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frontx CPX100 Multimedia Ports
Page 2 - Performance
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: May 03, 2001
Category: Hardware
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Now that I have it all setup, I can evaluate exactly how this thing will affect my computer and what it has to offer.

One of my biggest questions (before I saw the unit) was as to how I would setup my speakers without unplugging the back every time, which would defeat the purpose of the frontx. This is where the metal PCI "slot" part comes in. It has a spot to screw in the speaker input which has been spliced back from the head phone jack. Check out the pictures below to see what I mean.

The Backside
The Backside
A Little Closer
A Little Closer

Main Speaker Out

Another large issue that I was worried about was the added clutter inside the case. As an overclocker, I know that the more wires I have blocking my air flow, the worse my cooling will become. However, the wire "mess" was far less than I had imagined. Below are some pictures showing the inerts of the case post-installation. As you will notice, the frontx ports don't add too much clutter to what was already there. More important to note in the pictures below is that fact that wires do not have much slack. The lack of slack in the cables will most likey render this product in a lot of tower cases. So, if you own a tower case, you might want to check into this before you purchase one of these.

Wires n' Stuff
Wires n' Stuff
Sound Blaster + Wires
Sound Blaster + Wires

The unit was a slightly different color from the DVD-ROM and CD-RW Drives already in the computer, but it still looked pretty good. This would be pretty easy to pull off and paint if you wanted it to match the rest of your case, so if that's a worry, quit worrying.

It looks good on ya
It looks good on ya
Still looking good
Still looking good

The frontx works. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and in the process, you can become even lazier. To use the head phones, you just plug them into the front of your computer and turn down the volume (physically) on your speakers. Unfortunately, you have to sacrifice little space on the inside for wires, a PCI slot, and a drive bay. While this may not be worth it for some, a lot of people can benefit from a device like this. Especially people who have their computers nested in a cabinent under their desk or are just too lazy to reach to the back of their computer.

Another great feature about this product is its upgradability. Included in my package was a USB port as well, but all the USB slots in Strawberryswirl's computer were in use, so it wasn't installed. But that isn't all you can get as an options. You can get two different types of USB ports and two different types of 9-pin serial ports. One easily has the potential to fill all of the slots in the frontx unit.

In conclusion, I would like to state just a few main concepts. The frontx CPX100 Multimedia ports is a good idea, but I wouldn't call them revolutionary. While it offers great features, it does come at the cost of computer space. One of the most important things to note about the frontx is its cheap pricing. The kit I recieved (the CPX100) will run you $25.90 when you order it from frontx.com. That price is far from unfair, especially for such a well built kit.

Final Score

4 out of 5 Weird Blue Faces

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