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next Xbox 360 motherboard revision, JASPER, will have 65nm ATI Xenos GPU. Due in 2008

Discussion in 'ATI' started by AirRaid, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. AirRaid

    AirRaid Guest

    Xbox 360 secrets: After Falcon comes Jasper

    By Dean Takahashi
    Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 at 4:15 pm in Dean Takahashi, Dean and
    Nooch on Gaming, General.

    Microsoft didn't want you to know about Falcon, and it certainly
    doesn't want you to know about its successor Jasper. But that's
    another secret we have to unveil.

    Jasper is the code name for the next motherboard for the Xbox 360. It
    will becoming next August, in time for next year's holiday season.
    Jasper is going to have a 65-nanometer graphics chip from ATI
    Technologies, as well as smaller memory chips. That isn't much
    information, but it's enough to tell us about their cost-reduction
    plan. If you ask me, it's a bit of a slow pace.

    I don't know why it will take Microsoft essentially three years to
    cost reduce the size of the graphics chip through a manufacturing
    shrink. It doesn't seem like they're in a hurry to launch a redesigned
    Xbox 360 graphics chip, considering that Intel introduced its first 65-
    nm chips a long time ago. ATI uses TSMC to make its chips out of
    Taiwan, and TSMC hasn't been the fastest at moving to 65-nm
    manufacturing. I understand these tasks are difficult and they take a
    lot of engineering resources. Microsoft has had to divert a lot of
    engineers to debugging problems with Xbox 360 reliability. Even so,
    you would think that they would have moved faster, since the move to
    65-nm graphics chip will likely be one of the best things they can do
    to improve the reliability.

    As readers of this blog know, Falcon is being used in Xbox 360s that
    are currently rolling off the production lines. It has a 65-nm IBM
    microprocessor on it, instead of the previous 90-nm version. It also
    has built-in HDMI. It carries lower costs than the previous
    motherboard, but not dramatically so. And Falcon has a 90-nm graphics
    chip on it.

    Here's something that Xbox 360 buyers will want to know. Both Falcon
    and its predecessor Zephyr (used in the Xbox 360 Elite) have different
    thermal solutions than the original Xbox 360. You've seen the heat
    sinks in the cut-out photos posted elsewhere. The Microsoft engineers
    believe those heat sinks will be sufficient as a solution for keeping
    Xbox 360s from overheating. From their point of view, you don't have
    to wait until Jasper to get a reliable machine.
    reliable than Falcon on heat issues, and Falcon will be more reliable
    than its predecessors. The Falcon board has the same old 90-nm
    graphics chip on it. And many have pointed out that the big heat
    problem in the Xbox 360 is due to the graphics chip. The Falcon board
    will likely give off less heat. But the real serious heat saver looks
    like it will come with Jasper.

    I'm sure that Jasper will carry lower costs than Falcon. That's
    because it will have a smaller graphics chip and smaller memory chips
    as well. That translates into material savings, which means lower
    costs. If you're wondering why you should care? Maybe you don't need
    to care. But there are folks on the Falcon thread who want to know
    this kind of information and here it is. Certainly, Microsoft will be
    in a position to cut prices again by next August. If you recall, after
    it got Falcon out the door, Microsoft cut $50 off the price of the
    Xbox 360.

    If I were Microsoft, I would try to pull in the date of Jasper as soon
    as possible. What they need right now is a lower cost so that they can
    be more competitive against the Wii and so they leave no openings for
    Sony. As of now, the 65-nm graphics chip isn't done. They're still
    working on it. Microsoft declined to comment, other than to say that
    it constantly updates the components in the Xbox 360 but doesn't
    comment on them.
     
    AirRaid, Oct 10, 2007
    #1
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  2. AirRaid

    Chris F Guest

    it's official, Bill Gates is spying on me.

    he must be, having them name the new motherboard after my dog...

    *cough*
    --

    gamertag: Chrisflynnuk
    http://live.xbox.com/member/Chrisflynnuk
    Current eBay auctions: http://tinyurl.com/hutcb
    360, DS, PS2 and Saturn Games For Auction.
     
    Chris F, Oct 10, 2007
    #2
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  3. AirRaid

    Holy Moses Guest

    [snip]

    FFS. I thought the falcon mobos were going to have both the 65nm cpu
    and gpu.

    What I don't get is, most of the overheating problems resulting in the
    RROD is due to the gpu popping off the mobo despite the solder holding
    it in its place.

    So, hmmmm, MS decides to place just the cooler running cpu only and
    not the gpu? Fucking geniuses.
     
    Holy Moses, Oct 10, 2007
    #3
  4. AirRaid

    RMZ Guest

    I disagree. Microsoft should not try to compete with the Wii. Does
    Lexus compete with Toyota? Does BMW compete with Ford? No, different
    class of product, different market segment. Microsoft and SONY should
    acknowledge that the video game console market has expanded to a
    point, like the auto industry, they produce the same kind of product,
    but they aren't all competing for the same share.

    Microsoft and SONY are competing for the same crowd. Regarding cost
    reducing the 360's retail price. Microsoft has plenty of head room to
    do this if they want. Their problem in reducing retail cost of the 360
    has little to do with it's production cost (which has not been made
    public, but reports are Microsoft making 10-15% profit off each system
    sold) and a lot more to do with paying themselves back for the Red
    Rings of Death write off. To counter this SONY was taking taking up to
    50% loss on each PS3 sold at retail at launch...
     
    RMZ, Oct 10, 2007
    #4
  5. AirRaid

    Doug Jacobs Guest

    That was a manufacturing flaw - not a flaw with the processors themselves.
    There were also reports that there wasn't enough thermal paste being used,
    which caused the heatsinks to not make good contact with the chips, also
    causing overheating.
    They can't replace what they don't have. The switchover to 65nm is still
    an ongoing process in the chip industry. It's not as simple as walking
    over to the fab and twisting the dial from "90nm" to "65nm" ;) 65nm chips
    require new machines and techniques, hence the seemingly "slow" rollouts.

    The new manufacturing processes with regards to the solder and thermal
    paste, as well as the new heatsink designs and their clamps should go a
    long ways towards resolving the RROD problem.

    Furthermore, even though the chip being replaced with a 65nm one is only
    the main CPU, not the GPU, it will still produce less total heat, which
    again should help prevent RRODs due to overheating.
     
    Doug Jacobs, Oct 10, 2007
    #5
  6. AirRaid

    First of One Guest

    You are not the first one to point this out:
    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9100

    Remember, the die-shrink is not meant to add value for the end user. The
    move to 65 nm is primarily to reduce cost, both in the chip itself and in
    the form of less extravagant cooling. There's no reason for the CPU and GPU
    die-shrinks to be coupled together, especially since the chips are probably
    being made at different foundries. The CPU, being less complex, was probably
    easier to shrink.

    If the GPU is popping off the board, then it's an issue with the board
    design or soldering process. PC cards like the ATi X1900XTX run
    significantly hotter without any ill effects.

    --
    "War is the continuation of politics by other means.
    It can therefore be said that politics is war without
    bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."

     
    First of One, Oct 11, 2007
    #6
  7. AirRaid

    slayerman89 Guest

    Competing with the Wii may seem foolish, but the games that are done
    well (Twilight Princess, Metroid) are extremely fun experiences even
    for 'hardcore' gamers. Should more games continue in this strain, it
    would be foolish to NOT buy a Wii.
     
    slayerman89, Oct 11, 2007
    #7
  8. AirRaid

    RMZ Guest

    Doesn't everyone already have one? I bought a Wii before the 360, I
    play the 360 more... but I acknowledge the Wii's strength for what it
    is and that is the most unique game interface of the lot.
     
    RMZ, Oct 11, 2007
    #8
  9. AirRaid

    Chris F Guest

    i'd hope not, be a bit like the Wii trying to compete with the DS.

    --

    gamertag: Chrisflynnuk
    http://live.xbox.com/member/Chrisflynnuk
    Current eBay auctions: http://tinyurl.com/hutcb
    360, DS, PS2 and Saturn Games For Auction.
     
    Chris F, Oct 11, 2007
    #9
  10. AirRaid

    Chris F Guest

    they do, but at the same time it's not often that they're jammed half
    an inch under the dvd drive either
    --

    gamertag: Chrisflynnuk
    http://live.xbox.com/member/Chrisflynnuk
    Current eBay auctions: http://tinyurl.com/hutcb
    360, DS, PS2 and Saturn Games For Auction.
     
    Chris F, Oct 11, 2007
    #10
  11. AirRaid

    First of One Guest

    By "run significantly hotter", I mean the video card GPU runs at higher
    temperatures than the X360 GPU, despite the roomier PC case. For example,
    both of my X1900XTs easily exceed 90 deg C under intense 3D gaming, yet they
    chug along happily without components desoldering themselves. Note these are
    sustained temps, not heat spikes. To put things in better perspective, the
    thermal protection trip point on most nVidia cards is set at 140 deg C. If
    the X360 GPU is popping off the board, then it's an issue with the board
    design or soldering process; the heat is not to blame.
     
    First of One, Oct 11, 2007
    #11
  12. AirRaid

    slayerman89 Guest

    Oh I complete agree with you. I think the Wii sales will really fall
    when pretty much everyone who is ever going to want one, has one. I
    barely play mine at all anymore, just waiting for Mario, maybe.

    The crazy thing is, $280 is nothing to sneeze at, but it seemed like
    such a great price compared to the other systems. I think the Wii's
    success is due very much in part to picking a price that is
    profitable, but no terribly high in comparison.
     
    slayerman89, Oct 12, 2007
    #12
  13. Holy cow that's a long time to wait.
    I wanted it a lot sooner.
     
    Rich Billionaire, Oct 12, 2007
    #13
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