How to know if Xbox 360 is a Falcon free from 3rod rrod

This Easter Holiday, I had a chance to lay my fingers on my brother in law's much hyped over Xbox played on LCD.  

However, he is lucky since he usually plays under cold temperatures.  XBoxes are known to suffer the so called RROD, or 3rod, which means red rings of death, or 3 rings of death.  This is a led light signal that your console would no longer function and has probably literally melted down due to processor overheating.

Microsoft suffered heavily for this, turning off would be buyers, and promising to warranty those older models, at the same time reducing prices drastically.  That Sony Playstation PS3's original only blueray disc games was not enough to keep Xboxes on top of Nintendo Wii in the console race.  I wonder what is the future for Xbox now that the blueray code has been cracked, and fake blueray ps3 games will now foreseeably flood the market by around 2009?

 

By late 2007, Microsoft has released an Xbox chip called the Falcon system, now producing less processing  power via lesser wattage used, plus the chip is now mounted on a heatsink.

Falcon system Xboxes can sell for 20% more for their older counterparts.  In the Philippines, you can get a Falcon chipset XBox for around 22,000 pesos, and an older version for 17,000 or even much less. A second hand should not even be worth 10,000 pesos, considering the impending doom one would get when playing older versions.

How to know if your Xbox is a Falcon: 

How to find a 65nm console without opening the box (175W PSU):
This is the easiest and best way to see if you have a 65nm (Falcon) console without opening the box. All you need to do is look at the information label (lot #, team label) on the side of the box and look at the power information.

If the label says 175W, then the console is a Falcon console. If the label says 203W, then use one of the other two methods to see if the console is Falcon.

175W Falcon Label:

175W Falcon PSU Label:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you find a 175W console, you 100% have a Falcon console. The new 175W PSU will NOT work with old (90nm) console. The plug that goes into the console has been changed to all plastic, and has a different layout then the old plug. There are already multiple revisions of the 175W PSUs, but there is no difference between them.

How to see if you have a 65nm (Falcon) console (HEATSINK INSPECTION):

First, get a flashlight that is very bright. Then put your console upside down (HD side down). You should be looking at an black or grey piece of plastic which is the bottom vent. Shine the flashlight directly into the bottom of the console (it works best to sit the flashlight on the plastic).

Then move the flashlight to the right side of the plastic. When you look inside of the console directly below the light, you will see a large white piece of plastic. This is the airflow shroud. You can see this highlighted in this picture: http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x127/MRCUR/S8000516-2.jpg

Next, move the flashlight to the left a bit and look into the console again. You are looking for the large silver square that is directly in front of the airflow shroud. This piece will tell you whether or not you have a 65nm console.

Here are pictures of the 90nm CPU Heatsink and the 65nm CPU Heatsink. (Notice that there is no heatpipe on the new 65nm CPU heatsink.)

How to see if you have a 65nm (Falcon) console (INDUCTOR INSPECTION):
This test looks at components on the board rather than the heatsinks and can more definitively tell you whether or not you have the Falcon motherboard (picture courtesy of JWSpeed). The number and orientation (horizontal or vertical) of inductor rings near the CPU heatsink can tell you what version of the motherboard you have.

Here is a comparison shot of the three boards which Microsoft has manufactured so far. Note the removal of one of the inductor rings from Zephyr to Falcon. Also, one can note the removal of three of the black capacitors from both launch to Zephyr, and then again from Zephyr to Falcon. Both of these changes are indications of which motherboard you have, but the capacitors are much harder to see without opening the case, so for all intents and purposes, counting the number of inductors should suffice.

All you will need to count your inductor rings are hands and a good flashlight.

  1. Remove your Hard Disk Drive from the top of your console and set aside so as to not damage it.
  2. Place the console vertical and upside-down on a flat surface, so the bottom grill of the console is visible.
  3. Put your flashlight directly up against the console's bottom grill and look for the 2 or 3 inductor rings (which appear as a small ring wrapped in bare copper wire).

Two rings laying flat: Congratulations! You have a Falcon board.
Three rings laying flat: This is a Zephyr motherboard.
Three rings standing up: This is a launch motherboard.

Again, here is the comparison shot of the 3 board types and how the inductors are oriented on each. Also, I wouldn't read into the color of the inductors too much. Chances are, the colors will change occasionally as prices from different suppliers fluctuate and MS goes from one to the next for the best deal. We will probably see different colors on the same board versions, and therefore they serve no purpose for identifying board types.

How to find a Falcon model 360 in stores

Based on the info in this thread, A Falcon model Xbox 360 MUST BE:

  1. Lot #0734 (Halo 3) or later (all SKUs)
  2. Manufactured on or after 8/24/07(An HDMI Premium manufactured on 8/19 has been reported as 65nm.)
  3. Team FDOU (Other teams may be Falcon as well, but none have been reported)

Please note that getting a Falcon console is not guaranteed even if everything matches the above information. Only some new consoles are Falcon, and no Falcon refurb consoles have been reported.

 

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