“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Xbox 360 to Get Cool New GPU This Fall

by May 12, 2008

Reports have surfaced from Taiwan that chip makers are set to produce enhanced Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for Xbox 360. The new processors are designed to keep Microsoft’s gaming machine cool during those all night Halo 3 fests and hopefully end the dreaded red circle of death once and for all.

We saw new Falcon flavored Xbox 360s hit the market last year. These were Xbox 360 units that had upgraded the old 90-nm chip to leaner 65 nm CPUs. The enhanced efficiency of the CPUs weren’t designed to make the Xbox 360 any faster, just run cooler (here’s how you can identify an Xbox 360 Falcon CPU edition).

Microsoft and its valuable Xbox brand has taken a significant hit over the red circle of death, that’s the warning signal that your Xbox 360 has overheated and will need to be serviced by Microsoft. At its peak, estimates had put the number failures at almost 30 percent of units sold (although Microsoft still maintains failure rates were well below 10 percent.)

The CPU is a large part of the gaming machine's total processing - but what about the other chip that crunches the polygons, pixels and textures for those amazing graphics? That job is held by the Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) which has always been a 90 nm chip. Even the Falcon based Xbox 360 units contain the same old 90 nm GPU.

The good news for heat-weary Xbox 360 fans is that a new, cooler 65 nm GPU is coming to match the CPU. Code named Jasper it’s rumored to replace the old 90 nm in units on store shelves as early as this fall.

We’ll report the sku numbers of the new Xboxes when available. Retailers understandably don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to hardware enhancements inside new units when they ship. Otherwise nobody would buy the older stock. So, when it comes to identifying which ones have new processors you’re left digging through the web for rumors of manufacture dates, bar codes and skus.

You got to hand it to Microsoft, the company has taken fast action to fix its investment in the gaming community. Yeah, the next-gen console was probably rushed to beat PS3. A little more QA is what the Xbox 360 needed from the start and hopefully Microsoft is compelled to do know better next time.

The next big step will be to see if and when a Blu-ray version ships...

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

View full profile

Recent Forum Posts:

MinusTheBear posts on May 13, 2008 14:48
GlocksRock, post: 412012
At least we know why the PS3's drive is so quiet, it's a slow blu ray drive. The dvd drive in my elite 360 is ridiculously loud, it's a good thing I can just turn up the volume and drown it out.

Yeah my 360 is loud too, it seem like the disk is always spinning at full RPM even at points where it is not loading anything. Maybe this is a software issue as well but bottom line the dvd drives are cheap.
GlocksRock posts on May 13, 2008 14:08
At least we know why the PS3's drive is so quiet, it's a slow blu ray drive. The dvd drive in my elite 360 is ridiculously loud, it's a good thing I can just turn up the volume and drown it out.
MinusTheBear posts on May 13, 2008 12:58
GlocksRock, post: 411970
Yeah, it does seem a bit late, but at least they are still being proactive in doing what they can to improve the console, better late than never. Besides, this will further reduce their repair costs in the future, and help keep the customers happy. Now if they could work on making the console quieter, that would be a big improvement, mine is very loud when playing a game… not sure why their dvd drives are so loud.

They are loud because they are not the greatest quality dvd drives. Apperently the newer BenQ drives are the quietest. There are 3 different dvd drives microsoft uses, this link will tell you which one you have.

http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/Xbox_360_DVD_Drive_Comparison.htm
Clint DeBoer posts on May 13, 2008 12:51
FWIW, I had to send a PS3 back to Sony yesterday for overheating and freezing up…
GlocksRock posts on May 13, 2008 12:37
Yeah, it does seem a bit late, but at least they are still being proactive in doing what they can to improve the console, better late than never. Besides, this will further reduce their repair costs in the future, and help keep the customers happy. Now if they could work on making the console quieter, that would be a big improvement, mine is very loud when playing a game… not sure why their dvd drives are so loud.
Post Reply