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Analysis [Gamers Nexus] Xbox Series X Thermals, Power, & Noise Testing: Cooler Design Analysis & Break-Down

Jan 11, 2019
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Zeus’ butthole

The Xbox Series X thermal testing looks at memory, SOC (CPU / GPU), and VRM temperatures. We're also benchmarking power and noise levels for the Xbox, including a partial tear-down./quote]
This benchmark of the Xbox Series X includes a partial tear-down to help show the construction of the cooler. We also referenced a clip from TronicsFix (linked below) to talk about the vapor chamber design and how vapor chambers are constructed. The vapor chamber's pillars are obvious in the tear-down footage, so we show some factory floor footage to show how vapor chambers (like those found in the Xbox Series X) are made.

We left our heatsink attached to the PCB, as we didn't want to disturb the thermal paste; however, since most of what we're measuring is flip-chip BGA packaging, the silicon is actually closer to the reverse side of the PCB than to the top of the case for MOSFET and memory modules. This is useful and convenient for measuring thermals with minimal disturbance to the cooler assembly. Disassembly is fairly easy and the Xbox mostly resembles a small form factor PC (e.g. mini-ITX / SFF box), except packed into an extremely dense, small assembly of parts. That makes for interesting thermal testing and analysis.

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 - Xbox Series X Thermal Testing
01:23 - Testing Methodology Recap
02:42 - Not 100% Comparable to PlayStation 5 Thermals
07:04 - Xbox Series X SOC Thermal Benchmarks at Steady State
09:24 - Memory Thermals
10:32 - MOSFET (VRM) Thermals
11:03 - Proving Our Work
11:23 - Power vs. Thermal Measurements
12:50 - Power Saving Recommendations
13:21 - Looking Inside the Chassis (Partial Tear-Down)
19:38 - Xbox Series X Power Consumption Benchmarks
20:45 - Noise Testing of Xbox Series X
22:05 - Conclusion of Xbox Series X Thermals


I normally post screen grabs and a summary, but last time some dude flamed for it so I won't "pollute the forum" any further. GN does great work, enjoy the vid!

It's Monday, motherfuckers! Shit.

Pretty cool, right?

James Franco Flirt GIF
 
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sncvsrtoip

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is his termal testing as reliable as performance one (ps5/xsx on rtx 1060/1070 level) ? :d
 
Jan 11, 2019
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I am only halfway thru the vid, however I thought I was share my mostly pointless anecdotes:

I don't own a Series X, but my roommate does, and I play it on it pretty frequently

I do own a PS5, and I love it. I play it for at least a couple hours every day.

I don't think I have ever heard either console, other than when I put a disc into either one. Outside of the disc drive they both seem silent as can be. I do game with headphones, so perhaps that's a factor, but even with headphones off I don't recall ever hearing either system "ramp up."

After a 6 hour Godfall sesh last night (I know, I know, I am a sucker for shitty looters, someone help me) I felt around my PS5 and, yes, the vents were a little warm, but nothing out of the ordinary from anything I feel from the exhaust on my PC, or the roomies Series X, etc.

So really, we all won in these regards. These consoles are quiet and efficiently cooled. Anyway, IMO. Back to the vid...

Fuck him. Post the summaries. Let the sensitive soys crawl back to reset.

Sad The Office GIF
 
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Mar 27, 2020
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I don't think I have ever heard either console, other than when I put a disc into either one. Outside of the disc drive they both seem silent as can be. I do game with headphones, so perhaps that's a factor, but even with headphones off I don't recall ever hearing either system "ramp up."

The disk drive is definitely noisy as heck from the videos that I've seen. Then there's the coil whine issue with the PS5 but it's not an issue with all systems. And the ones who do get it might not even notice it.

I think overall neither system can be considered noisy. I'll definitely post my experience here when I get one.

As for the XSX I haven't really seen any complaints about it's noise besides a few isolated issues.
 

octiny

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Jan 11, 2018
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I'm 10 minutes in and he literally says they are not 100 comparable to the PS5 results and that people should not draw comparisons because of the testing methodology. That section starts at 2:42.

But people are going to do what they must I guess.

And yet, his conclusion in the end is the Series X is "noticeably" quieter @ 21:50 @ it's highest load.

But people are going to do what they must, I guess.

None of this is surprising really, there's a reason the why PS5 is built the way it is (clock speeds). Both are quiet systems, Series X is just quieter & cooler from what tests do exist.
 
Jan 11, 2019
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The disk drive is definitely noisy as heck from the videos that I've seen. Then there's the coil whine issue with the PS5 but it's not an issue with all systems. And the ones who do get it might not even notice it.

I think overall neither system can be considered noisy. I'll definitely post my experience here when I get one.

As for the XSX I haven't really seen any complaints about it's noise besides a few isolated issues.

Honestly, if I didn't have so many PS4 games on disc, I would have gone for the DE version. I mean, the drive really only rattles when I first put the disc in, so I can't really complain.
 

GHG

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And yet, his conclusion in the end is the Series X is "noticeably" quieter @ 21:50 @ it's highest load.

But people are going to do what they must, I guess.

None of this is surprising really, there's a reason the why PS5 is built the way it is (clock speeds). Both are quiet systems, Series X is just quieter & cooler from what tests do exist.

So he's contradicting himself?

Ok, carry on.

 

sncvsrtoip

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This guy is probably the best YouTube channel for thermal analysis. He convinced me the Corsair case I got was a good choice and after almost a month with it he was dead on with his analysis.
good to know, maybe he should stay in specialization he understand
 

GHG

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You seem to confuse not 100% comparable to 100% not comparable.

In the end none of these tests really matter. Both succeeded. No one's PS5 or Series X has burned down a house, yet.

3:52

"we would strongly advise that you don't draw direct comparisons... ...Although you can get a good idea for how things perform they are not 100% linearly comparable by nature of the testing process"

He then goes and does exactly that later in the video. Despite not showing comparisons on the graph his commentary directly compares numbers.

I know I'm being pedantic here but the impression I got from the first 10 minutes was that these tests are done in isolation to determine whether the respective consoles are doing their job in terms of thermals and noise levels, and by that measure they are.
 

Bryank75

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Yeah, I'll take my silent PS5 over a potential steaming XSX, thanks!

Don't need any analysis for that.
 

Kuranghi

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The only time I notice any noise from my PS5 is when it's in rest mode and I'm leaving the room to go to bed. The rest of the time my humming PC is drowning it out.
 

Bryank75

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yeah.
They say xbox sex is quieter.... but ps5 is dead silent... so xbox vacuums sound ?!
Yeah, I'm not saying Xbox is loud. I'm just saying both PS5's I have are inaudible. A lot of negative info out there which tars the entire production in the eyes of people.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
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Not that one guy though. But someone saw his video first and then made the fake vape one.

It's FUD when someone says it's a common issue. To be fair there's probably barely anyone who had it. That's how rare it is.

No, the one in Poland was legit. There was an investigation afterwards.

Dunno about other ones though.

Okay, understood. I gotta ask, though, in the context this was brought up within this thread, is it really fair? Consoles brick sometimes, especially at launch. PS5's bricked, XsX's bricked, it happens. There are some bad apples in every batch.

So, by saying "I would rather have a quiet PS5 than a steaming XsX," doesn't that kinda lean toward FUD? It's at least implying that the problem is widespread, no?

edit

No disrespect to Bryank75 Bryank75 hes a cool dude, just sayin, that comment seemed a little unfair, but maybe I am wrong
 
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Jun 1, 2016
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Yeah, I'm not saying Xbox is loud. I'm just saying both PS5's I have are inaudible. A lot of negative info out there which tars the entire production in the eyes of people.
If it's moving air it's not inaudible. One can be quieter while both still being quiet. Don't be a shit.
 
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Bryank75

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Okay, understood. I gotta ask, though, in the context this was brought up within this thread, is it really fair? Consoles brick sometimes, especially at launch. PS5's bricked, XsX's bricked, it happens. There are some bad apples in every batch.

So, by saying "I would rather have a quiet PS5 than a steaming XsX," doesn't that kinda lean toward FUD? It's at least implying that the problem is widespread, no?

edit

No disrespect to Bryank75 Bryank75 hes a cool dude, just sayin, that comment seemed a little unfair, but maybe I am wrong
I don't mean to be nasty or anything to the Xbox gamers here.... that gamer nexus guy just pisses me right off.

Don't take me too seriously.
Both consoles are very good. 500 for the performance we are getting is great and these issues are covered under warranty.... so it's all good.
 

rofif

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Yeah, I'm not saying Xbox is loud. I'm just saying both PS5's I have are inaudible. A lot of negative info out there which tars the entire production in the eyes of people.
My ps5 is absolutely inaudible aside from occasional disc drive... and with pulse 3d anyway? perfection
 

M1chl

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3:52

"we would strongly advise that you don't draw direct comparisons... ...Although you can get a good idea for how things perform they are not 100% linearly comparable by nature of the testing process"

He then goes and does exactly that later in the video. Despite not showing comparisons on the graph his commentary directly compares numbers.

I know I'm being pedantic here but the impression I got from the first 10 minutes was that these tests are done in isolation to determine whether the respective consoles are doing their job in terms of thermals and noise levels, and by that measure they are.
I think he did a good job about why it's not comparable, because by design the SoC is definitelly different layout and in the other thread of Annandtech that basically you don't know where the CPU is, where is GPU and that sort of thing.
 
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M1chl

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I mean that's why they went with 1.83 Ghz for the GPU.
I don't know if you weren't in annandtech thread today, but it's mainly due to the fact to get good yields, because every good chip can run at these frequencies, so it does not pushing higher frequencies. Probably best think you can do for such product.
 
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FeldMonster

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I'm 10 minutes in and he literally says they are not 100 comparable to the PS5 results and that people should not draw comparisons because of the testing methodology. That section starts at 2:42.

But people are going to do what they must I guess.

And yet, his conclusion in the end is the Series X is "noticeably" quieter @ 21:50 @ it's highest load.

But people are going to do what they must, I guess.

None of this is surprising really, there's a reason the why PS5 is built the way it is (clock speeds). Both are quiet systems, Series X is just quieter & cooler from what tests do exist.

So he's contradicting himself?

Ok, carry on.


3:52

"we would strongly advise that you don't draw direct comparisons... ...Although you can get a good idea for how things perform they are not 100% linearly comparable by nature of the testing process"

He then goes and does exactly that later in the video. Despite not showing comparisons on the graph his commentary directly compares numbers.

I know I'm being pedantic here but the impression I got from the first 10 minutes was that these tests are done in isolation to determine whether the respective consoles are doing their job in terms of thermals and noise levels, and by that measure they are.
His comments regarding not making direct comparisons is with respect to temperatures. His statement starting at 3:32 clearly mentions SOC thermals. He then goes on for another 3-4 minutes discussing thermocouples.

On the other hand, acoustics at a standard distance away can be compared between machines (as long as it is exterior to the device). What I am not seeing is what that standard distance is or what the testing methodology is.
 
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