Xbox 360 Slim RRoD Risk “May Be Identical to Older Models”

xbox-360-slim-no-rrod-1

Hackers dissecting the Xbox 360 “Slim” report a disturbing discovery – internal parts thought to be associated with RRoD failures remain unchanged, causing some to speculate that the new model may have the same problems which plagued older revisions.

At the heart of the speculation is the so called “X-clamp,” a part which is claimed to be one of the major contributory factors to RRoD, and which hardware hackers quickly noted with some consternation remains substantially identical between the models.

An explanation given by “modders” (actually just pirates using the usual euphemisms about “backups” and “modding”):

360_xclampWhat are X-Clamps?

X-Clamps are metal brackets which hold the Xbox 360 CPU and GPU down tightly onto the motherboard. There are two individual x-clamps within the Xbox 360 which hold down the heat sinks for the CPU and GPU.

Since they have been poorly designed the x-clamps bend when introduced to immense heat (if you’ve ever played an Xbox 360 you know it gets hot), and with that bend the Xbox 360 motherboard and break the connection between the GPU (sometimes CPU too) and the motherboard, thus you will have a RROD.

Although there are many things that can cause the RROD this is the most common.

Supposedly after-market clamps can stave off these failures.

Failure rates in the later revisions of the hardware are said to be less dire than the oft-quoted 54% figure, but the console still possesses an apparently well deserved reputation for atrocious reliability.

As to what parts cause most of the failures, only Microsoft can say (and they certainly seem intent on saying nothing), but excessive preoccupation with cutting unit costs at the expense of quality seems to characterise Microsoft’s gaming hardware.

Just how reliable the new version will be remains to be seen, but it seems Microsoft’s cunning removal of the red LED may have been its only effort at eliminating lingering problems in the new model.

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88 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    INSTANT SOLUTION! MOVE TO CANADA AND OPEN A WINDOW!

    🙂 The climate may not be so forgiving to inhabitants, but why in the fuck would you go outside anyway if you have a 360?

    By BluMarvelLegion (Find me on one of the “chans”)

  • cupcake_deluxe says:

    How appropriate. My Xbox 360 had a second RROD the other day and I don’t know if I should get a new one (it’s pretty old) or just save up for a PS3. Either way, this development doesn’t look too promising.

  • Anonymous says:

    Fuck this article! I have seen the disassembled xbox 360 in anandtech website. The cpu and gpu is in one die and the manufacturing process is 45nm. Which means heat is greatly reduced as well as power consumption. The motherboard pictured above is the old xbox 360. The only true weakness of the new 360 is the inability to move the console while a disc is currently spinning.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh wow. So this shit is pretty much intentional, huh?
    And for every new console a RROD victim has to purchase again, it’s just another tally for MS’s sales numbers.

    I mean, seriously. When has MS NOT flaunted their sales numbers? There’s no better marketing than the simple notion that the console is “more popular.” The more unsuspecting parents get wind of this sales “fact,” the more customers MS gets.

  • WOW, I can’t believe you people, just think for a second… Do you guys really understand just how much money Microsoft lost dealing with the three red light problem? There was an article posted on various game sites that showed that it was well over a billion dollars, which had a lot to do with Microsoft stepping up and extending the warranty to three years. Hint: Microsoft surely didn’t enjoy paying for that, but didn’t want the market to abandon them. Plus, seriously, Microsoft is OBVIOUSLY in this for the long haul, so they aren’t going to risk that kind of image or they WILL lose market share to other consoles, even looking forward to future console generations. In fact, they probably expect this fresh console to give fearful buyers a new sense of confidence when buying a 360 in hopes that the problem is solved, which it practically was on all Jasper units and on. I can’t believe how stupid some of you are.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, I’m out. I don’t know about the rest of Sankaku, but I’m tired of the troll that has been posting this bullshit. If this modding community was so “pro”, then they would know that the x-clamps have changed.

    Go ahead and bitch about a system you will never own, Mr. Troll, but when your PS3 bricks from a Sony-made update or the Blu-ray drive decides to shit itself, make sure you post it so others can laugh at your 90 day warranty.

    I’m gone. I’ll be at Animekon if anyone wants to join me. I’m tired of these bullshit post.

  • Anonymous says:

    Actually removing the x-clamps causes premature failure. The x-clamp is designed to apply pressure to the center of the core, while the outer area receives pressure from being tightened down. it’s the case which binds them all together. early systems has an issue which left many systems uneven from the factory and thinner x-clamps compared to later model systems.

    Nearly any system ‘fixed’ by removing the x-clamps fails again, after a couple months. Removing them is bad, the gpu needs to be reballed, not patched.

  • Anonymous says:

    Honestly ms doesn’t make any money off consoles red ringing. If you’re retarded and don’t bother sending it in under warranty then yes it’ll cost you. The red ring is covered indefinitely in MS warranty. I had my xbox since launch, until last summer it finally bit it and gave an error of E74 or something like that. I sent it back to ms (they paid the shipping) and they sent a new (most likely refurbished) xbox back to me. Granted I was w/o an xbox for a week but still…

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you fucking nuts, the RRoD warranty is 3 years, and even if they fix, which I doubt, they don’t announce, no information on it easily available, only the word of fanboys like you. And considering how stupid a person must be to buy a crapbox 360 It should be writen on huge letter on the box so they can get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      1. There’s a three-year warranty for the RROD. That means you can get your console replaced for free for the first three years you have the console if it screws up due to the RROD.

      After all, if you are stupid enough to not even try to get a replacement due to a problem that’s Microsoft’s fault, you deserve to lose out on money buying another one.

      2. Microsoft (and Sony, and Nintendo) sell their consoles at a loss. Why would they want you to buy more? So they can make more losses?

      The only way companies can get people buying their systems is to sell it for less than it is worth, so that they can make profits from the games and licensing for the system. One person buying three consoles is bad for them, because they’re making three times the loss, but will probably not get any more game sales than normal from that customer.

      • Barbarian of Gor says:

        An Atari 2600 still works.

        It’ll still work 50 years from now.
        It’ll still work 100 years from now.

        So does an Intellivision, a Colecovision, an old Commodore computer… Only thing that’ll stop them is a sledgehammer. Really, even a lightning strike usually kills the power without cooking more than the exterior of the console, so a little basic electronics, duct tape and they are ready to go again. They work.

        So will a NES, a Sega Genesis, a SNES.

        Even a PS1 and very likely a PS2/Dreamcast will still work 20 years from today’s date if kept in a clean room temperature room. Just don’t “Coaster” the CDs…

        IMO, the foolish thing is to even BUY such a system as the X-Box 360 if it’ll “Die” once the company stops “Supporting” it.

        And I’m not “It’s a personal Choice” over this. People buying such a piece of CRUD support the sloppiness and “Engineered Obsolescence” which if they can get away with companies will LEAP on as a way of eliminating the “Legacy Competition” issue that is “Well, anyone can get a used console and all the games cheaply, games at worst 70% as good as the current system.” So they’ll make sure games and consoles just “Stop working” so people don’t have an “Alternative” to fall back on so they can keep pushing out “Manager Cat” at full retail price.

        And I also don’t believe for a second the company takes a hit on every console. My perspective on the X-Box series was from a “Technical/Computer” standpoint. They boasted it was to make the first “Petaflop” supercomputer and making a video game system using the same chip would be to “Offset the cost of manufacture”. IMO, it’s like extracting cream from milk or (abomination of all) caffeine from Coffee. They charge both directions, more for the “Decaf” coffee and then they scream it’s the price of the steam when they turn around and re-sell the caffeine to soft drinks, to caffeine pills.

        Strangely, there hasn’t been any flood of complaints about a “RROD” problem on the derivative supercomputer… It was one of those ones for the government to do virtual nuclear simulations and such. A RROD some general would try to get Gates in for some kind of treason, or worse enforcement of “AntiTrust” laws. That might mean it’s not just Microsoft’s usual mode of operation, but some deliberate attempt at what I suspect that’s just over-reacting or finding “False Triggers”.

  • Anonymous says:

    The new Xbox uses a lot less power than the old models did.
    Less power means less heat, means a reduced or eliminated risk of the RRoD error occurring, without any need to further alter the physical design of the thing or change parts.

    Try to think a moment before you fly off the handle bashing a company. Do you really think it makes sense for them to make a console that breaks on purpose? They do not make a profit on sales of xbox 360 consoles, and a large portion of the broken ones they replace or repair for free under warranty. They did not churn out a flawed design to increase sales any more than Sony did with their Disc Read Error problems on early PS2s.

  • FruityLumi says:

    A few things i don’t like about this Article:

    1. the new 45nm chip doesn’t produce nearly as much heat as the previous 65nm chip.

    2. the Jasper Units, which are produced since 2008, switched from a 90nm to 65nm.
    Units BEFORE that were responsible for the high Failure Rate.

    3. The Metal Clamps used in the first 3 revisions got changed when the Jasper (or even with Approx) unit came out.

    I’m pretty sure that the slim won’t have overheat issues. Thanks to the 45nm Processor and a better cooling system.

    Though, this Article and the so called Hackers are right when you take the first Revisions of the 360 into Account. It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t done anything since then :/

    • ChaosAngelZero says:

      My predictions are that no Xbox 360 S models will ever suffer general hardware failures (except for that one American idiot who keeps covering the vents and tilting it while it’s working), Arte will keep posting these, all uninformed faggots/ Sony Defense Force members (which’s actually the same as uninformed faggots)/ bitter RRoD-ed 360 users who didn’t make use of the extended warranty will keep yapping, and well, the sun will keep raising and setting.

  • taiwanshaun says:

    They’ve just implemented a new type of user notification system. Instead of showing the user a RROD when the system breaks, it instead irrevocably etches a White Ring of Life(“A Circle of Protection”) onto the DVD that you were using at the time to inform you of the failure. Now with one fell swoop, they can turn a disc destroying bug into a feature! Hurray!

  • Azure Xuchilbara says:

    I’ll just wait for one of my friends to buy this new model and see if my Guinea Pigs–er, friends will be jumping on it in rage over the next few weeks after it’s release or not before I buy this…

  • moreno is correct.
    This is a non-issue. The slim 360 generates a lot less internal heat than the previous models, and can get rid of any heat much more easily. If you've seen photos of the slim 360 with the casing removed, you'll also notice that the DVD drive is no longer sitting directly on top of the CPU/GPU (like it was before), and this reduces the amount of heat concentrated in that area.

    • ChaosAngelZero says:

      It’s little things like these that show just how hastily put together the original Xbox 360 design was.

      It’s almost completely obvious now, how they hit the gas in order to beat both Nintendo and Sony to releasing their new console so they wouldn’t be left in the dust for yet another whole console hardware generation due to unabashed brand loyalty towards those.

      They ended up screwing up, big time, but Sony screwed much worse, and they’ve paid dearly by forever losing their firm grasp over the market.

  • It’s not just the xclamps, its also the fact that the xbox 360 uses lead-free solder, which is really weak. so when the console heats up, the board loses connection with the gpu.

    the way they try to solve this issue, is they reduced the size of the cpu and gpu from like 95 nm to 45 nm, so they dont get as hot as they used to. also in this xbox 360 they joined the cpu and gpu together, and now they have one fatty heatsink, and nice big fan… so it should be ok.. hopefully.

    but if the console is in some really hot location of the world, then it will probably die.

      • I actually like The Xbox 360, the games are more my taste, and it’s not so heavily reliant of pointless add ond like a web browser on the system. I’m content with paying four bucks a month for internet, but I don’t much like how the system shits out so much. Though like moreno and jun said below, the heat build up isn’t as much of an issue as before and even so, I don’t mind cracking it open and soldering it myself with good solder. Warrenty be damned.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t find the web browser on the PS3 pointless at all 😮 I watch HD anime on my TV… it’s better than watching it on a computer monitor. Besides, I don’t see a point in paying for an internet service such as Xbox Live, when you’re already paying for your internet in the first place… ._. With the money you guys spend on Xbox Live, I just put it towards a new game… or better ;D

    • It’s more like “Gamers, haven’t you learned your lesson”
      Seriously, lets think about this. Who would you say, is the more unintelligent? Microsoft for producing an unreliable game system, or the masses who continue to shell out cash for a system they KNOW will fail? M$ will NEVER fix the RRoD problem as long as they know people will keep buying the system.

    • Daiyousei says:

      Microsoft knows full well what they’re doing. The more models break, the more money they make. It’s a fairly simple marketing strategy… At least from one point of view.

      This shit has been going on for a long time. Parts are designed to break and have to be replaced; look at cars.