It's not exactly a revelation, but Microsoft tells Next-Gen.Biz that the Xbox 360's recently announced CPU switch from 90nm to 65nm technology won't have any effect on the system's performance; main advantage is cost reduction.
When the CPU update was announced, many early Xbox 360 adopters felt as if they may be getting stiffed performance-wise, with reports of a cooler, faster CPU. According to Microsoft, no one is getting stiffed on the performance end, but later adopters may benefit from a lower 360 price tag.
Our Microsoft rep stated, "The move to 65 nm technology will lower our manufacturing costs. Itâ€™s standard practice in the semiconductor industry to reduce transistor sizes every few years to be able to place more CPUs on a wafer. Doing so results in higher CPU yields and higher yields lead to lower manufacturing costs. We anticipate system performance will stay the same."
Any perceived cost reduction fuels rumors of a $100 and $80 price drop for the 360 premium and core packs, respectively. There has been speculation that Microsoft might slash the cost of their console this fall to counteract the impending release of the PS3 and Revolution.
While moving from 90nm to 65nm technology will reduce heat production by the new CPU, which will go into production in first quarter 2007, our rep said, "the primary reason for moving to 65nm over time is not to reduce heat, but to reduce manufacturing costs." A quieter fan in the upcoming systems couldn't be confirmed.