New XBox 360 Adds Long-Overdue Thermal Monitoring

Microsoft's new XBox 360 S adds a variety of spiffy new features, even if it does require regular sacrifices of virgin discs. One of the more subtle (but arguably most important) additions is the addition of a thermal monitor. We don't know yet if the XBox monitors the internal temperature of the CPU or uses a thermistor embededed in the motherboard, but the end result is the same. In the event that the XBox detects an overheat, a red dot pops on in the center of the power button and the system powers down.

It's nice to see Microsoft finally adding this functionality, but it's a mystery why the console wasn't designed with it from Day 1. Microsoft has never confirmed exactly what caused the Red Ring of Death, but it's generally agreed that the system's internal components and/or solder joints were damaged by sustained high temperatures.

On-die thermal monitors weren't exactly new in 2005, Intel had been building them into P4s for years at that point. It's anyone's guess why it took so long for such a basic feature to make its way into a console with such a history of heat-related failures. Those of you who've had bad luck with RRODs on multiple consoles can at least rest easy that it shouldn't happen again. We are, of course, referring to an actual case of heat-death; Microsoft's long-term solution to the term RRoD was to remove the XBox 360's capability to display such an error.

That's what we call proactively solving a problem, Steve. Way to go.
Via:  Engadget
inspector 4 years ago

Ya i read about this some where else, but this thing just pops up and you have to wait for it to cool off before you can use it again, i can see some gamers getting pissed if they were just playing and in a middle of a important part of the game and bam this pops up... I can see its better then RROD but they should find a real cure for it so that it doesn't overheat in the first place :)

Marius Malek 4 years ago

I have always understood Microsoft's decisions for the 360 as being market based. They had been developing the 360 for some time before it's initial release. And they definitely wanted to make sure to secure their dominance in the console market after their previous success with the original xbox.

In order to do this, however, they essentially had to prematurely release their 360 so it could compete with the PS3. This, as history reflects, led to a plethora of issues with the 360's. Basically it was Microsoft jumping the gun on their product that ended up shooting them in the foot. Now, years later, it looks like they finally have the model that they intentionally wanted.

This new 360 is clearly an innovation from the 2 previous generations, let's just hope that it's been fined tuned to hold that title as well.

mentaldisorder 4 years ago

The term has already been coined the REOD, aka the Red Eye of Doom. Supposedly this new system still has heat issues. Whether that is true, I don't know, just your usual internet gossip.

Joel H 4 years ago


In all honesty, it probably *won't* overheat. When the XBox 360 debuted, its CPU/GPU were both built using 90nm process technology if memory serves. The original PSU was ~200W.

In the last revision both CPU and GPU were built using 65nm tech and used a 150W PSU. The new XBox 360 Slim uses a 125W PSU (I think) and both CPU and GPU are built on 45nm process technology.

Since there's a direct relationship between power consumption and heat generation *and* since shrinking process technology almost always reduces power consumption, Microsoft has ironically added a thermal monitor to the XBox 360 version that needs it less than the others did.

slugbug 4 years ago

From tests I've seen the new console gives off almost the same amount of heat as the old one. Maybe they should have integrated a better cooling solution. It remains to be seen if the new console will experience the same problems as it's predecessor or not.

Joel H 4 years ago


Got any links? "Gives off as much heat" is a very dubious phrase. Microsoft obviously redesigned the entire platform, which makes exhaust temperature comparisons or surface temp comparisons even more inaccurate than they'd otherwise be.

lifeskills 4 years ago

I would have loved to see the 360 move up to DX11 on this version

AKwyn 4 years ago

[quote user="lifeskills"]

I would have loved to see the 360 move up to DX11 on this version


Hi, thanks for the bump. The 360 itself cannot move up to DX11, I do not see what benefits this is going to gain you as the GPU in the Xbox 360 is a DX10 chip at best.

Post a Comment
or Register to comment