Monday, November 12, 2007

New revisions of Playstation 3 and XBOX 360

Both the xbox 360 and the PS3 have received minor updates recently which have reduced their power usage. Both the XBox's PowerPC CPU and the Playstation 3's cell CPU have gotten revisions to their manfacturing process (they were 90nm and are now 65nm).

Jump to the end for the power savings. The tale:

Microsoft has been introducing them in to their maufacturing lines slowly along without any fanfare (why the heck not one has to ask) and not labelling them. People have resorted to internet forums to be able to identify the lot #s and manufacturing lines of the new ones. The basic gist is if you get Lot #736 and up from Team FDOU (on the label with upc on outside of box) you'll likely have a 65nm version. All the variations seems to be getting the new chip though the halo3 version seems to be easiest.

The new 40GB cost reduced version of the PS3 has new 65nm version of the cell processor. There was a fairly well confirmed rumor that this new sku was all 65nm which was later denied by sony even though it was confirmed that it uses less power, and then later undenied. So between the removal of the ps2 hardware chip and the new cpu a lot of power was saved. So not only is this new SKU $100 cheaper you could also save $$$ in electricity (though you get a bluray movie instead of a game, a smaller hard drive, less PS2 compatibility and no media card readers)

Both the xbox and the ps3 still have 90nm versions of their graphics chips. The GPUs won't transition to smaller processes until next year (and xbox will probably go to 55nm since it's an ati chip if I recall correctly) the PS3 GPU is called the RSX but I don't know when it will get a new process technology revision.

PS3 (40GB bought 11/2/07)
Off: 0
Booting: 135-136 (max 144)
Menu (XMB): 139-140
Resistance Fall of Man: Cut scenes: 137-138
Playing first level of RFOM: 144-150 (mostly 147-149, peaked at 155)
RFOM paused: 134
Loading Bluray/Menu: 134-135
play Bluray (SWAT ch 16) 134
30x Fast forward 134
Paused bluray 133
Running Folding @ home* 157
Web page loading sony store page 135-138

Xbox360 (lot 737 team FDOU, 2 inductors)
Off - 2 watts
Xbox live active download 95
booting 102-109
media center paused 100
Playing media center 100-105
loading halo 3 104-106 (max 111)
halo 3 menu 121
halo 3 campaign 126-132 (tsavo highway legendary rally point alpha)
paused 129-131
multiplayer matchmaking 115-116
multiplayer 116-124 (most commonly in range of 116-118)

xbox360 hddvd player
off 0-1 flips back and forth
idle 1
opening 3
booting 4-6
spinning up max 10
idle with disc in 6
playing hd dvd 6

UPDATE 2007-11-13

Old XBox 360 (90nm original motherboard)
Off 1-2
peak measured 162
playing project gotham intro 145

All measurements made with a kill-a-watt

So the 90nm version of PS3 used about 200 watts I'm told, now down to 135ish. So 65 watts saved for a gamer playing 10 hours per week, would be 2762 Watt hours per week and , which isn't much at current electrical rates, but if you factor in air conditioning for have the year (let's say doubling elec. usage) and elec rates for clean energy / building carbon sinks might save 5 bucks a week worth of elec. in the summer if you are a really hard core gamer.

* it uses more power but it helps science and might lead to new advances in protein science which could lead to better ways to make ethanol, or anti cancer drugs, alzheimers research, or technology to reduce power usage (proteins can be catalysts which for you engineers, are like having a special purpose processor that can do a calculation in 1 watt that it would take the CPU all 100 watts to do), if you already leave your PS3 or your computer on, or want to donate 150 watts to science please consider running it! more info at

No comments: