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Xbox 360 gets CPU upgrade

The Xbox 360 CPU gets an upgrade according to manufacturer Chartered Semiconductor. Currently the CPU is being produced with 90 nanometre technology, after the upgrade it will be 65nm. Translation for the less-technical people is that the new processor will use smaller transistors thus getting less hot and cheaper to produce.

Microsoft didn’t respond whether this had something to do with the reported ‘heat issues’ they get every now and then. The new CPU is not faster than the original one, and is fully backwards compatible, so don’t worry.

Microsoft acknowledged last year that it had received “isolated” reports of problems. One US buyer has initiated a class action suit against the company, alleging that both the CPU and power supply were prone to overheating.

As is common with advances in chip building methods, the 65nm technology that the new Xbox 360 CPU will use can provide lower power consumption and reduced heat output compared to older production methods.

While the new CPU may help Microsoft alleviate any overheating problems with the existing Xbox 360 design, it is standard industry practice for hardware makers to take advantage of newer semiconductor technology as it becomes available, simply because this helps them reduce manufacturing costs

Little hothead

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7 comments on 'Xbox 360 gets CPU upgrade'

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Comment by The M.A.R.T. on 2006-04-21 20:37:19 | Reply

How much would be the difference in power consumption in overall watt between the two 360’s, one with the 90 and one with the 65 CPU? Could anyone with some technical background say something about it?

The surface of the processor is almost halved, but it’s very hard to say what happens with the power consumption. PC processors undergo this shrinking process all the time and the results vary a lot. But i can do a little guess.

I thought I read somewhere that the Xbox 360 uses up to 160Watts, now let’s just say the CPU takes up about 80 of that. If the shrink goes really well it should improve about 30Watts which leaves us with 130.

Remember this is just a guess i could be a couple of Watts off :P.

Watts the difference? If next year’s cpu’s run cooler then great. My wife will get a cooler machine that I’ve got now.

It’s a common upgrade for both PCs and Consoles. However, this type of information is very rarely reported on in the media. Typically, customers are not knowledgeable about the inner workings of the products and jump to conclusions; worrying that their console is no longer good enough. Fact is, if you already own the Xbox 360 and are not experiencing extensive overheating issues than feel free to ignore this news update.

Comment by TobiM2000 on 2006-04-22 09:11:53 | Reply

I think there were even 5 or 6 revisions of the PS2.

Its quite simple: they want to drop the price when the PS3 arrives/has arrived, so they have to produce the 360 for as cheap as possible, with newer chips.

Comment by Kevin_NL on 2006-05-18 18:51:08 | Reply

Can anybody please tell me when i can buy the upgraded version?

a typical revision all hw goes through to cut prices, heat, and get smaller. Hopefully they can cut the price when PS3 arrives.

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