Hardware Review: Microsoft Xbox 360

Today’s piece of hardware up for review will be Microsift’s Xbox 360!

It is an amazing console, released on November 22, 2005 AD. It was the first console of the 7th generation of videogames. It comes in 2 packages, the Fully Loaded Xbox 360 (White Box) with the HD-AV Component Video Cables, 20 GB Removable Hard Disk Drive (For Xbox 360), The Xbox 360 Console (With Chrome Finish), a brand new Xbox Live Headset (For use exclusively with the Xbox 360 Wireless/Wired Controllers), a Free Xbox Live Silver Account, and a free month of Xbox Live Gold Service.

Hardware Specs. (Courtesy Of Wikipedia.org)

Xbox360PremiumBox.JPGXbox 360 System Xbox360Core.JPGXbox 360 Core System
Detachable 20 GB hard drive Yes No
Ethernet cable Yes No
Premium chrome finish Yes No
Xbox Live headset Yes (Most regions) No
Xbox Live Silver membership Yes Yes
One month trial of Xbox Live Gold Yes Yes
Gamepad 2.4 GHz wireless Wired, with 3 m breakaway cord
AV Cables Component HD-AV cable Composite AV cable


Xbox 360 GPU; note the smaller eDRAM die to the left of the main Xenos die


Xbox 360 GPU; note the smaller eDRAM die to the left of the main Xenos die

The Xbox 360 is similar in form factor to its predecessor. It is slightly slimmer in every dimension, and the industrial design helps reinforce this impression; the Xbox 360 is white and slightly concave, whereas the original Xbox was black and noticeably convex. The Xbox 360 is also about 350 grams lighter than the original Xbox. Much of this savings in size and weight was achieved by moving the power supply out of the console proper; the power supply by itself displaces 1300 cubic centimeters.


The Xbox 360 hardware features brand new approaches to its design, including an entirely different multi-core central processing unit (CPU) named Xenon and the Xenos GPU with Unified Shader Architecture. Xenon is a custom triple-core PowerPC-based design by IBM as opposed to the Xbox’s Intel Coppermine-128 microprocessor. Each core of the CPU is simultaneous multithreading capable and clocked at 3.2 gigahertz.


In addition, while the first Xbox’s graphics processing unit (GPU) was produced by NVidia, the Xbox 360 uses a chip designed by ATI called “Xenos” (Developed under the name “C1”, sometimes “R500”).[33] Xenos contains 48 unified shader units, which are capable both Vertex and Pixel shading operations in contrast of separate pipelines of current GPU design. The GPU package contains two separate silicon dies: the GPU proper and a eDRAM die for FSAA and post-processing. Heatsinks protect both the GPU and CPU of the console and the CPU heatsink uses heat pipes.[34] The heatsinks are actively cooled by a pair of 60 mm exhaust fans that push the air out of the case.

Xbox 360 Bandwidth Diagram


Xbox 360 Bandwidth Diagram


The console features 512 mebibytes of 700 megahertz GDDR3 RAM, which is shared by the CPU and the GPU via the unified memory architecture. A 21.6 GB/s front side bus (aggregated 10.8 GB/s upstream and downstream) is also featured by the console. For network and peripheral device connectivity, the console has a built-in 100BASE-TX RJ45 ethernet port, suitable for connecting to Xbox Live, and three USB ports.[35]


All games made for the Xbox 360 are required to support at least six channel Dolby Digital surround sound. Additionally, a wide array of standard and HDTV resolutions, up to 1920×1080 in interlaced mode, are supported by the console hardware.[36] The Xbox 360’s optical drive supports a wide variety of DVD-ROM formats in addition to DVD Video, as well as most common CD-based formats.[35] The option to apply a regional lockout to games is available to publishers. DVD region codes are always enforced. A 20 gigabyte detachable hard drive is available for game saves and downloads (included in the non-Core version of the console), as are small, portable memory cards.

Components and accessories

Main article: Xbox 360 components and accessories

An Xbox 360 Wireless Controller


An Xbox 360 Wireless Controller

Up to four controllers are supported by the Xbox 360, in either wired or wireless forms, and there is an optional wireless force feedback racing wheel for racing games that can be purchased separately as well. The Xbox 360 connects to Xbox Live through a optional wireless network adapter on a home network through a wireless router, and the Universal Media Remote can be used to control several functions of the console including the Windows Media Center functions if connected to the network. Various other components for the console exist such as decorative faceplates to change the physical appears of the console, wired or wireless headsets for communication over Xbox Live, and a Xbox 360 branded webcam called Xbox Live Vision Camera. An add-on external HD DVD drive will be released holiday season 2006.

Thats the general knowledge. It was courtesy of Wikipedia.com and is subject to change. As of right now, my review is a 8/10!

Plenty of strong points, including Games, Xbox Live Arcade, HD Graphics, and some pretty good processing power. However, not perfect yet, as the HD-DVD drive which could have been used for games is on sale soon as an optional add-on to play HD-DVDs. It’s getting there, but it is pretty good. Seamless intergration of Xbox Live and Arcade as well as realtime Chat and up to 100 friends ViA live. WiFi is not out-of-the-box. It’s improving but not quite perfect.

8/10 Stars for the Xbox 360, By MICROSOFT

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