My quest for the apparently rare "Jasper" chipset

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by jaw04005, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #1
    My original launch (pre-Falcon) console died in December. So, I purchased a new XBOX 360 in January. Apparently, I lucked out and got the Jasper chipset. However, the unit's DVD drive died within three weeks of owning it.

    Anyway, being within the return period, I sent the unit back to Amazon. They sent me a replacement unit, but it had the Falcon chipset and was noticeably louder.

    I sent the replacement unit back to Amazon for another replacement unit. They shipped me another 360 with the Falcon chipset. I didn't bother opening that one to see if it was louder or not. So, I returned it for a refund.

    Up until now, Microsoft was including two bundled games with the 360. I figured they were trying to clear out inventory by including games with the older chipsets. So, I decided to wait until the bundling was over.

    Last week Dell was having a sale on 360's. I ordered a 60GB premium from them for roughly $40 less than what everyone else was selling them for. Once I received it, it of course has the Falcon chipset. So, I sent it back.

    Great. All in all, I've been without a 360 for close to four months. Which has not been as big a deal as I thought, since I've been actually finishing my Wii games.

    I noticed the other day that Amazon updated their 60GB 360 product page with a "newest version" tag. I figured surely they meant it had the Jasper chipset. What else would "newest version" mean? The 360 hasn't been revved or anything.

    Apparently not, as I just got the 360 from UPS and it's a Falcon manufactured some 8 months ago and happens to have the oldest manufacturing date of any of the previous consoles I received.

    Also, the box looked like it was stabbed with a forklift. So, yeah, it's going back.

    What is going on? I believe the Jasper chipset came out in August. With 360 sales being up 30 percent, you would think the old Falcon inventory would be gone.

    And before anyone suggests I just take the Falcon and be happy, I use the 360 as a Media Center Extender and the noise level between the three chipsets (at least as far as my informal testing with three units with three different chipsets has concluded) is noticeably different.

    Sigh. I may just have to go to Best Buy and some other store and be that annoying customer that asks to see the back of every 360 until I get a Jasper. :eek:
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Ireland
    #2
    Is there no easy way of finding a Jasper with serial number or manufacturing info on the box ?

    It really does sound like a pain tracking one down. I know that the 'Arcade' model was meant to be the Jasper revision and there are more of these in abundance than the other models, so.......

    Could you not buy a premium, buy an arcade. Swap the machines around and sell the arcade on ?
     
  3. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #3
    Buy one of the limited red ones, they're 100% Jasper.
     
  4. spyker3292 macrumors 65816

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    Michigan
    #4
    Amazon must just love you for all those returns :p. You could try getting that new $400 Fable/Halo bundled one.
     
  5. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
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    AR
    #5
    Not that I'm aware of. The only real way to tell is to look at the power information. See the attached picture from Engadget.

    I'm not sure if all the current Arcade models are Jasper either. It would much more expensive to buy an Arcade model and then all the accessories separately. Microsoft charges outrages prices for the hard drive ($159) and HD/AV cable ($50).

    I'm not real keen on the looks of the red one, but I may just do that. I wonder if the new black Elites with Halo 3 included are Jasper?

    They can't hate me too much because I spend probably $5,000+ there per year between personal and business, and I'm an Amazon Prime member. I'm starting to feel like I'm taking advantage of their liberal return policy, but they did (and still have) the 60GB, Arcade and Elite models tagged with "newest version."

    They were nice about this return though. They shipped a replacement one that's hopefully not ripped to shreds for delivery Monday. And refunded all my overnight shipping charges for the entire order (maybe $15 total with the $2.99 overnight pricing per item). You can't beat that. I haven't even sent this one back yet.

    It would have made everyone's life easier if Microsoft had just labeled the Jasper ones with catchy marketing like "now with more power efficiency" or some other jargon.

    I'm wondering if you can tell by the marketing materials on the back. I've noticed the last few I've received had Halo 3 advertisements all over the back. Maybe the newer models have something else? I didn't pay any attention to the box of the original Jasper console I got in January.

    Engadget's article on Jasper hunting: http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/10/inside-an-xbox-360-jasper-ben-heck-dissects-the-mythical-consol/
     

    Attached Files:

  6. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    London, UK
    #6
    I doubt it. Microsoft probably have a huge stock of Elites, and they've just packed them into a new box. Some of them may be new, but I doubt it.

    What you really need is a new SKU to be created (exactly like the red one), replacing one of the current lines.
     
  7. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
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    AR
    #7
    HAH. Just received replacement 360 from Amazon, of course it's a Falcon. Going back.

    Screw this. I've made it 4 months, I can make it a while longer. Maybe they'll have this straightened out by Fall.

    Amazon needs to take the "newest version" tag off their product page though.
     
  8. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    #8
    I'm surprised that Falcon 360's are still around! It must be all those RRoD consoles being fixed and put back on the market. ;)
     
  9. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

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    #9
    Be very careful. Amazon will suspend your account imminently.
     
  10. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #10
    Here's an interesting interview with Microsoft's group product manager Aaron Greenberg on the Jasper chipset:

    I ask point blank: has there even been a discussion about simply putting the model type on the box, making it clear for consumers? "Yes," Greenberg tells me, and then pauses.

    He rubs his face and looks up. "I have to be careful about how I answer this," Greenberg says. "We have focused really hard on improving the quality of our products, including the internal components, new types of things internally. Unfortunately we don't get and share the exact specifics of that... I know your site and your readers are much more sophisticated than the average public, but for the most part, we believe the type of consumer that's buying an Xbox today, they should be able to buy with confidence. They shouldn't, you know, get hung up on the internal components of the device.

    "However, I think your readers will figure out the way to know the difference, and there are ways to figure it out, and they'll buy the one that they want. How's that for a... am I going to get in trouble here?" he asks the PR lady in the room.

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/...who-really-care-will-find-the-jasper-360s.ars
     
  11. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    #11
    LOL, now if that's not admittance of how crappy the older design was then I don't know what is.
     
  12. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    Philly
    #12
    That three billion dollar write of for additional warranty coverage might have something to do with it as well. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #13
    you know you could just go to best buy, or some other place like that and look at the boxes before you order them. My local best buy all they have are jasper.

    Or you could get a 360 arcade and just buy the hard drive add on. Arcads are the most likely to be jasper
     
  14. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    AR
    #14
    I went to Best Buy and looked at the 60GBs. They only had three boxes out on the shelf, but none that I looked at were Jaspers. The Best Buy employee was a little annoyed that I wanted to shake the boxes around until I could see the power rating.

    I finally just ordered the RE Edition from buy.com. It was $100 more than the 60GB at Amazon, but no tax or shipping and it should be around $370 after the Live.com cashback.

    It was $70 more than I wanted to spend and I hate the color but I'll know I'm getting a Jasper.

    Coincidentally, I just got my little cousin's 360 (launch console, Xenon maybe?) back from repair. It emits about 1/3 of the noise that it previously did. I wonder if they replaced the internal components with the new chipset?
     
  15. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Ireland
    #15
    Are you sure you got the same one back ? Seems unlikely they would go to the effort of replacing the insides. Probably just swapped for different machine? I guess does it have HDMI would be the easy way of knowing.
     
  16. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #16
    It's the same one. It has the same sticker he put it on it years ago and the same serial number, markings and scratches. No HDMI and the power rating is still 16.5A according to the label.

    I'm not sure what they did to it, but it no longer sounds like a jet engine when you play it.

    Edit: It looks like it may be what's called an "Opus" chipset. It's a repair-only chipset that was developed after the Falcon but before the Jasper. I also think they replaced his DVD-ROM drive.

    http://gear.ign.com/articles/895/895327p1.html
     
  17. BMWFan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    #17
    So after all these issues why are you still going after MS? You should know better than to buy any hardware from MS. They make shoddy software and even worse hardware.

    Just switch to a PS3. It's the mac of the console world and it "just works". Better design, built quality and better hardware. I have made many of my friends switch to a PS3 and they've loved it!
     
  18. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #18
    Sure is...... just like the mac its plagued by shoddy ports and developers not able to caress the best out of the machine, leaving its pc cousin (360) with almost always the better multi-format version.
     
  19. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #19
    I couldn't have said it better myself. I loved my PSX and PS2, but I hate practically everything about the PS3 except its Blu-ray player and relatively few innovative exclusives (Little Big Planet, Pixel Junk Monsters, etc).

    I'm generally much happier with the 360 on all fronts (software library, arcade titles, media capabilities, interface, online store, online play, friends list, communication tools, in-game dashboard and music, mandatory achievements from day one, how it handles game updates, dashboard updates, etc) even with the hardware issues, but I'll probably never get rid of my 60GB launch PS3. I almost feel like I'm using a computer instead of a game console when I play my PS3 (installs, firmware updates, menu system, etc).
     
  20. hazza.jockel macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I have had my 360 for a while now. I got it in 2007 i think but last year i had it sent off to get fixed. Its graphics went all weird then stopped working completely. So now its back what chip should i expect it to have and how can I tell?
     
  21. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #21
    I didn't care much for the PS3 initially (didn't like the SixAxis controller, 360 Dashboard is better, Achievements, more games), but more and more I'm switching to the PS3 over the 360.

    When I sent my 360 for its second repair (says it all, really), it came back even louder than the one I sent for repair. I wouldn't have thought that possible. I don't know enough about the models (Jasper/Falcon etc.), but it's now about as loud as a hairdryer/food processor.

    So with the PS3, now with Dual Shock controller, nice and quiet, reliable, and with some decent games available, my 360 is starting to feel unloved.
     
  22. jaw04005 thread starter macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #22
    Not to derail my own thread, but I try to love my PS3. I really do. However, third-party titles (Sega, EA, Ubisoft, etc) are almost always designed for and just plain better on the XBOX 360.

    And there are issues with the interface/software that bother me:

    Who wants to spend 5+ minutes installing trophies and/or mandated game installs the first time they play a game? Why is in-game music and voice chat not standard? Why are firmware updates complete operating system images (100MB+) every update? Why is the in-game XMB so slow to load and most of the features require quitting a game? Why can't the PS3 read iTunes AAC tags like every other console? Why is it so picky with regards to MPEG-4 video files (tag information, b-frames, etc)? What's the point of Home if Sony is going to charge for every customization (furniture, avatar clothing, etc)? Why does the "Life with PlayStation" application only have 10 or so cities in North America?

    I could go on forever.

    Like I said, other than Little Big Planet, Ratchet and Clank and a few of the innovative PSN titles, my PS3 is used as a Blu-ray/DVD player.
     
  23. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #23
    Hey, just checked my 360 and I have a Jasper. Schweet. :p

    BTW it was an Arcade. I just bought a used 20GB hdd for $40 and am using a old 2.5mm headset for Live. And I bought a $5 HDMI cable from Amazon.

    Not too shabby.
     
  24. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    #24
    I think that the RRoD and loudness of the XBOX 360 are far bigger reasons to not get it than those small things you mentioned about the PS3.
     
  25. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #25
    Yea I'll buy a games system that has less of the games I want just because it's quieter. The extended warranty makes buying one less of a risk, and thats all I want. DS's, PSPs, Wii's, PS3's. I've seen them all broken or full of problems (dead pixels) but only Nintendo offered an extended warranty for DS hinge problems and Microsoft for the RRoD.

    Anyways I bought myself an Arcade 360 recently (brother had a spare HDD, needed a VGA cable, not playing online so no headset needed) and it wasn't Jasper.

    Oh and speaking of game updates, most of the 360 games I tried had to install an update of some sort. Granted they seemed to be very small and took about 30 seconds (I only have a 1mbps connection) but it was still annoying.
     

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