Microsoft Xbox 360
- Sexy Design, Incredible power, Music streaming and integration, Great controller
- Some unsupported file formats, No HD-DVD drive, no non-MSC support, average launch line up.
The Xbox 360 is an incredible piece of hardware with very little great software to choose from. In the end, the potential for future brilliance far outweighs its immediate appeal.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Under the Hood - CPU
The specifications of the Xbox 360 are mind blowing and it has the potential to be an impressive gaming platform. This is the part of the review where we stumble about in jargon and tech speak. The Xbox 360 has an IBM PowerPC-based CPU with three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each with two hardware threads per core making a total of six hardware threads. Each thread can work on a separate set of instructions and running six of them means that the 360 can work on six things at the same time. It also runs 1MB of L2 cache. That means it is roughly the equivalent of three high end Pentium CPUs. The system has 512MB of system RAM (GDDR3) which is an enormous leap from the 64MB of the original Xbox. Considering the first Xbox also had only one CPU running at 733 MHz, the jump in power in the 360 is also incredible, almost to the point of overkill. All of this equates to one teraflop of processing power, which is roughly one trillion calculations per second. As of only a few years ago there were only five computers in existence that ran at 1 Teraflop. This machine is a beast and seems ludicrously over powered for a gaming console. It remains to be seen if developers can harness this power and make truly revolutionary gaming experiences.
Under the Hood - GPU
The GPU has been designed by ATI specifically for the Xbox 360. It has a 500 MHz processor and 10MB of embedded DRAM and is capable of drawing 500 million triangles per second. It can push roughly 48 billion shader operations per second under a unified shader architecture. The GPU is superior to the nVidia chip announced for the PlayStation 3 in that the shader pipelines are dynamic, meaning they have greater flow control and are not prone to bottlenecking. This is advantageous because the more free the flow of the data is, the better the performance. The power of this graphics chip is staggering and capable of much more than the launch titles would have you believe. If developers use the GPU correctly, the graphical qualities of the second or third generations of game could be quite exquisite and like nothing ever seen in the gaming industry.
It is very difficult to talk about the graphics capabilities of a console. It generally depends on the way that a developer has utilised the graphics core and how well their code interacts with the CPU of the unit. Spectral lighting, normal mapping and the many other buzz words of the graphics world don't mean anything if the developers haven't done their job. From the launch titles we have played, it seems that the developers haven't tapped into the graphics capabilities of the unit and as such the games aren't mind-blowingly impressive. All games run in high definition as the console supports 480p, 720p and 1080i but only users who have a HD capable display device will reap the benefits. We have been lucky enough to get a sneak peak at Ubisoft's upcoming title, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. The supporting documentation informed us that the texture resolution was only one third of what it would be in the final build and the graphics were already quite stunning with high detail and flawless particle and human figure animations. The final build may well be the first game on the system to show off what it can do.
The Xbox sound processor supports multi-channel surround sound and is capable of 48 KHz 16-bit audio. It has 320 independent decompression channels, 32-bit audio processing, over 256 audio channels and is compatible with Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS and Pro Logic II and regular stereo output. The sound design one the games we played were of the highest quality. Whether it be the whistle of passing bullets on Call of Duty 2, the screeching tires of Full Auto and Ridge Racer 6 or the atmospheric creepiness of Condemned, the audio was crystal clear and a true credit to the system. With optical audio available out of the box, the sound is one element of the 360 that cannot be faulted.
In keeping with the ultra modern clean lines of the console itself, the operating system has undergone many changes from the days of the eerie whispering green menu of the original Xbox. The on-screen menus are divided into four colour coded "blades" labeled Xbox Live, Games, Media and System. The "Xbox Live" blade has all the options pertaining to your Xbox Live identity including your achievements and links to the Xbox Live Marketplace and Arcade. The "Games" blade is where you can choose which downloaded games or demos you wish to play or instruct the console to launch a game from the DVD-ROM drive. The "Media" blade controls all forms of media on the system including video, music and images. You can play media from this blade or stream media from your PC or USB device. The "System" blade controls all of the system settings including the resolution and Parental Control options. The operating system works flawlessly but most of all it is simple to understand.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- FTSecurity Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTIt Security and process analystNSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCData Migration Consultant - LeadNSW
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst / DeveloperNSW
- FTERP ConsultantQLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Technical Consultant - MicrosoftACT
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- CCTest Automation EngineerVIC
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW