There is an inherent design flaw in the 360 casing, cooling, and motherboard (from Microsoft? Who would have thought! :P ). Resolving it would require a significant price increase. The best you can do is proper cooling and that oh so handy already included MS extended warranty.
MOHH2 username: sushinut
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Originally Posted by ssbbw00t
All NEW Xbox 360's are updated with the new 65nm core and are completely redone in several areas.
The reason they froze and locked up was because of the sloppy job they did with the silicon paste. What would happen is the unit would get hot, the paste would melt (as it should) but because there was so MUCH of it... it would short out the pins causing the thing to fail to boot.
Thats why several methods would temporarily solve the problem (slapping the bottom of the 360, and the towel method).
BUT none of the 360's have this issue because all of them are running a new 65nm core and they took precautions to not make a mess of the silicon paste between the heatsink and the cpu's.
The newer 360's are different in alot of ways that lead outside of this discussion, but I can assure you that you shouldn't be afraid of buying a 360 anymore.
I have a new Elite and its wonderful. Quieter and doesn't get hot like the last series.
You also want to NOT get a cooler. A cooler will run off the internal power supply of the 360, which only makes it work harder, so the internals get hotter and draw more power. Its a vicious cycle that is pointless. The 360 shouldn't need a cooler.