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Japanese Thermal Expert Examines Xbox 360, Figures Out What's Wrong (Hint: Everything)

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Because Microsoft will never admit to any possible overheating problems with their beloved Xbox 360 design, Japanese-based Nikkei hired a thermal design expert to come examine the console. They looked at two—one made in 2005 and one repaired in May 2007. Here's what they found:

• The temperature gap with room temp was 22 degrees C. "When designing consumer products, it is common to seek a temperature gap of around 10 degrees C between exhaust and room temperatures," the thermal design expert said. "The 22 degrees C is quite a large gap..."

• The cooling fan was half of desktop PCs—apparently to reduce noise.

• The expert pointed out, "The heat sink on the graphics LSI is so small, I wonder if it can really cool down the board." The reason for this? Apparently, Microsoft had to downsize the graphics LSI heat sink so that the DVD drive could be placed above it.

• In five minutes after booting up a game, the graphic LSI heat sink temp rose to 70 degrees C. In 15 minutes, the temperature for the microprocessor heat sink stabilized at 58 degrees, but the graphics LSI heat sink reached 80 degrees C. If the room temperature was high (like 35 degrees C), the heat sink could possibly hit 100 degrees C. What's more, if the vents were clogged with dust, the temperature could also increase.

• The console repaired in May 2007 did not have a new heat sink placed in it.

This is bad design. Really, really bad.

Nothing about those bullet points sound good. But what about those new Xbox 360 Elites with added heatsinks? How do those measure up?


[Nikkei via Kotaku]