Inside Microsoft's Xbox 360by Anand Lal Shimpi, Kristopher Kubicki & Tuan Nguyen on November 16, 2005 5:09 AM EST
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Removing the Heatsinks from the Motherboard
Removing the heatsinks from the GPU and the CPU will require a great deal of patience as to avoid damaging the motherboard. Flip over the Xbox 360's motherboard. You will see two X clamps grasping the ends of the screws that hold the heatsinks into place. Without removing the X clamps, you cannot remove the heatsinks. Microsoft has done a clever job in terms of securing the unit from prying eyes and removing the heatsinks from the Xbox 360 can be a trick for a lot of people.
Take a pair of small pliers and gently pry off each corner of the clamps. After two corners have been lifted, the rest of the clamp springs loose and can easily be removed by hand. Once both X plates have been removed, you can turn the motherboard over and simply pull the heatsinks off to reveal the GPUs (two dice on the chip) and CPUs (single die, 3 cores on the chip).
You now have a fully disassembled Xbox 360.