Jasper Dissection

Taking apart a Jasper is no different than taking apart any other Xbox 360 console, despite the internal changes our original guide still rings true. Remove the HDD, pop off the front faceplate, then the sides, separate the top and bottom of the clamshell, unscrew the motherboard and you're off. Doing so obviously voids your warranty, but given that it's possible to identify your console as a Jasper without ever opening it, you shouldn't have to do any of this.


Say Hello to Jasper

Obviously I did, because I wanted to look at the new die-shrunk chips and also to measure die sizes. While I used a ruler to measure the Xenon and Falcon die sizes last year, I wanted to be a bit more accurate this year (after much pleading by Mike Andrawes, our resident Jasper expert) so I used a set of vernier calipers (which is why some of my die measurements are a bit off from the ones I did last year if you're comparing).

The table below shows the die sizes for all of the Xbox 360 generations:

Xbox 360 Revision CPU GPU eDRAM
Xenon/Zephyr 176mm2 182mm2 80mm2
Falcon/Opus 135mm2 156mm2 64mm2
Jasper 135mm2 121mm2 64mm2

 

The new GPU is around 77% of the die area of the old GPU, but the eDRAM appears to be unchanged at 80nm (chalk up the difference of 4mm to differences in measuring the die with a ruler vs. calipers). Compared to the Xenon platform, the GPU is now 66% of the original GPU die size, meaning the GPU actually shrunk more than the CPU in the move to 65nm.

Here's a picture that should put things in perspective though, the chip below is a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, it's the same IGP that's found in the new MacBooks. It's a 65nm IGP that's got a GPU and North Bridge in it, much like the Xenos GPU in the Xbox 360. Now this is an important comparison because the 9400M is hardly a high end GPU by today's standards yet look at how it dwarfs the Xenos GPU.


Xbox 360 Xenos GPU (left) vs. NVIDIA GeForce 9400M (right)

Remember that when it was released, the Xbox 360's GPU had raw GPU horsepower somewhere in between an X800 XT and an X1800 series (closer to the latter, although the 10MB eDRAM definitely helped the GPU perform better than its architectural specs alone would allow); today's high end GPUs are around 4x the speed of that.

Microsoft doesn't want to replace the Xbox 360 with a new console until 2011 or 2012, meaning high end PCs will probably have more than six times the graphics horsepower of what's in the Xbox 360. It's possible that once this performance gap gets wide enough we'll see more developers take advantage of the raw horsepower available on PCs, which has traditionally been the case whenever a console got far into its lifespan.

I'm actually a bit surprised that we haven't seen more focus on delivering incredible visuals on PC games given the existing performance gap, but the Xbox 360 as a platform is attractive enough to keep developers primarily focused there.

Added Bonus: 256MB of NAND Flash Standard on Jasper Arcades

An unexpected bonus is that all Jasper based Xbox 360 Arcade systems come with 256MB of NAND Flash on board:

All Xbox 360 Arcade bundles will now come with 256MB of Flash, if you get a non-Jasper you simply get the Flash in the form of a Xbox 360 Memory Unit. The on-board flash is another mild advantage for Jasper systems, if you don't do any downloading then it's sufficient for save game storage. While I would've preferred more flash on-board, for a business losing money it makes sense to try and cut costs wherever possible.

Confirming Your Jasper Power Consumption and Final Words
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  • Syphadeus - Sunday, January 4, 2009 - link

    Well, after receiving my 360 back from it's THIRD repair (they sent me an Opus to replace my Xenon) and finding that it kept throwing me DREs at random, I decided to hunt for a Jasper today.

    I bought an Arcade unit from GAME here in the UK. I asked if I could have a look at the box first and they said no, so I told them to security sticker it because it was a "surprise gift". Turned out to be a Falcon (14.2A). So I'll be taking that back tomorrow.

    In the meantime, I went to GameStation and asked and they let me look at the boxes - second one I looked at was a Jasper. It was really easy to see as well, didn't have to move the console, the 12.1A rating was immediately viewable through the cut-out, so I bought it and it works fine. That's another £130 I've thrown at MS - and all because I really can't be bothered to wait another 3 weeks for them to repair my replacement, which is a pretty laughable concept considering I'd had it all of four days.
    Reply
  • Manic Penguin - Thursday, January 1, 2009 - link

    I had the privilege to use an Xbox 360 Pro (60gb version) last weekend at a friends house. He had just bought the box, so naturally i wondered if it had a Jasper board in it. He told me that he wasn't sure, so I checked the back of the system. Sure enough, it had a power rating of 12,1 A. The power supply itself was a Falcon power block, but the power rating and power input jack on the Xbox both matched up to Jasper specs. I would post pics but my sister didn't let me use her camera. I will see if I can get him to send some pics via email. Reply
  • XtraCrispi - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    I just bought an Xbox 360 via Dell and when I got it today I was excited to see that the manufacture date and lot numbers corresponded to what I had read for the Jasper. However after finding and reading this article I've come to realize I've got that rare breed you warned about. It's the 1st gen Xbox with HDMI and a manufactured date of 10-23-08. WTF! So mad.

    I might just return the thing because why spend current model prices and take an old model car, right? (No, this Xbox ain't a classic.)

    Good thing I called Dell before I opened it and complained that the packaging was terrible and the Xbox box was damaged. They said I can open it up and try it out and send it back if it's damaged. I might just do it, get a refund and go get a Jasper at a local store.
    Reply
  • HwaZy - Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - link

    Wow! I was told in early Nov. that MS will not issue pre-Jasper in retail channels. They will be offered as repair replacement or refurbished only.

    I am lucky then and just received my Arcade from DELL today. I wasa a bittle concerned because I used discount coupon. Before I opened it, I confirmed it is indeed Jasper: 12.1V and made 10-18-2008 (3 days after the pictured). The lot#, built-in 256MB memory and bundle label and everything described. Now after opened, the 150W PSU and power connector all confirm it is Jasper. It even has one flyer for the New Experience update.

    Great article!
    Reply
  • Stop It - Saturday, December 13, 2008 - link

    Hey there all

    I like the article, it helps those wanting to ID their systems well, except for my 360, which...makes no sense.

    My 360 (Lot 0745, Made Nov 2007), uses a 175Watt PSU and the Falcon PSU input, but indicates that it uses 16,5A for its 12V rail, an indication of a Zephyr?

    Now I WAS 100% sure I had a Falcon, and I'm still pretty sure, but this has confused the hell out of me, surely the Zephyr wouldn't even work with a 175Watt PSU...would it?
    Reply
  • turbobozz - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    You're not going to have a Zephyr on Falcon current, but you could have a Falcon on Zephyr current.
    Don't sweat it... you were probably right that you have a Falcon.
    Reply
  • daqman - Friday, December 12, 2008 - link

    I have two words for Microsoft and any other chip maker fo that matter....Gallium Arsenide! Heat would be a non-factor because there is very little resistence with said substance, therefore it would increase speed also. Reply
  • turbobozz - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    What are you smoking?
    You don't know what you are talking about.
    Using GaAs would make it far, far more expensive.
    And it you're very much misrepresenting the true benefits GaAs has over Si
    (Which aren't generally applicable to the 360.)

    Wikipedia has a decent article on GaAs... look it up.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Friday, December 12, 2008 - link

    so far my late 2006 xenon has been working flawlessly, i'll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way. i wonder if anyone has any records as to what ratio of the failed units were xbox live gold members/players :)

    i don't do multiplayer, so perhaps my xbox loves me for not putting it through all the trash talking wannabe kid drivel.

    i can hope can't i?
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    So 6 years later, how did that go? Reply

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