Lian Li EX-10
I/O Extender review
The EX-10 front unit
What really sets the EX-10 apart from the rest of the competition is how it gets to all the connectors at the back of your system. Unlike other port extenders which use individual cables for every single port on the unit, the EX-10 makes use of one high quality interface cable that closely resembles a wide SCSI cable. This one cable will carry all the USB, Firewire, PS/2 and sound card signals. If you have a really messy case, this might just be the solution for you, the single cable that runs from the unit to the back of the system hardly disturbs the case airflow and can be easily managed unlike a huge tangle of cables which can be a real pain to clean and re-organize.
I'll take the FrontX ports for comparison with the
EX-10 and to start off, the FrontX design requires me to run a total of 6 cables
all the way to the back of the PC, one for every port. Needless to say, this
coupled with my Digital Doc 5 cables makes for a very messy cable maze in my
case. With the EX-10, I was able to cut down on 5 thick cables and replace them
all with only one black cable which you can see in the picture below (click to
enlarge, the arrows are in the enlarged version to indicate the cable).
Connecting to the back
I also evaluted how the reduced cable bundle affected the overall system temperature and the temp probe below the graphics card showed a 2 degrees celcius decrease in readings. This was due to the FrontX cables blocking the airflow path of the front intake fans of our Cooler Master ATC-201 case. With the single cable of the EX-10, I was able to push the cable to the side of the case and the airflow to the graphics card and all the other extension cards were free. If that wasn't enough, I don't have to worry about dust getting caught in between a bundle of cables anymore as all I have to do now is just to clean one single cable. Thumbs up to Lian Li for such an innovative "routing" system!
EX-10: I/O Adapter
Well folks I am at it again, sorry for the long break between posts but I have been in the middle of a stressful relocation….. But all is well so hopefully things will come out of my realm aka the basement, fast and furious in the next little while, so let’s get at it!
If you are like me and love your aluminium cases and are also lazy this is the product for you. It allows you to plug in some of you devices on the front of you computer via a sort of break out box. No longer requiring you to crawl under your desk to see and work behind your case.
I was doing some checking for this product since I have seen it on the Lian-Li website. One of the few Canadian retailers that stocked such an item was Bigfoot Computers in Toronto Ontario, Canada which is quite a ways from where I live, about 2000 miles for all you folks wondering what far for me is. After checking out their site and reseller ratings I proceeded to place an order. For the EX-10 the price was $49.98 Canadian which is about $32 US, now I can’t say what shipping was since it was packed with some other products, but checking their site the charges which apply to ship to the US is $17.95 Canadian or $11.50 US.
Well here goes……
We can see that the box lists the interfaces that the I/O Adapter uses:
When you fist open up the box to look at your new toy you find the following:
There are a few different ways to hook this baby up as shown on the back of the box.
And these are the two options in action, both internally and externally.
Well folks there you have it the EX-10, a great little addition if you have an aluminium case such as a Lian-Li or Coolmaster. If you decide to pick one of these up you will be more than pleased with the ease of installation and the handiness of being able to run peripherals through the front, especially if you have headphones and want that extra 24 inches of cord for extra travel at the desk, or a digital camera (still / video, USB or Firewire) for just ease of use.
If you folks would like to get a hold of one of these give Neil a call at Bigfoot Computers and let him know, he was more then helpful with all of my wants and needs and has definitely got a customer for life.
Catch ya all later with my next review where I will show you my new case and how to install this bad boy…
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