Tag Archives: popular science

Building an Xbox 360 Laptop

It has come to my attention that my green Xbox 360 laptop is in the new Popular Science – I did an interview with them a while back, but I didn’t know exactly which issue it was for. I guess it’s the new June one!

It's back, back in the New York groove, it's back!

For those of you wanting to try a project like this, the Engadget articles below can help supplement the Popular Science article:

Part 1 – Xbox Begins

Part 2 – Return of the Xbox

Part 3 – The Final Countdown

Also, for the first time ever, I am making available the Adobe Illustrator (AI) files used to design all 3 Xbox laptop thus far! You’ll need AI 10 or newer to open them, so any reasonably recent version should be good.

Original white water-cooled 360 laptop, 2006

Black 360 laptop, 2007

Green Halo-inspired 360 laptop, 2008

Also now would be a good time to talk a little more about the new chipset. From what I have seen the old chipset has been pretty much “washed from the shelves” though I did see a 203 watt Arcade unit when I bought my last Xbox for modding 2 weeks ago. The new chipset 360’s have a 65nm process CPU, use a lot less power and (the CPU at least) runs a lot cooler, so use them if you can. All Xbox 360’s now have the supplemental GPU heatsink, though the GPU is now by far the hottest part of the system, so it actually needs more cooling consideration now than the tri-core CPU.

What to look for:

  • On the box below “Xbox 360” text: “Go Play” (arcade) “Go Pro” (premium) “Go Big” (elite)
  • On the side of the box, under specs, the word “Falcon” (name for this revision of motherboard)
  • If it is listed on the side sticker (not always anymore) 175 watts for power. (203 watts is the old one)
  • The lot number should be above 0740 but this isn’t always sure-fire, the other signs are better.
  • After Opening: The power supply will be labeled 175 watts.
  • Camera though bottom of unit trick: Check out that link, which shows what the new GPU heat sink looks like, as well as the old copper heat pipe CPU heat sink. On the new Xbox the CPU heat sink should be a simple, less shiny aluminum block WITHOUT the vertical copper heat pipe.

Have fun and happy modding! Also be sure to check out our forums for lots of great help and tips.