Glimpses of a water-cooled Xbox 360

By Justin Mann on January 3, 2006, 5:21 PM
One way to keep that Xbox 360 from overheating on you and giving you gametime crash blues is to watercool it. HardOCP has done just that. The idea of watercooling a 360 has been tossed around for a while and some vendors were considering that as a viable option. Of course, opening up the 360 voids its warranty so the idea isn't for everyone. They walk through step by step, with photos, cracking the cover and removing what isn't needed in favor of the new cooler. Using Koolance water blocks (both GPU low profile blocks), they managed to get a whopping 50F decrease in temperature. The external radiator is more beefy than the console itself, and doesn't come cheap, so this isn't for the everyman. But it sure does look cool.

"In the end, we set out to water cool an Xbox 360 simply “because we could” but it turned out to be a fantastic venture, and overall a huge benefit to the Xbox 360 cooling. I am sure we will see commercial water cooling kits pop up for the Xbox 360 sooner or later, but this build-out shown here should get you well on your way should you wish to do it yourself."
The end of the article brings up a good point about other vendors offering water cooling for the 360, and while I don't think a solution that exotic is practical, likely 3rd party cooling solutions are going to be in demand, at least until the overheating issue for the 360 is permanently resolved.

User Comments: 16

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cyrax said:
When a console requires watercooling, it sort to defeats the point that consoles are better than pcs because they are minimum to the devices included. While the fault is completely on microsoft for this snafu, one is left to wonder where this trend will lead to.
nathanskywalker said:
Wow, Xbox is not doing well, first microsoft loses money on just the boxes, now you have to install a water cooling unit? yeah, and a void warrenty if you do? Well if you can do that without breaking it i wouldn't worry to much about the warrenty...personally, after all that money, gosh, just buy a computer!
blue_dragon said:
yea just buy a computer :DI still think its kinda unfair that youll void your warranty if you open up the 360 to fix a problem with your own money that Microsoft is responsible for
xerowingsx5k said:
It would be a good idea if Microsoft sells the 360 with watercooling already installed so we won't have to void the warranty.
DragonMaster said:
Water cooling pre-installed doesn't seem a really good idea. Some people really don't know how to handle these things.
asphix said:
haha, more like a large majority of people who use consoles wouldnt know the first thing about the dangers of water and electronics :)My x360 runs fine. I dont have any over-heating issues. Maybe I'm lucky, as well as my 5 friends I know who also have their x360's. And also the 10 or so others I have on my Live friendlist.The water cooling idea is pretty cool, but I think a lot of the problem is still user error. A lot of people shove these things into their home theater racks with little to no ventilation. Would you shove your computer into a drawer with a couple other devices that generate heat and then leave it open a crack?Maybe one day if the rumors of Microsoft releasing an HD-DVD version of their console are true, i'll buy one of those and use my first-gen for an experiment such as this :D
exscind said:
This is definitely true; many people who have no idea about how hot (some do and still make this mistake) the XBOX360's can get put them on their carpets or on racks meant for TV/DVD recorders and whatnot. I don't have one (because I'm poor), but my friend who does just puts it on the floor with a good 2-inch thick carpet covering the floor. Then he jumps on the bandwagon and complains about his XBOX 360 overheating (then I promptly smack him in the face).In truth, watercooling is a good idea but not feasible for the general public. How many big computer retailer stores (Dell, HP, etc.) have watercooling systems in their line of computers? Much of it is thought in terms of profit, and these big companies know most people don't have a clue on how to properly care for a watercooling system, so it's not profitable to put them in. The same will apply to XBOX 360.
rahuls said:
Why not buy just TV games instead of getting such a lot of paid headache
otmakus said:
I think it's still Microsoft's fault for not telling the customers how to care for their Xbox360s. They should give a proper warning to have it well ventilated. As the guy in the article said, having a watercooling system on an Xbox is not practical and should only be used "because we could".The consumers can't be blamed for placing their Xbox 360s in a home theater rack or on a thick carpet or anywhere. They put all their previous consoles at the same place and they don't have any overheating problems, and I guess the majority of Xbox users don't even know that electronic devices need ventilation. I know a few people who cover their computer case and monitor with plastic sheets at all time to "prolong their lifetime".
Rage_3K_Moiz said:
Yeah LOL. Whats the use of preserving the outer shell when its a wrecked mess inside? It's just a bad move by Microsoft to try and wrestle away the console market from Sony.
zachig said:
WOW. That's an interesting idea to watercool your XBOX.I wonder what will be the next step? Maybe overclocking the consoles??? ;-)
asphix said:
Otmakus, good point. The customer should be able to put it anywhere they want (within reason) and not run into issues. My point was just along the lines that the problem is easily rectified by providing better ventilation. I'm sure the issue will be resolved especially once the chip manufacturing process is shrunk.
otmakus said:
[b]Originally posted by zachig:[/b][quote]WOW. That's an interesting idea to watercool your XBOX.I wonder what will be the next step? Maybe overclocking the consoles??? ;-)[/quote]Maybe covering the console with good heatsink + fan will solve the problem, and don't forget to use a good thermal paste. (And I'm only half joking here)
mentaljedi said:
WHy don't you jsut put the xbox in the freezer? I'm sure the gamers in Canada aren't having much of a problem...
nimo333 said:
I don't like that water cooling device, it's too big. I would replace it with a small refrigerator which can be much cooler and much smaller in size if you know how to build one.
John Smith said:
My friend had an overheating problem, and when I asked where he had placed it, sure enough it was sandwiched between two cabinets resting on carpet. I mentioned about proper air flow, and after he moved it things are much improved.
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