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The original heatsink found in the majority of Xbox 360 consoles today (Source: AnandTech)

The first sighting of the new cooling solution

A follow-up sighting confirmed from Eastern Europe
Will a revised Xbox 360 heatsink and heatpipe fix the dreaded Red Ring of Death?

With the growing number of complaints surrounding the failures of Xbox 360 hardware, both owners and prospective buyers of the games console often wonder if Microsoft is doing anything to improve the reliability of the hardware.

Reports coming in from Europe indicate that Microsoft is adding some additional cooling measures to the Xbox 360. First seen on French website Logic-Sunrise are pictures of a revised heatsink that sits below the DVD-ROM drive.

The new heatsink, complete with a heatpipe to another heatsink, sits on top of the Xbox 360’s Xenos GPU. The same hardware cooling changes were also found on MaxConsole in a Microsoft-repaired console in the Czech Republic.

It’s still unclear if these revised Xbox 360 units also incorporate epoxy to bond the CPU and GPU onto the console’s motherboard. It is suspected that when the console internals heat up, the connection between the BGA part and the motherboard may disconnect when the PCB warps.

Microsoft has attempted to address this problem by surrounding the CPU and GPU with epoxy on the Xbox 360 Elite, though it has yet to be seen on the Premium or Core packages.

Aside from more aggressive heatsinks, the Xbox 360’s best way to cool down would be by way of a die shrink. Reports from 2006 originally targeted for the shrink from 90nm to 65nm to arrive by this time, though new information points to the new chip version to arrive later this year.





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