360 and this case.

one question though, is there any chance any mods can be done to the DVD housing in the case to make it quieter?
DougEdey 29th August 2008, 16:46 Quote
There won't be many issues with the dvd drive come November, the games will be loadable to the HDD so it won't read the disc during Gameplay, though the disc needs to be in the drive for copy protection.
The boy 4rm oz 29th August 2008, 17:03 Quote
Doesn't really look that good IMHO.
DXR_13KE 29th August 2008, 17:43 Quote
it would be awesome if MS and Lian Li joined forces and sold these pre-made and with warranty!
p3n 29th August 2008, 18:29 Quote
Horrible!
beeboy 30th August 2008, 00:42 Quote
The only way to fix the loud DVD drive during gameplay is to flash/chip with custom firmware.
Mines runs at 5X now (I think that the standard is 12X) and it is much, much better.
Only a very few games seem to take any longer to load. I did some A-B tests and the worrs was GTA IV at about 5-8 seconds extra for the initial load.
Well worth it for the effort and load times for the peace and quiet.
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