Hello everyone. I own the old Xbox 360 (Xenon motherboard) that has reportedly 3RL due to the GPU's bga issue, aggravated by excessive heating, present in these models.
I actually bought this recently from an college classmate, already with 3RL, he didn't wanted to fix it anymore so I offered him to buy it and he accepted.
With the heat gun, great care and patience, I fixed it. To avoid 3RL's again, I put in the coolers 12v, linked directly to the power supply and did the X-Clamp mod. So it's working almost two months without problems.
But as the problem is compounded by lack of GPU cooling, ThermaRright has released a heatsink specially for the Xbox 360. As soon as I saw it on the internet I decided i needed one. It's the TR-360 and it comes with the thermal grease "The Chill Factor 2, the amount of 4g.
This heat sink is available in nickel model (which I got and is this topic is about) and cooper model. I opted for nickel because although it does not conduct heat as well as copper, it does not lose performance, what happens to the copper over time, and don't get spotted, such as copper. This heatsink features four heatpipes. These heatpipes are placed around the CPU heatsink, so there's no need for any workaround to make holes to install extra coolers.
From what I learned until now, the Xbox 360 only reads the CPU temperature to control the coolers, CPU cold results in slow coolers, hot CPU results in fast coolers.
Since this heatsink removes much more heat than the original, it's position makes the heat spreaded to be sucked into the CPU heatsink, which increases (slightly) its temperature, causing the coolers spin faster, increasing the airflow, cooling it even more.
When I installed the TR-360, I decided to leave the coolers to be controlled by the console, so they run based on the CPU's temperature, increasing the speed automatically.
I do not have equipment to make temperature's measurements, but I can guarantee that the air expelled is warmer than before, so I left the coolers in default and undid the 12v mod, as I think it is unnecessary.
Below is some photos and a little description about the it's installation.
Photo 1 - Well, in this photo, you can see the box, it is fairly large, more or less the size of a shoe box;
Photo 2 - Here is inside the box, it perfectly acomodade the heatsink, next to a little box with the thermal grease. It does not feature any kind of instruction manual, but it is available on the manufacturer's website;
Photo 3 - Next to the product has an sticker, I pasted in the corner of the console top cover;
Photo 4 - This is a closeup of the underside of the heatsink. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures when I removed the protective sticker, but the base is 100% mirrored, very well polished. Here you can see the 4 heatpipes coming out of the base.
Photo 5 - In this photo you see how it is underneath;
Photo 6 - Here begins the photos of the installation. On my Xbox, which is very very old, the first version, it has a capacitor that blocks the installation due a heatpipe. Pushing it aside would be enough to install, but I did not want risk damaging the heatpipe or the capacitor, so moved the cap, as can be seen in the photo below;
Photo 7 - Capacitor moved;
Photo 8 - In this photo you can see the heatsink installed. It does not cover the memory, so it is possible to install memory heatsinks, but for me it seems unnecessary. The best thing of this heatsink is that it does not disturb any of the other console's components. I've seen hacks where big CPU heatsink where installed on the GPU and they need to move the DVD out of the console. With this, it is not necessary;
Photo 9 - Now, the motherboard is back to the console's case, everything fits perfectly. Note here note two heatpipes will be out of the air duct and two within the same (among them the largest);
Photo 10 - I had a little difficulty placing the air duct because it won't fit. I took a closer look and noticed that one of the heatpipes (can be seen in photo 11) prevented the placement, to solve the problem, I pushed it a little backwards (bend a little, but did not damage anything) and it finally fitted;
Photo 11 - Heatpipe that prevented the installation of the air duct. If the barrel were shorter in the end, this problem would not have occurred;
Photo 12 - Heatpipe slightly warped;
Photo 13 - Console with the air duct. I had the feeling that it did not fit as it should, due to a heatpipe still touching him. I pressed down a bit, which has to feel a backlash, and saw no problem in leaving it this way;
Photo 14 - Another angle of the photo 13;
Photo 15 - Console complete, ready to close. Everything fits perfectly
I felt a very good quality in this heatsink. As I noted earlier, even with the lack of measuring equipment, which would further enrich this review, I must emphasize that the air leaving the console is warmer than before, that means more heat is removed from the GPU.
And it's pretty obvious the fact that this sink has the ability to remove much more heat than the originally installed on the GPU, just look to it.
I believe I'll never have problems with 3RL again, and I commend those who have the consoles successors problem, that if you are willing to spend money, investing in this heatsink will keep the original appearance of your Xbox and will effectively remove more heat than extra GPU coolers, keeping 3rl far away from your Xbox 360.
Sorry if the text is a little hard to be read, I'm Brazilian, so I hope you got the point.