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

Xbox 360 Models.png

Source: Xbox Support

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.

Did you like this post? You should click “Like” if you did. Feel free to follow Falcon Game Reviews as well. You can also find Falcon Game Reviews on Twitter and even send a direct email to FalconReviewsBlog@gmail.com!

Posted by Shelby "Falcon509" Steiner

I'm just a gamer that enjoys talking about my hobbies. I do a little more than that too. I love cooking, grilling, being outdoors, going target shooting, etc.


  1. Interesting! Never knew how Microsoft fixed the problem (out of the Xbox loop, apparently), but I’m glad they at least took the problem seriously, especially since it was so wide-spread!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Oh God, the RROD. I very nearly cried that day. I’d just loaded up Red Dead Redemption, all eager to get stuck in and…..pfffft. Game Over. I’d just got back from the UK too, so I knew it’d be at least six months before I could buy a new one. So, in my desperation I tried repairing it myself.

    Long story short, it didn’t work and I managed to really slice my hand open on something or other too.

    All things considered, I’ve had better days!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Imtiaz Ahmed April 7, 2017 at 14:03

    I remember when mined red ringed, I wasn’t too broken by it because it was well after the main onslaught and I knew it was inevitable and I was more than prepared. The replacement I got was louder than a microwave though and smell of very old dust that you’d find inside your PC

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Sounds like you got a refurbished unit. I think mine was a repaired model, but I didn’t check too closely. I was lucky in retrospect, considering that the RROD issue would’ve been all the more confusing and infuriating had there not been information surrounding it.



  4. Totally thought the title meant you made your own custom Xbox! 🙂

    I never had an XBox 360 but I was in the tail end of college when my friends that did have one began to experience this issue. In hindsight, I recall the RROD issue crawling through my campus like a bad herpes outbreak.

    This was pretty damaging to Microsoft, as you mention, and it’s still stuck with tons of people with the Xbox One. I never knew it was a heatsink issue but it makes sense – you’d think for a company that primarily deals in PCs would understand airflow! Good write-up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    1. If I had the time and energy, I would totally do that with my PS4 or Xbox One (maybe with my current Xbox One if I get a Scorpio? Hmmm).

      I’ve always said that Microsoft knows the software end of console manufacturing, where Sony does better with the hardware. I think Microsoft just underestimated the limitations of the hardware they were creating, and ended up with a system that didn’t have sufficient heat dispersion.

      They obviously learned their lesson, because not only is the Xbox One almost unnoticeable when it’s running, but it doesn’t even get warm. Sony made a hotter running console with ingenious heat management design, but it get so loud!



  5. I remember I got my Xbox 360 in December of 2006 and I was so excited to actually play this thing. The first game that I owned for the 360 was Call of Duty 2, good times.

    The RROD, that was tough. The day that Mass Effect 3 came out, my original Xbox 360 perished and it’s greatest enemy was the RROD.

    Liked by 2 people


    1. Wow, your 360 lasted a long time then! Mine went out around the time that Modern Warfare released. I remember having to drive to the FedEx distro center to pick it up after it was fixed.

      Liked by 2 people


      1. It lasted years, I later picked up an S version a couple months later. I really like the 360.

        Liked by 2 people


  6. […] Xbox 360 ist bedeutet für uns nur Gutes! Die früheren Modelle waren häufig vom klassischen „RROD-Problem“ (red ring of death) betroffen, bei welchem die CPU der Konsole (mangels adäquater Kühlung) […]



  7. […] (assuming that your previous readings weren’t my more popular pieces: One about computers and another about a specific line of Xbox 360s. I cannot express how irritating it is that so much traffic comes from those posts alone), […]



  8. i have a falcon . it worked up until last year never bothered to throw it out. the cd drive stopped reading discs i picked up a few slims since used but the falcon i had gotten new in jan of 09.



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