Print 52 comment(s) - last by enlil242.. on Jun 14 at 7:34 PM

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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RE: Never had a problem
By enlil242 on 6/14/2007 7:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I thought like you did a ways back. About 5 months. I bought mine back in December ‘06. I played quite a bit at first, got some games and spent my nights playing GoW, NHL07 and COD3. I'd also picked up the HD-DVD drive and used the 360 drive as my regular DVD player. Not much, maybe a couple of hours every other night with nary a problem. I read a lot of RRoD blogs and posts and felt that their unit was in an enclosed area or the person played for 12 hours straight, didn’t take good care of it or something crazy like that.

Well, some time went by. I played games a bit less, but still would watch a DVD now and then. Then the day the spring update came out I thought I'd try the new features. When I turned it on, I couldn't sign in to xbox-live so I thought I’d try and run the diagnostic tool to see if it was my Linksys wireless adapter. Next thing I know, I saw some graphical anomalies during the test. I restarted the unit and saw that it froze and the startup screen. Another reboot sprung the RRoD!

I was horrified. I thought that I had taken great care of my unit … and yet still got it.

Long story short, I think there are some who do NOT take care of their unit so much, but like I read somewhere, I hadn't taken this much care of a console EVER. I think unless you are using this in a cabinet in Phoenix with no air conditioning, it should provide adequate cooling on its own.

On a side note, my dual core SLI’d computer runs 24-7 and I usually bring it to full load as much as the 360 and NEVER had my GPU crap out on me the way my 360 did under very light use. I would say that there just might be something to the cooling issue. But, as I used to think, I doubt anyone would believe me … as I didn't believe the ones who had it happen to them ... (until it happened to me.)

Luckily I had gotten mine from Costco before the change in return policy so I took everything back and got my money back, for the 360 AND HD-DVD. Since then I was going to wait until I read about a new revision, but a friend picked up a returned Elite from Target for $336, but decided that he didn't need it so he offered it to me. I thought I couldn't pass that up. Let's see how long it will last! ;-)

I will look on XBOX-Scene to see if I can find out if blowing it with canned-air every so often would help? Just might try and be a little proactive this time...

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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