Hopefully this will answer lingering questions.
This will likely seem odd, and completely out of place to regular readers of Falcon Game Reviews, but I have a reason for writing about this particular subject.
Over the last year, I’ve noticed that every once in awhile I will see a search engine referrer with the search terms “xbox 360 falcon” or “how to update an xbox falcon”, and in the interest of helping those souls looking for information about the famous Falcon Xboxes, I will do my best to cover the topic.
What Is A Falcon Xbox 360?
At the beginning of last generation, the Xbox 360 had a notorious problem colloquially called the Red Ring Of Death (pictured above). So notorious, in fact, that it harmed Microsoft’s reputation in the console space, helped sell PS3s (and even PS4s), and convinced consumers to (wisely) not trust that corporations always be look out for their customers. The RROD became so widespread at one point, that once Microsoft realized that it wasn’t a small issue, they began replacing or refurbishing the affected consoles.
The problem was in the design of the system itself. The original Xenon chipset had the remarkable issue of overheating due to a combination of issues. The heat sinks installed in the Xenon Xbox 360s weren’t adequate, the power usage was rather high, and the airflow on the original systems was abysmal. The RROD was generally the result of the CPU overheating due to poor design decisions.
The Falcon model Xbox 360 was the answer to the problem.
Microsoft rolled out the new chipset in order to alleviate the issues that plagued earlier versions of the Xbox 360. The Falcon Xbox 360 had a few changes to attempt to fix the issue. The power draw was dropped from 203 W to 175 W, extra heat sinks were added, and Microsoft did a much less crappy job with applying the thermal paste.
The changes made resulted in a console that didn’t appear to randomly break.
Why You May Want A Falcon Xbox 360
There are a couple reasons you may want a Falcon model Xbox 360, though the most important reason would be that the chip was obviously designated “Falcon” because falcons are inherently awesome.
Other less important reasons? You may be looking at buying an Xbox 360 as cheaply as possible, or you’re looking for a console that is relatively easy to mod.
If you’re looking at modding, there are a number of resources out on the internet that can help you get started, whether you’re looking to tinker, want to play homebrew games, or you’re just wanting to have a little more control over your games. If you’re serious about modding your console, but don’t know where to start, I’d recommend checking out Reddit where you can find communities that have sprung up around modding. One common theme about all this is that if you’re planning on getting into modding any console, you should stay offline. While Xbox Live is still up and running for the time being for Xbox 360 users, that doesn’t mean you’ll be free to mod your console to use hacks in multiplayer, as that’s a great way to get not only your account banned, but get your console banned as well.
How To Tell It’s A Falcon Model Xbox 360
There are a number of pieces of information that you’ll need to look for when eyeing an Xbox 360 to make sure it isn’t a RROD model.
First, and probably the easiest way, is if it’s an S-model or E-model 360 (pictured above, center and right), you don’t have to worry about RROD necessarily. Where you’re going to see the need to start scrutinizing is if you’re looking at buying the original design (picture above, left).
Second, if the Xbox 360 in question is the original model with a Xenon chipset, the power supply will list the DC wattage output as 203 W. The Falcon on the other hand will display 175 W. Additionally, this information can be found on the Xbox’s serial number label on the back of the console. The 203 W power supply also has metal plating around the end the fits into the console, whereas the 175 W power supply is plastic.
Third, if the Lot Number (also found on the serial number sticker) is greater than 733, you should be looking at a Falcon model Xbox 360.
Keep in mind that finding a Falcon model Xbox 360 for modding isn’t the only way to get started, as you can mod pretty much any 360, but it is one of the easier system versions to get started with.
I hope this was useful to someone, and those that found Falcon Game Reviews during their search for a Falcon chip Xbox 360 were helped by this post.
You could just buy an S-model or E-model though if you’re just wanting a 360 for general use. They shouldn’t be much more expensive and would be a hell of a lot less noisy than the originals, not to mention much more reliable, and at this point, probably not tinkered with.
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