Is Jasper the Xbox 360 Red Rings of Death antidote?


Microsoft has kept it fairly quiet, no press releases or launch trumpeting, but it now looks like the Xbox 360 has been upgraded with the new Jasper motherboard. The new Xbox 360 has been spotted in the wild by the eagle eyed Xbox Scene chaps and as a result we now know that it has a 65nm GPU which, Microsoft is likely to be down on both knees praying, will mean less of those Red Rings of Death problems which have haunted owners of the console, myself included.

The Jasper mobo's were spotted in Arcade versions of the Xbox 360, and come with a different PSU. The new power supply, with a different plug to the old one so do not get any fancy ideas of swapping these things around, is less powerful at just 150W compared to 175W previously.

More interesting has to be the not so small matter of the onboard flash memory which has ballooned from a measly 16MB to a whopping great huge 256MB and, get this, includes internal memory storage capabilities. Which means the Xbox 360 Arcade no longer has an external memory unit, and you can save game data on that internal memory rather than a HDD if you want. That said, it is also used for kernel and dashboard stuff, and I suspect that the new dashboard will eat most of it.

Everything else, so I am told, is pretty much the same as the old Falcon board. Apart from the return of the bottom positioned RAM chips, not that this makes much difference to anything as far as I can tell.

The hope here is that, just as Falcon before it, some more of those Red Ring of Death problems can be chipped away until the death of your expensive game console becomes a distant memory rather than a recent nightmare. And, along the way, help propel the Xbox 360 back to the top of the games console sales tree after recent disappointing performances.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...