Rough Draft Video Games have become a large part of popular ...

ruralrompSoftware and s/w Development

Dec 2, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

52 views



RJ Langlois



B Block


Rough Draft

Video Games have become a large part of popular culture in the United States and
all around the world
.

Video games have become increasingly powerful and interactive,
stemming from 8
-
bit, joystick based games like pong to fully interactive mov
ement based
games like Wii Sports
.

This advancement in the gameing software has be made possible
by consoles completely devoted to playing Video Games
.

There are three consoles that
stand above the rest, the Wii, the Playstation 3, and the Xbox 360
.



T
he Xbox 360 was built on the purpose of making everything from the original
Xbox better faster and more efficient
.

This caused Microsoft to address many of the
Xbox’s major problems as they went to build the Xbox 360
.

They designed a new
processor to mak
e it run faster and more efficiently, a new graphics card to better show
the details of the game; it came with wireless controllers and a revamped version of Xbox
Live
.

This all had to be put into a new, more space efficient box
.



The fact that the Xbox
360 is smaller poses a problem in itself
.

To make the
Xbox smaller, Microsoft had to take something out, and that means making parts smaller
or cutting back on the productivity of some parts
.

The first thing they did was take the
power converter box out
of the system and leave it out in the open as part of the power
cord
.

This freed up some valuable space
.

Even with the power brick on the outside of
the box, the hardware still produces a lot of heat, and this heat needs to be controlled
.

However becaus
e of the size constraints the cooling system is not as powerful as it could
be, and this produces problems
.



Another mistake made by Microsoft was their rushing the Xbox 360 out of testing
into the market
.

Since the Xbox 360 could not be fully tested, t
he thermal paste and
other integral parts of the cooling system were left insufficient
.



Video Game console and program creation is a multi
-
million dollar business
.

The
three Giant companies for Video Game consoles at this time are Sony, makers of the
Pl
ayStation 3; Nintendo, makers of the Wii; and Microsoft, makers of the Xbox 360
.

The
most popular of these three is the Xbox 360 because of its great game selection and the
amazing online play provided by Xbox Live
.

This is not to say that the Xbox 360 is
without problems
.

Thousands of Xbox 360 consoles have been sent back to be fixed
because of the infamous “Red Ring of Death” error
.

This is caused by the inside
components of the Xbox 360 overheating
.

Microsoft should have outfitted the Xbox 360
with a clo
sed loop liquid cooling system to prevent overheating and save them the cost of
fixing all the broken Xbox’s
.


The problems with the Xbox 360’s cooling system have led to a failure that has
become so common that among gamers it is call the Red Ring of Deat
h
.

“Since the
product’s introduction in November, 2005, a significant quantity of Microsoft’s Xbox
360 game consoles have experienced a field malfunction that is indicated by three
flashing red LED’s on the front of the console” (Repair Solution for Xbox
360 “Red Ring
of Death” Hardware Failure)
.

This failure happened so often with first generation Xbox
360’s that they extended the warranty of Xbox 360’s to three years, and they spent an
estimated $1 billion on repairs (Gohring)
.

Not only are they exte
nding the warranty of
the 360, but they are also replacing the heatsinks, the mechanisms that gather and conduct
heat to be expelled, in newly repaired systems (Gohring)
.

The amount of money spent on
repairs of the Xbox could have been spent on replacing
the current cooling system of the
Xbox 360 with one that is much more efficient in heat diffusion
.



The Xbox 360 team was faced with a problem, how to keep all their powerful
hardware cool, while keeping it in a compact and stylish case
.

This seems to b
e
impossible
.

To properly cool the Xbox 360, it must be a little bit bigger
.

There are
many cooling solutions out on the market, created by third party developers, such as
Nyko
.

All of these coolers, like the Nyko Intercooler 360, are attachments that s
nap on
to the outside of the Xbox 360
.

These work fairly well, but mainly just provide more fan
power to more easily dispose of hot air
.



To solve this problem of cooling the Xbox 360, you have to go back to the root
and most important part of any video

game system, the CPU
.

The Xbox 360, like all
video game systems, is just a high
-
powered computer; similar to a home PC
.

The
difference is that the CPU, or central processing unit, is made to only deal with video
game related commands
.

It is essentially

a high
-
powered PC devoted wholly to gaming
(Valdes)
.

This information points to the solution many take to cool high
-
powered PC’s,
and that is Closed Loop Liquid Cooling (Kang)
.


A Closed Loop Liquid Cooling system uses liquid that passes through tubes to
dispose of heat, not air blown through fans
.

First heat is generated in the CPU and the
GPU (graphics processing unit)
.

The heat is transferred from the hard ware to cold
plates
.

“A cold plate is the component within the liquid cooling system that phys
ically
contacts the electronic module and enables the transfer of heat from the electronic
module to the liquid coolant” (Kang)
.

The liquid coolant then flows to the heat sink to
get rid of the heat
.



Heat sinks are very common in everyday life
.

Most pe
ople however call them
radiators, like in a car
.

A heat sink is a structure made of heat conducting metal, such as
copper, that takes the heat from the water and dispenses it into the air (Kang)
.

The heat
sink is usually finned or grated to increase the
surface area, thus increasing the amount of
heat the heat sink can absorb
.

After the heat is in the heat sink it is blown out by a fan
situated on or near the exit of the heat sink
.

The coolant flows back to the pump, and
then sent back to the GPU or CPU

to pick up more heat (Kang)
.



The closed loops are more effiencent than air cooling systems for many reasons
.

First, air cooling systems are very reliant on positioning
.

If you place the system in a
position or too close to another system, the console
will not cool efficiently (Hartfelder)
.

Air cooling is reliant on fans
.

Fans can be very noisy, so air cooling systems must have
enough fan power to cool properly, but not too much because gamers want to hear the
games, not the sound of fans
.

This cause
s many systems to have an insufficient amount
of fans and not be cool enough (Davis)
.

A closed loop does not have this problem
because all of the heat is in the loops
.

The heat is quickly moved through the inside and
the system only needs one fan to expe
l the heat from the system
.

This method is much
less reliant on fans and placement
.



A closed loop system for every Xbox 360 would be costly
.

They would have to
buy new heat sinks, tubing, coolant, and pumps for every Xbox 360
.

They would also
need mu
ch more testing to find the best use of each tool, and how to most efficiently cool
the Xbox 360
.

They would have to find the right ratio of water to other chemicals to
avoid corrosion, algae, and freezing in the tubes (Kang)
.

These costs however would b
e
comparable to the $1 billion Microsoft spent on fixing the broken Xbox 360’s
.

This cost
will increase because Microsoft made their warranties longer
.

The closed loop system
would not only create less problems, but it would also reduce the amount spent
on fixing
the broken Xbox 360’s
.



The Xbox 360 is a high
-
powered gaming machine
.

This console gives off lots of
heat and the cooling system built in is not able to effectively expel all that heat
.

The best
way to expel all this heat is to make the Xbox

360 a little bit bigger and install a closed
loop liquid cooling system
.

This system of liquid cooling will transfer heat from the
source to the outside air without the use of noisy fans
.

This will improve the overall
because the fans will not be making

noise, and the system will not suffer the infamous
“Red Ring of Death” error
.

A closed loop system would be costly but would be offset by
the limited number of Xbox 360’s that need to be repaired
.

Microsoft should have
outfitted the Xbox 360 with this s
ystem in the beginning, in order to make their
customers more happy, and in the long run, make more money
.