Identifying a 65nm Xbox 360

Not too long ago, a Xbox 360 owner posted about receiving a new console from with a pair of revised heatsinks on the CPU and GPU. The CPU heatsink in particular no long featured a heatpipe, something that had been present since the launch of the console, indicating that possibly the triple-core CPU had been manufactured on a cooler running 65nm process. The GPU heatsink remained unchanged from the first cooling update to the 360. Rough power numbers were eventually posted, showing a definite decrease in power consumption.

Insider sources referred to this new Xbox 360 by the codename Falcon, replacing the Zephyr Xbox 360 that launched with the Elite edition systems.

Eventually, thanks to the hard work of many Xbox forum members, a general system for determining whether a console used the new 65nm CPU was created. Thankfully, most of the indicators can be found on the outside of the Xbox 360 box without even opening it.

The first thing to look for is the Lot number, which is printed on a label on the side of the box. The first reported Falcon Xbox 360 was a Halo 3 Special Edition console, and for those consoles you needed to have a Lot number of 734 or greater (and a build date later than 8/24/07).

To check the manufacture date, flip up the serial number flap on the box and look up - the build date is listed above the serial number on the console itself, which is visible without opening the box.

The new Xbox 360 Premium consoles (the consoles with free copies of Forza 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance in the box) eventually started shipping with Falcon hardware, but these things needed to be in Lot 738 or greater. There are mixed results with lower lot numbers, but the newer the console, the greater your chances of getting a Falcon.

The next thing you'll want to confirm is the team, also located on the same sticker as the lot number. Team FDOU appears to be the most popularly associated with Falcons, at least in North America.

Once you get the Xbox 360 out of the packaging, there are two more tests to figure out whether or not you've got a falcon - both of which can be done without opening the Xbox itself. All you'll need here is a flashlight.

Stand the Xbox 360 on its side (hard drive side down) and shine the flashlight in through the holes in the grey plastic. What you're looking for is the side of the CPU heatsink. The older, non-falcon, Xbox 360s had a heatpipe running through the CPU's heatsink - if you see a copper heatpipe then you've got an older console. If, however, you see no copper heatpipe then you've got one with the new CPU heatsink, potentially a falcon.

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- See the reflection of the copper heatpipe? This is an older Xbox 360

This blurry shot shows what you'll see when you look through those holes of an older Xbox 360

A new Xbox 360, what you're staring at is the CPU heatsink - note the lack of any copper heatpipe - 65nm here we come!

The final test is, once more, a flashlight test. This time, instead of looking for the copper heatpipe you're counting the number of inductors on the motherboard near the edge you're peering in. Three green inductors means you've got an older motherboard, two means you've got a new Falcon board.

This is an original Xbox 360 motherboard, those three green inductors on the left are visible from the outside if you've got a good flash light and a keen eye

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- On the left you can see the first inductor, on the right you can see the reflection of the second inductor on this original Xbox 360

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- Here's the location of the third inductor on a 90nm Xbox 360 console, the front of the console is on the left

A Falcon motherboard only has two inductors on the left

The Red Ring of Death Hardware Changes
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  • TheLoneWulf - Saturday, June 7, 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!
  • 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.
  • Jasmine64 - Saturday, December 8, 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 8, 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 1, 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. ;-)

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