Xbox Series X temperature test: How hot does it get?

Is the Xbox Series X really that hot?

Image Credit: GamesBeat

The Xbox Series X runs so hot that you risk combusting into flame if you get within a few feet of it. Or, at least, that is what people who have never used the system would have you believe. But what is the reality? The short answer is that it runs cool compared to other devices. And I tested that to give you an understanding of the advancements of the next-generation consoles. Microsoft and Sony both emphasized cooling and acoustics for their next-gen devices, and I can confirm that Microsoft has succeeded so far.

The Xbox Series X consistently runs at a lower temperature than both the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. But let’s clarify what I mean by that, and how did I test this? I used a thermocouple thermometer that I could stick inside each device. But I didn’t tear the machines down, so I had to pick where I was going to place the sensor to get a reading. So I did what made the most sense to me. I used my hand while each console was running to feel the vent that was expelling the hottest air. And then stuffed the sensor into that slot about a half-inch deep. So let’s be clear — these readings are not how hot the APU is running. This is a measurement of the air temperature just inside the case.

I considered taking apart each console and trying to attach the thermocouple to each console’s system-on-a-chip, but the Xbox Series X that I have is still just preview hardware. Microsoft’s final hardware could render this test meaningless. Additionally, I have to send this Xbox back to Microsoft, so I don’t want to break it.