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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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it's fine as it is
By bigpow on 10/11/2007 12:50:23 PM , Rating: 1
I bought my premium last X-mas at $300 (after $100 rebate) and I've been abusing it (hint: monthly game rentals)
It's as fine as the first day I got it. Not a single problem.

There you go, at least one guy not crying RRoD or scratched disc.

As far as pricing point, I believe MS has its own reasons.
They must be doing market comparison study continuously, not just speculating or making assumptions.

I think when the barrage of good PS3 games are looming on the horizon, we'd see another price cut (or bonus bundle, or whatever) from MS.

As far as Wii, I don't think it's on the same playing field. It'd be silly for Xbox 360 to stoop as low as Wii.
One way to do it, is by remaking the original Xbox, make it Xbox Live Arcade compatible, slap some gimmicks (copy that Wii sensor & remote), price it $150 and call it a day.

RE: it's fine as it is
By softwiz on 10/11/2007 2:40:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well if the rumors are true about the "Core" sku being replaced by a new one called "Xbox 360 Arcade" @ $279 then that's pretty close to the Wii's price. There may also be plenty of stores selling it for below retail, $249 for example.

This unit differs from the original core by way of an HDMI port / cable, 256MB memory card (still no HD, therefore no BC), and a wireless controller.

RE: it's fine as it is
By softwiz on 10/11/2007 3:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
Scratch that. It comes with composite cables instead.

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