Hey everybody, welcome back to CES 2021, with CES we're here back again to crackle Open another device like we do every year.
We've already cracked open just now the iPhone 12 and now we're back with techRepublic's bill detweiler to crack open another device.
So Bill, what are you talking about?
Yeah, so next we thought we switch things up a little bit.
We did an iPhone.
Now we've got a an Apple device.
Now we've got a Microsoft device right so we wanted to give both camps a little bit of equal airtime.
Here we've got an Xbox series..
S not a series x can't find one of those.
So we're gonna, you know, this is the all digital version of the next gen console.
We're gonna take it apart, we're gonna see how much it's like a computer inside and I've never taken one of these apart so this should be a little bit of an adventure.
This is great, you hadn't taken apart the iPhone 12 either and so people really got a chance to see you in action doing your thing doing what you do, go in at one of these devices figuring out how do I get there?
How do I get in without breaking this device?
And turn it into, something where we can get a look inside and learn about the device.
And, you do all of these devices to help, professionals learn about what.
What they can do if they have to repair something like this.
In this case if it was a business if they had one of these it would be typically in a game room or something like that they might have to repair a company.
Lounge want one of these items in the lounge but.
What we can say about the S is you know, we don't have the eggs which of course is the flagship device cost $500.
The S is the step down, does not have the full sort of 8k video option.
But it is only $300 it's much more approachable.
This is one of the ones that our editors like.
Dan Ackerman and others seen it often recommend for people that are looking to get into the next gen game, because it doesn't cost as much.
It's easier to find.
And for most people, this device, they're gonna be really happy with.
Yeah, and I'm really happy that I was able to get this thing open so easily.
You've already got it open?
Yeah, I've already got it open here.
I was lucky enough on the back I'll see.
See if I can hold this up.
There are two little **** holes here that are covered with white pieces of adhesive plastic that have some adhesive on the back of them.
And it just had some torques.
They seem to be like torch number eight screws on the back that came out pretty easily and I was able to just Slide up on the bottom here and lift it off and we can kind of get inside of it.
I like that.
I really like being able to sort of get into these types of devices that are more PC life or that have parts that are built to be replaced.
like that and not having to hunt and peck and figure out how to get inside.
Made it pretty simple.
It does look like on the inside here.
I'll hold this up for the big camera, or maybe the small camera.
I'll rotate it this way a little bit.
And you can see there are a bunch of screws that are green here.
The we're going to remove these, I suspect that those are the ones that actually allow us to remove the internal assembly compared to the ones that are just regular.
Kind of metal covered unpainted, but these green ones I suspect go all the way through now.
I think from looking at them and I yeah the towards ta could go but since there are so many of them, and we're limited time, I'm going to use a drill here a cordless drill I don't recommend you do this.
If you were doing it in your own Xbox, you use a screwdriver but we're gonna break out this reel here.>>You can try to pop them out a little quicker.>>Yeah, we're gonna do a little quick like a cooking show.
sometimes for these in the interest of time But no I.
[SOUND] I didn't pre remove.
This is live.
This live in every sense.
Yeah, unlike the iPhone 12 so you can see how long the screws are.
They have the threads.
Wow maybe about a third of the way up on the ****.
So they're holding This large, internal, you know, the body that's inside here into this plastic outer shell.
We're going to remove a bunch of these.
See me pull them out.
And then we're going to see if this thing comes out.
Or if it comes off.
Okay, well it looks like pretty easily.
There we go.
Well, I'm going to do this very carefully because one of the things that you always want to watch for that if you haven't done this before, you don't know if there's any little cables or wires, something that's connecting A button.
In this case it wasn't which is great.
We just have our two halves.
The outer plastic shell, you've got a power button, and the eject.
Button here or what the button that is when there's no media or media so, but you've got, the buttons on the front here.
You've got the little Contact's on the back.
We're gonna set this to the side.
And we can kind of get our first look a little bit at what's inside a series that's got a great big fan right here.
I think it's, it's probably about the same size as the fans on the previous, the digital version of the previous Xbox.
For the various connectors, you got a USB connector here the the, what looks like you know the button contacts are actually here LED lights are there.
So we're going to go ahead and we're going to remove them and see how they're actually attached could be that they're attached.
See if the same, nope.
So now we have to go back to a smaller size on a screwdriver back to the smaller size torques to the old fashioned way.
Yep, yep, very good.
So as I mentioned bill earlier, one of the first things that you cracked open back in 2006 15 years ago now was actually one of the xbox three 60s if I remember right, and again, this started this idea of cracking things open to to learn how to repair things also to learn from them tech republic's audience where you're the editor in chief tech Republic's audiences, an audience of professionals of engineers of software developers have it support professional CIOs.
And so you all have done this for a long time to help all those folks better understand the technology as well as learn how to repair it if it's something that they have.
Not just this specific device, which like we said they might have in a You know in a lounge or a game room or something, but also by learning how you got this one open can help them understand.
There's just the process of getting technology open to repair it in general.
All right, we've got a third card that I've been able to remove from the side here, has a chip on the outside I wouldn't be surprised I can't see the writing.
Other off we have small, okay, so they both have MAC addresses on him.
It looks like so I'm assuming these are wireless transmitters.
Cards here What I really like about these cards, no wires.
They're actually connecting to whatever system board motherboard What have you inside.
Via these connectors, and I don't really like that that's a really nice touch, being able to just take out a couple screws and pop them off without worrying about damaging the those connectors like obviously in the iPhone.
You know if you watch the previous segment these things are tiny, you know little small things that can very easily just be damaged and cut and broken.
You know, it's going to take some force, you know, you shouldn't jam this but it's gonna take some force to break it so that's good.
Also, now it looks like we can go ahead and remove the screws here.
I don't really see a way to pop off this piece of plastic from the back.
So I'm gonna leave it there for now.
It's probably just connected with Snap physical snaps but I don't like forcing things if I don't have to.
So we're gonna go ahead and remove
These metal screws here from the top, see if we can't lift it off and see what happens
That's one of the general lessons from having watched you do this for many years bill is that You know, you are incredibly patient with these things and you don't force it.
You know, one of the ways that people break things when they're opening them up like this is they tend to force it put too much press pressure, try to Try to hit the thing that's gonna open it up and that's when you do literally crack something open and then it's very difficult to either get back together working order Or you essentially can ruin a device, even one as large as this one.
And that's, that's what you don't wanna do your mission in this is to get these things to where you can put them back together and work in order.
We never want to destroy the devices.
It's not my thing.
I do love putting devices in crusher or blenders I think, one year we tried to crush something under at CES, we tried to crush something under one of the giant Ferris wheels.
We did some portrait test,
throws an iPad and a block of ice and then we,
Eventually it still works.
So we wound up dropping it from a ladder.
That was a lot of fun.
But I generally try not to break the thing we're going to take apart.
We did you know, we're talking about this TV that we had to take part last year we did break that because we wanted to see the different layers of the screen and
There was a purpose, a method behind our madness.
So here I've removed this part of the metal cover this half of the inner cover here and we have exposed the fan.
Again, a separate cooling fan, not unlike what you would see in a computer, a desktop PC here and it looks like it's connected to the motherboard down there.
So I'm gonna,
See if I can either wiggle it up no it just came right off.
I didn't even have to use the pliers came right off.
Again when you're taking these things apart, you want to be very careful not to yank the wires separated from the end of the connector here.
This fan has what we got 12345 blades on it there and under the fan as one would expect, Have a fairly large heat sink there.
So you've got me here at Tom.
You've got the tubes in there so it's a pretty good heat sink and it covers quite a bit of the board.
You can see that so it's probably covering both A variety of chips in there helping to dissipate that heat.
You also have this and remember we were talking about the TVs.
I don't know if I'll turn it over here to see if folks can can kind of see that to the other camera.
Yep, this black box here says PSU.
This is the power supply unit.
It does have you can kind of see A little lightning bolt there on the on the top of it and it talks and it shows the airflow which way the air is going to flow through that be pulled through it.
While we don't do TVs is because they do have power supplies sometimes in them or capacitors in them in all the TVs They can be harmful to you.
They can discharge even after sitting dormant without power for quite some time.
So you definitely want to be careful around PS use or any type of Power Supply Unit.
This one, however is good.
I'm very impressed with the way Microsoft is assembled the device.
It came apart in my hand as we were talking All I had to do was it appears there are two connectors right on the end of the right on there that connect it to the board.
I'll see if I can hold this over here, up to the camera so we can see One of the chips underneath it with an Xbox logo, Microsoft logo on that.
You can see the storage expansion port right here, some of the rest of the circuit board there and then we're gonna go ahead and see if we can't remove the heat sick.
Which is right there are four screws on the bottom here.
So we'll pull those out and should allow the heatsink and we can look at the chips underneath it.
Nothing you know an old time PC lover of people who've built their own PCs, which, you know, people used to do back in the days that people still do now.
Well, they love the idea of a good heat sink.
Because that means you can overclock or rev up the performance on your computer.
And and make it run faster essentially.
So, you have less that you're waiting on.
Not as much of a problem these days, computers Are pretty, generally pretty fast and we've seen machines like the apple m one MacBook Air, which is really surprised us with its performance.
You can read Dan ackermans review on that.
But you know, it never hurts to have a good heatsink.
It means you can run it faster.
For example The difference between the 13 inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro the 13 inch MacBook Pro is the MacBook Pro has better cooling which means it can take that same chip and run it a little hotter run it a little faster so that it has better performance running, you know video and all kinds of high demand applications.
Alright Bill, so what are you looking at now?
So right now what we're doing is to try and remove this little knock out here for it's on the back of the USB port so I can pull this off.
So I've removed the screws on the back of the heatsink.
Before I think remove it though I am going to lift the motherboard out From the bottom of the, the internal shell here, and this is what we were talking about earlier about removing this this piece of white plastic.
That's the back of the series s here.
You actually this is not meant to be removed.
So this is probably cold riveted Sonic riveted somehow to the it is permanently attached this piece of black plastic.
To the internal metal frame.
If I were to actually try and pull this off, I would break these little.
Turn it this way a little bit.
I would break these plastic rivets there and you know end up breaking this so I'm glad I didn't force it and just try to rip it off here.
You can also see Okay, so underneath we've got our first kind of look at this Assad the way you can see our first another on the underside of the motherboard.
Yeah, another excellent.
Hey might as well be consistent with your branding right?
Even on the inside which few people are going to see All right, and I'm gonna remove this here
That reminded me when
When you first opened it there Bill you saw the X underneath when you first get that first piece open, you can see even the metal design there, that there was a nice big X in the middle and then when you get to this part You see another one.
So you gotta like those are little nods to the to the engineers and enthusiasts and so you got to appreciate that for sure.
You do definitely.
I also again, appreciate this.
So on the bottom here of the of the motherboard circuit board here is the SSD.
This is a little Western Digital SSD and that's really neat because it's not soldered to the board, see if I can hold this to the camera.
And, so if you wanted to replace it if at a later time You know, I think the series s comes with a I forget how much more I forget how much storage it actually comes with.
But you could actually add Unfortunately, this thing's really small, hard to see.
So I can't tell what it is.
How many gig it is, but you could replace it you could put a new one in provided the there's been some hardware or software protection to prevent you from doing it and you can increase the storage I like that is one of the things as an old school PC person, I still like to be able to upgrade things.
So soldered RAM is great for you know, solder and story and solder and chips are great.
For Speed sometimes, but for upgrade ability not so much.
Alright, so we have that removed from the bottom.
So, the only thing kinda left actually to try and remove is The heat sink here and I'm going to take a look and see what the best way to do this is, it doesn't appear that there's screws on the bottom, but that doesn't mean that there are, again, I haven't done this before, so this is all new to me.
Those look like there's a metal shield under here.
So the heat seat sits on top of the metal shielding, the.
And there's a little bit of a copper plate here too.
So, but I don't want to damage anything
Bill is probably the big next gen CPU, GPU, right.
Because that's, what's being cooled by that giant heat sink.
That's what you would expect.
And so I'm going to pop these off.
They should come up here.
They're just it's this little metal bracket appears to be.
There's tension holding it in place.
So I shouldn't be
Pop this off without too much trouble.
Because it doesn't appear that these are standoffs, it appears they are.
It's like looped on with these little plastic cups with these little metal connectors.
So again, trying to be very careful, Don't break anything.>>Again, you've got another device open without breaking anything without breaking any snaps without having to do anything and it's really because you're not forcing it you know you're you sort of Test something, you see, okay is this gonna come loose and if not you try another spot.
That's one of the keys for people that do wanna do some of this at home by themselves.
Don't force it, take your time and you got to be a little bit zen with it.
And it doesn't help to have some kind of nimble fingers.
To help out with it, we sort of like to joke you have to have like the the the hands of a surgeon and the patience of a saint.
It does help a little bit.
Alright, so I've got two sides off.
Just want to try and work the other side off here without.
Again, you lent this to me so I want to get back to you in working ordered it.
There we go.
It sounded,look dramatic but not in break anything.
There doesn't look like we broke into the chips or the context.
So this is just how I held on it appears with tension there and kind of a piece of X marks the spot and now I think I can lift it off and I'll look inside at processor there.
More than likely the graphics chip.
That's what's really sort of being cool.
Because I suspect that's all that's under there.
So you can see the heat sink here.
It's got a little bit of thermal paste on it, that helps conduct the heat-
Away from the silicon and into the metal here.
And the heat can be dissipated off there.
And then, we're going to try.
Again, this is one of those things where I, there's probably a way to, I can actually remove this shield.
I can pull it up, I can pop it off.
I'm not sure there's much under there.
So I think I'm going to kind of leave it in place.
So just to make sure I can kind of put this back together, it looks like that would take a little bit longer to kind of pull apart.
What I do want to do is I'm going to remove a little bit of the thermal paste, just so we can kind of see if there's any markings on the chip.
I'm going to use plastic.
This is a little plastic.
Little plastic pry tool there.
Use one of those picks that we used earlier for the iPhone cracking open jaw so you can kind of see the markings on the chip there.
And we can get a shot of that.
We got the whole thing apart.
You showed us all the insides.
We learned a lot about the Xbox and earlier of course about the iPhone 12 as well.
So, thank you everybody for joining us.
And we'll see you again next year with more cracking open.