There are many products out there that claim to help keep your 360 cool. I'm going to give a quick run down and a few tips you can try at home to keep your 360 at a cooler temperature and help steer away from those dreaded 3 lights of death.
First, the most popular cooling solution seems to be the Nyko Intercooler. There is a bit of controversy as to weither this method actually works or not, and they say it voids your warranty. Well true and not true. There is no way of microsoft telling you've been running the cooler unless they're monitoring your voltage levels via live. Now I have heard of scarce reports of people being banned from live for doing the 12 volt mod to their fans. Which could only mean Microsoft has incorporated some way of keeping an eye on your system when you're connected. Other than that, the only other proof they would have is from the first generation of Nyko Intercoolers. Which had a fault to where somehow the power connection would arc over and melt the cooler to your unit, after getting the unit removed it leaves your system with charred brown/black look around the power cable which would thus void the warranty. It seems they've redesigned the cooler and have gave it a new name... The Intercooler EX, so far so good. I've personally confirmed temperature drops of 3-7 degrees using this system. Why it may not seem like a lot. When you're dealing with hardware as powerful as the 360's 3-7 degree's can be a big difference in frames per second and overall performance. Not only was it redesigned AND it works. Nyko has a warranty with the cooler if it has damaged your 360 in anyway. They will actually replace your system free of charge. Seems too good to be true. I've never heard of anyone needing to see how true it is. This cooler seems to be the best 'bang for your buck' deal out now. It works and its available almost anywhere that sales gaming accesories. It retails around $20 and can be found in Walmart, Best Buy, Gamestop, and other stores alike. It's a good price for not having to pull off the warranty sticker to drop a few degrees on your systems temperature.
Second up, The Pelican Fan Stand, All who have had small problems with their first generation Nyko Intercoolers have turned to the Pelican Fan Stand and have praised it. They have a few differance versions of this type of stand as they do the Intercoolers as well. You will find the stands with somewhere between 1-3 fans, operating via the USB port. And sometimes even with a caddy on the side that holds games or accessories. Althought this seems like a really good system. There are a few things wrong with it.
1.) It makes your system unsecure. Balacing with this system isn't great, and can increase the risk of your system tipping over.
2.) The fan's are really small, they're not very high RPM and don't push a lot of air through the system. Even considering these fans operate via the USB at only 5 volts. The performance of the fans overall is very dissapointing.
3.) Not only is the balacing off, there is no type of system that secures this cooling device to your system.
Taking this into consideration, especially fact #2. Getting the air through the bottom of the system is nearly impossible, even with higher power fans. Considering it not only has 1 grill before the metal chassis. (The plastic one which is removable). The metal casing itself is really squeezed tight. With small almost pin size holes. So taking into consideration these small fans which offer little to know air flow as it is. Gets limited even more by the maze of a 1,000 pin holes in the metal casing. Which cuts off 90% or better of the currently close to crap air this system offers. Even testing this method with 2 80MM Case fans powered by USB. Yielded poor results. Understand yes these are 12 volt fans running from 5 volts. Kick out considerably more air than 5 or 6 fan stands would ever do. This method of cooling is no more than just a cool add on to make your system taller. It offers no real benefits from using it. And honestly you'd be better off using a small desk fan pointed in the general direction of the console. This unit retails around $15 dollars for the Pelican. There are others out there, I havent bothered to check into all their prices. or performance. Considering the way the metal casing is. Any type of unit latching onto from the bottom of the console is pointless. Unless you want to mod the casing. We'll talk more about this later.
There are many more cooling devices out there, many by differant companies with differant claims which cool the system differant ways. Another good option is checking around for XCM products. They offer a wide range of systems, including fan replacements. High speed cooling systems. and much more. If you're a real freak of nature you'll even find there are water cooling systems. I'm not going to go into too much detail with all of these modding options. Because this guide is strictly for the average joe. Lets talk about some ways you can cool your system even without these devices. If you have some spare parts from an old pc around and you're handy with a knife and some electrical tape. You can make your own cooler.
Tip's on helping your system stay cool. First make sure it has up to a foot of clearance behind the system to allow the hot air to flow out. If you are using your system horizontally. Add some bigger rubber feet to the bottom of the system to help lift it further off of the cabinet or table (which ever is applicable). Do not stack systems. Your 360 console cools from 7 sets of vents. Be sure to keep these vents clear from blockage. And stacking systems only adds to the already too much heat the 360 incounters. Use a desk fan pointed at your system (any will do) to help cool it down. If you don't have a desktop fan or any type of smaller fan you can get in a good area that would help circulate the heat around your system. Metacafe, youtube, or google search. 'USB Fan". You will find a few differant guides. Some will be building a USB fan with a CD and other parts. Is not what you want to look at. Look at the ones using an old computer fan and usb cable.Simply put you should have 3 wires on your Fan. Black, Red, White. You will have a bunch of wires from the USB cable. Connect the red to red, black to black. All of the other wires can be cut and disgarded. Tape it up. Connect it to a USB port in your console or Computer. and Viola!. A homemade USB fan which you can sit on any side of your console you wish and will help move a little air inside your system. Also try not leaving your system on for long periods if its not in use. There are options on the dashboard that will help you incase you forget to leave your system on. Or you're wanting to finish downloading something and you don't want to turn your system off. Look into these options. They allow you to turn off your console, and your console will continue downloading your items at an idle temperature and turn the system off once transfer is completed. There is also an option for auto-off which will shut your console down after 6 hours of inactivity.
If you're expericing freezing problems that seem to get worse, and you're system is out of warranty, voided warranty or you just don't want to wait those mind wrenching 2 weeks for Microsoft to repair or send you a refurbished console. Then there are things you can do. Consider looking into the X-Clamp fix. Which I have written a guide on. If you're not able to get all the hardware. Consider just cleaning your heatsinks and processor die's and reapplying new Arctic Silver #5. Or another compound with a high silver content. This actually helps a lot. I've personally added a fan to the GPU which solved a freezing problem that was very close to RROD. Adding the GPU fan required extensive modding, As much as relocating the DVD drive and cutting a lot out of the casing. Adding another fan to your case is also a good idea, The best placement is the small area thats open infront of the CPU. Inside mounting a fan under 80MM Would be easily accomplished with a little modification to your casing. Newer system configurations such as the "Falcon" and soon to come "Jasper". Have implemented another sink from the GPU which rests over the area of which inside mounting the fan with the sink implace would be a bit tough. Unless its a ultra thin. Consolesource.com offers replacement fans the 'Tailsmoon' fan replacement (replaces the 2 stock fans in the back) is said to move up to as much as %70 more over the stock configuration. There are many many more ways you can go about helping to cool your system. Its a matter of a little know how, some research and your budget. If you're not experienced working with delicate components. I'd suggest sticking to the more simple methods. USB Fan, Making sure your system has adaquite room for ventalition, Adding an intercooler. Going further than that you always take a risk of damaging something. Even being careful you can unoticably alter your system into a state of no return.
If you're going to mod your system and its your first time. Please take the time and do some research. A few hours online will help you better understand what you're doing. You will most likely find guides for anything you have your mind set to doing. Make sure to have the proper tools at hand, If you're not able to get the tools or the suggested hardwares, or unable to locate a suitable replacement. Hold off on your project until you have everything it requires. Also understand when you perform such things. Back track your steps to insure you've made no mistakes. Make sure everything is secure, clean. and would pass not only your inspection. But the inspections of another. Being quick and 'rigging' your system can cause you more trouble than you're asking for. So. Research, Research, and oh, RESEARCH!. Have patience Rome wasn't built in a day. Gather the proper tools, hardwares. Print out your guide. Or make your own. With a mix over others. And print it out, be prepared to spend a few hours. Follow your instructions closely and Good Luck.
This guide was made in attempt to help others in better understanding the possible ways of helping to cool your system. I am in no way telling you how and what to do with your system. In the invent my guide has mislead you, or you have mistaken or misunderstood the information I have given you. I refuse fault to any damages, or losses you may incure. This guide was written with information from personal study, trial and error projecting. Other information I've mentioned have been gathered from reviews. Or Videos of other users opinions. Which I have found to be accurate. I am sharing this information as advice from my findings and personal experience.
Thanks to all who have read. I hope this information provides useful to someone having problems. Or helping to prevent problems.
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