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Xbox 360 Falcon CPU arrives

Xbox 360 Falcon CPU arrives

The new Falcon chipset has been spotted in a new Halo 3 Special Edition 360.

The Xbox 360 has had a troubled history and for a long time it has seemed like Microsoft has been on the defensive as they try to please customers and improve the 360 hardware.

Microsoft has coped quite admirably with the continued hardware failings of the Xbox 360, issuing out a new heatsink, extending the warranty and adding HDMI. However, reliability is still seen by many as a weakness for the console.

Well, the new update should fix that. Falcon has landed.

The new 65nm CPU, codenamed Falcon, has been spotted on a new version of the Halo 3 SKU. Microsoft has always refused to tell anyone what the cause of overheating in the Xbox 360 is, but it's commonly thought to be the fault of the CPU and this new update is inteded to address that.

A new owner of the Halo 3 SKU, known only as 'JWSpeed', dissected his console recently and found not only a new CPU, with a 'CANADA' label on it and a new simplified heatsink. The new heatsink design has no heatpipe, indicating that the cooling requirements of the new chip are less than the old version.

For reference, the console examined to have the new hardware was built on August 24, 2007 from team “FDOU” and lot number 734.

The Xbox forums are currently hosting a guide detailing how to find out what hardware is in your 360, so with that in mind why not let us know just what you're Xbox is packing? Drop your specs in the forums.

18 Comments

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naokaji 1st October 2007, 11:44 Quote
yet another version of the 360.... atleast this one should not suffer from heat issues...

but maybe they should have left in the "better" hsf just to be sure.
cjoyce1980 1st October 2007, 12:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
but maybe they should have left in the "better" hsf just to be sure.

agree, these components can never be cool enough
Veles 1st October 2007, 12:22 Quote
Yep I agree with that, having just bought an Elite, I really hope it's a 65nm version, but having said that, I've never had a problem with my old 360.

EDIT: Bah I see a heatpipe, oh well.
Naberius 1st October 2007, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
but maybe they should have left in the "better" hsf just to be sure.

I was thinking the exact same thing aswell.
Jamie 1st October 2007, 12:31 Quote
I'm on my 3rd xbox which still isn't 100%. I'll be upgrading to an elite once they all have the new CPU and better cooling.
[USRF]Obiwan 1st October 2007, 12:40 Quote
If i had a box i would mod the hell out if it and fit some wc on it.
samkiller42 1st October 2007, 12:52 Quote
I must be a lucky one then. Granted im on my second 360, as the first one suffered DVD drive problems, i dont seem to suffer any hea problems or anything, its just a little loud.

So, if the CPU is smaller, that means it uses less power, does that mean the Power Adapter is smaller, or am i getting my hopes up?

Sam
DougEdey 1st October 2007, 13:03 Quote
I'm on my first 360 (a launch one I think) which I bought 2nd hand. I'm going to head to maplin tomorrow probably to get enough bits to silence it.
DXR_13KE 1st October 2007, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
So, if the CPU is smaller, that means it uses less power, does that mean the Power Adapter is smaller, or am i getting my hopes up?

that would be a problem.... imagine an old 360 user plugging his 360 with a new power adapter.... i think it would not last long.

as for the news.... hurra for MS for finally getting the message... i am waiting for someone to review it in terms of overheating problems.
sui_winbolo 1st October 2007, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
I must be a lucky one then. Granted im on my second 360, as the first one suffered DVD drive problems, i dont seem to suffer any hea problems or anything, its just a little loud.

So, if the CPU is smaller, that means it uses less power, does that mean the Power Adapter is smaller, or am i getting my hopes up?

Sam

Nope, the PSU is still the same size. The only difference is it's not grounded for some reason anymore, and there isn't any locking buttons on the connector.

I <3 my new Halo 3 360. =)
devdevil85 1st October 2007, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
but it's commonly thought to be the fault of the CPU and this new update is inteded to address that.
and what about the GPU?....my friend's 360 began seeing video problems/artifacting/etc. until the thing just wouldn't show picture and it would just freeze up, never giving the 3 red rings of death btw....so honestly I really don't think you can rule out overheating until the GPU is shown as being resolved as well imo, but it's about time Microsoft is acknowledging the problem......will the price drop even further or not?
Bladestorm 1st October 2007, 21:30 Quote
Its always been my impression that CPU's have a high level of heat generation, with a relatively low heat capacity/threshhold, thus the need for large active coolers for there size to keep the temperature to a low number, meanwhile GPU's have a relatively low heat production and a relatively high capacity/threshold, thus the coolers not needing to be so large or powerfull.

My bit of experience with water cooling seemed to back it up - While the cpu experienced perhaps a 20-30% drop in temperature the overall change wasn't that drastic and there is still a somewhat noticeable change between idle and load temps, while for the GPU the temperate dropped by something like 60% and the previous variance between idle and load temps almost dissapeared - which seems to suggest that the water setup was far more than sufficient to keep the GPU temp down as low as the water temperature runs, but the CPU is putting out a lot more heat and thus requiring quite a bit more work to cool down.

I can't be entirely sure if this all holds true for the 360, but from what I have seen it has poor overall ventilation .. so reducing the heat coming out of the CPU would probably help keep the overall internal temp down quite a bit, which would in turn help the GPU.

Ahem, stopping my rambling now :)
DXR_13KE 1st October 2007, 22:00 Quote
they could further improve it with a slimline DVD reader......
devdevil85 1st October 2007, 23:31 Quote
Bladestorm, first off, those drops were with water cooling methods not air, but either way were the temperature drops 'at idle' or during full usage (gaming)? because my CPU (w/ aftermarket Thermaltake HS) has always been cooler than my GPU (aftermarket Zalman), but I do see your point, but is there a HS above the GPU on the 360 or not (I can't remember)?, either way time will tell I guess....
completemadness 2nd October 2007, 00:05 Quote
it was my understanding the GPU was the problem

Small HSF, high heat generation = failure

Also, as the new HS was attached to the GPU ....
Bladestorm 2nd October 2007, 00:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
Bladestorm, first off, those drops were with water cooling methods not air, but either way were the temperature drops 'at idle' or during full usage (gaming)? because my CPU (w/ aftermarket Thermaltake HS) has always been cooler than my GPU (aftermarket Zalman), but I do see your point, but is there a HS above the GPU on the 360 or not (I can't remember)?, either way time will tell I guess....

My point, such as it was, was that improving the cooling in a similar fashion for both cpu and gpu pretty much completely removed the heat build-up on the GPU, with idle and load temps barely moving whilst the cpu was still capable of pushing its temps up, the figures aren't too important, though if you must know ..

From memory the cpu went from something like 45 idle, 55 load to 35 idle, 40 load and the gpu went from something like 40 idle, 85 load to something like 35 at both idle and load ;) (I went on to overclock both, the gpu temp still barely changed and the CPU temp went up another 6 degrees or so under load)

My theory on why they have fairly equally large coolers on PC's has to do with the cpu being in the middle of case airflow and needing all the airflow over its heat sink it can get just to remove heat from it, whilst GPU's tend to be off down in there own pocket of poor airflow, so need a decent sized fan more to get some air moving past than to actually remove heat from the card.

I believe I've read that the 360 does have a GPU heat sink, though not a particularly large one.

Though you could fill the entire case with the heatsink and it wouldn't help at all if the heat being moved to the air is greater than the heat moving out of the case - We know the 360 has a single small, undervolted (for quietness sake apparently) exhaust fan which probably doesn't help. Thus, even regardless of how much heat the cpu/gpu put out individually, reducing the total case heat build up should help both.
Yubalostia 2nd October 2007, 05:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
So, if the CPU is smaller, that means it uses less power, does that mean the Power Adapter is smaller, or am i getting my hopes up?

that would be a problem.... imagine an old 360 user plugging his 360 with a new power adapter.... i think it would not last long.

as for the news.... hurra for MS for finally getting the message... i am waiting for someone to review it in terms of overheating problems.

if it's output voltage is the same, it will.

I am most interested if power consumption is lowered from the 90nm, man-killing, house-burning, environmentally-disastrous 16.5 Amperes...
Veles 2nd October 2007, 10:12 Quote
Thats two undervolted fans I'll have you know. :p

I have to say, my old Nyko cooler made a massive difference to the amount of heat shifted out of my 360, unfortunately they started "grinding" (like all fans do eventually) after only a few weeks so I chucked it out. I could tolerate the high noise of the fans, but a vibrating fan just annoys the hell out of me. I might have to buy one of the new, improved black ones for my elite, and if it starts getting annoying again, I can try and swap out the fans for some decent ones.
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