When I had a look at the Lian Li XB01 case, I was jumping for joy, the case looks pretty badass. It's black, has a load of vents for air to pass through, or as Homer Simpson would say "Speed holes".
Overall at first impression, was very pleased with the design and even install manual they provide. It was very detailed screw by screw. I couldn't wait to get this going.
I should have had a feeling this case was designed by satan himself to bring my Xbox 360 consoles to hell with him, what I was about to place my 360 in wasn't a case to run cool, it was about to be housed in a pizza oven.
As you start to install your Xbox motherboard, you chuckle and laughing in the face of RROD claiming "heat cannot hurt me now!"
Little do you know friends, things are about to heat up.
Once I secured the last screw... I powered this bad boy up... then the bad things started to come through... sort of like that girl you thought was a good idea to date...
Need to charge your controller or like me and the only person known to man with a wired Rock band guitar? Guess what, you need to open a garage door to find the usb plug. Not only Lian Li not think about style with respect to this, but it really takes away from the look of the case. Rather than having a case looking like it can survive a missile blast from North Korea, you are left with something weak and frail looking.
Something else I didn't really care for... I'm sure I could have lived with but annoyed it wasn't added. Where the heck is the eject button Lian Li?
Yes you can open tray with an issue via the controller, but really? How can you leave out the eject button from this case? Apparently Lian Li makes cases, it's what they do... that and items they "should" keep your PC components cooler then stock (yet to be determined if that holds any truth).
Now when you do open the DVD tray make sure you're ready with some ear plugs, the flap comes down and it lets you know, something just took place. When it closes the nice sound you get of "wow this thing must have taken them no less than three minutes to design".
It's the unit lets you know when a game is in the DVD, the noise thing case makes is about the sound of a Boeing 747 in your living room about to take off.
Now before I go into testing I want everyone to understand something about the stock 360 case. It works; its good and a lot of thought went into this case with respect to airflow.
You see if any of you have ever had the chance to look inside of the console, you will notice the lay out.
Look at this picture (below) of a stock 360, you notice that plastic cover that takes in air from the fans and blows it over the CPU and GPU. Now the DVD drive sits on top of all this to help the air flow as well.
Don't believe me? Get an infared thermometer, and have your system on idle without that vent, then try it with the vent and tell me if you do not see a difference. Make sure to have the DVD drive in the unit when testing.
This is where the case fails over and over. While the concept sounds great on paper, Lian Li put zero effort into research. Why do I know this? Well three guys in a garage drinking were able to see the design flaws in under an hour. What did we find out?
Well the DVD drive is nowhere near the motherboard at all, it's separated. Also the vent is missing the key part on keeping the system cool. Zero forced air flow going over the CPU and GPU its wide open.
I'm almost 100 percent positive they figured, "Big freaking fan, lots of air holes (speed holes) and it will be cool"
"Wow Frank that a great idea! You deserve a raise"
Well no Frank deserves to be fired. This will kill your unit and on idle the system GPU, CPU and eDRAM runs 15 degrees warmer than in a stock case, which had no stress what so ever.
We did run a game to see that system (overall) temperatures reached 25 - 27 percent hotter than in a stock case. We pulled the plug on the testing when our GPU hit 80 degrees.
But this case does serve some purpose in life... after your system red rings within 45 minutes of play or less. You could remove your dead unit, toss some ice and stick some beers in it.
Or you could give it to someone you don't like as a gift. Lian Li will help anyone achieve the goal on RROD yourself, it's a fact. More PlayStation 3 News...