My custom gaming rig, with an Xbox 360 inside!

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GarbageMonst3r Posted: Fri, Apr 5 2013 3:11 PM

So, before you all kill me- just hear me out. 

I really used to be into console gaming. I mean, it was serious business. I couldn't even tell you how many days of game play I have had logged onto Xbox LIVE. Going from playing halo 2's campaign offline for two years, then shooting into Halo 3's multi player- it was addicting. 

At any rate, I have played a lot of Xbox. And I've bought and sold too many to count. When I started building computers, I sort of fell out of the console world. My Slim model Xbox was just sitting there, gathering dust. So I decided to make use of it! 

I ended up putting it inside of my gaming rig. It was scary. 

I have an ASRock 990 FX AM3+ board, with the FX 8120 8 core Black Edition processor (3.1Ghz). An AMD (ATI) 7770, 8Gb of 1600mhz DDR3, a 650 watt PSU, and a white AZZA 9,000 series chasis. I have a combined total of  6 TB of memory, and a 64Gb Samsung SSD. Also my liquid cooler is the Corsair H50. 

As far as I'm concerned, that system is more than enough for me. But with an Xbox inside of the case, I feel like it's a custom built version of 'The Big O'. I had a lot of fun doing it, here are some build progress pictures. 

 

 

 

In order to get the Xbox to mount onto the plexi, we had to widen the grounding hold in the board of the Xbox. The Milwaulke drill worked nicely, but it was so scary. I was afraid we would destroy the board in the process. Taking our time was vital, but it payed off. 

 

Right after we cut the plexi-glass. Look to the right, and see the mother board standoff. I left that back corner of the board unsecured from the glass, because I wanted some wiggle room for the board. I didn't want anything to break while we would plug wires into it, or if something were to bump against it. Call me paranoid, but it worked nice. 

 

 

The board right after installation. The case isn't entirely put together yet, so it's sitting slanted on the bolts that are holding the plexi in place. If you look closely, you can see how little of clearance we had. Literally millimeters of space between the plexi and the fans- pushed against the sides of the case. Pretty damn good for guessing on all our measurements. 

 

-We had to use a hole-saw to cut an area out of the case. The wifi card couldn't be on the Xbox with the back cable management side panel. So, we improvised! The only unexpected speed bump we encountered. I must admit, it looks rough in this picture, but we made it look uniform later on. 

 

-Here's the work around for the hole we drilled in the side of the case. A thick plastic jewelry display case was sawed off, and sanded down to fit the notches of the case. Fortunately for us, we took the side of the jewelry case that has a lid. So not only do we have a cool looking wifi card sticking out of the case, but we have a nice clear enclosure for the card- allowing it more signal strength and security. 

We used clear coating and invisible caulk to secure the enclosure. Very please with how it turned out.  

 

 

Another view of the board, as you can see- we mounted the plexi glass on-top of the ventilation canal fans, which are always on when the Xbox is turned on. The Xbox 250Gb HDD isn't in there yet, but it just sits on top of the board. Until I make some sort of mount for it. 

 

 

 

An overall view of the Chasis. Notice though, there is no power brick for the Xbox in this picture. I haven't mounted it at this point yet, but right now it's actually put up onto the rear ventilation paneling of the case. I was worried about that brick getting too hot, so I left it as much room to breathe as possible. 

 

 

 

The old NZXT chasis, in comparison to the new AZZA 9,000 series. It's too big. But bigger is better, right? Hah. My favorite part about this case is that it supports two PSU's, so I actually had room to mount the Xbox into the computer. It worked out pretty funny, I didn't even know the details of this case when I bought it. I just wanted a huge tower. 

 

-This is how my setup is now. I'm thinking about buying some more monitors, some really nice 27" IPS paneled ones. I haven't decided yet, I'll most likely go with Dell. Those old monitors are from pawn shops. Also, that's a 700+ watt receiver from 1977. Computer audio is hooked up through digital sound, through all four CerwinVegas, Sounds amazing- even in a tile room.

 

-The Xbox 360's wifi card. As you can see, I put an antenna on the card to boost signal strength. I didn't have a good enough signal to play Xbox LIVE, not with the massive computer case blocking the signal. Surprisingly, the laptop antennas worked.-

 

 

The DVD drive was difficult. After some tinkering, and a lot of cutting tempered steel- we finally managed to create a mount. Sadly, we had to use one of my HDD trays. Now I don't have a SSD mount for a while. But I should have one showing up at my house in the next week or so.  

 

 

 

Hard Drive and DVD drive managements.

 

 

 

And the mounted power brick. It works nicely with the cable management system I have, and fits perfectly between the case side panels and the GPU. Perfect measurements. 

 

 

Let me know what you guys think! Don't hate me for mixing console and PC, just think of it as a computer and an Xbox having a baby. 

Also, I'm planning on doing away with the power brick. After I get a larger PSU, I'm going to splice a molex to power the Xbox. It's going to be even scarier.

 

-Will 

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Also, sorry the pictures aren't formatted correctly. Just open them in a new tab to see the full resolution. 

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OSunday replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 4:48 PM

This is seriously a sick little set up you've got man!
I feel like that hole for part of the Xbox to stick out of takes away from a lot of the aesthetic though, if anything for visual appearances you should fix that up.

I wanted to do a project like this when I ordered the parts to my first computer and got an Antec 1200, but even that full sized ATX was nowhere near big enough without some serious modifications.

All in all though it's pretty sweet, have you done anything to ramp up the thermal management though?
I feel like if both of those were running simultaneously even in that massive case things could get hot enough to be harmful.

Just out of curiosity what do you do to route the power and video cables from the Xbox outside of the case? Are the just sort of wired out through openings?
If so you should consider some cable extenders and something on the rear panel of the case for input/output from the Xbox to have a flusher cleaner look.

I can't wait to see what else you do with this but splicing power from the PSU is immpressive too.

All in all, Good work and keep it up! 

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I feel the same way about the wifi card crop out. If you're looking at it in person, you can tell it was caulked on- and it isn't painted as clean as it should have been. I'm glad it's on the far side of my case, where it's not seen by everyone who comes over. 

But- this is just the rig in it's first stages. My friend owns a bodywork shop, and has a paint booth he built. He wants to paint the entire case with some awesome decals and colors. Sand blasted and everything, the whole nine yards. So when we go about painting that, I plan on making a better looking option for the card. I also might put an antenna of some sort sticking out of the case, but that would take some serious planning and innovation.

Not to mention I have to mount the power and open switches still, that's something I'll work on coming up- with the free time I've got this next season.

It does get pretty warm in there. I'm thankful for the liquid cooler, and the properly designed compact Slim Motherboard. If I have both on at the same time, I never have my fans off. I'll have them running at a minimum of 80%, with the 240mm running at 100%.

I'll have to do some math to figure out how many watts I'll need. I know the Xbox Slim peaks at 100w, and technically I could run it off my PSU I have in there now. But it's a scary process, and I wouldn't want to short out my entire computer. Hah.

Thanks, I appreciate the admiration!  

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Clixxer replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 7:20 PM

Thats pretty impressive. I like playing my xbox and when it died I ended up getting two other ones and spicing the parts together to form a whole. In mine the board actually died but in the other xbox the case was broken and DVD drive died so I just swapped them. While I as doing this I kept thinking about a 10 year old case I had and trying to figure out the best way to put this in a computer case to make it look better or as you did build it into an existing working computer.

Gives me ideas on what to do with my Xbox now since I have not touched it in about 3 months.

My rig - I7-4770K, ASUS Z87-A Mobo, 16 GB Corsair Ram, AMD 7990 GPU, CoolIT AiO Cooler, NZXT H630

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Thanx for porting this I always wondered if it was possible. My conly question is does it work? 

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Watch the video ;) it works!

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Well done. Yes

This was done nicely. Keeps the clutter down, as well.

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OSunday replied on Tue, Apr 9 2013 5:28 PM

Did you really just swap and it was plug and play or did you have to do all the spoofing with keys?

I used to do a lot of Xbox repairs and modding and in my experience all the DVD drives had a key that was matched to it's motherboard.
Replacing drives was a huge hassle since you had to find out the key from a motherboard or drive then copy it and flash it onto the drive you intended to use as a replacement. 

If your looking to do some modding to just the Xbox for fun extreme mods and xoxide have some really cool products (and tools to install) that improve cooling performance and actually have a purpose other than just appearance as well. I had always considered doing this but never had the money and didn't think it was worth the risk of tearing open a perfectly working Xbox just for fun to try and modify and throw things in with it since it was something used by numerous members of my family

This other guy llama also has some stuff and some great tutorials for repairs and mods as well

I got a post pending moderation when I tried to post with the links the first time, but anyways just look up Xoxide, Extreme Mods or Llama's xbox adventures and the sites will pop up

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I actually didn't switch out anything on the Xbox, the easiest thing was plugging it all back in. I used the original DVD drive that came with my Xbox, so I didn't have to extract or flash any keys.

I remember how hard it was to try an use a random Xbox DVD drive with an older Elite model. It was so messed up, something I don't ever want to deal with again. 

If you don't know the key, you're totally out of luck. Hah. I'm on my way out, I'll reply again later in detail. 

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This is actually really cool! I wish that I had the time to do something like this.  But then again with my specs it would hardly be worth it XD

 

Did you re-mount the X-bracket or whatever its called that was causing the red ring of death?  I bet that board is running a whole lot cooler in that case than it was inside a piddly little xbox case

PC Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+  Cooled by a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (push-pull)
  • 2GB DDR2
  • MSI Radeon HD 6450 2GB
  • Stock Dell motherboard
  • 250Gb HDD
  • XFX Pro Core edition 650W PSU
  • Stock Dell inspiron case

 

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This is actually really cool! I wish that I had the time to do something like this.  But then again with my specs it would hardly be worth it XD

 

Did you re-mount the X-bracket or whatever its called that was causing the red ring of death?  I bet that board is running a whole lot cooler in that case than it was inside a piddly little xbox case

PC Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+  Cooled by a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (push-pull)
  • 2GB DDR2
  • MSI Radeon HD 6450 2GB
  • Stock Dell motherboard
  • 250Gb HDD
  • XFX Pro Core edition 650W PSU
  • Stock Dell inspiron case

 

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Seriously, that is NUTS. I never thought you could do that. Could you do that with other systems? Like a Sega Dreamcast?

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You seem like the type that has a lot of spare time on his hands :P

 

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dingra replied on Sat, Jun 29 2013 12:36 PM

Ha, a Dreamcast. I remember mine working for like 4 months before it started locking up/not recognizing discs. Oh, how it made the red ring look so tame. This is a sick setup, btw.

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Interesting idea... Something new.

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