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Inside the Xbox 360 Elite Part 3

Now that we've had a few days to play with our new elite we have a bit more in depth details for you.  We ran the elite through its paces and got some interesting data to share.  The feed back from the first two articles has been impressive, thanks for all the support out there.  Hopefully this wraps up our look into the elite and answers the last few questions that have been popping up. 

Power consumption - Similar  Our test bed uses the same controller and power supply.  The same 120 GB hard drive is connected to both units.  The best method of measure we could come up with was using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to supply power to the Xbox 360.  The UPS has an LCD screen that displays power consumption in kilowatts. 

It should be noted that this is not accurate to the 3rd decimal, for instance in our DVD movie test on the original the reading fluctuated from 105-113, it never read 110 always either 105 or 113 most of the time it read 113 so that is what we used for our reading.  If anyone has some old diagnostic equipment out there in need of a home send it on over we will put it to good use!  Note that in the photos below we see a swing of 7 or 8 watts, this is the minimum measure the UPS is capable of so these are really close, and most likely closer than the difference that is displayed.


  Elite 360 Hitachi Original 360 Hitachi Original 360 BENQ
Idle (dashboard) 135Watt 128Watt 135Watt
Audio CD 135Watt 135Watt 143Watt
DVD Movie 98Watt 113Watt 113Watt
In Game Typical 158Watt 150Watt 165Watt
In Game Peak 165Watt 158Watt 173Watt

Considering the margin of error in our test setup all readings should be considered nearly identical across all units.  The small difference we see points toward no change in processor die revision.  We would have expected to see a drop of about 30Watts if this were the 65nm revision.

Noise Production - A little quieter Our setup consisted of the quietest room we could find, the ambient noise was in fact under 50Db so it worked.  Our Radio Shack Decibel meter is capable of 50db through 130Db all of the readings were at the bottom of the scale but on the scale.  To read this meter you set the switch to the Db range you want to measure in this case 60Db.  When the gauge reads zero it is actually reading the number the switch is set to (60Db) the gauge displays as much as -10Db or +6Db, so from one extreme to the other the 60Db setting reads 50Db to 66Db.  For instance here is a close-up of the meter when measuring 54Db

  Elite 360
Original 360 Hitachi Original 360 BENQ
Idle 52Db 54Db 60Db
CD 52Db 54Db 54Db
DVD 52Db 52Db 54Db
In Game 59Db 59Db 58Db

360elite 139.jpg (23653 bytes) 360elite 128.jpg (22748 bytes) 360elite 119.jpg (21877 bytes)

360elite 140.jpg (26623 bytes) 360elite 129.jpg (27122 bytes) 360elite 120.jpg (26841 bytes)

360elite 145.jpg (29386 bytes) 360elite 132.jpg (30414 bytes) 360elite 125.jpg (29029 bytes)

360elite 141.jpg (30091 bytes) 360elite 135.jpg (30968 bytes) 360elite 122.jpg (29891 bytes)

Updated 5/2/07
On the chart you show the BenQ drive being loudest while the drive is in an idle position, than when it is reading either a DVD, game, or CD.  Is this possible?  Shouldn't the noise level go up while the drive is actually in operation.  Also the same goes for the Original with the Hitachi drive.  It is actually quieter while reading a DVD than when being idle? - Robert

A: The idle readings are higher due to the fan speed being higher at idle than when playing a DVD or a CD.  The 360 actually slows its fan speed during CD and DVD play to reduce noise.  So it makes sense that the CD and DVD would be quieter. 

Q: But why wouldn't the game disc be the loudest since everything is cooking? 

A: Well, um you see... its like... well... I don't really know.  I remembered thinking it was unusual during the test and I double-checked my photos and find a total of four photos of readings at idle for the Benq 60,  59, 60.5, 60.5
360elite 116.jpg (18527 bytes)360elite 117.jpg (19974 bytes)360elite 118.jpg (21889 bytes)360elite 119.jpg (21877 bytes)
We should also note that the Benq system is the only one with a Nidec fan, is it possible that this fan is quieter at a higher RPM?  Unlikely.  So I'd say I agree it doesn't make sense but those are the results we saw during our test, its not a typo or something.

Vent Exhaust Temperature - Similar.  The highest reading we could get on either unit using a laser sighted no contact thermometer reading right at the rear vent fan is a consistent 128 degrees Fahrenheit with an ambient room temperature of 73.

  Elite 360
Original 360
Original 360
After 30 mins Gameplay 128F 128F 128F

Conclusions:  The Elite is a bit quieter, uses slightly less power but does not sport the 65nm die.  We have come to this conclusion for the following reasons.  The power consumption is basically unchanged, the heat output is unchanged if this were the 65nm die it fails to address either of the items it was intended to improve.


See also
360 Elite Part 1
360 Elite Part 2
360 Elite Part 3


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