When it was discovered that standard Xbox 360 Premium
packages were coming
equipped with HDMI output, the first question on many gamers’ minds is if
this new box was indeed the quiet introduction to the much awaited and
anticipated shrink to 65nm chips.
One brave soul on hardcore gaming forum NeoGAF
decided to help answer that question for everyone and cracked open his new
console for educational purposes. It appears those waiting for the 65nm die
shrink will have to wait some time longer, as examination of the innards of the
Premium box with HDMI reveals the identical “Zephyr” motherboard layout as
originally discovered in the Xbox 360 Elite console.
The main differences between the previous Xbox 360
motherboard and the new “Zephyr” are mainly in power supply. As detailed in an
earlier article with regards to a dissection of the Xbox
360 Elite, the new motherboard makes use of smaller capacitors arranged in
slightly different arrangements. Microsoft has also reduced the amount of MOSFETs
installed in the power supply section of the PCB. There are also fewer
resistors located above the CPU as well. However, despite the power changes,
the die size remains the same as with the HDMI-less Xbox 360.
One notable addition to the new Xbox 360 Premium console is
the inclusion of added
cooling measures not found in previous iterations of the console. A new
heatsink with a heatpipe that leads to a secondary “daughter” heatsink helps to
further cool the GPU.
For gamers waiting for an even cooler running box, the next
step will have to wait until the arrival of “Falcon,” – the codename for the
65nm Xbox 360 GPU and CPU. Microsoft has not officially confirmed the
production of its new, smaller, cooler chips, but industry experts are
expecting “Falcon” to land sometime this