Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later


Crave Online

Back to the news-page

Review: EasyBuy2000.comís X-Chip w/ Solderless Adapter
>> (formerly named Chameleon 2)

Originally posted X-Chips forums on XS

Buy Now: www.easybuy2000.com $49.00 without solderless adapter
Buy Now: www.easybuy2000.com $59.00 combo with Adapter

Official Site: www.easybuy2000.com

What the retail package contains:

When a customer orders just a X-Chip this is what is shipped.

1-USB programmer
1-Wire linker
1-Pin Header

When a customer orders a X-Chip combo this is what is shipped.

1-USB programmer
1-Wire linker
1-Solder-less adapter (new design)
1-Bag of rivets that include 10 rivets and 1 replacement screw.
1-Pin header

Note: No Washers ship with either product.. as none are needed now.

Well.. here is my Ďfirstí of two reviews. (youíll understand by the end of this review why)

Some of the staff received samples 5 days ago but this is the first official review of the chip. A review would have been done sooner.. but there was a few circumstances preventing it.

First.. the sample package as shipped.. was missing the bag of rivets, pin-header, and replacement screw. Second delay was the Official Installation Guides and XControl Software was not publicly available either.

EB2K quickly couriered the missing parts so that I could get this review done in a timely fashion. (helps that Iím local!) During the delay.. they also managed to get the Xcontrol USB Flashing Software and the Solderless Guide up and available to the public on their site. (Pin-header Solder Method Guide still not available.. however.. following the Chamelone Pin-header guide serves as well.)

So.. now after nearly a week of delays, missing parts, and dealing with a broken camera.. Iíve manged to finally sit down to attempt an installation. Since this was a full Solderless Package I figured I would install it and test it using that method.

Using 2 XBOX units.. a 1.1 and a 1.3 units I had handy I proceeded to prep them for the installation. Prep included cleaning the LPC holes, and Topside D0 with alcohol. Using the supplied rivets, screw, and solderless adapter I attached the adapter to the motherboard. Installed the chip onto the pins of the adapter as directed by their guide, and attempted to boot the unit. FRAG. (Flashing Red and Green)

Same install on the other XBOX.. using the same method.. proved just as fruitless.

Having other chips handy.. I was able to determine that the X-Chip Solderless Adapter was making good and proper contact with each XBOX it was used on.. as it booted Chameleons and Xeniums perfectly fine and without trouble.

Cpoc/EasyBuy2000 was extremely helpful and worked with me to troubleshoot this situation. It was determined via pictures and videos I provided.. that the Chip was likely somewhat defective.. as it appeared the itís female connectors were simply not making the proper contact with the X-Chip Solderless Adapter. This is a situation he was able to duplicate on his end.. but with less fatal results.

I found that the Chip, when properly installed onto the pins of the adapter could be rocked back and forth to a degree that leads me to beleive that the fit of the chip and solderless adapter wasn't tested as much as the fit of the pin-header and chip.. which is quite snug and secure. Example video: Rock and Roll connection (avi)

So.. with the X-Chip Sample currently in my possession apparently defective.. I cannot finish a proper hardware review of this chip. EB is couriering out replacements samples so sometime next week I should be able to write a follow-up review.

Iíd like to take a moment and discuss the adapter. It appears to be superior in design to previous solderless adapters. Itís far more rigid, a proper metal washer for the screw hole (likely overkill.. but canít hurt). The Ďteethí appear to be strong.. solid.. and the springs seems to always spring back and didnít pop any teeth out. With or without rivets.. the units stays secure to the motherboard providing a good and reliable connection. (that fact.. test with other chip like Chameleon and Xenium on the X-Chip Adapter.. since we didnít get the X-Chip to function properly) For more info on my view on the X-Chip Solderless Adapter check my Pre-Installation Review.

Something else worth noting.. the relative thickness and rigidity of the PCB used. Feels thick and strong.

Since I was never able to get their Cromwell(info) to boot.. so I was unable to see their bootup screens. However.. I was able to use their flash control software and have nothing but good things to say about it.

To flash the X-Chip via the included USB adapter/dongle, simply connect an appropriate A/B USB cable to the unit.. and plug into a pc. Then.. follow the on-screen prompts / XControl Software Install guide to install the software and USB drivers. USB Driver Install

Once it is all installed.. and you run the software.. you are presented with a clean interface.. that doesnít require much explaining or thought to use. Itís pretty dummy proof. Dummy Proof Interface

With the software.. you have a lot of banks to play with.. more than youíll likely ever need. Here.. you can also set key buttons that will boot your BIOS of choice. Writing/Flashing

The software detects the chip quickly.. and performs a full 4MB write in about 2 minutes or less. It also was able to upsize BIOS files.. so if you wanted a 256k one in a 1 meg slot.. it handled the chore for you.

+ Xcontrol Software was easy to install and use
+ Flawless USB control and flashing/backup
+ Solderless Adapter appears to be the best currently available.(rigid and strong)
+ pin-header and solderless solutions provided.. best of both world.
+ Thickness of the PCB
+ EB2K tech support

- Package shipped minus essential parts. (quickly remedied though)
- Software and guides were not available at time of product release (partially remedied)
- Sample Chip that shipped was partially defective.

Iíll follow-up this review when the replacement review samples arrive.
(June 18 21:14 GMT+1) - (direct link to article)
(Posted by:: )

Back to the news-page


Giganews Newsgroups