If you’re anything like me, a hardcore gamer that has many of the popular gaming consoles and a myriad of software to play on them, then your television stand is probably very crowded (and dusty) just like mine, with not a single space left to put anything new. Having such a crowded home for your consoles to live can make running them for any length of time a recipe for an overheating disaster. Luckily, NYKO is here with the Intercooler for the Xbox One that is designed to keep your console cool while in a form factor that hugs securely to the top of the console with a low enough profile to allow your console to still fit into its compact space in your entertainment setup.
NYKO touts the Intercooler as, “the best way to guard against cramped, poorly ventilated entertainment setups” and I am inclined to agree with this statement. Having the placement of the main cooling vent on the Xbox One on the top of the console doesn’t leave a lot of room to get too fancy with accessories the help cool the console. Using such a streamlined design for the Intercooler really helps to keep your Xbox One looking relatively “cool” while it keeps your console cool. Designing the Intercooler for the XBO, as opposed to the PS4 where it simply attaches to the back of the console and is out of sight, had to be done in a way that complements the aesthetic of the console, be functional and doesn’t feel like a bizarre add-on.
In order to be securely attached to the top of your XBO, the Intercooler has two guide prongs and two retractable securing hooks that are activated by a slide lever on the top of the unit and holds the Intercooler to the top of the console. I was a little skeptical at first that this set up would work without damaging the XBO but once I got it attached and realized how secure it was, my skepticism faded away. The Intercooler is powered by plugging it into the first USB port on the back of the console. The built-in temperature sensing technology ensures the Intercooler will turn on and off automatically without any intervention on your part. When your XBO reaches a temperature that is preset in the Intercooler, it will turn on and pull hot air out and away from the system keeping your console cooler while increasing the airflow in the space around your console.
The front of the Intercooler looks exactly like the slanted vents that the XBO is designed with and blends well with the overall design of the console. The casing of the Intercooler has a matte finish that repels fingerprints unlike the top of the XBO that is shiny and prone to scuffs and scratches. The actual fan is a really decent size and is fully capable of moving enough air to keep the internal temperature of your console at a level that will not damage internal parts over time. The silver edging on the front of the unit will pick up fingerprints but its not a deal-breaker and adds a little class. The Attached USB power attachment on the back of the unit seems very secure and is just long enough to fit into the USB port on the back of the XBO.
As far as the noise that the Intercooler makes while it is operating, you can hear the fan humming along but not so much to be annoying or to distract you from your gaming session. Being that the fan doesn’t constantly run and only activates when your console hits a certain temperature, if you are sitting across the room from your console, you probably wont be aware that it is even running. If you play with a Surround Sound system to enhance your gaming experience or happen to be using your headphones for multiplayer gaming like I often do, you definitely wont hear it. The fan noise is almost whisper soft and I think NYKO did a great job in designing a fan that isn’t loud and obnoxious.
The design of the Intercooler, with its matte finish, rounded corners and angular design, is the best that anyone could have hoped for. Considering the box-like design of the Xbox One in addition to the fact that the rear vent is very small and isn’t big enough to attach a device that would be able to pull out a decent amount of hot air to be affective, the designers at NYKO knocked this one out of the park. The Intercooler can be yours for $24.99 which is a modest amount to pay to keep the ravages that intense heat takes on the internal components of modern video game consoles. Keeping your console cool during those long gaming sessions in its cramped location will go a long way towards its continued longevity.