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Upcoming Xbox 360 hardware to have cooler IBM CPU, but not the revised ATI GPU

The Mercury News’ Dean Takahashi reports that the first Xbox 360 CPUs manufactured on the 65nm process are now on ships in the Pacific bound for North America. Should the consoles, which are made in China, arrive soon, then they could be on retail shelves sometime this fall.

Last month, Takahashi reported that the 65nm Xbox 360 chips would come in a revised hardware version that Microsoft has coded “Falcon.” The new chips are not only smaller and roughly 50 percent cheaper to produce than their 90nm counterpart, but they are also cooler – and presumably less prone to the Red Ring of Death defect.

Those expecting the 65nm die shrink to affect the two main chips inside the Xbox 360 will be disappointed to learn that only the console’s main processor will be the manufactured on the new process.

“Falcon is the name for the board that houses the 65-nanometer microprocessor from IBM,” wrote Takahashi. “The board does not include a 65-nanometer version of the ATI graphics chip for the Xbox 360. That version of the graphics chip is coming later.”

The new 65nm chip from IBM will work with both the current 90nm and the future 65nm iteration of the 65nm ATI GPU, according to Takahashi.

Oddly enough, it appears as though the main culprit behind the Xbox 360 reliability woes may be linked to the ATI GPU rather than the IBM CPU. As part of a recent fix to all 90nm-based consoles, Microsoft has been adding additional cooling measures into the Xbox 360. Found first in a repaired European Xbox 360 was a new heatsink with a heatpipe that leads to a secondary “daughter” heatsink helps to further cool the GPU.

The latest Xbox 360 Premium consoles with the HDMI-enabled “Zephyr” motherboard also features the extra heatsinks, providing further evidence that an overheating GPU is the main cause behind the Red Ring of Death.



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RE: Send it in
By cbo on 8/28/2007 7:41:02 AM , Rating: -1
Yes, what do you think all these ten year or ten thousand miles warranties are for? Most other product like your dvd player, if it breaks you just never buy that brand again because your SOL. At least MS values it customers somewhat and said look we are gonna take care of you for our mistakes when they could have easily said you warranty is up.


RE: Send it in
By pitdingo on 8/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Send it in
By jrbrewin on 8/28/2007 8:14:53 AM , Rating: 5
Firstly, the name is microsoft, or Microsoft, or MS. Calling them M$ makes you look like a child if you're trying to make a valid, well thought out point.

Secondly, any games console should be about the games first, and secondly about whatever else it can do for you - whether that's funky controllers, or media play back, or pc connection. Firstly, PS3 has very few (some might say none) good games that are exclusive to it. Games that are cross platform are more often than not better on other consoles.

Yes, the failure rate of the xbox is unacceptable, but people keep going back to it because it simply has the better games catalog at the moment (compared to ps3), and that doesn't look set to change any time soon. Especially when each of the long awaited ps3 exclusives achieve lack lustre reviews. (heavenly sword, 5/10?).

Thirdly, anything microsoft can do to stop the console dying is a good thing. Whether that's cheapening the cost of a fix to $0, giving free shipping, free Xbox Live membership, or looking at fixing the actual hardware via additional heatsinks, or more efficient manufacturing. It's all good, and it all sweetens the userbase.
We've all seen how sony deal with deffective consoles (see the ps2 early days), and it really was not the right way to go about it.. and that was when sony's gaming division was doing well. PS3 owners would be totally screwed if they started bricking in the current financial climate.


RE: Send it in
By pitdingo on 8/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Send it in
By omnicronx on 8/28/2007 1:15:58 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Don't read forums or newsgroups much? M$ or Micro$oft is how it is typed.
And this chances his statement how? using M$ or Micro$oft still makes you sound like a kid. Ususally as soon as i see the $ i disregard anything the poster has to say. If you want to write the short form use MS, plain and simple.

As for your not understanding who would buy a faulty console, its been said before in many posts, better games! period!
It worked for sony with the ps2, (huge fail rate in the first year) and now its working for microsoft. Releasing a console early also increases the fanbase. What i think is the younger agegroup only care about getting it first, regardless of quality, and the 360 delivered nearly a year in advance. Customer loyalty was generated by the younger post ps2 generation and here we are now, the ps3 floundering while the 360, although MS would rather have higher sales is taking the high road.

Of course this could all change if the ps3 starts releasing some good exclusives and if MS doesn't fix their failure rate woes.


RE: Send it in
By peritusONE on 8/28/2007 1:22:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Don't read forums or newsgroups much? M$ or Micro$oft is how it is typed.

Actually, the Wii has the better games hence it is has the largest installed base. People are buying it for the entertainment value of the system. games + "funky controllers" is what sells.

Eventhough, M$ rushed out the 360 to have a year+ head start, the Wii has passed it and continues to sell at a record pace. how long until M$ gives up on the 360 and makes the 720?

Again, i do not understand who in their right mind would buy a faulty console like the 360. I want to play games, not ship it back to get fixed over and over again. or have it scratch the disks. Or have accessories burn out and give off smoke.


Wow, the elusive Nintendo Wii fanboy. Allow me to respond....

First off, only idiots make up names for every company they hate. That includes M$, Micro$oft, Microshaft, Winblows, etc. Grow up and have a normal conversation.

Second, the Wii does NOT have better games if you look at sites like metacritic or gamerankings. They may be better to you, but you need to state that as your opinion. Otherwise, you can only go by the average score of established game reviewers. You can keep your Red Steel and Super Monkey Ball, I'll stick with my Bioshock and Gears.

Third, the Wii and 360 are not competing directly with each other! I simply cannot understand why we continue to directly compare sales of these two consoles. The 360 is a gamer's machine, aimed at the gaming crowd. The Wii is aimed at everyone for casual type gaming, hence it's lower price, easy and accessible games, and simplistic control scheme.

As far as not understanding why anyone would buy a faulty console, the extended warranty was only established a couple of months ago. Only the internet gaming people were aware of all the problems, but we probably only constitute less than 5% of the people buying these things. Hell, I'm sure the majority of the people buying 360's at this exact moment still have no idea about any mass failures with the console they are purchasing.

As far as scratched discs, that's long been fixed. Other consoles have had bigger problems than that one that lasted longer (PS2 disc read error anyone?). And you can't count a faulty accessory against the console itself.


RE: Send it in
By omnicronx on 8/28/2007 1:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
Good post..
quote:
As far as scratched discs, that's long been fixed
Yep its true ;) It was an issue with the rubber pads inside certain 360 DVD drives. Microsoft decided to use drives that had none, so the disc would either hit the top of the case and spin off scratching against the sides, or the laser block itself would scratch the disc directly.

I modded mine with some old dvd drives i had lying around, and now i can move my 360 from vertical to horizontal without making the worst grinding noise i have ever heard a console make ;) let alone the rings or random scratches on your game discs.


RE: Send it in
By encryptkeeper on 8/28/2007 2:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'll stick with my Bioshock and Gears.

Why would you do that when you can get at least one of those on your PC?

Patient PC owners have gotten plenty of 360 "exclusives" on their computers (Halo 1 and 2, KOTOR 1 and 2, and now Bioshock, with NO waiting!). Microsoft makes money on the games no matter what system they are on, but right now when their global position is slipping maybe they shouldn't let such A-List titles be released on the PC at the same time.


RE: Send it in
By encryptkeeper on 8/28/2007 3:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft makes money on the games no matter what system they are on

Note to self: edit posts BEFORE hitting submit. I was trying to say that Microsoft still makes money off the game if it's distributed for the 360 OR the PC.


RE: Send it in
By kellehair on 8/28/2007 3:44:51 PM , Rating: 3
I find it hilarious that you ridiculed another user for being childish and then make a post like this.

When listing games for the Wii a reasonable person would mention the latest Zelda game. Many sites have mentioned it in the "greatest game ever" category. Also, Metroid Corruption was released just today and received a near perfect rating from IGN.

Also, when it comes to the control scheme don't confuse intuitive with simplistic. Want to shoot something on the Wii? Just point the remote. Want to shoot something another console? Move a stick around. Which is a better scheme again?

If you think the Wii isn't a gamers machine you seriously need to reevaluate your definition of gamer.


RE: Send it in
By Knowname on 8/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: Send it in
By kellehair on 8/29/2007 8:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
1. I don't have a DS so maybe you can answer this for me... has Nintendo even integrated the DS and Wii? I don't think they have.

2. Nintendo also had the best selling handheld last generation so by your logic the Gamecube actually won the last round of hardware wars. Oh wait, they came in a distant 3rd.

3. Playing off the success of other products seems like a smart business move. Why would you demean Nintendo for it? Did you badmouth Microsoft when they brought Xbox Live to Games for Windows?


RE: Send it in
By Knowname on 8/29/2007 11:20:02 AM , Rating: 2
>1. I don't have a DS so maybe you can answer this for me... has Nintendo even integrated the DS and Wii? I don't think they have.<

I don't have a DS (or any current gen console) either so I can't tell you for sure, but like you, I don't beleive so either.... but what's your point?

What I said is it's the POPULARITY of their francise' that make the system, interconnectivity is just an afterthought.

2 I have no clue where that came from. I never said anything about most popular anything, but Gamecube was very likely the most pofitable system last gen. At no time did N ever incur a loss. MS didn't even profit off of Xbox, it was 2nd most popular though, but...

3 I am not a fanboy by any length... heck I'm more a gaming analyst now than a gamer per say lol. I'm not 'demeaning' Nintendo, I am 'demeaning' blind Wiitards (Wii fanboys) that think their machine is popular! Market share is one thing, but popular is another and the Wii is NOT popular at all.


RE: Send it in
By kellehair on 8/29/2007 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
"Market share is one thing, but popular is another and the Wii is NOT popular at all."

Priceless. Thanks!


RE: Send it in
By peritusONE on 8/29/2007 10:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I find it hilarious that you ridiculed another user for being childish and then make a post like this.

When listing games for the Wii a reasonable person would mention the latest Zelda game. Many sites have mentioned it in the "greatest game ever" category. Also, Metroid Corruption was released just today and received a near perfect rating from IGN.

Also, when it comes to the control scheme don't confuse intuitive with simplistic. Want to shoot something on the Wii? Just point the remote. Want to shoot something another console? Move a stick around. Which is a better scheme again?

If you think the Wii isn't a gamers machine you seriously need to reevaluate your definition of gamer.


I'm glad I could give you a laugh.

My post wasn't meant to list great games on the Wii, just saying that overall, Wii games in general do not command higher review scores than those on the 360. You just happened to name the only two original Wii games that have gotten a half-way decent score on the system so far (RE4 is a remake of a remake, but you could include that too I guess).

But, since you brought it up, let's check gamerankings, shall we? If I sort the best average review scores, with a minimum of 20 reviews, the Wii shows only 7 games with an average of at least 80% or more. With Metriod 3 Corruption well on it's way to awesome reviews, we'll make that 8 games. The 360, sorted with the same criteria, shows 54(!) games with at least an average of 80%. Hell, if I wanted to make that 79% instead of 80%, the Wii goes to 9 games, and the 360 goes to 65 games. That guy I replied to said that the Wii sells the best because it has the best games, and I've just shown you that it absolutely is not the case.

And I've not confused intuitive with simplistic. I call it simplistic because the remote and sensors are nowhere near as accurate as they could be. For simplistic games like the bowling, they work. But as soon as you fire up boxing, intuitive is no where to be found, as the controllers just do not register movements worth a damn (atleast once it starts to matter against tougher opponents). Simplistic, yes. Intuitive, no. If you were to pit a couple of FPS gamers against each other, one with a wii-mote, the other with a 360 pad or dual shock, I'd bet on the regular controller all the time.

But don't get me wrong, the Wii has some cool advancements in controller technology, one being the integrated speaker. Hell, if I could get the stlying and ergonomics of the 360 controller with an integrated speaker and Dreamcast VMU-like LCD, I'd be in heaven. If Nintendo could make the wii-mote MUCH more precise and able to read any movements any finer than just a broad range, it'd be a ton better.

I still don't think the Wii is a true gamer's machine. Sure, the typical gamer will get some use out of it with awesome games like Zelda and Metroid, but it's more aimed at the casual market, and so far, the games absolutely show this. There is no denying this.


RE: Send it in
By kellehair on 8/29/2007 2:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even look at that list of games over 80% for the 360? Are games like Uno and Marble Blast Ultra really worth counting? Once you factor out the worthless games, sports games from multiple years and games widely available on other consoles and the PC -- the 360 probably has twice as many good games as the Wii. I think that's to be expected given their relative lifespans.

As for the controller I think it's sad that you would base your opinion on the f'ed up version of boxing in Wii Sports, a free game. Read some reviews of the new Metroid game. I haven't played it yet but everyone seems pretty impressed. Here's a quote from IGN's review... "In fact, using the nunchuk's analog stick to control Samus through environments as you point the Wii remote to target with speed and accuracy obliterates just about every dual-analog control setup currently available. If there is a game that proves the potential of the Wii remote for first-person experiences, this is it, and our hat is off to Retro for stepping up to the challenge when others couldn't or wouldn't."


RE: Send it in
By Knowname on 8/28/2007 9:56:04 PM , Rating: 1
>Don't read forums or newsgroups much? M$ or Micro$oft is how it is typed.<

a better answer would be 'intelligence on the internet is an oxymoron.'


RE: Send it in
By TomZ on 8/28/2007 8:17:06 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
M$ made a defective console. they should have done the right thing and had a recall of all the consoles and fixed them.

No, they did the right thing already. They admitted they had a problem, and they enhanced the warranty. That is the correct way to handle a higher-than-expected failure rate. Recalls are necessary for safety issues, not reliability issues, assuming the failure rate does not approach 100%.


RE: Send it in
By RubberJohnny on 8/28/2007 11:32:36 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair, they did the right thing after DT ran the story on the 33% failure rate.

Who knows if they would have done anything if the problem had stayed "underground"?


RE: Send it in
By mankopi on 8/28/2007 8:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'd buy a 360 any day. I've had one for about a year now and no problems. Moreover, I live in Cananda so heat is not really a problem to me. My 360 really enjoys the -30 degrees winters.


RE: Send it in
By The Sword 88 on 8/28/2007 9:27:20 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Texas where heat is an issues and my Xbox 360 that I bought on launch day still works like a champ.

So no complaints here. I had to send my PS2 in twice for disc read errors. First when it wouldnt read blue cds adn later when it wouldnt read certain dvds. I am pretty sure those problems where pretty wide spread as well


RE: Send it in
By gradoman on 8/28/2007 8:05:58 AM , Rating: 1
Um, sure, 30% failure rate is totally acceptable. You'd be on your 2nd or 3rd car if you had good luck.

Cheers.


RE: Send it in
By omnicronx on 8/28/2007 10:22:07 AM , Rating: 2
The ps2 had a failure rate of 10-15% (reported by sony,probably higher as almost all redbox consoles had to be returned) between 2000-2003. Thats just as unacceptable, yet they sold 100 million consoles. Why? because they had the 3 G's. Great games, Great exclusives, Great marketing. Nobody is making you buy one remember, and it seems many people are willing to take the chance to play better games, rather than running folding@home on their ps3.


RE: Send it in
By gradoman on 8/28/2007 12:38:04 PM , Rating: 1
I can't say that I had any knowledge of the failure rate of the PS2, though my friends and I all bought one at or near launch.

Also, we're talking about the XBOX360, not PS2 and it appears, by all the coverage and the fact that MS has taken steps to help those with faulty systems and lessen the system's failure rate, that this wasn't some minor thing.


RE: Send it in
By omnicronx on 8/28/2007 1:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't say that I had any knowledge of the failure rate of the PS
quote:
Also, we're talking about the XBOX360, not PS2
First off go read about ps2 consoles that were originally released in the red box. Most of them had DVD drive failure by 1 year and would not play games with a certain colour bottom, and would eventually stop playing DVD's. Furthermore sony return policy was crap compared to that of Microsft, I specifically remember my friend having to get his dad on the phone to argue with the sony call centre because their console died after 8 months. After hours on the phone sony finally decided they would send him a new one, I am sure others were not so lucky.

As for you talking about the 360, well you said 30% fail rate is unacceptable well in my mind so is 15+%, and as i said sony sold close to 100 million consoles. Sony's problems were not minor either, yet with good games, and many exclusives they still managed to sell many consoles.
So whether you think its unacceptable or not, the public doesn't totally seem to agree with you.


RE: Send it in
By mdogs444 on 8/28/2007 9:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
Be careful when thinking about a 10yr/100000mile warranty. It is not all that it seems. For example, Hyundai - the warranty for 100000miles covers the motor and powertrain. But it does not cover electrical. If an electronic part is the root cause of the motor blowing, Hyundai is not liable and is not covered under warranty. You must really read the fine print to know what is covered - because chances are, the main problems that do go wrong, arent covered.


RE: Send it in
By on 8/28/2007 12:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
Also keep in mind that a Warranty is only as good as the company behind it. Before going bankrupt and being absorbed by Hyundai, I know that Kia had a supposedly great warranty -- unless you actually tried to get one repaired. Kia was notorious for denying warranty coverage.

I've also heard horror stories about third-party warranty companies going under (quite regularly, in fact) and leaving policy-holders with nothing -- a warning for those of you looking at those extended-warranty offers.


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