Tip & How-To about Video Game Consoles & Games
If you Google “Xbox 360 RROD” you will find countless web sites about the “X-clamp fix”.
Every web sites you find will say “MS screwed up only have the x-clamps hold the heatsinks on”
But if you have disassembled your Xbox 360, then you should think about that! All the X-clamps do is hold the heatsinks to the circuit board so that it’s easier to put the screws in!
The black screws hold the heatsinks in place, and when those are in there is no “wiggle” of the system.
The only reason some people report success with the X-clamp fix is that they “bake” the GPU. This is really what is fixing the system, NOT the bolt replacement.
The “baking” involves having the fan run on top of the CPU so the system doesn’t overheat, but the GPU gets very hot and this “reflows” the solder.
Reflowing is THE ONLY THING that will fix this problem.
There are several methods of reflowing. Here they are:
1. The “towel trick” – Wrap your system in a towel so it gets hot and reflows. This is dangerous because you have no control over what components get hot!
2. The “fan trick” - Stick something in the left fan so that it does not spin. This causes the GPU to overheat and reflow itself, while keeping the rest of the system cooler. This is still not ideal but much better than the towel trick!
3. Heatgun reflow – With the system disassembled, Wave a heatgun over the GPU for 40-60 seconds. This method is better because it offers localized heat only.
4. Hot air/Infrared Reflow – This involves using a rework station to reflow the solder. Ideally, flux is used to make the solder “stick” better.
All of these methods can potentially fix the RROD, but none will PREVENT it from happening again!
There are several ways you can improve the cooling of your system to prevent the RROD from ever happening again!
1. Buy an external fan. Stay away from the ones that use the Xbox 360 power connector. A USB or self powered fan are best.
2. Run the system without it’s case – Not pretty, but it works!
3. Cut the metal mesh out from behind the fans. The air being forced through those holes can really limit the air flow.
4. Replace the fan with a better one. A Talismoon whisper quiet fan moves 48 CFM (cubic feet per minute) while the stock fan only moves 29 CFM
5. Add an internal fan – Requires some soldering skills – The most common place to add a fan is on the GPU header. This is the heatpipe that extends from the GPU heatsink in front of the CPU (not all models have this heat pipe). Attach an INTAKE fan here. To be really effective you need to either cut a hole into your case or drills lots of small holes. If you do a good job, it looks great! Also requires soldering the 12v and ground wires to an appropriate spot – Google can help you find one!
So to summarize:
Replacing the X-clamps does NOTHING except cause you headaches.
Reflowing the GPU in 90% of cases is what’s needed.
Preventative maintenance of some sort is required to keep your system running. In other words, better cooling.
Posted by mactechj on
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