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Cleaning up the mess

Product : FrontX Multimedia ports
# Price : $ 25.99 (about 17.00) (price includes VAT)
Available from : HighSpeedPC

Sound card ports are often (by the nature of them) hard to reach since they are at the back of your computer. I can't remember how many times I searched around in the dark trying to slot my headphones or speakers into the corresponding sound card port. This product changes all of that, and brings the ports to the front of your computer. In all intents and purposes it is a very simple product. The FrontX bay sits in a 5.25" slot and is then wired to your sound card ports at the back of your computer.

Since this isn't much of a performance enhancing product, we thought this review will concentrate on the installation, ease of use, the good points and the bad points.

Installation was simple enough, however it did take a few minutes to get the FrontX cables through the maze of HDD and 4-pin power connectors. After that was done, we had to screw on a back pane which was placed directly above the the sound card. The wires were then threaded through the gap in the backpane. This produced something unusual, a neat collection of wires.

As you can see in the photo, the FrontX ports are designed so that future ports can be added, and this is a very neat little feature, however we couldn't find extra add-on ports for the FrontX just yet.

The front of the ports are covered by a door which turns on a very simple plastic hinge. This produced a surprisingly sturdy feel to the door. While the door was left in the open position it rested nicely on the below 5.25" drive cover. I also did a quick check if it would be the same if there was a drive in place, and it was.

The FrontX Multimedia ports are a great idea and this product has been manufactured well. It certainly does what it was designed to do, and with future add-ons hopefully coming to the market this product will be quite useful. If only the styling had a few more curves (like the Live! drive) it would really appeal to people. I still found the FrontX ports an innovative product, at a good price and thought it was worth recommending. It certainly tidied up our test rig.