Project Scorpio rocks high-end vapor chamber cooler

With monster 4K power comes monstrous heat, so Microsoft has deigned Project Scorpio with an enthusiast-grade vapor chamber cooling assembly.

Published Thu, Apr 6 2017 12:22 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:56 AM CST

Microsoft's high-end Project Scorpio console is indeed capable of pushing native 4K gaming, and sometimes even 4K 60 FPS, but any PC gamer knows that this perf can come at a pretty substantial thermal output. To keep the system from frying from high temps, Microsoft has assigned Project Scorpio it's own unique vapor chamber cooling array.

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Vapor chamber coolers are typically used in enthusiast-grade video cards such as NVIDIA's Founder's Edition GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti. Since Project Scorpio is churning out much more performance than traditional consoles, it needs something better than the normal heat pipe-and-fan conjunction found in most consoles.

Project Scorpio's vapor chamber cooling is complimented by a blower-style fan--again resembling a reference desktop-grade video card--that pushes heat out through the back of the system. Unlike current Xbox One and Xbox One S consoles, Microsoft's 4K machine doesn't have vents on its top or sides: heat is only expelled through vents on its rear side.

Eurogamer's Digital Foundry didn't give us any exact thermal thresholds or expected temps for Project Scorpio, and it'll be quite interesting to see how hot the system gets when playing new Xbox One games at native 4K, or older games like Forza 6 at 4K 60FPS.

"Microsoft has tried to keep heat generation down as much as possible via efficiency in power delivery, and source out the heat that remains via a state-of-the-art cooling solution, one that I've never personally seen on a mass-produced piece of consumer electronics hardware," said Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter.

Read Also: Project Scorpio: Jaguar CPU, Polaris GPU, 12GB memory

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Microsoft is pushing efficiency and synergy to extraordinary new heights with Project Scorpio, tapping a new level of harmony between total console hardware and the Windows 10 UWP software infrastructure. Not only is Microsoft able to spin serious magic on a performance level using hardware and software synergy, but they've ensured that efficiency is baked in at even the manufacturing level.

"It turns out efficiency in the Scorpio design isn't just baked in at the silicon level--it's there throughout the entire box. Microsoft has implemented what it's dubbed the Hovis method, named after the guy who came up with the concept. The Hovis method means this: every single Scorpio engine processor that comes off the production line has its own power characteristics...because every piece of silicon is ever so slightly different. Rather than apply the usual one-size-fits-all power delivery system, every Scorpio motherboard is balanced with its specific processor. This helps keep heat down and ensures peak efficiency."

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Read Also: Project Scorpio can maintain 4K 60FPS in Forza 6 at 66% GPU usage

Project Scorpio will release Holiday 2017, and Microsoft will unveil the system's full name, price, games lineup and more at their E3 2017 showcase in June.


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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