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The Xbox 360's toasty GPU won't get a reprieve until late 2008

For those of you hoping to get an Xbox 360 with both a 65nm CPU and GPU, your wait is going to be a bit longer. The Mercury News' Dean Takahashi first brought us news of the Falcon motherboard that houses a 65nm CPU and 90nm GPU in July. Takahashi the following month reported that Xbox 360 consoles featuring the new motherboard and revised processor would begin shipping this fall.

While Xbox 360 consoles are starting to trickle into the retail market with 65nm processors and revised cooling, a new 65nm GPU die shrink won't arrive until late 2008 according to Takahashi.

The new Xbox 360 consoles coming late next year feature both a 65nm CPU and GPU will be codenamed Jasper. This would mark nearly a three-year gap between when the Xbox 360 was first released until a solution is finally presented for what has arguably been one of the most troublesome aspects of the console's design.

Many people have reported of DVD drives damaging game discs or failed HDDs, but the overwhelming majority of Xbox 360 failures have come at the hand of the dreaded Red Ring of Death (RRoD) which often points towards an overheated GPU.

"I don’t know why it will take Microsoft essentially three years to cost reduce the size of the graphics chip through a manufacturing shrink," said Takahashi. "Microsoft has had to divert a lot of engineers to debugging problems with Xbox 360 reliability. Even so, you would think that they would have moved faster, since the move to 65-nm graphics chip will likely be one of the best things they can do to improve the reliability."

Microsoft contends, however, that the new cooling solution provided with Falcon is sufficient to provide sufficient cooling for all internal Xbox 360 components. The Falcon cooling solution may be better than on previous Xbox 360 designs, but the solution to the main heat problem is nearly a year away.

"The Falcon board will likely give off less heat," continued Takahashi. "But the real serious heat saver looks like it will come with Jasper."

Reduced thermals aren't the only benefit of the upcoming Jasper-based Xbox 360s. Switching to the 65nm CPU has allowed Microsoft to reduce manufacturing costs for the consoles and cut costs for consumers. Making the move to a 65nm GPU will cut costs even further and could lead to another round of price cuts according to Takahashi.

"If I were Microsoft, I would try to pull in the date of Jasper as soon as possible," Takahashi added. "What they need right now is a lower cost so that they can be more competitive against the Wii and so they leave no openings for Sony."

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Undercut Wii?
By Rotkiv on 10/11/2007 10:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
No, I think there are very few people who would want to bye a 360 but bought a Wii instead. They are very different consoles and mostly, very different markets(and I am talking about the parent who bought a Wii for their kids).

RE: Undercut Wii?
By Locutus465 on 10/11/2007 11:25:30 AM , Rating: 4
Wii's aren't just being bought by parents, I have a Wii-60 my self... The Wii is an excellent system to own, particularly for social gatherings.

RE: Undercut Wii?
By helios220 on 10/11/2007 11:44:07 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly, I always find it kind of amusing how people still try to insinuate that kids are the only ones who are buying Wii's.

A Wii is great for kids, but it's also great for parties. Girls like to play the Wii, it's still fun (albeit much more dangerous as I've found out) to play while drinking and great for when you just want some casual fun. It's not going to be my hardcore system like my PC is for me and the 360 is for many others... but let's just say that chicks weren't showing up at my apartment and asking if they could play Command & Conquer, they like their Wii and that's cool with me.

RE: Undercut Wii?
By psyph3r on 10/11/2007 11:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
that and Women of all ages love them.

RE: Undercut Wii?
By Murst on 10/11/2007 12:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
Although I've never seen anyone substitute a Wii for a 360, I've seen people substitute a 360 for a Wii last Xmas. They waited in line to get a Wii, they sold out, and the people ended up buying a 360.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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