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  • TheLoneWulf - Saturday, June 07, 2008 - link

    Remember that if/when you get your RROD, when you send it back, most likely, you will receive a Falcon board, if not the newest "Jasper" board, when that comes out. Although you will have to wait for it, it will be worth it! Reply
  • iwannaplaycs - Sunday, December 23, 2007 - link

    Bought a Xbox Premium (Holiday bundle) from FutureShop in Toronto.

    Lot: 0642
    Team: JREY

    MFR Date: Oct 17 2006!!!!!

    This sucks. :(
  • Yan - Saturday, December 22, 2007 - link

    I just bought a premium unit in holiday bundle
    at futureshop, I verified the Lot # was above 738, mine is
    lot number 740 and the MFR Date is october 8th, 2007

    I was disapointed to see the infamous heat pipe through the holes
    after I open the box
  • Yan - Saturday, December 22, 2007 - link

    Also, TEAM : CSON
  • Yan - Saturday, December 22, 2007 - link

    Also, TEAM : CSON
  • weenis1 - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    Anyone know what Lot Numbers for the Elite console have the Falcon mobo? Thanks. Reply
  • Jasmine64 - Saturday, December 08, 2007 - link

    The box having a bar code sticker showing 175W instead of 203W may be a better indicator of getting the Falcon MB...
    I know Anand's box shows 203W but I purchased LOT NO: 0741, TEAM: FDOU, 203W, manufactured on Oct 11, 2007 and it is a Zepher.

    A co-worker has LOT NO: 0742, TEAM FDOU, 175W and it is a FALCON!
  • confesstoadmit - Saturday, December 08, 2007 - link

    Hey guys, just walked into my local GAME store and purchased a 360 pro package :) BUT unfortunatley it turned out to be a zephyr model..

    LOT : 0737
    Manufature Date : 22/9/2007

    (unfortunatley only because from what i've heard the FALCON model is alot better)

    Anyway :) i was wondering what are my chances of getting the RROD on the zephyr model, i mean it does have the improved heatsink and that weird pipe :P (yeh i'm new to xbox lol)

  • MrEastSide - Saturday, December 01, 2007 - link

    Just thought I'd register and pop in to add some more info to this topic. I just got a new 360 (Old one crapped). After inspecting it and following the information and pictures on here I can confirm mine is a Falcon.

    It is from Team CSON - Lot number 742, manufacture date 10-21-2007, and it's the premium that comes packed with Forza and Marvel.
  • mjcuk - Friday, November 23, 2007 - link

    If anyone wants to know if they've got a Falcon chipset, I've come up with an easier method. If you keep the Xbox 360 horizontal, and locate the the narrow ventilation grille above the cover of the USB ports at the far end, you can determine what you've got. Firstly, shine a torch in the ventilation grille, where the Microsoft insignia is. Locate the two capacitors positioned alongside each other, and then run the torch slowly to the middle of the narrow vent and locate the centre capacitor. Just to its right, if you see an unfilled circular white marking on the motherboard (where an inductor should be), then that means you've got a Falcon. ;-) Reply
  • Staples - Saturday, November 17, 2007 - link

    It is nice to see that much less power is being used in the Falcon. One test however is missing. The amount of power it uses when it is in power-savings download mode. This sure will not be enought to burn out the console however this measurement would be a lot more important to me than when it is in the off state. Reply
  • Mumrik - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    The 360 has a baaad reputation for being noisy - does the Falcon still have this problem or has the noise been reduced significantly?

    I know it has been speculated that it might have to do with the DVD drive, so there might be no change.
  • strikeback03 - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link


    Despite the power reduction, the console is still noisy thanks to a loud DVD drive.

    Next to last paragraph, last page.
  • saiku - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Is there something that a non-soldering kind of guy do to cut down the noise? I have the HD-DVD addon and watching movies always includes a background noise score from the device itself. Reply
  • ChristopherO - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    It depends on how much hassle you are willing to go through. The drive isn't "acoustically isolated", if it were suspended by rubber bands, it would be almost totally silent. The perceived drive noise is actually the resonance through the rest of the chassis.

    Microsoft could have fixed this problem by mouting the drive between soft rubber pads (held in place by friction).

    You can experiment with acoustic isolation in your regular computer. If you suspend the hard disk with rubber bands in a 5 1/4" bay (instead of screwed into a 3.5" slot), even a loud drive like a WDC Raptor would be near silent during typically noisy seek operations.

    My personal workstation and in-home server are totally silent. You don't realize how much noise comes off a typical computer (or game console) until you stand next to one that is totally noiseless.
  • BansheeX - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Rubber mounting the drive wouldn't make much of a difference. The real noise is coming from the internal mechanics of the drive. It's going to be loud at 12x no matter what you do.

    This is why blu-ray/HD-DVD can't be seen as only a capacity advantage for next-gen gaming. It's just as important for acoustics. The PS3 drive doesn't have to spin anywhere near as fast because the data is more densely packed on the disc. An analogy would be two fields with a horse on each. The 360 field has lines 5 yards apart and the PS3 field has lines 1 yard apart. The horse on the 360 field has to gallop (loudly) to cross lines at the same rate as the horse on the PS3 field trotting.
  • ChristopherO - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    That's not true.

    It is an acoustic/mounting problem and has very little to do with revolutions per minute. The velocity of a 12x DVD drive is about 7,600-18K RPM. The only real difference between that and a 15K SCSI device is the litho/warping can create a balance issue (MSFT requires a total-surface graphic to prevent weight distribution problems). Furthermore, high speed drives will throttle down if experiencing vibration. Vibration corrupts the data long before it becomes an auditory annoyance.

    Blu-Ray is a CLV device, and the BD ROM in the PS3 has a maximum velocity around 2,000 RPM. The vibration tolerances of the BD drive are less significant and as such employ fewer techniques to minimize noise. The noise delta is closer than one would guess based purely on surface speed.

    That being said, the Xbox drive should always be louder than the PS3 drive in side-by-side comparisons, however if you were to hold the Xbox drive in your hands (while running) you would get a tremendous reduction in noise. Rubber mounting the drive would result in a tremendous perceived noise reduction, I'd guess 80% at the very least.

    The sonic impact of virtually every drive (HDD, DVD, BD, HD DVD) is almost entirely related to hard-mounting rather than motor and vibration noise. Case in point, I have a Samsung 18X DVD drive (50% faster than the 360) in my PC and it is acoustically decoupled from the case. Even during high-speed reads it doesn't sound any louder than a 6x DVD drive using a traditional mount.
  • BansheeX - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    While your tech-speak is mostly correct, I still question the ultimate assertion that the majority of noise is coming from case vibration and not the drive itself. Even if you rested the thing on bed of jello, the drive itself is emitting the bulk of the noise at a high spin speed. Not even close to 80% will be reduced. And I welcome you to post some objective test results to back up your claims, possibly a video with a direct audio comparison between a suspended dvd-rom and a non-suspended dvd-rom, of the same model, at the same speed. You would think that if you were right someone would have done this by now.

    That chirping noise that the dreamcast is famous for is not the sound of metal on metal vibration. It's the read head repositiong itself. The massive whooshing noise? It gets louder as the spin speed increases even with nothing to pass vibration to. Because inside the cd-rom itself is an assembly of metal and plastic parts that can't help but have more friction with each other when higher spin speeds force them to. Improving acoustics of something like this is difficult without also affecting durability. Only completely sealing the drive in foam or something is going to rid you of that noise, which is why you see hard drive enclosures as a far more popular an effective method for reducing drive noise than suspension (though you're limited in that most 3.5 drives will fry to death from the trapped heat). And that solution is obviously not very applicable for something which needs an opening.

    If cheap rubber parts could have as pronounced an effect as you're claiming, I have to think that we wouldn't even be talking about this right now.
  • ChristopherO - Saturday, November 17, 2007 - link


    You would think that if you were right someone would have done this by now.

    I'm sure the Xbox crowd isn't too keen on modification since it voids a 36 month warranty. I've just got mine sitting on a piece of 1-inch thick foam, and that helps a decent bit. I'll modify mine once the warranty is up.

    As for everything else (theory, etc) go to Look in the forums on "drive suspensions", and similar. Some of the people there are wackier than me. When all is said and done my PC is below the ambient noise floor of my house. If I play a game (full load on the CPU/GPU), mute my speakers, I can easily hear the compressor in my fairly new (and quiet) fridge downstairs in the kitchen.

    Suspension is much preferred to enclosures. The noise reduction is ultimately the same since virtually all drive noise is resonance and not a direct mechanical effect. If you're really concerned about drive heat you can stick memory heat sinks on the top of the drive, thus improving heat dissipation. The drive enclosure people are ripping consumers off since they get to sell you a flashy product for a lot more money than necessary (and many times are louder than suspension since they aren't properly decoupled).

    The poor man's suspension is to use zip-ties. It isn't quite as effective as thick rubber, but close and it is easier to buy ties.


    possibly a video with a direct audio comparison between a suspended dvd-rom and a non-suspended dvd-rom

    This message takes me 3 minutes to type. If you want to test it yourself, fire up your PC, pull your DVD ROM from its bay (but still attached), install something huge from DVD (a game, Office 2007, etc), hold the DVD ROM drive while installing and listen to the noise. It will be virtually eliminated.

    You can even hold it inside the case (thus maintaining some amplification due to the enclosure) and the result will be virtually the same.

    I'm not saying you'll end up with a totally silent drive, but the noise reduction will be appreciable. For instance a proper suspension will nearly silence a 15,000 RPM Cheetah during full seek. It is really striking. Like I said, the most audible component in my system is the 18X DVD and it sounds like a quiet 6 speed from the late 90s.

    My PC is silent, be my guest if you don't believe me, but you can take 5 minutes and prove it to yourself. You don't need to go through the degree of insanity I've done, but a typical user can cut their PC's noise in half with 15-25 minutes of tinkering (drive suspension and buying something like Zalman fan controllers).

    If you're really serious about silence, go for a thermistor controlled 120mm Nexus fan, a fanless PSU or exceptional PSU w/fan (Seasonic S12 is darn near silent), and a Scythe Ninja heat sink (can run passive on Core 2s). You can also get passive video cards or elaborate add-on cooling that is passive for all but the biggest cards.
  • BansheeX - Saturday, November 17, 2007 - link

    Doesn't it look like I'm familiar with in my post? I am very much into silent PCs. I can't stand noise coming from my case. I have a total of two fans in my case, one on the CPU and one in the power supply. The loudest part in my case is a very quiet fan on my SeaSonic PSU. My hard drive is newish Samsung 2.5 laptop drive that is naturally almost silent, even on seeks, but has been placed in a SilentDrive for literal silence. SilentPCReview forums are annoying because 2.5 drives are rarely ever mentioned even though, IMO, you would be an idiot to care about noise and not use one. Their thermal and acoustic properties are so much better than 3.5 drives, it's not even funny. And thanks to perpendicular density and cache increases, even a 5400rpm model performs better than my old 7200rpm 3.5 drive did.

    As for DVD-ROM drives, the best thing you can do to reduce noise is to cap the read speed with a program like Nero DriveSpeed. The guy who held out his drive and heard it was louder than when it was in his case is correct. You know why? Because when it was screwed tightly into the case, the drive was balanced and held in place by the strength and weight of the case, reducing wobble at high read speeds. So long as you have appropriate screws, there shouldn't be any extra noise outside of the drive. Suspending it in rubber could actually make it worse.
  • ChristopherO - Sunday, November 18, 2007 - link

    It looked like you were familiar, but I partly mentioned that because other people reading might not have been. You never know when you can win over a convert.

    That's funny you have a Seasonic... We're probably running the same PSU, I have the S12 600, which I got for a steal when Silicon Acoustics went out of business. 2.5" drives are a great way to go, but I'm not willing to give up the performance of a Raptor for one. My Raptor 150 in suspension is near silent. I'm on Vista 64, with 4GB memory, so that helps the seek situation... Vista caches everything it can at boot time, so once you're through the initial power-on phase, everything is pretty sedate.

    Sure you can cap the DVD reads, but I use a dense foam padding that I use in lieu of the Sonata rails in my chassis and the net effect is that the drive is vastly quieter. It is the nosiest component of the system, but that doesn't bug me because hardly anything uses discs these days. Typically you install, and then you're done. Or you insert a game and run the "piracy check" and then the drive spins down. Inserting a movie, etc, doesn't spin the drive up so that's not even audible.
  • AssBall - Saturday, November 17, 2007 - link

    I took my DVD ROM out of my case and, quite frankly, it is significatly louder in my hand than it was when being muffled by the case (no rubber washers). Reply
  • saiku - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    is there something that would wrap around the hd-dvd drive? would still have to leave the vent holes open but perhaps some material out there that damps noise? Reply
  • ChristopherO - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    I haven't seen the inside of the HD DVD add-on. Generally speaking you'd want to remove the drive and dampen that (perhaps building a custom chassis). Otherwise the HD DVD add-on will have metal to metal contact and thus be generating noise that you can't isolate. Wrapping the whole thing in foam isn't very practical. Reply
  • swaaye - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    It's the damn DVDROM. They have that thing cranking at full RPMs almost all of the time. Hell, I've heard the disk come out of its grip once and spin out inside. It's ridiculous, IMO. Reply
  • provoko - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Thanks for opening up a 360 for us and testing it. =) I enjoyed the wattage charts, the same ones you use for CPUs. Reply
  • semo - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    what is a half-node?


    If we assume that the Xbox 360's GPU is at least as powerful as the PS3's, the cooling requirements should be somewhere similar; given that the PS3 basically had a GeForce 7800 GTX under its hood
    it still has hasn't it? when will the ps3 get a gpu shrink btw.
  • ChristopherO - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    A half-node is basically a die shrink that doesn't require reworking the component.

    For instance you can't take a 90nm chip, and convert it to 65nm without redesigning the chip. Sure the end product would be substantially the same, but you will need to rework a considerable portion to fit the new size. 65nm to 45nm is the same, you need to redesign your chip.

    The 80nm shrink lets you use the same design as 90nm, but smaller.

    More than likely the GPU is an 80nm design.

    For example, shrinking from 90 to 80 gives you 88.8% size (which is close to Anand's measured 85%). Shrinking from 90 to 65 is 72.2% the size, however this will be less exact than the half-node since the chip itself is going to be somewhat different (75% is a good enough estimate). Both these sizes will result in a decent heat and power savings.

    No one can say if this will kill-off the RROD, but it stands a pretty good chance.

    I'm willing to guess that the failure rates will drop to something normal (a single-digit percentage). No guarantee on that, but they trimmed off 70 watts of power usage, that's a pretty remarkable savings which will go a long way towards improving the overall heat situation. Not to mention that their GPU heat sinks are substantially beefier, so you're dissipating less heat over a larger area. Even if the GPU was the same, it will have less contention with the CPU for air cooling.

    Too bad they didn't mount the DVD ROM on rubber grommets. It isn't bad when properly isolated, but the metal case is acting like an amplifier.
  • psychobriggsy - Sunday, November 18, 2007 - link

    Um, 90nm to 80nm results in a theoretical die area of 79% of the 90nm one - remember there are two dimensions to the shrink.

    90nm to 65nm results in a die area of 52% of the 90nm one, ideally.

    Scaling never achieves that due to factors such as the spacing between transistors not scaling as well, or the shrink not scaling well in one axis compared to the other, or a million other reasons. Hence I believe that the GPU is 80nm, and the CPU is 65nm.

    The shrink indeed should reduce or halt the RROD situation if it was caused by excessive heat leading to warping that broke contacts.
  • ChristopherO - Monday, November 19, 2007 - link

    Whoops, you were right. I typed fast and forgot to multiply the reduction by 2.

    In theory the 80nm shrink should scale more linearly since it is fundamentally similar to the 90nm part. The 65nm part has the potential to be significantly different. I guess the numbers bear that out, the GPU is much closer to predicted than the CPU.

    It makes me wonder what else they might have changed. In theory they could have made alterations to the chip that increased media performance, etc, without impacting general computations and expected behavior within a game.

    It's a weird quandary since they have a baseline level of performance which they aren't trying to diverge from.
  • Deusfaux - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    that the GPU isn't yet, and that a platform with both @ 65nm is still coming down the pipe, expected next year and has the codename of "Jasper"

    Where do I get this information? Oh, I dunno...">
  • zephyrprime - Sunday, November 18, 2007 - link

    It doesn't matter what MS says. Anandtech has physically measured the dies and thus has hard evidence that what MS says is false. What's more, given the die size of the parts, it seems like the Falcon is actually a shrink to 80nm for both processor and GPU, not a shrink to 65nm for the CPU as MS has stated. Reply
  • j00k - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    i wonder why it takes MSFT so long to make the move in die shrink. CPU's already been in 65nm for quite awhile. By the time they transition to 65nm for gpu next year, everyone would have been on 45nm. im sure the technology's there already but what's the holdup? Reply
  • Deusfaux - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    ok so MSFT didnt say it but still Reply
  • j00k - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    The new xbox 360 mobo also appears to have some solid capacitors, which the old didn't seem to have any at all. I'm surprised that wasn't pointed out as I'm sure it should help quite a bit in keeping the system stable even at high temps. It's certainly a huge deal in the desktop mobo arena. Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    wonder why they did that, seeing as how they do not need to last long anyhow. Well, as long as the other caps were rubycon or japanese, that is ok. Wonder what the cost diff is between them and solid caps?

    I like the last graph that the consoles use only 2.3 watts and 2.8 watts during the game.
  • slashbinslashbash - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Good to see someone scientifically documenting the differences. I had read before that Falcon had only reduced the GPU size, not CPU. Good to hear that it's both.... I guess I'll probably bite the bullet and finally buy an Xbox 360 this holiday season. Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    well the article doesn't really answer the important questions, like whether or not the GPU and CPU run cooler, so not sure why you find the conclusion that the hardware has changed enough reason to buy when we don't know if the changes actually make a bit of difference toward addressing the pressing issue of RRODs. Reply
  • Orbs - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    What about heat? Can you put a thermometer through the "flashlight holes" in the case to see if temps improved too? Die shrinks should help but the less intense heatsink may offset that.

    In terms of the RRoD question, if the cause was heat (which is not confirmed) a test like that would help show if this will in fact increase reliability.
  • Jopopsy - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Yes Anand, please post some information about the heat coming off the Zephyr and Falcon PCs !!! Most of us, from a practical perspective, don't really care so much about the die size as much as we care about the heat (as the heat has been tied to RROD).

    I for one bought a Elite 4 days ago. It was not a Falcon. It had a LG/Hitachi drive in it and it was definitely a Zephyr board. It was too loud for my tastes, and it was H O T ! ! !. It felt like a blow dryer out the back of the unit and my table was actually hot to the touch right behind my system.

    Went back to the store, found a Falcon (Premium 360 HDMI Holiday bundle LOT 739 Team FDOU - components verified w/ flashlight inspection). It has a Toshiba drive in it, and after 2 hours of Halo 3 it was only warm out the back (remarkable differance).

    I have some confidance that this Xbox might last (if it RRODs on me anytime soon I'm getting a PS3).
  • Locutus465 - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    I too was wondering about heat durring operation... Is there no way to gage this? I know it won't be totally accurate at the core level, but still relitive heat off the heat sink has got to tell you something. Reply
  • jamesbond007 - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Does the same techniques for identifying a Falcon-based 360 work on the Elite and Halo Edition consoles? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, November 16, 2007 - link

    Yes the same flashlight techniques work, although the lot numbers may not correspond. The Halo 3 edition consoles seem to have to be lot 734 or later *and* be built after 8/24. I had the best luck getting a Premium console with a lot 738 or later.

    Take care,
  • Voidberg - Wednesday, June 08, 2011 - link

    I know i some how fucked this up but i have a falcon mptherboard with a heatpipe Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Falcons have a heatpipe connecting the two GPU heatsinks, just not in the CPU heatsink anymore. Reply
  • Voidberg - Wednesday, June 08, 2011 - link

    Google it the power supplys are diff and man up and open the xbox Reply

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