Thermal analysts examine Xbox 360

Written by Joe Martin

August 6, 2007 // 2:09 p.m.

Tags: #360 #analyst #circle #compound #console #elite #examines #expert #graphics-card #heatsink #japan #overheat #red-ring #thermal #xbox

You remember the whole shizzle about how Xbox 360s were bricking themselves left, right and centre? You remember how Microsoft tried to address the problem with a secret hardware update? Remember how Peter Moore then came out and offered an improved warranty?

Good, no need to bring you up to speed yet then!

The big news now though is to do with why heating is such an issue for the 360 that it warranted so much attention in the first place. A Japanese news source, Nikkei, has had a thermal design expert take a look at two separate versions of the Xbox 360, one bought in 2005 and the other which has been subject to a repair in May 2007, to try and find out exactly what's wrong in the beige box.

The first thing the design experts noticed is that the temperature gap for the console compared to the ambient was +22°C. According to the experts, an average temperature gap is around +10°C, so a difference of +22°C is quite notable.

The expert also noted that the cooling fan was only half the size of most desktop PCs and speculated that this was because Microsoft wanted to reduce the noise made by the system. The heatsink was also very small, to the extent that the expert commented; "The heatsink on the graphics LSI is so small, I wonder if it can really cool down the board." Apparently the the heatsink has been shrunk down to allow room above it for the DVD drive.

The analyst also discovered that the newest console he examined, which had been repaired in May 2007, did not have a new heatsink installed in to it at all.

If you've got a head for numbers and a finger which like to tinker then you may want to head on over to the full report and check out the step-by-step process which the experts went through. Then you'll be fully prepared to talk about it in the forums.
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