New Xbox 360's "Valhalla" chip, power use detailed

Xbox 360 teardown details new chip, power use

A teardown and closer look at the Valhalla-powered slim Xbox 360 has been offered, thanks to AnandTech. The biggest change compared to the outgoing Jasper platform is what looks like the integration of the CPU, GPU and eDRAM onto a single chip. If true, this enables Microsoft to use a single heatsink and fan for these components.

The new die size is believe to be is 45nm and there are rumors of what Microsoft calls the CGPU being built at Chartered Semiconductor owned by Global Foundries.

The new chip helps the new Xbox become more power efficient and it now requires a smaller, less powerful 135W adapter. Compared to the Jasper-powered predecessor, the new one is about 33 percent and 20 percent more efficient, at idle and when playing Gears of War 2, respectively (see charts, below). When off, the system draws just 0.6W of power compared to 2.0W in the Jasper version. Compared to the original, Xenon-powered Xbox 360, the new one is more than twice as efficient.

The new system is also 5dB(A) quieter at idle and 3dB(A) when a disc is spinning inside its drive, compared to Jasper 360s.

AnandTech's digging around inside also revealed that the new hard drive is a 1.5Gbps SATA Hitachi unit with an 8MB buffer and a 5,400RPM spin speed. A USB 802.11n adapter plugs into an internal USB port, suggesting a lower-priced version will lack Wi-Fi, as in the upcoming Arcade version, perhaps. The optical drive is an updated Lite-On device of the one found in the later Jasper 360s, called the DG16-D4S.

Back on the outside, there are two front-mounted USB ports for adding external storage or loading movies, pictures or other files, with the proprietary memory cards no longer needed or supported. The rear has an optical audio output, HDMI output, three USBs, an Ethernet port and a proprietary Xbox 360 A/V output in addition to the Kinect add-on connection.

It is evident Microsoft continues to move more mainstream, in line with the functionalities and standard features of rivals such as the PS3, while improving its home gaming console.

  1. lamewing 06/21, 01:37am

    Interesting article, but why do I still want a PS3?

    Actually, I would be happy with any console if they simply still supported JRPGs, but this generation has not seen much in the way of them...esp. compared to the old PS2. FPS on a console just don't do it for me...

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