Update: If you're looking for instructions on how to disassemble the new slim Xbox 360 read our updated guide here!

Microsoft's first try at a gaming console amounted to essentially a very affordable PC.  It used standard PC components, including a mobile Intel processor (a hybrid Pentium 3/Celeron), a desktop NVIDIA chipset, a Western Digital hard drive and relatively standard PC DVD-ROM.  The original Xbox was such a PC in fact that there were quite a few users that wanted to mod it simply to have a cheap PC, not even for gaming - including ourselves.  

Before the Xbox was launched, Microsoft was very concerned with users thinking of the Xbox as nothing more than a PC branded as a gaming console, so it went to great lengths to reduce the association.  For example, the strict ban on keyboard and mouse support, despite the fact that the console implemented the standard USB interface.  

With the Xbox 360, Microsoft gained some benefits of the original Xbox success.  Xbox didn't win the sales battle against Sony's PlayStation 2, but the first Xbox was strong enough to cement Microsoft's name in the world of console gaming manufacturers.  For their second time around, there is less worry of the Xbox 360 being viewed as a just a PC, so Microsoft took a bolder approach.  

Honestly, with the Xbox 360, Microsoft could have put forth another PC in a black box and it probably would have done fine.  But with their second gaming console, the target was growth -- and Sony.  With an established name and fanbase, it was time to take the market seriously and start to exert some dominance and thus the Xbox went from being a clunky black box of a PC, to a stylish consumer electronics device.

The Xbox 360 is smaller than the original Xbox, and its wireless nature makes it a natural fit in the living room - marking a thankful change from standard gaming consoles of the past.  Despite looking like the offspring of an iPod and a DVD player, the Xbox 360 is still very much a PC on the inside.  As such, it's got all of the components we're used to.

With less than a week to go before the retail availability of Xbox 360 consoles, we got our hands on one to give it the usual AnandTech once-over.  And take it apart of course.  

What's in the Box?

Our Xbox 360 system was the $399 unit, which comes with the following:

- Xbox 360 console
- 20GB Removable Hard Drive
- Wireless Controller
- Headset
- DVD Remote
- Ethernet Cable
- Component AV Cables
- External Power Supply

 

The $299 core system gives you the same console (with a white DVD tray cover), a wired controller, and standard composite AV cables; there's no hard drive, headset or remote.

By now you have undoubtedly heard about the massive external power supply that comes with the Xbox 360 and you can see it in the lower left hand corner of the picture above. Remember that in the original Xbox, the power supply was internal.  But with the power requirements of the Xbox 360 being significantly higher than its predecessor, while featuring a noticeably smaller case, the only solution was to take the power supply out of the Xbox 360. 

What's in the Box, in the Box? (Taking it Apart)
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  • preciousstone - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    this is nice, i found this tutorial via a wholesaler whom is selling this item at very attracting price.

    thanks!
    Reply
  • preciousstone - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - link

    in case u will need the site address?

    http://www.volumerate.com/details.vr/sku.6116">http://www.volumerate.com/details.vr/sku.6116
    Reply
  • covert0001 - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - link

    I have just replaced the "x" clamps on a friends board after previously repairing 2 others with 3"rlod".
    I used this method-
    Removed x clamps and heat sinks
    Cleaned dice and sinks thoroughly with methanol and cotton buds
    Put a spot of artic silver on the dice
    Mounted heat sinks with m5 machine screws, nylon washers and washers
    Let the board warm up till the 2 red lights came on and then let it cool
    This method worked a treat on both others
    The problem with this one is it plays a game for about 5-10 minutes then just freezes up. If i switch it off then back on it comes up with the 3 reds again. I can manage to get it to work again but the screen eventually freezes again and 3 reds. Any ideas what could be causing this or to solve this would be greatly appreciated
    Reply
  • steveyoung123456789 - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE FUCK YOUR TALKING ABOUT! Reply
  • xBublizZ - Sunday, April 01, 2012 - link

    I know! Reply
  • itsmyfallt - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    i was going to paint my 360, but dont want to screw over my warranty, is there any way that you can take the outer shell apart and not leave any visible evidence(besides the color change) that you have taken the shell off and tooled around with it? Reply
  • xboxrox - Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - link

    here are a few more details of the insides -

    http://www.teardown.com/press/Port_Xbox_360_PR_112...">http://www.teardown.com/press/Port_Xbox_360_PR_112...

    Reply
  • jugaaru - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I guess the anandtech server is getting hammered, I guess its the first full blown review. Nice work anyway. Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Just google "cpu dice" - I found this quote right away:

    "AMD is not in a position to move its product line to dual-core until it brings on an additional fab--either it's own Fab 36 or a foundry," Kevin Krewell, an analyst for In-Stat and editor of the Microprocessor Report, said Thursday. "Dual core equals two regular CPU dice, so it's not cost effective for AMD to ship dual-core [chips] for the same price as single-core. AMD needs to keep dollars per wafer growing, and aggressive pricing of dual-core would reduce it."

    Looks like many people use to term dice. So for you guys bitching and moaning for Anand to chaneg it - guess what - No Dice!

    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    Just google "cpu dies" - although you get some hits about dead processors, there are many more abot processor manufacturing, more than you get by googling "cpu dice" (the vast majority of those are to do with random number generation).

    The correct trm for more than one CPU die is "dies".
    Reply

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