Strange seeing this technical stuff in a national newspaper today
Whoops, there is a problem with the console failing in significant numbers after all, said a reluctant Microsoft this week. So what is the cause? Charles Arthur investigates
Thursday July 12, 2007
So what are the causes? Owners and analysts have made their own investigations. The most obvious suggestion is that parts overheat; the Xbox360 draws 160 watts, which has to be dissipated via two large heatsinks and two fans. One suggestion is that when the machine gets hot, the motherboard warps and pushes the graphics processing unit (GPU) off its board. Another is that some of the soldering is imperfect and so cracks at high temperature. A Microsoft support document also suggests, improbably, that surge protectors and extension strips contribute to the problem by preventing the current surge needed for the fans to turn on; this seems unlikely, since that surge would be too small to trip them.
In desperation, some owners have turned to home-grown cures - including wrapping a towel around the machine, blocking the fan vents. This may - depending who you believe - either cause the solder to reflow or the GPU to reseat. (Microsoft has not commented.) The fixes sometimes work, at least temporarily.
We can deduce some of the reasons from the fact that Microsoft is declaring that the problems are sorted out - just as it is moving from 90-nanometre to65nm chips, which should reduce its power consumption significantly, and using a two-part heat sink in the new designs.
-- Diverse Devices, Southampton, England electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on