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Xbox One can save itself from overheating


Xbox One
Xbox One

Microsoft's forthcoming games console/home entertainment hub, the Xbox One, should be able to save itself from overheating, according to the company.

The Xbox 360 became infamous for its problem dealing with heat. This manifested itself in the infamous Red Ring Of Death syndrome, whereby millions of units were bricked through normal operation.

According to Microsoft, this won't be an issue with the Xbox One. Speaking to Gizmodo, Xbox General Manager of Console Development Leo del Castillo claimed that the console can sense the temperature it's running at and cool itself down accordingly.

One way is through the fan, which won't run at top speed by default. Rather, it has the capacity to spin a lot faster due to heat build-up - perhaps because one of the cooling vents is blocked or the console is in tight area.

Beyond that, the Xbox One actually has the capacity to reduce its power usage. According to del Castillo, "Xbox One can actually dial it back to a lower power state, so low in fact that it can in a mode that uses virtually no air flow."

Obviously this raises the question of performance during games, but obviously this flexible approach would be beneficial during situations that don't require heavy CPU usage, such as during video playback.

As a last resort, del Castillo claims that "if we get to the point where that is no longer enough, we have the mechanism, the interface, to deal with that." What this means is unclear, but we'd speculate that it could incorporate a warning pop-up or even the console being forced into some kind of safe mode.

Whatever the solution is, it seems that the Red Ring Of Death syndrome is a thing of the past. Now all Microsoft has to concern itself with is furiously back-peddling over its numerous contentious Xbox One policies.

Now read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison.


August 14, 2013, 8:08 am

Ultimately this is good, for the safety of the console. Hopefully it is calibrated so that it does not throttle performance during normal operation in normal environmental conditions, like in the often-cramped entertainment center of an average UK home without air conditioning.


August 14, 2013, 12:04 pm

Good news for sure. Microsoft seems to have made cooling and cooling to noise ratio a top priority for the Xbox One. They designed the case larger than the 360's and used an external power brick instead of an internal power supply, so the system has a roomy, air efficient design. They have vents on half the top, both sides, and the back. They have a giant fan over the chipset (large fans running at slow-medium speed have a better cooling to nosie ratio than small fans running at medium-fast speeds). It seems likely to me that the system will run both cool and quiet, and all reports from gaming journalists that attended the Redmond unveiling and saw the console running in a quiet room after the intial reveal suggest that the system is whisper quiet, perfect for it's entertainment focus (because nobody wants to hear a fan while watching tv).

Meanwhile the PS4 is 50% smaller, has an internal power supply, and only has vents on the back and some very tiny vents on the bottom of a lip on the side. I think the PS4 will run either hotter or noisier, depending on exactly where they set fan speed. That seems inevitable to me.

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