See if you have the new Xbox 360 heatsink without voiding the precious warranty

Or as I call it “DIY Xbox 360 Endoscopy”.

Now what?

Click below for the rest of the amazingly difficult steps.

Sony fanboy camera
The lens should “focus around” all the small holes. Be sure to use a flash so it lights up the inside.

And that's the way you doooo it!
As you can see my XBox 360 Core, purchased in June with a build date on the faceplate of 11/07 does not have the new heat sink since we can see straight through to the side of the DVD player. Darn. Good thing I kept the receipt.

So now everyone can check their new Elites, Premiums and Cores to see if and when the new heat sinks started showing up in units. You can find a manufacture date behind the not-voiding-to-remove faceplate, which of course is just the date of the faceplate but should give some indication.

What the new extended GPU heat sink (left) will look like in comparision to the standard CPU heat sink.

Share what you find on your Xbox(s) below, and let’s get this nailed down!

Added: The info sticker from the Elite I found a new heat sink in:

158 thoughts on “See if you have the new Xbox 360 heatsink without voiding the precious warranty”

  1. Well sure enough, I can see all around in there!
    I didn’t know it was open in the bottom…
    But ya, I can see a good deal, as well as the fact that I don’t have the new heatsink either…
    That…. Sucks….

    Aw well, at least now I know!

    Thanks for the tip Ben!

  2. Do you have a picture of the inside of an xbox with the new heatsink, for comparison purposes?

  3. My new core that I purchased while my premium is out for repair doesn’t have it, but it’s an old manufacturing date of 10-27-06.

    I’ll have to check my repair when it gets back, rumor has it that some repair units have them now. I hope they are not still doing refurb units, but I fear the worst. 🙁

  4. 360 premium, replacement sent by microsoft after my old one went red ring of death on me. It was built Jan 24th 2007. Does not have the added heatsink. BTW, a bright flashlight and a good eye can do the same as the camera.

  5. Isn’t the manufacturer’s date on the back of the system a good indication of when it was made… not the face plate that could of been sitting around since launch?

  6. Mine seems to have the new heatsink. I got it back from repairs in late April (new machine). At least there’s just a whole lot of metal when I light an LED flashlight into it. I could make out some copper but the rest looked like metal with a few holes here and there.

  7. Well, I can get the light from my Mobile to shine down there and look with my eye…
    It looks like the heatsink I got in my old 360 from 01/01/06, so no new heatsink to me… Can anyone send a pic of how the new heatsink looks like?

  8. Just got my New xbox back replaced with a refurb. Manufactor date 11/03/07. No new heat sink. Damnit!

  9. Would the build date on the back of the console be a better indication than what’s on the faceplate? (I’d go take a camera to my unit but it’s build date was 2005-11-12, it’s old enough that I know it doesn’t have a shiny new heatsink in it :))

  10. Manufacture date is stamped on the back, right by the serial number…
    I’ll check mine via this method as soon as I get home today! I think it was April 06 so I don’t have much hope…

  11. I wouldn’t know what the DVD drive would look like from the inside on that angle. But when I tried this out, that silver cylinder (which I am assuming is a bolt that is holding the DVD drive in place) featured prominently in all of the shots. I bought my system at the beginning of April, so I wasn’t expecting it to have the new heat sink. A great tip nonetheless!

  12. A build date of 11/07? Wow… from the future. Its only August of ’07 in my timeline 😉

    Nice methodology, I’ll have to try this when I get home tonight, I just got my box back after repair #3.

  13. Xbox 360 Premium, manufactured Sept. 6, 2006. It obviously did not have a heat sink. I just thought I would do it for fun since I am waiting for my box to arrive to send it off for repairs. My 360 didn’t actually burn down, it just got error E 74.

  14. So I have a 360 with a purchase date of December 15th, 2005.. But it still hasn’t died and I use it daily for long stretches.

  15. Ah yes, I suppose the manufacture date IS on the back. Sorry I missed that, sometimes I “over think” things.

    Kash76’s picture is a good example of no extended heat sink in relation to the CPU ‘sink. The light metal thing at the bottom and slightly right of center is the standard old GPU aluminum heatsink, under the DVD drive.

    Please keep in mind not having the new heat sink doesn’t mean your Xbox is “going to die for sure”, it just means it doesn’t have the new heat sink. Mostly I want this to enable people to determine when these heat sinks starting going in, and on what units, without voiding their warranties by opening the case.

    Xbox still rules, despite the flaws.

  16. See the thing is — noone remembers how unreliable the consoles of the past were! Doesn’t anyone recall the “blow me” days of nintendo’s?

  17. See the thing is — noone remembers how unreliable the consoles of the past were! Doesn’t anyone recall the “blow me” days of nintendo’s?

  18. My elite was built 3/11/2007 but i cant tell if I have the new heatsink or not and its been too long since i bought it to exchange it anyways…but since i have 3 years im not worried. I always have my old 360 to game on if this one dies

  19. i did it, lol sigh and i do not have a new one. i bought my 360 at launch and then i believe it died around the time crackdown arrived so febuary? got it repaired, had to pay for damn repair, it wasnt even the rings of death it was a strange video thing

  20. I have an elite with a manufacture date of 6/12/2007 and it has the new heat sink. It’s more quiet compared to my premium I bought last year, which I should get back from rrod repairs next week. I will keep you posted if it has the new heat sink when I get it back.

  21. Ben,

    It should say the manufactor date on the back of the console right above the eithernet port.

  22. ok i have the standerd CPU heat sink so whats the diffrence and what the problem with me CPU one???

  23. OK my Manufactire date was 2006-07-19, i have the CPU one so i want to know whats the differnece and is anything wrong with the cpu one ?????

  24. MFR Date – 1/16/06

    Lacking the new heatsink (obviously), but it still works flawlessly after more than a year.

  25. Pingback:
  26. I posted this comment in the follow up to the original Elite article, but I will post it here again.

    First of all, everyone should know that ALL new consoles manufactured after mid-March (April to be safe) have the new GPU heatsink, as well as the “epoxy fix.” This is also true for the new 65nm consoles rolling off the line. (BTW, 65nm consoles started being manufactured in the begining of July – 65nm Elites should be in-stores within 2 weeks, hehe.)

    Below is a link to my explanation of why the heatsink works and solves the RoD issue. Bottom line is that it does indeed work, and if you have it, you need not worry about your console dying! (Note about the post I linked to – yes, I did make a rude comment about this site – I’m sorry Ben.)

    Also, most refurbished consoles are coming with the new heatsink. I have two refurbished consoles that both have the new heatsink. I’ll try to post some pictures of the new heatsink using Ben’s method.

    Also, I wanted to point out to Ben and everyone that I wrote a guide to do just what Ben has done right after the heatsink came into existance…. Here: And Here:

  27. It’s really quite simple. I have a Core (11/09/2006) and an Elite (06/06/2007).

    If I look into the Core, I can see straight through to the DVD drive. Just to the right of the picture with the screw is the “Standard CPU heat sink”. The “new extended GPU heat sink” isn’t present so it doesn’t obscure the ability to see the DVD drive.

    On my Elite, I can’t see the DVD drive. I see the end of the “new extended GPU heat sink”.

    Maybe this will help people visualize it. This is a picture of the new heatsink system.
    The piece that I’ve circled is not present on the old systems. The DVD drive sits on the right. You can see the cut-out in a couple of the images.

  28. My Elite was manufactured on the same day as Ben (not to be confused with Benjamin aka ‘me’)

    Unfortunately, mine does not have the new heatsink. So, at least on the surface date is only a random indicator.

    I took them using an LED Maglight and moving the camera around looking at the screen. If you don’t need to take a picture, you can just use a flashlight and look inside.

  29. I have an Elite manufactured on March 27th, 2007 and it doesn’t have the new heat sink. Kind of odd considering a console made on the 17th of March has it.

  30. You don’t have to use a digital camera for this – just take a bright flashlight and put it where Ben says to put the camera. then put your eye right next to it and you can look around all you want.

  31. Well couldn’t get the camera thing to work but with a bright flashlight and a lot of squinting, I have the new heat sink.

    New Elite – Manufactured 2007-06-04

  32. My Elite with a manufacture date of 3/7/2007 has the new heatsink, at least as far as I can tell.

  33. I’d like people to note that I never said “if you don’t have this heat sink you’re screwed”. If outside sites say that, and then link to this article, it’s beyond my control.

    The purpose of this is to let people know how they can look for the heat sink to satisfy their own curiosities. As many of you know I am a big fan of the 360 and one of the main reasons I’m posting these articles is to install confidence in people who may be waiting to “Jump In” and buy one. Believe it or not Microsoft does not pay me to have this opinion, just like a politician doesn’t pay you to put on a bumper sticker.

    Even if all newly manufactured ones have heat sinks there’s probably still stock in stores that has to get out of the way first. The Elite has been selling well so those should usually be new units you see in stock. Still, with the warranty, you’re covered, and with all the games (sans GTA for a while… sigh) it’s a great bet.

    Besides, the Xbox 360 is the only defense from the Wii setting back gaming to the Stone Age! Now there’s a system with a major flaw – it’s 2001 technology!

  34. All I know is when I play Oblivion this thing gets hot enough to bake some fresh chocolate chip cookies on it. I can’t beleive it doesn’t have, at the minimum, an air intake fan or any type of direct cooling on the heatsinks themselves, no good airflow at all.

    ……..and who was the genius that put the DVD drive right on top of the GPU heatsink? Why not a laptop drive? And why have all the holes in both the metal casing and the plastic case blocking what seems like 30% of the hot air trying to escape?

    I don’t think the new heatsink is going to solve all the problems either, you still have a thin motherboard and the X-clamps which create warping and processors pulling away over time.

    The new 3 year warranty is such a double edged sword. I know if I open this I could have it running much smoother, but no more precious warranty 🙁 ………..although when my 360 comes back from repair, I’ll have two 360’s. Hmm 🙂

  35. I purchased an Elite with a June 29th 2007 manufacture date. It has the heatsink, it has the BenQ drive, it is noticeably quieter and cooler than my previous two Premiums. The only question remaining is, “Does it have the new 65nm chipset?” Anyone know how I can check?

  36. I don’t understand how everyones xboxs keep breaking. My friend still has his from release date and it works prefectly.

  37. cool site, thanks, well i hope, that i have the new heatsink in my xbox. tomorrow i look into my xbox
    (and sorry about my bad english :-), i am from czech rep. and i speak czech and german :-/)

  38. thecolormurder, when was you console made? Look @ the tag on the back of the console.

  39. I have an elite:

    Manufacture date: March 16, 2007
    serial ends with 71105

    Does not have the new heat sink unit. Sux man.

  40. I just picked up a refurb xbox 360 after reading the news on the new heatsink. The Serial Number ends in 62706, but the MFR date says 2007-06-06. Using the back end examination, I see no new heatsink in the machine. When looking at refurbs, do the MFR dates mean anything, or should we go exclusively by the serial number? Thanks for any help.

  41. Ok. So I got an Elite today with a manufacturing date of mid June. I took picks of the inside and compare them to one of my old Premium. Here they are:
    This is my Premium system. Notice how barren it is.
    This is my Elite. All three sinks are circled.
    Here I moved the camera a little to the right to show the heat pipe coming out of the right most heastink in the previous picture.

    From what I can tell: The bottom still gets pretty warm. The top stays VERY cool. The exhaust is noticably cooler than my premium. The fans and drive are MUCH more quiet. In fact im sitting close to the system right now and have Shadowrun playing and I honestly can’t hear the fans.

    Hope this helps 🙂


  42. Just bought an elite from Gamestop 8-8-07 with a manufacture date of 3-27-2007. It HAS the new heatsink!

  43. My repaired premium came back today, it’s definitely either a very recent refurb or a new unit entirely. Manufacture date of 07-03-07. It has the new heatsink and new BenQ DVD drive. No HDMI, but I wasn’t expecting it this early on.

  44. Xilo, I believe most of the noise came from the older DVD drives, not the fans. Which is why I guess the new BenQ’s are quieter.

  45. Will thgis Elite have the new heatsink?

    Manufacture Date: 06-19-07
    Team: CSON
    Lot: 0726

    Also is there a way to tell if it has the BenQ drive?

  46. If I were to purchase a Premium in the next 2 weeks, how likely is it that I will get a unit with the new heatsink?? Roughly..I know it may be hard to know as there are several things that may depend upon.

    In addition, should I hold off on buying a 360 for any reason? will there be additions in the following months as to where I will be kicking myself in the ass for not waiting? Like I said, Im planning on going with the Premium, within the next few weeks.


  48. I traded up to an Elite on Aug. 3rd 2007, w/ a manf. date of 5-26-2007 and a lot # of 0720! Looked and I saw the new heatsink in mine.
    I also have the BenQ DVD drive too. I have been concerned about the heat my Elite expells (seems hotter than what my Pro put out) out the back since my Pro went up in smoke (overheated) after my son played for almost 18hrs. straight. After seeing the new heatsink has me thinking that the re-designed heatsinks are doing a better job of getting the heat out of the box faster?


  49. I have to say that you need to work on your article writing skills. I understand what you are trying to say but your words could be a little clearer. Also, the photos posted are a bit fuzzy as if they we taking hastily at a store or convention and not your workspace. Thanks for the info though.

  50. Wow you’ve gotta be kidding me… My elite was made on 2007-03-04 and no heatsink.. WTF!!!

  51. In fact Ben the only thing diff about our serials is my first three digits are diff….. man does that sucks i was 12 days off from getting the sweet copper.. oh well good thing i always have a portable AC running in my room

  52. My 360-premium, died about 3 weeks ago, 1 month before the warranty expired, so it went back to M/S, they replaced the DVD drive and the motherboard, I’ve just checked it and its got the new heatsink.

  53. I’ve got an Elite model that I purchased after the Elites Launch back in Mid-March. I’m rather irritated that I spend almost 500 bucks and still have the old heat-sink. On top of that I never purchased Microsofts warranty so if anything happens to me I’m basically screwed. I still love 360 though. COD MP 4 Beta is unreal.

  54. Manufacture Date: 07-10-07
    Team: CSON
    Lot: 0726

    Any info regarding this unit? Also, I was told that the Halo 3 console was somehow better, notwithstanding that the unit only has 20GB. Any truth to that??? Please advise.

  55. I just bought an Elite today with a manufacture date of 6/5/07. Can I safely assumer this has the new heatsink?

  56. My manufacturing date is 7-4-7 does that mean i have the new 65nm falcon ship and the heat sink??? thanks

  57. ok ive taken it apart u cant really see all that great unless u stick a flash light to it the bottem piece is really easy to take off just take a safty pin look where the piece sticks in a push down on that piece while giving it a small pull out it comes out really easy as for taking pics the difference it night and day ill show you with my next post i cant find the coard to put the images on my computer but well worth taking the bottem off u get alot better picture

  58. I am a new Xbox 360 owner as of this past week. I bought the Elite model. It has a manufacture date of 5-5-2007. Looked inside and it has the new heatsink for the GPU. Hopefully I’ll never have to experience the RROD. The sytem does run rather cool and I have it well ventilated. I cannot comment on whether or not I have the quieter DVD drive. It spins very fast but is not too terribly noisy, nothing that takes away from game play or makes me have to blast the volume on the TV. Not sure there is a way to tell without opening the case in regards to what DVD drive I have.

    It is a shame the high rate of failure on the system. I think Microsoft really did step up though with the 3yr warranty on RROD. I do think the steps they are taking with the heatsinks and the soon to be used 65nm chips should really do the trick.

    The system is great. I love it! I have this and the Nintendo Wii, love that system too.

    I really was banking on getting a PS3 and would gladly pay the price for it if I felt it was going to be a great gaming platform. I just don’t think the gaming side of the PS3 is going to fare well. I do not want to see it fail, but I think this time around Microsoft has got the hardcore gamers covered better than Sony.

    The Wii is just fun and a no brainer at $250. Family loves it and it is great for parties!

    Well, thanks for posting these pics, the info was very worthwhile.

  59. Xbox Premium With HDMi

    Manufacture Date: 07-28-07

    Confirmed with the new heatsinks and probably has Falcon Chipset

  60. My elite with a manufacturing date of 3-23-07 has died 3 red lights. I didnt check to see if it had these new heatsinks before I sent it out for repair I am hoping the one coming back has new chip and such!

  61. i called a guy at xbox support and he said that the last two numbers of the serial number says the manufature date or time it was made with all production…… like the last two should say 08 to get the new heat sinc

  62. I just purchased an Elite for my son for xmas, 10-21-07 date and team fbou, New heat sink I think , Does it have the new chipset? How can I really tell? So I can replace it if it does not.

  63. I just bouth a new xbox 360 elite the manufractured date is 6-november-2007 does it have the new chipset ?

  64. I just picked up a new Xbox 360 arcade from Futureshop and it does have the new GPU heat sink. My MFG date is 2008-06-12. This is a replacement for my broken Pro 360 (so I already have the harddrive, cables, etc.

  65. I have a xbox Pro console with a manufacturing date of 2007-09-03. The serial number is the number everyone should be looking at, not the manufacture date on the back. The last 5 digits of the serial number tell you where the unit was built and date. IE: XXXX73607…. 7 is the manufacturing plant in China (there’s about 9 of them), 36 is the week it was built, and of course 07 is the year. This is the real manufacturing date.
    Hope this helps.

  66. halo 360 died a few weeks ago i got it back today with the MFG date of 08-14-2007 it doesnt have the new heat sink.whats the deal with that?

  67. can you install the newer gpu and cpu heatsinks into the older xbox360s doing it by ur self and by older 360 i mean one 4rm 2006 plz reply bak

  68. MFR Date Nov 2006

    Sent it in June 08 for drive issue, they fixed it and replaced the mobo. When i look into it, i see both the old and new heatsinks, even the new heatsink has TWO copper buttons on it

    Does it mean i have it, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE somebody enlighten me, been desperate to know this for a while

  69. I sent my 360 in for the RROD a week ago today, and received it back today… except that it wasn’t my Xbox. I had one that was manufactured in in 2006, and got one back that was manufactured in 6/2008 (of course with a new serial number). I don’t know if it has the new heatsink, but it is almost a quite as my PS3 now, so it appears as though at least the fan was changed out.

  70. i got my xbox arcade in 8/08 and its manufacture date is o3/o5/2oo8 and after reading bens article on lookn inside a xbox elite to see if there had been any changes…anywayz i popped of the grey plastic vent on the right side when lying flat and shined a flashlight in there and could easily see the new heat sinks in there which made my day and also i think your theroy on the ser.# is correct mine is in the 80000 and has the new sinks so take a look guys. i think if it was manf. in late o8 chances are u have the new stuff inside

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