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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  • 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 6, 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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