Much Prettier than the Original

Microsoft took a page from Sony’s playbook and outfitted the new Xbox 360 with all touch sensitive buttons. The eject button is much smaller but extremely sensitive, not to mention you get a loud beep whenever you hit it. There are no issues with knowing whether or not you hit the eject button.

The power button is pretty much the same way, a light tap will toggle it and send you on your way. The green ring of light apparently doesn’t turn red anymore (it only flashes green when there’s a problem? engineering meet marketing). On the bright side like Jasper before it, there is no reason the new Xbox 360 should have the same RRoD problems as the older models. As you’ll see from the dissection not only is it a new chip fabbed on a new process, but it’s apparently cool enough to require much less force exerted on it by the heatsink clamp.

The exterior is a glossy black plastic. It looks great but picks up fingerprints and smudges like the dickins. A definite problem for those of you who like to cart your 360s around.

The Xbox 360 memory units are no longer supported but there are two USB ports up front that will accept USB drives as data storage.

Around back you get an optical audio out, Xbox 360 AV connector, HDMI output, three more USB ports, Ethernet port and input for Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral due out later this year.

There’s 802.11n support integrated into the new Xbox 360. If you open up the case you’ll see a USB 802.11n adapter plugged into an internal USB port. This also makes me wonder if we’ll see a cheap version of the new 360 without WiFi support.

The hard drive is still a 2.5” model but now it’s tucked away at the bottom of the system (standing up) in a much smaller case. To get to it just pull back on a couple of the fins which will let you remove a part of the cover:

Yanking on the black ribbon (it takes a bit of pulling) will pull out the hard drive itself. Microsoft appears to have sealed this drive up pretty well. I’m not sure there’s a way to remove the physical drive without irreversibly breaking open the case. I had other ways of figuring out what was inside so I didn’t bother taking this one any further.

The new hard drive is a Hitachi HTS545025B9SA00 1.5Gbps SATA hard drive. It spins at 5400RPM and has an 8MB buffer. If you were hoping for a 7200 RPM drive, you’re out of luck.

And just for fun here's a comparison shot to the old HDD:

The funny part is the hard drive form factor never changed, just the case it came in.

On To The Next One Power Consumption: 50% of the Original Xbox 360, and Quieter
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  • Visual - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    does the wifi module work on a PC?
    does another type of wifi module that was ment for PCs work with the xbox?

    are you able to open the hdd case and replace the hdd inside?
    Reply
  • Ganesh_balan - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    Could you please give us an insight into the fan details? Is that a Coolermaster make as it came out in the initial batch of leaked pics from the Chinese website? What size/rpm?
    Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Uhm, I am going to be the first to say this...
    It's hardly any smaller! (Not that the 360 is big)
    Also it looks like a normal 360 and someone got a heatgun on the faceplate and it bent inwards.
    Reply
  • michal1980 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    You need a special port for this add on? Reply
  • biohazard75 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    Yes and no. The Kinect connects to the 360 via a USB port, however it also requires more power than can be supplied by the USB port.

    So the 'new' Kinect port on the new 360 allows the Kinect to be connected via a single wire.

    Connecting the Kinect to an old 360 requires an additional power lead (probably a power injected USB connector will be supplied).

    (I never want to type Kinect/Connect again...)
    Reply
  • can - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    With both chips being proprietary items (ATI and PowerPC) Who integrated them on one die? I guess I find it hard to believe that each company would give up it's design specs so that someone could engineer it for a single chip. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    We need that heatspread off. Reply
  • bill4 - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    From what I know it's unlikely the EDRAM was integrated. That's another reason it'd be nice to see the heatspreader off.

    But as for who would do it, Microsoft?

    The deal for X360 was such that MS owned the CPU and GPU IP, to a point anyway, so they can go fab it wherever. That was a big difference to the original Xbox, where Ms was forced to pay Intel and Nvidia whatever they wanted.
    Reply
  • can - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    I wasn't aware of that, thank you. Makes me wonder how much info (specs, design) was given to whom and by whom? Still leaves me with questions, but it's a useful answer. Reply
  • xboxknow - Saturday, June 19, 2010 - link

    IBM did the design and IBM and Chartered build the CGPU chips, mostly IBM at this point. It's indeed 45nm

    There are 2 chips underneath, a large die containing the CPU /
    GPU function and a smaller EDRAM, procured elsewhere
    Reply

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