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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 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.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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