Xbox 360 Cooling Comparo @ [H] Console

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Xbox 360 Cooling Comparo @ [H] Console - Heat is one of the biggest enemies of electronic components there is. By reducing the overall heat output of your Xbox 360 you can extend the life of your console and insure stable operation while gaming. Let's look at two products designed to cool your red hot console.


For less than $20, either of these products will provide great cooling and a little of peace of mind for Xbox 360 owners worried about overheating issues. In the end it came down to personal preference. The Pelican Fan Stand will appeal to every gamer that the Nyko Intercooler doesn’t and vice versa.
 

Chris_Morley

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Awesome article! Just the kind of "peripheral" stuff I like to know about - and I would have never thought the Pelican would have performed so well...I know that kind of testing is time consuming, but I really appreciate the work!
 
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It seems that both of them are pretty equal though I would have figured the intercooler was going to work much better. Both seem like good products, but for me they feel a little unnecissary unless you have special circumstances that require extra cooling. I would hope that microsoft knew enough about cooling to make sure the xbox360 would live a nice long and happy life in standard condition. I don't know if trusting microsoft will ever be a good idea though. :)
 

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Chris_Morley said:
Awesome article! Just the kind of "peripheral" stuff I like to know about - and I would have never thought the Pelican would have performed so well...I know that kind of testing is time consuming, but I really appreciate the work!

Being able to leave the Pelican on AFTER you power down your hot 360 is really kind of a nice feature. It's like being able to leave your CPU fan on for a few extra minutes after powering down your uber-hot PC. It's not just sitting there cooking itself after a power down.

Coming up with an accurate testing method was the hardest part. I have seen a handful of reviews of these products with absolutely no data to back up anything in the review. An old Vantec and 225W PSU makes for a great, self contained, temperature testing station.
 
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I purchased the Nyko Intercooler about a month ago because my 360 currently sits in an enclosed entertainment center, and I wanted to up the airflow. I know that adding ventilation to the center would help as well, but I like having it behind a closed door where it's quiet.

However, yesterday when I turned it on it made a horrible noise - being a long time PC junkie, I immediately recoginized the sound of a fan dying. And sure enough, the middle fan in the Intercooler had problems spinning.

I'm going to email Nyko and see what can be done about this - but I'm mostly curious to know if anyone else has this issue.
 
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I actually have both running at the same time. It is quite nice, the cool air comes in from the Pelican, and the hot air is blown out faster with the Nyko. Makes for one cool air flow in and out.

I have not used a thermometer to see what the actual temp is, but from just putting my hand down and feeling the air come out it is a considerable difference between them and nothing.
 

swatbat

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Not bad. I want to see the reviews of the replacement internal fans and that new koolance kit though. Figure it should be interesting. Anyway nice job as you are the first place I've seen review these 2 right.
 

IceDigger

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Phantum Zero that sounds like a "cool" idea. I'll have to try that once I win the lotter (this 360 is making me go broke quick).

Thanks for that awesome informative review guys!
 

Island

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Phantum Zero said:
I actually have both running at the same time. It is quite nice, the cool air comes in from the Pelican, and the hot air is blown out faster with the Nyko. Makes for one cool air flow in and out.

I have not used a thermometer to see what the actual temp is, but from just putting my hand down and feeling the air come out it is a considerable difference between them and nothing.


I was wondering about that, and if you could use both coolers? So u can actually attach both to the 360 and it will still stand vertical? I think that both would be beneficial and a good 40$ investment as I have had more then a few lock ups in games that I tend to attribute to the "heat factor" of the power brick and the console itself...And if these 2 items can help with the heat then I think that is a plus....Please do verify if the 360 using both coolers can still stand w\o problem and both can attach to the 360 w\o modification...Thanks
 

Zoramac

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I use the nyko (have since they came out) and have never had a problem with it, also when ever im done playing i plug the controller back into the charging cable and the fans continue to run until the controller has a full charge and then shuts off automatically. the pelicans on/off seems to defeat the purpose of having on/off remote capabilities on the controller, might as well go back to the original xbox/ps2 etc where you have to manually turn them on and off everytime.

btw. where are all the nay-sayers who bashed these things when they originally came out?
 

Wired

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I also was interested in the temps when both are run at the same time.

This is [H]ARD|OCP guys. How come no one's drilled the bottom holes open a bit more? See how that helps / hinders it.

My recommendation for a 2nd article:

Test w/ pelican + nyko
Test with just the afforementioned koolance kit

get crazy and test all 3 at the same time, then throw some Fluorinert in for good measure :)
 

maademperor

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wonder if its possible to replace the fans in the nyko? Are they 60mm? 80mm? replacing them with some quiet Panaflo or Coolermaster fans may make a considerable difference in noise and possibly performance...
 

Sgt_Rok

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Nice review. However, I would have really liked to have seen the review include how other accessories are affected by the cooling devices being attached, especially the Microsoft wireless adpater. Since the Pelican stand uses a USB connector, that in effect takes away the rear USB port for the Wireless adapter rendering it useless. Also, I would want to know if by attaching the Nyko to the rear of the 360 if it still allows the wireless adapter to be attached or if it blocks the mounting holes.
 

Axoman

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Great article Steve! I didn't think those coolers would have made that much of a difference.

Any chance of getting some temperature results from under the DVD drive? I just wonder if they would cool that area down much as I know some of the RAM chips are over there.
 

Archaea

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"A total of 5 separate temperature readings for each location were taken with the lowest of the five readings shown below"


Why not the average?
 
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maademperor said:
wonder if its possible to replace the fans in the nyko? Are they 60mm? 80mm? replacing them with some quiet Panaflo or Coolermaster fans may make a considerable difference in noise and possibly performance...

They look to be 60mm to me - possibly 50mm. I don't have a ruler around here and no 60mm fans to compare with. Definitely not 80mm though.
 

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Axoman said:
Any chance of getting some temperature results from under the DVD drive? I just wonder if they would cool that area down much as I know some of the RAM chips are over there.

The GPU temp was taken and that is directly under the DVD drive.



Archaea said:
Why not the average?

I prefer using actual temps versus average temps.
 

maademperor

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NicolasWebb said:
They look to be 60mm to me - possibly 50mm. I don't have a ruler around here and no 60mm fans to compare with. Definitely not 80mm though.

Cool...hmm, if I had a 360, I'd be tempted to make my own with 80s. A spacer of some type to create a gap between the fans and the grill, with some quiet fans would be a decent little solution....maybe cannabalize the power pass through?
 
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maademperor said:
Cool...hmm, if I had a 360, I'd be tempted to make my own with 80s. A spacer of some type to create a gap between the fans and the grill, with some quiet fans would be a decent little solution....maybe cannabalize the power pass through?

Maybe - the unit would definitely be a little bit wider than the 360. I don't think it would be hard to hack up the power plug - cut some wires and plastic. The housing unit is pretty nice though - it has some insulating foam around the fans, and it fits on the case really well. The problem is the fans are f'ing loud, and in my case, one of them is already worn out. I might take your suggestion on getting some quieter 60mm ones though. They'd have to be pretty thin to match the dimensions. When I get home today I'll try to measure them.
 
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The fans are 50mm x 15mm. I think it might actually be this fan:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835104008

Anyway, it is unpleasantly loud IMO, so I might pick up some quieter ones. Anyone have any suggestions? Newegg had one that looked much quieter, but was only 10mm, and I don't think the mounting screws would work too well. I could cut the posts that the fan sits in, but I'd like to just drop the fans in there.
 

Axoman

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Steve said:
The GPU temp was taken and that is directly under the DVD drive.

Granted, that's under the DVD drive, but the GPU has a heat sink and the duct helps pull air across the heat sink. I would like to know if either improve the airflow in that upper corner or not.
 

Archaea

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Steve said:
I prefer using actual temps versus average temps.


Average reading of 5 temperatures would be closer to an actual temp than the lowest reading...how could it be otherwise.


Anyway...at least the review is a HELL of a lot better than xbox live's official magazine "OXM" Both of their reviews of the same units were like, they are loud, and they are supposed to keep it cool, but we have no idea of whether they work or not and there is no way to test them. But they are only 20 bucks so cool.

ahha...I was like --?? Who's making these reviews? How is this magazine actually still around?
 

Domingo

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I bought the Nyko intercooler a few weeks ago (they discounted it when I bought a new monitor) and I think it's actually pretty quiet. I was expecting jet engines, but the first time I turned it on I thought I hadn't plugged it in correctly because it was so quiet.
I've had it for 2 weeks and have had no lock-ups...although the Prey demo's really the only thing I've played.
 

e740Samurai

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I disagree with one part of this review: regarding the stability that the Pelican cooler is supposed to lend, when you place a game into the slots on either side of the unit, the cases provide a static support to the 360, effectively negating the pivot effect (demonstrated in the review based by tipping the unit like a domino while on the stand) and thereby making the width of the total base wider by a couple inches. My xbox has been saved from being tipped over by a couple of accidental knocks.


~G
 

Z00MBINI

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HI, I have just got my Intercooler.

Stripping it down to figure out what's inside (not a lot) I have measured the current taken after reading reports of it causing problems from the PSU.

It takes approx 400mA from the 12v supply.

Quite a lot so if I get any problems it's easy enough to add a socket to it so that it is powered from a separate PSU instead. (and still be switched on/off with the 360).

I wonder what the current consumption of the Pelican is? anyone know?

Either way I expect it to help keep my 360 cool as I can feel a considerable difference in air flow with my uncalibrated airflow measurement device (left hand :D ).
 

Z00MBINI

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And yes you can use 2 at the same time.
The Intercooler extracts air OUT of the 360, the Pelican forces it INTO the 360.

So you should get a better air flow.

I only wanted mine for the casing & the fans as it's cheaper to buy the Intercooler than as seperates :)

Z00MBINI
 

slacker6

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This is BS. It's a console. All components should have been cooled properly via design and production. You shouldn't have to worry about extending the life of a non-overclocked component by adding cooling.
 

Archaea

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yes and no...

True you don't buy a dell desktop PC and put a 4 80mm tornado case fans on it and expect it will last longer.

But in a certain mindset, excessive heat causes damage - whether that damage possiblility is more real than the possible problems associated with the extra draw on the PSU for this add on fans not intended by the MS engineers, is hard to determine.
 

dotK

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slacker6 said:
This is BS. It's a console. All components should have been cooled properly via design and production. You shouldn't have to worry about extending the life of a non-overclocked component by adding cooling.
Many (by far the vast majority) 360s have absolutely no issues with the stock cooling.
 

The_Law

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Mine has worked perfectly since launch without any additional cooling. I do keep it in a well ventilated area though. I definitely see how this might be a good purchase though as the system does get pretty hot.
 

Bad_Boy

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dotK said:
Many (by far the vast majority) 360s have absolutely no issues with the stock cooling.
I think what hes saying is that ALL 360s shouldnt have to use an external third party cooler just to keep it in working order, and that applies with any console not just the 360.
 

Z00MBINI

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And most PC's shouldn't need additional cooling but in reality it certainly does help them if they do.

It matters not a bit if they do or do not need it by design, the next mode/version it may get thought out better (or rushed out as usual - but heck that's sales teams pushing design teams for ya!)

I see that soon here in the UK we will be able to have a cooler similar to the Nyko Intercooler but with bright Green LED's lol
(not that you will see them as it's behind the consol doh!)
 

Bad_Boy

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Z00MBINI said:
And most PC's shouldn't need additional cooling but in reality it certainly does help them if they do.
Well, for custom computers, Its not so much of a big deal because your the one building it, so if the computer overheats, you can probably take some blame for that because in essence, you were the designer.

With retail, average joe computers, I wouldnt find it much fun if I were to buy a Dell that needed an external third party cooling just to keep it in working order. I would blame Dell for the design. So say a PS3 overheats (just making an example, not that it will happen) unless I get external cooling, I would find that pretty unacceptable.

No doubt it does help with the overal temps, but for those rare consoles that would not work well without external cooling, I would find that unacceptable too. Not much different from requiring you to flip a PS1 over just to make it work, I shouldnt have to do that.
 

Kutjara

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At least I think it's a dud. After quite a bit of messing around getting it properly seated in the 360's power socket, and a bit more time getting the power cord to connect correctly to the Intercooler, I fired-up my 360 and the Intercooler came to life. It was a bit noisy, but nothing too troublesome for gaming purposes (DVDs might be another matter, though).

The problem came when I turned my 360 off. The Intercooler didn't shut down. It kept running. And running. And running. It gave every impression that it would run for the rest of time, if I let it. The only way to stop it was to manually shut it down. It would then stay off until the 360 was next powered on, whereupon it would stay on until manuallly stopped again.

I'm guessing whatever software switch is supposed to recognize a turned-off 360 is busted. I''ll exchange the Intercooler tomorrow and see if the replacement is any better.
 

qbert3

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Steve said:
Being able to leave the Pelican on AFTER you power down your hot 360 is really kind of a nice feature. It's like being able to leave your CPU fan on for a few extra minutes after powering down your uber-hot PC. It's not just sitting there cooking itself after a power down.

Coming up with an accurate testing method was the hardest part. I have seen a handful of reviews of these products with absolutely no data to back up anything in the review. An old Vantec and 225W PSU makes for a great, self contained, temperature testing station.

I'm sure it wasnt by design, but I can leave my nyko cooler on after powering down the 360. I do so by leaving the plug and play charger cable in. after taking it out, the cooler also turns off.

anyways.. I had the pelican cooler before the nyko, and it just didnt perform that well. my 360 still froze while playing after 30mins. the nyko cooler solved that problem.

edit - now that I think about it.. i bet the power is still running because the 360 is still charging my controller? that would make sense...
 

Kabob

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Question, would setting a 360 on top of one of these help at all? Wouldn't be particularly secure but it would get air into the 360.
 
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