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TeamXodus's Xenium S.P.Ice Adapter Review
Weíve had the Xenium(info) S.P.Ice samples for awhile, and have had some fun putting the chip/adapter combo through a battery of tests. As many readers know, Iím a proponent of solderless solutions. Iíve used them since the first Matrix offering, and have continued to use them right up to the current generation.
With each new revision of the Xodus brand adapters, weíve seen product improvements, and more stable use.
With that said.. 1.6 motherboards posed a unique problem for people wanting a solderless solution. Microsoft did a nice job of consolidating functions on the motherboard, and even moving or disconnecting old functions. Anyone wanting to use a solder or solderless solution on a 1.6 board have had the tedious job of ďfixingĒ what Microsoft intentionally broke.
Solutions like rebuilding the LPC by soldering wires, top or bottom of the motherboard work well. Soldering the recent LPC rebuild boards to the bottom of the 1.6 motherboard work also work well. Nothing wrong with either method, and both have their fans. But, for those wanting that quick screw down solderless solution, especially a safe one, there wasnít much to choose from.
So, with the Sample in hand, lets see what we get for our moneyÖ
Xenium S.P.Ice Combo Kit $69 US
- Xenium Ice Chip
- S.p.ice 2 piece Adapter (one in this kit should really only be used with this chip, a separate SP (Solderless Pro) adapter is on sale that is for wider use with competing chips)
- Clear Safety Piece (for 1.6 installs)
- Bag of rivets, replacement Screw, Washer for 1.6 install, and optional spacer for 1.0-1.5 install
- USB Adapter
- Pinheader and Wire connector
- Led Module and Wire connector
You can order the Xenium S.P.ICE from: BMMods.com, Divineo.com, Divineo.co.uk, Divineo.cn, Extreme-Mods.com, ModWhiz.com, xboxchips.com.
Well.. Iím not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the details about the ICE chip, or itís OS. I covered those in depth in the last Xenium reviews, which can be found here and here. I will say though.. that the OS has been updated, looks better, and features many fixes and improvements.
I wanted to focus on the solderless aspect, and itís improvements. The 2 Piece Adapter (3 if you include the Safety Piece in that count) is definitely something new and different. The Black base, which sits on the LPC, is clearly well made, and clean looking. On non 1.6 boards, this is all youíd use, plus the screw and spacer to achieve a solderless install on 1.0-1.5 variants. My focas, is on the 1.6 boards, and the issues they pose. Thatís where the second part of the adapter comes in, the white pcb with the 4 wires.
When the Black and White Parts are combined, you now have a complete 1.6 solution. That alone, will get the job done. However, Xodus seems to have responded to customers wishes for a safer modding environment. As with some other chips on the market with wires for 1.6 installs, safety has become a concern. Motherboard tops are easily scrathed by those wires during an install. This isnít really the fault of the user, so much as it is by the design.
Xodus solution, the Safety Piece.
Itís the simplicity that shows how brilliant it is. The Safety Piece sits clean and flush to the motherboard, and provides and error free and safe guide for the 4 wires (plus d0 wire) to get connected, and inserted into the vias. Itís pretty dummy proof.
As per their guide (here), Iíve cleaned the area, removed any dust and debris and then proceeded to place the Safety Piece on the 1.6 motherboard.. I then grabbed the Black and White halves of the adapter, and pressed them together. Installation was simple enough.. I pressed the Adapter onto the LPC slowly, with the Wires slowly guided into their proper viasí via the Safety Piece guide. Checking and listening for each wire to ďclickĒ into place.
Power on, and look for all 5 LEDS to be lit for a secure and proper install of the adapter. If the wires are just sitting on top of the via, adjust, tweak, and slightly shift the wire in the safety piece until I heard a click.
With the Adapter Secure, I powered off the unit, Placed the included Xenium Ice Chip on the adapter, and booted. As the Xenium Guide noted.. the chip is working and properly install when the second led from the end of the adapter goes out.(off) The Chipís own led will show green also indicating a proper install.
So, with the Xenium S.P.Ice Adapter/Chip installed, successfully on a 1.6 board in less than a minute, I could have ended the review. After all, Iíve thoroughly used, reviewed their os in the past. The chip is solid, the OS is updated and is still evolving. What I really wanted to know, was just how good is this new adapter? Will it survive bumps and drops that knocked older adapter from all venders loose? What about all those new wires going into those vias.. will they stay in place?
Lots of questions. I wanted answers.
Xs Video Review: S.P.Ice Review Video(wmv)
So, with this successfully chips xbox now in hand.. I proceeded to abuse the box. Dropped it from table height. The adapter/chip booted like a charm. Decided to abuse it a little more.. and kick it around the house. It booted like a charm. Wash, rinse, and repeatÖ same results. The S.P.Ice Adapter/Chip combo stayed in place, and did not misalign. (woot)
I should have been happy with that torture test. I wasnít. Everyone has a solderless solution these days. I wanted to see if this could go above and beyond a reasonable expectation of abuse survival.
So, with the assistance of LD (a buddy) and a new Acura TSX, and about 25 feet of Ethernet cable I decided to stress test the stability of this install. We took the unit to a safe area, and attached the Xbox to the back of the car. We then dragged the xbox with the S.P.Ice installed 100 feet. Case looked like crap, but the chip and adapter looked fine, so we did it again, only faster.
We went back indoors, took the unit back to the testing table. Powered it up first time. The Adapter/Chip booted up perfectly fine, as if the box hadnít been dragged on rough asphalt for over 200 feet total.
Iíve been doing ďproperĒ Solder installs for 3 years now. Many of my customers demanded it. I donít need the headaches from fumes I used to get despite the solder being ďlead freeĒ. I also donít need to get any more burns from an iron that far too frequently burned, me, my table, or my work area.
-Safe 1.6 Solderless Install Solution
-Preloaded with a feature Packed Legal OS
-Includes LED module/wiring for cosmetic/functional use
-Includes USB adapter for USB to XBOX port connectivity (usb pen drives)
-Includes everything needs to do an old fashioned solder install.
-Color? Who cares!
-Shape? I needed to put something here.
After kicking the crap out of the xbox, and dragging it behind a car, I doubt Iíll want or need to do a solder install anymore. (this.. from a guy who installed a chip with a coathanger and solder) If anyone asks me to do the solder install, Iím going to show them the Review Video. After doing this.. Iím throwing away my Soldering Iron, Solder (lead free) wick, and Flux.
* Xenium S.P.ICE in its package (High Resolution Image)
* The solderless adapter 'kit' (High Resolution Image)
* The springwire adapter for Xbox v1.6(b) (High Resolution Image)
* Back of the springwire adapter (High Resolution Image)
* Pogopin adapter (High Resolution Image)
* Back of Pogopin adapter (High Resolution Image)
The XS Review Video: S.P.Ice Review Video(wmv)
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