Xbox Series X Will Stay As Quiet As Xbox One X, Says Phil Spencer

A central fan is said to keep the Xbox Series X cool and quiet.

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In our exclusive talk with Xbox boss Phil Spencer, we learned a great deal about just how powerful the next-gen Xbox Series X will be: a GPU eight-times faster than the base Xbox One and twice that of the Xbox One X, a CPU said to be four times more capable, and an ultra-fast NVMe solid-state drive. Well, aside from the SSD which is virtually silent, you might be wondering about how the Series X will handle all that power while staying cool and quiet.

In general terms, Spencer described the console's cooling system, saying, "What the team did, and you [see] it through the top grate, is we went with one central fan in the design." He continued, "What this design does, with the size of the fan that we built around, is it lets us match how quiet the Xbox One X is with all that power inside of the box."

It's not as simple as deciding on a type of cooling system and running with it, of course, as Spencer explained, "There's always this tension between design, acoustics, cooling, and the function of the console, and we were not going to compromise on function. I'm just incredibly impressed with the design that they [came up with]."

Spencer went on to describe how he's been using a Series X at home and that its acoustic profile helps it keep a low profile even for people who have seen it in action. He claimed, "If I don't point it out, it just sits there and plays video games the way I want it to and I never hear it, just like how I don't hear my [Xbox One] X."

The Series X sports a natural, PC tower-like design, which was accounted for in its cooling system, but also the fact that you can set it horizontally or vertically. Microsoft wouldn't get into the specifics of dimensions and hard technical details of the cooling system, but Spencer asserts that the single fan is "able to spin at a low enough rate that it is whisper-quiet." He also said that the Series X has "no secondary fans, probably just passive coil" to keep temperatures in check.

When you take a look at the Series X itself, you see that the single central fan gets a bit fancy. "We did do a nod with our Xbox; it has a green tint and it's a concave design so as you come up [to it]." Considering that one of the goals with the Series X is to sort of unify the Xbox brand and ecosystem, we suppose it seeps into all aspects of its design. Spencer goes into a bit more detail as to what that means in our story about why the console was named Series X. And for all the details we gathered in our exclusive coverage, be sure to read our in-depth feature on the Xbox Series X.

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