Nyko Intercooler 360 Review
It is no secret that the Xbox 360 is a hot product. Not only does everyone seem to want one, but the actual console itself can become produce a lot of heat. With so much technology and working parts crammed into such a small package, you'll feel the hot air bellowing out the backend of this thing. While the Xbox 360 console can become very hot, it is important to realize that it does not have an overheating problem. Sure, there were a few bad apples in the bunch that were overheating and causing problems, but most of them just get hot as high end computers do. Heat has always been an issue with electronics and just about everything has been tried to keep things cool.
For the Xbox 360, we have seen people doing some crazy things such as building air ducts on the back and sides to control the air flow. Somebody even managed to cool their 360 using a watercooling system. These kinds of modifications require extreme care and are usually time consuming to perform (and will most probably void your warranty). However, Nyko has a simple snap-on solution that claims to increase air flow and cool down the 360...but does it really work?
The Nyko Intercooler 360 is an interesting little device that snaps onto the back end of your Xbox 360. The Intercooler 360 contains three little fans that help pump the hot air out of the console. However, the Xbox 360 already has two bigger fans (located internally) in this same area that does the same exact job. The Intercooler 360 just helps these already existing fans and increases the airflow in the back of the console.
The Intercooler definitely does help cool the console, but how much and how efficiently depends on a few factors. A huge factor of how hot an Xbox 360 can get is it's location and environment. If you have the thing closed up in a cabinet somewhere, then the hot air has nowhere to go. This will cause the temperature of the console to raise a huge amount and can actually cause overheating problems if you are not careful and run it for an extended period of time. Using the Intercooler in this type of environment probably wouldn't work at all, because the hot air has nowhere to go. On the other hand, if your console is in a somewhat crowded, but open, environment the cooler can help to decrease the internal temperate. If your Xbox 360 is already in a very well ventilated and cool area, you shouldn't have heat problems and there would be no reason to purchase this product.
The design of the Nyko Intercooler 360 is very well done and looks neat. It flows very well with the Xbox 360's design because it is the same color and has the same honey comb-type holes on the back end for air to flow out of. The device covers up the power outlet on the 360 and offers a new one on the Intercooler. The Intercooler taps into this power source, so you won't have to plug this cooler into a separate power source. Also, below the power plug is a switch that allows you to turn the fans on or off. If it is switched on, the fans will automatically turn on when the Xbox 360 turns on, and it will turn off when the 360 turns off (that "same power source" thing at play here). If the switch is off, it will stay off all the time. Because you are adding three additional fans into the mix, this is going to slightly increase the noise level of the entire console. Although you will probably get used to the additional sound, the Xbox 360 is already somewhat noisy anyway. You'll be adding to the buzz. The Nyko Intercooler 360 has an overall excellent design; however, looking cool and being cool are two very different things!
If you have a serious overheating problem and your console is in a well-ventilated area, you need to contact Microsoft to fix this issue because this product definitely won't solve a serious heating issue. The Nyko Intercooler 360 is designed to slightly increase the air flow and it does exactly that. There are a few factors that determine how well the Intercooler will work, but generally it works as it should. If your room is normally hot and turning on your Xbox 360 makes your room even hotter, this product will definitely help out. If you don't already have a small problem with heat because the room your 360 is in is well ventilated, then there is really no reason to pick one of these things up.
For just $15-$20 this will make for a good investment to keep your 360 cool. Like all electronics, if your Xbox 360 is very hot all the time it is going to reduce the life of it. Eventually something will fail and long-term heat problems speeds up this process. Overall, the Nyko Intercooler 360 is a great and cheap investment if your Xbox 360 seems too hot. However, by moving your 360 into a better ventilated area you can usually obtain the same results. If this isn't a practical solution then the Nyko Intercooler 360 will probably work out just as well.
Below you'll find Nyko's benchmarked numbers for their cooling effort. Keep in mind that these are subjective numbers and may or may not provide the same results everywhere.
Final Rating: 8 out of 10.