Nyko’s been making console hardware for years, and cooling fans have been in their catalog for quite some time. Their latest endeavor, the Intercooler for Xbox One, is exactly that, taking design into play as it snugly attaches to the system’s topside cooling vents. It’s easy to install, easy to use, and easy on the eyes, though the temperature-sensing on-off functionality makes the sound hard to get used to.
Back in the Xbox 360 days, Intercoolers would latch on to the back of the console, sometimes requiring you to mess with the case and invalidating the system’s warranty. This unit, however, simply latches on to the top of the diagonal vents on the system with a simple lock/unlock switch. With a chrome-like finish on the edges and matte black plastic making up the core of the unit, it looks pleasing on top of the Xbox One.
The main benefit of the Intercooler is that it pushes air towards the front of the console instead of simply out of the top. It won’t increase air flow in to the console, but it forces the hot air out from around it, allowing cool air to be drawn in to the intake. This really comes in handy if you have your Xbox One in a small, enclosed space where it might be boxed in on the top and sides, though you may not gain much from it if the system’s just sitting on a table or desk. Once you’ve figured out if the spacing issue is important, then you have to figure if you want to deal with the on-again/off-again noise.
Like any computer enthusiast will tell you, affordable active cooling is generally a careful mixture of fan speed and noise production. Super-powerful fans can keep the internals cooler, but they might sound like a jet engine once they get going. The Nyko Intercooler for Xbox One, with a singular, large fan unit, does make a significant amount of noise when it powers on. Plugging in directly to the Xbox One via USB, it does increase the power being drawn through the console, so the temperature-sensing mechanism helps the Intercooler be more energy-efficient, only switching on when needed. This means that your head’s natural ability to tune out ambient noise gets disrupted, though; I found that the constant switching on-and-off really distracted me from gameplay when I wasn’t wearing headphones or a headset. I would have appreciated a mode-switch to let me turn the fan off, keep it on altogether, or utilize the temperature-sensing function.
The Nyko Intercooler for Xbox One does what it sets out to do: it helps keep your Xbox One cool and looks great doing it. This one’s definitely the most visually-appealing add-on fan I’ve seen, and being easy install is definitely a plus. But the constant powering up-and-down took too much away from my gameplay experience for me to make it a permanent addition to my console. Still, for those with their consoles in enclosed spaces, or for those who have some auditory barriers between themselves and their consoles during gameplay, Nyko’s Xbox One Intercooler is a great way to add some extra ventilation to the system.