The Xbox 360 250GB
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- Posted 06/14/2010
Xbox 360 250GB
At Microsoft's E3 2010 keynote address, the company unveiled, and released, the new Xbox 360 250GB. The new machine will cost $299 and comes with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and a 250GB hard drive among its many upgrades. Microsoft also gave the console a glossy black case and a svelter look. New consoles are already en route to stores and should be widely available in a matter of days. A new $199 unit designed to replace the Xbox 360 Arcade is under development at the moment and will be released at a later date.
Upgradable Hard Drive
The internal 250GB hard drive is upgradable via a small user-accessible port. Opening the port will not require the use of tools. The new hard drive casing fits inside the console completely and is not compatible with existing consoles. Older hard drives are similarly incompatible with the new Xbox 360. The new hard drive casing's connector looks to be composed of standard SATA power and data ports, as opposed to the proprietary connector present on the original Xbox 360. Microsoft did not state what RPM the internal hard drive was running at.
Microsoft updated the internals of the console with a 45nm integrated CPU and GPU. By comparison, the chipset at launch was manufactured on a 90nm process, and was later updated to be manufactured on a 65nm process. Smaller manufacturing processes generally lead to cooler running chips and reduced manufacturing costs.
Based on our brief encounter with the Xbox 360 250GB, the machine does seem much quieter than the original. Turning on the machine we had to move our ears to within inches of the machine to notice it, but we do have to note that we were in a rather crowded room. A single large fan cools the console. In comparison to smaller fans, large fans are able to move an equivalent amount of air at lower fan speeds, which also reduces noise output. The original Xbox 360 used two smaller fans to get the same job done. Putting a game into the DVD drive raised sound levels slightly but didn't affect acoustics anywhere near as much as the original Xbox 360.
Capacitive Touch Buttons
The new Xbox 360 250GB has touch capacitive power and disk eject buttons. Unlike many touch capacitive buttons, both are highly responsive and emit a slight beep when touched to signal that you actually pushed them. The disk eject button looks quite small but is easy to press.