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Xbox 360 and PS3 failures, thermal paste?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by voyager4520, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. voyager4520

    voyager4520 -----

    Apr 25, 2009
    SE Colorado
    Is thermal paste/compound the cause of Red Ring of Death and Yellow Light of Death in each system?

    If so, is it because poor quality thermal paste was used or it was poorly applied?

    Does thermal paste dry out and need to be replaced often? If so, how often per the different types?

    I realize there are more underlying issues, such as the type of lead-free solder used in the Xbox 360 and poor ventilation and the fact that they basically tried to slap together a sports car out of tractor parts(hey Lamborghini pulled it off :supergrin:), but I'd like to know how big of a factor the thermal paste is. Also, does anyone know what specific thermal paste is used in each system?

    Which thermal paste/compound would you say is the best? I've heard Arctic Silver 5 is among the top.

    I previously had two Xbox 360s and both started freezing up, never got a system failure but I sold them for fear of having giant paper weights that I'd have to use for target practice. I'm considering getting a PS3 now and I've heard that their failure rates are lower, but still significant. And of course now that both systems have base-models for $300, I figure it wouldn't be such an expensive paper weight if it did fail.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  2. I don't have a game console, but from my experience with CPUs and transistors, any legitimate thermal paste works perfectly fine for years and even decades if applied properly.

  3. I avoid anything made by sony or microsoft like the plague. Screw HD gaming (as good as it is), I'll stick with my WII. Nintendo stuff is the glock of video game consoles. They just work. Can't help ya, and haven't heard of a yellow light of death specifically, (but know PS3's have issues and break quickly, no surprise), but given who makes them, I won't waste my money.

    My WII (and attached hard games!) are on wayyyy too many hours a day between the gf and I (it even plays my mpeg movies) and the thing is a tank.
  4. arodgers


    Jul 14, 2004
    My Xbox 360 that red-ringed didn't have any heatsyncs on the GPU, so no thermal paste.
  5. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    I've had my PS3 like 2 or 3 years now with hundreds upon hundreds of hours of use. I immediately swapped the HDD for a 250gb HDD. I have thousands of songs and hundreds of TV episodes/movies on it. The PS3 is a solid machine. No freezes or any other issues. My brother puts way less hours on his xbox360 and is already on his second machine due to the ring of death. The Sony PS3 is one of the best purchases for entertainment I've ever made.
  6. paulk003


    Feb 3, 2001
    durham, nc
    I repaired my son's ps3 about 2 weeks ago. The older launch models have more problems with the heat sink's than the newer slim models. One sure sign that the heat sink is going bad is that the fan is working overtime. When I purchased the ps3 it was quite as a mouse, as time went by the fan got louder and louder. The actual repair is not that difficult, the big thing is the thermal compund and the heat gun. The you-tube video actually mentions Artic 5.
  7. MySiK26

    MySiK26 ******

    Any ideas as to what causes this? Is it from dust build-up?
  8. DoubleWide


    Sep 3, 2008
    Poor ventilation is a major cause. If you're worried, just pay the worry tax. I've had no problems with my PS3. My buddy had a earlier one, it died and Best Buy gave him a new smaller one with a larger hard drive. The loss of backwards compatibility didn't affect him.
  9. voyager4520

    voyager4520 -----

    Apr 25, 2009
    SE Colorado
    I'm considering buying one of the Slim models, either PS3 or 360. Between the two Slim models, even though they're still quite new to the market, they seem to have about the same failure rate. Though what worries me is that the PS3 Slim has even less ventilation, just an array of tiny holes in the back of the machine. The 360 Slim on the other hand has even more ventilation than its predecessor.

    Plus, of most of the videos I've seen and reports I've heard, the 360 Slim is either a dud right from the factory or fails within the first few months. The PS3 Slim on the other hand can work wonderfully for many months and then suddenly fail.

    Right now I'm leaning 360 Slim because of the ventilation and the fact that I could store an entire game to the hard drive. That's a huge bonus because I wouldn't have to use the disc to play the game, thereby cutting down on the heat.

    The only real benefits I'm seeing to the PS3 Slim right now are obviously Blu-Ray compatibility and the fact that online multiplayer is free.

    Either way I end up going, I'm going to buy the system from Best Buy and buy their extended warranty.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  10. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Speaking in regards of the Xbox 360 no.

    The cause of the infamous RROD in the first generation consoles was substandard solder used and inadequate ventilation.

    That said the heatsink is not properly secured on earlier generations of Xboxs but that can be fixed pretty cheaply. And the overwhelming choice for Thermal paste is Artic silver 5.

    My kids have an early generation xBox 360 and the first thing I did with it is buy a dual fan notebook cooler to set it on. in 4 years they have never had a RROD.

    once the unit was past the 3 year warranty for the RROD I took it apart cut out the metal grate in the rear covering the fans that does nothing but impede airflow and installed a Talisman whisper max fan. their Xbox is still going strong.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  11. voyager4520

    voyager4520 -----

    Apr 25, 2009
    SE Colorado
  12. Specks


    Feb 21, 2001
    A year and a half ago or so, I was comparing both the 360 and the PS3. I was almost set on the PS3 but was persuaded by what my friends were playing. It's more fun to play with guys I know. Most had the 360, so that's what I went with.

    Whatever you do, don't put the console inside a cabinet. They need air to breath.