Freaky Saying of the Day ! ! !


When you go in for a job interview, I think a good question to ask is if they ever press charges.




ClearView Technologies

Overclockers Hideout

So-Trick Computers















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Most of you will remember back in the days when the only site crazy or stupid enough to cut a hole in their case and add a fan to it and calling it a "Blow Hole" was [H]ardOCP. Since then, we have overclocked just about everything there is to overclock, and in our quest for speed there hasn't been a piece of hardware out there that we haven't burned up along the way. This has only emphasized the importance of cooling to us, which in turn has spawned some pretty ingenious methods of cooling around here over the last few years.

Having said that, we have been water-cooling our systems long before it ever became "cool", and certainly before there were sites dedicated to water-cooling or even retail businesses to specifically support it. I have used and tested every water-cooling component "known to man", from homemade waterblocks all the way to retail water-cooling kits and systems. Matter o' fact, three of the five systems I run are currently water-cooled machines.

Water-cooling, when done correctly, is far superior to any air cooled system. This is especially true in small, cramped spaces where fans do barely more than circulate the hot, trapped air. The inside of an Xbox is certainly cramped, and being the damn thing is made up of PC components, it gets pretty hot inside.

I decided to take my water-cooling hobby (yes, water-cooling can be a hobby) and apply it to an Xbox. . .if it was possible.

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Here's the unsuspecting victim, the Xbox gaming console. Obviously, since the space inside the Xbox is already at a minimum, the water-cooling system will NOT be able to be installed on the inside of the unit. The challenge will be to construct an effective, external water-cooling system that also doesn't look like complete ass.

I have a few goals with this project:

1. Better overall cooling for the Xbox.

2. Making a unit that can be replicated with fairly common components, without spending a fortune.

3. Clean, professional installation. No ghetto installation, no use of epoxy to attach a crappy homemade waterblock, and no zip ties or wire and bubblegum tricks.

4. Leaving the Xbox without any permanent alterations so that it may be easily returned to original condition.

There are a few things you will need for this project. Not all items have to be the same, but it helps since this is a proven system. Obviously, there is a lot of room for experimentation. This is simply a guideline of some the components I used for this project. I will not list every component used, since this isn't a step-by-step "how-to" article, but the important items are listed.

A. Black plastic file cabinet, preferably something that comes as close to the same color/texture/style as the Xbox console. These are easy to find and very inexpensive (under $10 US).

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B. The waterblock used for this mod was chosen because it worked perfectly with the existing heatsink hold-down device already installed on the Xbox. The unit was also chosen because of its great cooling ability and low profile ($24.99 US).

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C. The reservoir and water pump selected for this project was a dual pump setup used in Koolance systems, although any reservoir and pump can be used. Some people prefer external pumps used in conjunction with a separate reservoir, as opposed to reservoirs that incorporate submersible pumps.

D. Radiator, again, is a matter of choice. I happened to have a handful of different units available for this project.

E. AC/DC Adapter (110v AC to 12v DC). These can be found anywhere for less than $5.00.

F. Hose, clamps and couplings can all be found at your local hardware store. 3/8" OD (outside diameter) is the largest size hose that can be used without modifying the Xbox case.

This article is NOT a "How-To". Most of the steps you will see here are basically an account of what we did. If you feel like we didn't cover a certain area thoroughly enough, chances are we intended it that way. Common sense must be applied to this project, and we certainly don't recommend anyone tear apart their $300.00 gaming console if they are not fully aware of the consequences. I will go into a little more detail about this at the end of the article.

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First, you have to open your Xbox "without voiding your warranty" like we did the last time we cracked an Xbox open to show you guys the insides. The easiest way to do this is by using a blow dryer to heat the labels that are covering the screw holes and gently peel them back.

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The heat allows the labels to be removed without tearing, or losing the adhesiveness of the label itself, so that it can be easily reapplied. It is best to just peel the label back as far as needed to get the screw out, without removing the whole label. Also, use heat when removing the feet of the console to ensure the adhesive comes up with the feet.

Note that the screws on the XBOX are almost all of the "Torx" kind, so you will need a Torx head size down to T6 to fully disassemble the XBOX.

Now that we have figured out how to open the Xbox without breaking the labels, let's turn our attention to designing and building our water-cooling system. We'll come back to the inside of the Xbox later.

(Please note that opening your XBOX does in fact void the warranty, and the techniques noted above do not in any way keep you from voiding it.)




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