Dean Takahashi has a write-up regarding the upcoming 65nm microprocessors reportedly shipping on new Xbox 360 units. The more efficient processors are included on the new Falcon boards that are included standard in all units going forward. Of course, Microsoft still needs to sell its existing stock of 90nm chip systems and as a result is being, shall we say, coy about the new processors and their availability.
Also of note is that these new Falcon boards curiously do not include replacement 65nm ATI graphics processors, which some have speculated are at least partially responsible for the frequently discussed Red Rings of Death issue that Microsoft recently took steps to correct. Takahashi remarks that he expected the 65nm chips—both processor and graphics—to have appeared long before now but speculates that the problems with the 90nm boxes may have pulled Microsoft’s engineers away from the efficiency shift to concentrate on damage control.
The crux of the report is that buying a new Xbox 360 right now is probably not the wisest consumer decision, at least until someone determines how to effectively differentiate between the chip sizes from the outer boxes. Once the last of the 90nm systems have been liquidated from stock all 360s sold will include HDMI and the more efficient chips, which many believe (or perhaps hope) will be more reliable than 360s have historically been. The moral of the story then is for those considering an Xbox purchase to wait for a few months for the holiday buyers to clear out the older stock, something Microsoft hopes you won’t do which is why they remain so elusive with details on the new chips.
Read More | San Jose Mercury
It has already been reported that there are some games that have problems under Microsoft Windows Vista, some due to compatibility problems with the OS, others with driver issues. Even for games that run correctly under Vista, often there is a performance hit taken by the OS. Extremetech has looked at a suite of game titles with some of the highest hardware requirements and run them all under Windows XP and Windows Vista across three high-end video cards to see what the performance hit actually is. Overall, Extremetech’s findings show that both nVidia have some room for improvement in their driver sets. Generally, the ATI card took a bigger performance hit in testing, but generally across the board, the cards dropped framerates by as much as 40%, but generally more in the range of 5 – 20%. The lack of maturity on Windows Vista video card drivers and the lack of DirectX 10 games on the platform suggests that the best option for gamers at this point is to wait for the software situation to firm up a bit more before upgrading.
Read More | Extremetech
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