The Xbox 360 is a powerful console, no doubt, and because of all of that power it gets hot. Very hot. Electronics dont work too well when they get hot, and as we have seen, the Xbox 360 is no exception. Enter the Nyko Intercooler 360. It is a little set of fans that attaches to the back of your Xbox 360 and sucks out enough hot air to make the system run 5-10 degrees cooler. Cooler operating temperature means better performance and longer life. 360 owners, you need one of these babies.
Installation and Use
Installing the Intercooler is pretty darn simple. You just unplug the power cable from the back of the Xbox 360, snap the Intercooler onto the back of the system with the power pass through going into the 360 power port, and then plug the 360 power cable into the Intercooler. It takes, literally, about thirty seconds to install it and youll be up and gaming in no time. Removal is just as easy the unit simply pulls off and then you can clean it with a damp cloth. And you will need to clean it every once in a while because, as we should all know by now, vents on electronics are dust magnets.
Once you get everything hooked up, you are good to go. There is an on/off switch on the back of the Intercooler, but the whole point of having one is to keep it running all of the time so youll probably turn it on for the first time and then never touch it again. As long as the Intercooler power switch is in the on position, the Intercooler will automatically turn on and off with the Xbox 360 so there really is no hassle in using it.
When you first install the Intercooler, you can immediately tell that it is making a difference. By simply feeling the air coming out of the Xbox 360 before and after you install the Intercooler you can tell there is a noticeable difference. Now, it isnt like the air is freezing cold all of a sudden, the air is still quite warm, but in testing by Nyko as well as several sites around the net, the air is between 5-10 degrees cooler than before. 5-10 degrees doesnt seem like much, but in sensitive electronic equipment it has a pretty big impact.
Why You Need One
It has to be mentioned that the Intercooler isnt going to be a magical cure all. Overheating has been the problem in many cases of broken Xbox 360s, but it isnt the one and only cause. My first system, for example, would freeze in 3-5 minutes no matter what which was obviously not enough time for it to be overheating. The Intercooler cant fix everything, so keep that in mind. What it can do, though, is improve performance by keeping things cool enough that you games wont freeze as much or at all and you will be able to extend your play periods. Long sessions in Oblivion and GRAW, here we come! The Intercooler can also extend the overall life of your system by keeping it cooler so things will last longer. Even if your system doesnt freeze or have any other problems, the Intercooler is still worth picking up simply as a preventative measure so you dont have problems in the future.
The bottom line is that the Intercooler works just as promised, but I do want to share a couple of notes. Mainly, Im not 100% convinced of the build quality of the device. The first Intercooler I was sent didnt work at all and the replacement gives me the 3/4 Ring of Light error (power supply problem) every once in a while. Making sure everything is hooked up tight solves the problem, but itll freak you out when it happens. By browsing a few internet forums I can tell Im not the only one with these issues, but it is by no means a widespread problem. Just something to keep in mind. Nyko has been great about replacing any defective units, so no problems there. It also has to be noted that the Intercooler makes your 360 about twice as loud which can be an issue. You get used to it, but it is still freakishly loud.
Overall, the Nyko Intercooler 360 is a pretty good product that does exactly what it says. It allows your Xbox 360 to run just a little bit cooler which will improve performance and extend the life of the console. It isnt a cure all and it does have some issues, but it is still a great product that is highly recommended. You can pick them up pretty much anywhere for $20.