Power Consumption

The beauty of a console is that the specs never change, so while AMD, Intel and NVIDIA have to try to add new features or increase clock speeds with each die shrink, Microsoft gets to sit back and reap the benefits of cooler running hardware that's cheaper to manufacture. The move from Xenon to Falcon resulted in a pretty significant reduction in power consumption; under full load a Falcon Xbox 360 drew less power than a Xenon unit at idle.

The Falcon to Jasper transition isn't quite as dramatic unfortunately. I ran five power tests, I looked at power consumption at the NXE dashboard at idle, power consumption at the main menu of Rockband 2, Halo 3 and Gears of War 2, and finally if you don't own any of these games but want a comparison point I looked at power consumption of the Xbox 360 while running the BioShock demo (at the very start of the demo when you find yourself in the water surrounded by fire). Power consumption during actual gameplay doesn't go up much, if at all, compared to the start screens for these games - the main menu screens are all rendered in 3D and are apparently just as stressful as the games themselves, plus they're a very consistent way of measuring power consumption.

I used a Watts-Up meter which the Xbox 360 plugged into, so what we're looking at here is total system power consumption.

Xbox 360 Revision System Off Idle Halo 3 Rockband 2 Gears of War 2 BioShock Demo
Xenon 2.3W 155.7W 177.8W 167.7W 177.1W 172W
Falcon 2.8W 101.4W 121.2W 112.8W 121.5W 115.5W
Jasper 2.0W 93.7W 105.9W 101.0W 105.9W 98.1W

 

Overall you're looking at a 12% reduction in total system power under load and under 8% at idle, definitely not the ~30 - 35% drop we saw with the Xenon to Falcon transition, but not insignificant either. Remember that the smaller your transistors get, the more leakage current becomes a problem; while your transistors use less power, they also tend to use more power when they are in a logical off state than they should. There have also been a number of advancements in architecting for low power designs over the past couple of years that Microsoft hasn't taken advantage of as they would require a redesign of the 360's CPU/GPU. Microsoft is in full blown cost savings mode with the Xbox 360, the only things that will be done to that console before it dies are things to improve the Xbox division's bottom line.

Final Words

There you have it. Jasper is out and now we play the waiting game to see if the dreaded RRoD is finally solved with the latest batch of hardware changes. Even if it's not, if you are buying an Xbox 360 today you might as well opt for the cooler running, newly redesigned Jasper model rather than the year-old Falcon. Why pay the same amount for old hardware, it's just not the AnandTech way.

And once again, to those of you with Jaspers: congrats, after 3 years you may have just bought an Xbox 360 that won't die.

Jasper Dissection
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  • HYPhoenix - Saturday, September 26, 2009 - link

    is it possible for someone with a mid level knowledge of hardware to switch the power connector on the console to make it look like jasper?

    The question is just out of pure curiosity.
    Reply
  • abul3ass - Monday, June 29, 2009 - link

    My xbox360 has a Zephyr chip and uses 16,5A current rating.. I was wondering if i could put this xbox's CD drive into my new xbox that contains the Falcon chip with a 14,2A current?

    Thanks in advance.
    Reply
  • Sasparilla - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    It depends if you can even use that drive (it has to be the exact same kind and Microsoft used several different kinds throughout production of the Zephyr / Falcon / Jasper machines) and then on top of that Microsoft tied each individual drive via its ROM to each individual xBox (why did they have to make it so hard to keep your machine if your drive failed?) - so if you have the exact same drive type and you have to be able to switch the ROM (a couple of drives this is just unplugging and replugging cables, other drive types you literally have to flash the drive with a copy of the ROM from the original) then you can. Reply
  • chashint - Saturday, June 06, 2009 - link

    I know this is an old article but I am really surprised that the author chose not to do any research into the manufacturing processes of lead free solder and instead chose to generate and perpetuate urban legends in regards to it.

    Most of the comments that have been made about the solder, and the design process also illustrate a complete lack of knowledge about the subject matter. Ball grid array packages have been very common for years and the cirduit cards they are soldered to are very well characterized and understood by the circuit designers. To suggest otherwise is a real stretch.

    There is only one significant issue that plagues the lead free solder process and it is a worldwide industry issue.
    It is called "tin whiskers" which are strands of crystalized tin that grow out of the lead free solder. These whiskers can grow out of the solder connections and create shorts with adjacent conductors.

    Since consumer electronics are now considered disposable not many manufacturers worry a whole lot about this, however it is a huge reliability issue with electronics that are used for aircraft, ships, television stations, power plants ... another words for anything that is expected to last for a long time.

    Some of you have speculated about the glue under one of the components, if this component is a BGA package I will speculate that the adhesive may be there in an attempt to stop tin whiskers from shorting to the adjacent solder joints.
    Reply
  • theolar - Thursday, May 14, 2009 - link

    I've just purchased on of these for my grandsons. I have not received it yet, but I do have the Model # 52T-00141. Can I tell if its a Jasper by that number? If it isn't, I'd like to return it without even opening it. Reply
  • rfast10 - Sunday, March 22, 2009 - link

    So i bought a360 Elite July 25/08. Just 2 days ago i got the E74 single red ring and now my elite will not run period, I'm currently waiting to ship it out to get repaired. Now my Elite has a MFD of Jan.19/08 BUT says 16.5a on the 12v rail, THE TWIST is i have a 175w falcon power brick. So indeed my Elite is a Falcon despite the misleading labels on the back of the console. My xbox elite BOX says LOT NO: 0803 TEAM:CSON and it says 47-63Hz, 203W!!!!!!! Definitely misleading give the power brick is a falcon and the connector on the console is a falcon!!!!! Now im not going to wait to send out my console, get it repaired and get it back, im going to buy another one, i would like to get the PRO but after alot of searching i havent read there have been sightings for the JASPER on the PRO 60gig console,,,,so is this true??? i dont want an arcade BUT i want a JASPER...but let it be known to ALLLLLLL ive owned my 360 ELITE for just UNDER 8 MONTHS and got E74, i knew of ALL the problems and BABIED my machine! its definitely the GPU as my HDMI cable is working FINE...and when i smell the machine around the HDMI/AV connectors it smells BURNT, DEFINITELY something overheated and malfunctioned most likely the GPU has been dislogded or damanged and I HOPE when my ELITE gets repair they repair it with the JASPER motherboard...
    Reply
  • Sasparilla - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Sorry to hear your bad luck on this. Microsoft set up an extensive reprocessing process for RROD 360's (presumably they thought this would be cheaper than actually redesigning the console and providing folks with one that doesn't RROD) and it involves taking the old RROD console and sending out one in its place that previously RROD'd but had been made to work again (they're not new).

    They guaranteed to do this for 3 years, if memory serves, obviously the machines folks got in their place would RROD again at a very high rate as nothing was fixed, just made to work again and you got someone else's old RROD'd 360. Folks talked of having 5 or 6 360's that have RROD'd after they send theirs in after their initial RROD because of this.
    Reply
  • blau808 - Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - link

    Does the die shrink mean cooler temps and a less noisy fan? I bought my xbox the day it was released and was surprised how noisy it was. It sounds like a turbine compared to my ps3 or pc. If it sit on the floor next to it, it vibrates the floor. Does Jasper bring a little peace and quiet? Also since it uses less power, is the brick a different size? i.e. not the size of an actual brick? Reply
  • Sasparilla - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    For the most part no, because the primary cause of the turbine noise is the fact that the DVD spins at such a high speed (most noise is coming from it) and that is still there no matter what version of the 360 you get. Reply
  • pockett8 - Thursday, February 26, 2009 - link

    it says 12V-12.1A on back of xbox near barcode.
    it doesnt say 0842X for lot but 0849X i think?
    it doesnt say value bundle 2008 E but xbox 360 but something else i think the value bundle 2008 E sticker was for the us market as the uk sticker says UK/EU i think??.
    and it doesnt say XGX-+00019 BUT XGX-+00024 i think not entirely sure..
    but my friends what i want to know is, is this the jasper version of the console?? please help.
    cheers.
    Reply

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