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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  • george1976 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    I feel sorry for the x360 buyers that experienced RROD. I cant picture myself buying a product with such a high rate of failure.....50%???? Damn. Reply
  • TiM3SH1FT - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    Anyone knows if the new Jasper is out on other models than the Arcade?

    I'd like to have Jasper but not the arcade pack...

    Also how do I transfer my HDD content to a new HDD?
    Reply
  • 01wolff - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    When you get a Xbox that has a larger hard drive, you can go on the Xbox 360 site under support and request the transfer kit. It is free from microsoft. They messed up and sent me two of them. If you buy just the hard drive, some come with the kit already (like the 120Gb hard drives). If you just change from one 20Gb to another 20 Gb drive, or from a 60 Gb drive to another 60Gb drive.... Microsoft won't do anything. You have to go up in hard drive capacity. Once you have the kit, then you have to go on the 360 site to modify your DRM information also.

    The alternitave is to not get the transfer kit, change your DRM info on the site, and download everything again. I think using the kit is a better option. (did it from my 360 Prem to my 360 Elite)
    Reply
  • Myrandex - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    I'm not saying that the failures are made up, but I did want to indicate that I have an original XBox360 Premium and it is still standing up well to the test of time. I have thought about trying to get it real hot and see if it fails just to RMA it and hope for a new one with maybe HDMI and less electricity usage, but I'm pretty satisfied with mine.
    Jason
    Reply
  • 01wolff - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    After reading this I had to check both of my 360's. What I found baffled me. My Elite 360 had the 12v like the Jasper, but the second-generation power plug. Hummmmmmmm. Reply
  • rekcah2000a - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    Same here 16.5A on sticker but power supply 175W and Opus/Falcon power connector
    A new strange beats from M$ ?
    Tom from BELGIUM
    Reply
  • bill3 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    The power usage comparisons, and most important the die size comparisons are great stuff for console/GPU tech junkies like myself.

    Although now that I've seen the comments wishing for noise level comparisons, I have to admit that would have made the article complete..
    Reply
  • bill3 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    Besides comparing Xenos to X1800, another inaccuracy was referring to the 256MB internal flash as a improvement. All that does is replace the 256 MB external memory card that used to come with Arcade unit. In essence the same memory card comes with the unit as before, it has just now been made internal. If anything this is a downgrade, as the external mem card has the advantage of portability, aka taking your profile and saves to a friends house and so forth.

    I believe MS made the memory internal to prevent it from being separated from the console in anyway (lost, etc) and having consoles not capable of running NXE (NXE requires 128 MB memory I believe, though I'm not sure if thats only for the install?) out there in the wild. That's my theory.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    BLASPHEMERSS!!!!! you review console stuff on a pc hardware site?!!?!?? how could u
    ?!?!?
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    The subtitle says "your source for hardware analysis and news". As this is hardware, I'd say it fits more than reviews of games... Reply

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