Xbox One will be able to under-clock itself to cool down and prevent damage

Xbox One Lab

While PC users might be familiar with their machines under-clocking themselves to save energy, reduce heat, and prevent damage, the idea is new for Microsoft’s Xbox console. According to an interview Gizmodo had with Xbox’s General Manager of Console Development, Leo Del Castillo, the new Xbox One will be able to cool itself down in a multitude of ways, including "dialing it back to a lower power state."

The Xbox One is aware of the current temperature it is running at and is able to take action to cool itself down. The unit will first start by pushing up the fan all the way to its maximum speed – although Microsoft does not anticipate the need for the unit to do so under normal environmental conditions.

If after increasing fan speed, the unit still does not cool down, the unit will be able to switch itself to a lower power state in order to protect itself.

We are currently unsure of how the under-clocking works and how it might affect game performance. Although as stated above, this is a last resort for Xbox One and should not occur under normal environmental conditions.

Source: Gizmodo


Reader comments

Xbox One will be able to under-clock itself to cool down and prevent damage


But that's okay, because the Xbox One isn't a gaming console to Microsoft. For some reason they chose to make a multimedia device... When we have twenty of them already

A multimedia device and gaming console in one, it's like a PC except it's not a PC. Whatever though I still like it better than the PS4.

What does it have going for it? I don't want a gaming console made by a company that's moving away from gaming.

You act as if Microsoft had to improve the gaming experience on the Xbox.. I'm not saying they didn't because obviously they did, but they also added a ton of multimedia features which now honestly justify the price of XBL even more.

I have an Xbox 360 and I love it. But if Microsoft is trying to make a multimedia device, then why are they forcing you to pay to use free services like Skype and Netflix? If people don't want to pay, then it's not a multimedia device. I'm not trying to sound like a fan boy or anything, but at least Sony lets you do everything but online gaming for free

Simply buy a PS4 if you want to use Netflix for free.. 99% of the time you'll have XBL to play games online and stuff so that Skype and Netflix thing is being blown so out of proportion it's starting to irritate me. All I can say is if you don't want to buy XBL then don't get an Xbox because the point of the Xbox is mostly gaming and most of that gaming is ONLINE.

The source article also said, that the 'last last resort' is to shut itself down automatically if it's going to die otherwise :)

wonder if will see the message that was added to the 360 s "360 is shutting down to protect the console from insufficient ventilation.
You can turn the console back on after the power light stops flashing." which i have yet to see with my problematic 360 s

Very cool. I read MS built the machine to be able to run 10 years without overheating, issues, etc.  My current xbox s console is great.  The only machine I currently own that overheats quickly is my ps3.  That thing sounds like a helicopter and is on it's last legs.

I am on my second ps3.  I want to make it last because it also plays my ps2 titles.  I get about 30 min in and the warning pops up.  :sigh:
I am getting more excited each week waiting for the Xbox One.  I would like to know more about arcade titles for the console. 

I'll blame my wife as she does most of the gaming in the house. It's kinda fun watching her play COD guys people get so pissed when a girl is kickin ass.

I had both consoles RROD (a heat-related issue). Had a person in my college dorm have his overheat. My replacement console sounds like it's going to take off into a low orbit on many occasions. My brother-in-law's 4GB slim model is really loud as well. My Halo 4 slim is pretty quiet, though.
Saying someone else is doing something wrong because of a different experience is pretty stupid. Some consoles are just louder than others.

I'm on my 6th 360 3 have died but I just buy all the halo ones anyway. Also on my 3rd ps3 2 have died and I rarely play them at all I just picked up my 3rd about a month ago for last of us

The funny thing about this us that SONY isn't commenting about "heating issues"..that right there tells you they haven't had many "issues"

I'm still on my first Xbox 360. Had its problems but still works great. It almost seems to fix itself. Unplung here there and shake it everywhere and everythong works again.

I'm on my 5th 360. Most overheated and got the RROD. One got the E74. My current one sounds like a locomotive driving through an earthquake when on. Never had a PS3 so I don't have a comparison there. These are the reasons I will have no problem waiting a year or more before even considering buying an Xbox One.

It will then adjust the thermostat in the house to turn on the air conditioning. If that doesn't work it will ask the user to blow on it. "please blow me" I believe is the message.

This leads me to ask the question. If the XBox One and PS4 share the same basic architecture and the XBox one has what would appear to be far better air flow and heat management, will the PS4 see RROD issues? The PS4 clearly is smaller and has less capability to move air over their heat sink, or its fan runs at a much higher fan speed and therefore has to be louder in operation than the XBox One. It will be interesting to see the real world tests.

Maybe but already ordered my PS4 on Amazon about 2 months ago. I like everything MS does but I'm gonna stick with PlayStation like always.

C'mon...SONY stands for Quality. The XBOX 360 has what appears to be an industrial design power brick and cord, while the PS3 has a cheap looking chord and still does the Job well. I doubt PS4 will have any hardware issues...it's what Sony is known for..just like MS and their Software. UI looks good on MS equipment

This is cool pardon the pun, but how about they implement greater integration by putting nfc chips on the new controller and on the consul to activate smartglass for tablet and windows phone. It can also be used to pair bluetooth headsets such as Nokia Monster purity pro (wireless) that headset with mic can make more than one connections so you can still take calls by pressing the button on the side of the headset. To top that off wireless charging such as Nokia has for headset and controllers on top of the consul. There I said my peace......now microsoft please implement

Hahahah no comment....but please guys please spread the word on the idea comment where ever you can.

As nice as that is, it won't happen because it takes years to develop these controllers and they wouldn't be able to add that on the fly.

I really hope this doesn't become a problem when developers try to push the console later on. Like if a developer is testing the next fps game that goes over the top visually, in a climate controlled room. how's this new variable in power going to affect performance Average Joe's boiler room

Why would it downclock itself at all?  That would mean that during gameplay it would reduce CPU frequency like Speedstep and reduce framerates and such?  Come on, just design it with better cooling, the price is expensive enough.  Is it so hard to just use a better heatsink and fan like a gaming pc does?  Completely wasted information for the masses, next thing they will say it has a way of not putting rings on our discs, but we all know it will do it anyway.

It's a last resort protection. If Xbox has to tone down, you place the console wrong. Either way RROD is a thing of the past

If its any option the "last resort" applies to any situation.  Say you game for 10 hours straight and you xbox isnt in a properly vented area.  So hypothetically the fan runs at Max but the air temp increases, say internals reaches 60 celcius with a thermal limit of 70.  Will it downclock now to protect itself or downclock now?  I would think it would downclock if the code is written as a "last restort"  Even though the temp capped at that point it would be needles to do it.  And yes I used a infrared temp sensor to read my xbox's temp while in my entertainment center, reached 65 but the Xeon has a thermal safe limit of 70, it has been since moved to next to my gaming pc for better cooling.

Have you seen the teardown of the xbone? It has a huge fan in there. It will probably never need to downclock. However, people put devices in small cabinets that can get really hot and this is just protection so you don't destroy you console.

It would be cool if the console would pop up an alert when it needs to under-clock. "Hey, bozo, did you stuff me in a cabinet with no usuable air for circulation? I gotsta breathe, man!"

Just thought of this in laptops, as a lot of people use them on top of cozy and warm clothes or sleeves

I'm worried. My apt has a built-in tv stand area, and a sectioned-off area for consoles, video players or whatever you have. My 360 is up there now and I'm constantly hearing the fan struggle to keep it cool, and the area around it gets quite warm. Unfortunately the setup is such that I can't really change it at all or move the tv and Xbox anywhere else.

No real surprise. It's just a slightly modified AMD APU and those have been dynamically clockable for years now, back to the last throes of the Phenom II era when the X6 was introduced.

I remember the days where AMD laughed at Intel for underclocking their chips during games (duh you need the speed when there's a big demand.)  
Seems AMD is no more :(

I was surprised when I had shut down my 360 console incorrectly (pulled power) when it booted back up it gave a notification that it had shut down to protect from overheating and gave recommendations on proper ventilation.
It erroneously appeared, yes, but I had never seen it before or known the Xbox had that capability.
Anyone else seen this? It occurred after the Dashboard Beta update (yes, I know, NDA, I don't care and with the ungodly amount of obnoxious updates since I started it I don't care if my Beta privileges are revoked)