The eagle has landed. Or should that be Falcon?
In case you didn’t get the memo, the Xbox 360 Elite still hasn’t made the move to 65nm yet and is just as intrusively loud (think SR-71) and likely to be prone to the phantom Red Ring of Death as the newer, smaller fabrication systems are proposed to be. Although Zephyr has added a new heatsink arrangement, it doesn’t seem to have been enough to stave of the overheating problems; which have probably become more prevalent since Bioshock’s release.
As previously rumored the new motherboards are begin referred to internally as Falcon and although previous thought was that both CPU and GPU would be moving to 65nm, it seems that AMD has held up the latter’s transition and only the processor is to get a die shrink in this refresh.
Despite the belief of most of us in the office that the GPU is where the temperature problems currently lay (most not being me, since there’s no hard proof – ed.), games like Unreal Tournament 3 as well as Gears of War are becoming increasingly multi-threaded and will no doubt be stressing the CPU more and more as time goes on. And of course there are more benefits than just heat reduction to a die shrink.
The best for Microsoft will be the reduced cost that moving to 65nm should mean. With around 40-45 per cent more chips per silicon wafer at the new process Microsoft should get a nice reduction in cost for each Xbox it makes, which could also translate into a price drop for the consumer if said consumer is lucky.
While we generally agree that it will take more than a die shrink to solve all of the RRoD problems with the Xbox 360, there’s no denying that we’d rather have a Falcon console than not and we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for a Microsoft-confirmed date for the systems hitting the stores. For now you’ll just have to don your eye-patches and practice your piratical skills on the ships alleged to be bringing the consoles over from China where they’re being assembled. For legal reasons I’d probably better stress we don’t actually condone piracy of any sort.
Mercury News story.