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Xtreamer SideWinder2 Review – Hardware – Disassembled

2011/08/23 15 comments

 

Today, i received a package from Hong Kong containing my brand new Xtreamer Sidewinder2 which started selling 1st of August. They first limited the first release to 1000 units. Mine is unit Nr. 453.

The first thing you will recognize when unpacking the SW2 is the new bigger, remote control with the glow-in-the-dark keyboard. You will also find the USB 3.0 cable which is included. Sadly a composite cable is included and the HDMI cable is missing again. I would have prefered to pay 5 Euros/8 Dollars more and reveive a standard HDMI cable. This is 2 points plus for the newly designed remote control and the usb 3.0 cable and 1 point minus for the crappy composite cable.

old vs. new remote control. Size does matter.. 😀

Size does matter..

The second thing you will find is a slightly thicker Xtreamer…

The Xtreamer Sidewinder 1 ontop of the Sidewinder 2

…with an twistable antenna for the 11N wireless module. 1 point minus for the thicker body, 2 points plus for the faaaaaast wireless. Let’s have a look on the backside of the the Xtreamer..

Old and new (Back)

…so you see the USB 2.0 host ports have been removed from the backside and installed on the side next to the USB3.0 client port (to connect to your PC as harddrive). The LAN has been upgraded from 100Mbit to Gigabit which is very great to stream raw blueraydisk images for what the 100Mbit network was to slow when it reached more than 11MB per second.

From the side you see the difference between the old and the new one.

Old ontop of the new (side view)

and the other side:

the other side

Very cool, now we also have a SD/MMC Card slot! With the increasing sizes from 16 to 32 GB, they are a good and fast alternative for a energy consuming and heat producing harddisk. 2 points for the new one! Let’s have a look at the bottom. Now comes one disadvantage. Its NOT for standing on the side like the old one. It has to stand on the bottom.

bottom view

Its nearly completely open on the bottom. As it has a faster processor it produces more heat which has now to evade through the bottom. The SW2 has NO FAN!. Wow. Finaly a silent system. People who had the noisy fan problem or had replaced the fan already know what i mean!

Let’s have a look inside:

Inside (bottom)

So the back contains the NAND Flash for the operating system and the status leds on the bottom (which will illuminate a transparent plastic bar on the front)

After messing around with the SATA and Powercable inside i extracted the whole board:

The Sidewinder 2 Motherboard

In the upper left corner we find some kind of diagnose port. Next to it the RTL8188CE miniCard wireless board (above a quarz). As you can see it uses the minipci spec. So you might exhange the board with a faster one in the future. left below of it is the white power connector for the plugin hdd (the hdd carrier is mounted to plastic cover) .  Right below of that you find an UART connector (Universal Asynchronous Receiver and Transmitter) which could be serial port for the linux console. Right of it and above of the ethernet port you find the realtek ethernet chip. Above that is another quarz for the clock of the cpu. The CPU is in the middle with the aluminium cooler. Right and above are the two memory chips which seems to be DDR3 Memory. Below of that you find the SATA connector you find the JMS551 USB3.0 to sata bridge.

So no dedicated video chip. Everything is done by the cpu.

Physical results:

+ 11N WiFi built in
+ Gigabit LAN
+ USB 3.0
+ Component Output
+ Chinch Coax
+ SD Card Reader
+ More easy accessible USB ports on the side
+ Better remote which glows in the dark
+ No FAN!

– Thicker Hardware
– No USB 2.0 slave port (you need usb3.0 in your PC or use the gigabit lan)
– Still no HDMI cable included.

Now i cant wait anymore. I have to test it 🙂

I hope you like the post. Have a nice evening!

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