Xbox One X Tear-Down
Taking the Xbox One X apart is pretty simple: It starts with two screws (one is hidden under a removable tamper seal), and then the upper housing slides off the top of the frame. You can use TR10 for this, though they are a bit rounded-out to start with, so be careful.
Underneath, the flat-top screws slot all the way through to the opposing plastic housing, so those should be removed first. All the long chassis screws use the same head, so go through those first, then disconnect the ribbon cable at the front of the enclosure (leading to one of the two wireless cards), and then remove the lower housing. At this point, it’s just a matter of removing every screw to get inside.
Internally, Microsoft has labeled each of its major components as:
- Power Supply (245W unit)
- Optical Drive
- Hard Drive
Remove the components in this order. At this point, they all sort of slot together without screws, so it’s an easy process. The cooler is a ~112mm radial blower fan, using an upscaled version of what you’d find on a reference GPU. The vapor chamber exacerbates this similarity to desktop GPUs, and provides full coverage cooling of the VRMs, VRAM, and APU.
The Xbox One X uses a 4-phase GPU VRM + 1-phase CPU VRM. The VRM components are heatsinked into the aluminum fins directly (via aluminum plate), and do not leverage the vapor chamber for cooling. The APU and VRAM (12GB total) sinks into the copper coldplate for the vapor chamber, which cools all the core components. Standard aluminum fins provide the surface area, and most of the heat exhausts out the back of the enclosure. Removing the heatsink will require decoupling the board from the lower housing, which can be done by removing the flanking daughterboard PCBs from the side of the frame. Underneath, a retention kit for the vapor chamber secures the assembly together. You’ll need a spudger or prier to turn (like a key) under the corner of the retention kit. This pops it off. Refer to the video for a guide.
Thermal paste can be replaced at this point, and might need to be after some aging. The stock stuff doesn’t look great.
The hard drive is one of Seagate’s, whose data sheet indicates a 5400RPM. That said, we have seen a few reports alleging 7200RPM.
Microsoft surprised us with this design. Most consoles are a nightmare to disassemble, but this one is trivial. It’d be about an hour job to replace the thermal paste and reassemble the unit. The semi-modularity of components means it’ll be effortless to install replacement parts in the future, particularly for the cooler and PSU (the two most likely points of failure). Job well done, Microsoft. This is effectively a PC, and a well-built, affordable one, at that.
We’re working on benchmarking for thermals, power, noise, and FPS today.
Learn more in the video above!
Editorial: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman