The unorthodox form factor of the Xbox Series X isn’t going to earn the console any beauty awards, but its roomy dimensions – 15.1 cm x 15.1 cm x 30.1 cm, to be exact – have given Microsoft’s engineers some serious leeway in maximizing the system’s cooling efficiency. According to director of mechanical engineering for Xbox hardware Jim Wahl, airflow is dramatically improved compared to previous systems.
“You have exhaust out the top and we have large venting holes, but the the net effect of putting all of this together, having parallel paths, having this really powerful quiet fan at the top, is that we get 70 percent more airflow through this console than the past generation and we get 20 percent more airflow through our heatsink alone than in the past generation,” revealed Wahl in an interview with Eurogamer.
This is especially impressive because the Xbox Series X is packed to the gills. As Eurogamer points out, there’s “very little free space within it once the component parts are placed within. It’s a complete antithesis to the concept of airflow as we know it within, say, a PC case.”
We can only hope that the PlayStation 5 measures up in this department because Sony did a terrible job with the PS4 and PS4 Pro in terms of cooling. Not every system seems to be affected, but numerous owners have complained of insanely loud fans that are reminiscent of jet engines. Surprisingly, no class action lawsuit was ever filed about what seems to be an obvious, recurring problem.