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So I replaced my Xenon X360 with a Jasper...

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My release model, no-HDMI Xenon RRoD'ed on me lately, after nearly 3 years of semi-regular use.  Its otw back to MS right now, and when I get the inevitable Falcon refurb back, I'll be giving it to one of my little brothers (I make them sound small, but they're adults, and bigger than me =), along with some games.

I went out to the local Fry's Electronics... and lo and behold... a Jasper Arcade was right there (12.1A power req. listed on the back, through the little window, so I knew it was a Jasper from the get-go.  The Falcon's are 14.2A, and the Xenons/Zephyrs are 16.5A or so).  Lot #0842 Team CSON, for anyone who cares.  It came with a 175W power supply, but it looks like its keyed for a newer supply as well (150W, I hear).

 

First the good parts.  

My new Jasper X360 runs cooler than my slimline PS2, as far as I can tell.  I had it on for many many hours -- I have a very good feeling that this machine will never RRoD on me, or if it does, it'll be very old when it happens.  Its just as quiet as my PS3, except when the DVD is spinning, of course.  Its a hell of a lot quieter than my old Xenon was.  

The ultra-sensitive D-pad is still there on the new* (out of the package... its not a new design... I was hoping) controller -- doubly irritating with the "forget where you were last" NXE menu system...  Still, the X360 controller has grown on me for a couple genres in particular (shooters and console flightsims), and although MS apparently has never gone and improved the D-pad with the new units, its still a good controller.

 

Now the bad parts.

I got RRoD before NXE, so I was excited to try it out.  I downloaded it (after hearing lots of people having "trouble" with installing it), no problems at all (I bought a 60GB HDD with the Arcade, as well).

My evaluation... NXE is weak.  Its a cluttered mess of a menu system.  To that I have to ask "wth?" to MS.  They've been designing UIs for eons (some would argue, that this is exactly why the NXE is the way it is)... and it doesn't show.  Clutter is bad.  Isn't that like, rule #1 of user interface design?  Maybe #2 or #3, tops.

Don't get me wrong, its not worse than the old system.  And its not awful, really.  Then again, I've been using computers and consoles for eons, so I'm pretty used to... just about anything really.  I hate how you can't see all the menu options at once.  I hate how the higher level menu items just plain vanish when you descend into the menu.  I'm going to have to memorize its layout to use it efficiently.  NXE is a shining example of poor UI design.  The PS3 XMB is somewhat better, by nature of simplicity alone.  The Wii interface is also better (of course).

On top of that, I noticed that the NXE is upscaling a 720p image to my 1080p screen.  The jaggies on my avatar are pretty evident, and unchanging from 720p to 1080p (there's a very small amount of "blur" to the jaggies with 1080p, due to the upscaling, but they are clearly still present).  I actually prefer the 720p version -- at least its crisp.  I'm a little confused as to why MS didn't make the NXE run natively in 1080p.  I guess the premium themes are all 720p, and they didn't want to upset the folks who make themes?  NO idea.  I'm sure my 360 has always upscaled the interface... I just didn't notice until I had a (spiffy, actually, I like them) avatar to look at onscreen.  

I guess not noticing is the reason they don't provide a 1080p native version... although the clarity of background images, etc. clearly suffers next to my 1080p native PS3.  Not a big deal... just a "why not make it better?"

 

 

All-in-all, due to the apparent cool-running nature of my new Jasper, I will very likely be picking up games (shooters in particular) which review better on the X360, ON the X360 again.  True, that era has kinda come and gone (most cross-plat games are so close, I pretty much just have to go with whichever controller I prefer for the genre), but at least my X360 is a viable option again.  I avoided it, for fear of RRoD, way too long.  I shoulda just let the inevitable happen. =)  Although, in retrospect, I am really glad I waited for a Jasper model.


 



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NXE is a little more confusing to me than the Blades. It looks better and operates better though. Installs are awesome. My power bricks fan is louder than my 360 now.

My avatar is hot....

I want a Jasper. u_u







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imo, NXE isnt as cluttered and messy as it seems. its a lot better once you get used to it...it is harder to navigate than the blades though



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MrBubbles said:
imo, NXE isnt as cluttered and messy as it seems. its a lot better once you get used to it...it is harder to navigate than the blades though

 

That's just MS sticking to a UI design philosophy that states that you should limit choice to avoid user confusion. Of course MS's particular implementation of that broad concept is a submenu hell of obscure categories...

Anyways, the NXE is better than what we had, so thumbs up. Considering it's a compulsory update, I was worred of having to curse through something even worse than the blades.





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I actually thought I was going to hate the NXE, but actually find it better than before now. It's really grown on me, and I love the changes.



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I just got RROD, but am I still doomed to get a Falcon replacemet? The one I just lost was a Falcon and I would like to have the cooler Jasper. My power supply won't be compatible, so will MS send me a power brick or adapter, or will I just get plain ol' Falcon?



 

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Whoa didn't knew PBROY also liked Yukari.... anyway cool to hear it improves :).






bodhi14 said:
I just got RROD, but am I still doomed to get a Falcon replacemet? The one I just lost was a Falcon and I would like to have the cooler Jasper. My power supply won't be compatible, so will MS send me a power brick or adapter, or will I just get plain ol' Falcon?

 

A Jasper should accept any power brick to this point.  Having a brick rated higher is a good thing, not bad.

I think you're doomed to get a refurb Falcon, until the supply runs dry.  That's the reason I went out and just bought one.  The money you shell out for the coffin is probably enough for them to pay to have some average schmo give you a random refurb Falcon back, and have tech evaluate yours and refurb it or trash it, as needed.  Certainly a lot cheaper than having to send you a brand new Jasper, and stock the refurb Falcon away for no purpose.

Only the Xenons/Zephyrs are cruddy enough to warrent chucking them, I think.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most Falcons RRoD because they are vertical in the user's home (thus covering a large portion of their ventilation area).  The Xenons and Zephyrs just died in any position, I think.



Groucho said:

On top of that, I noticed that the NXE is upscaling a 720p image to my 1080p screen.  The jaggies on my avatar are pretty evident, and unchanging from 720p to 1080p (there's a very small amount of "blur" to the jaggies with 1080p, due to the upscaling, but they are clearly still present).  I actually prefer the 720p version -- at least its crisp.  I'm a little confused as to why MS didn't make the NXE run natively in 1080p.  I guess the premium themes are all 720p, and they didn't want to upset the folks who make themes?  NO idea.  I'm sure my 360 has always upscaled the interface... I just didn't notice until I had a (spiffy, actually, I like them) avatar to look at onscreen.  

I guess not noticing is the reason they don't provide a 1080p native version... although the clarity of background images, etc. clearly suffers next to my 1080p native PS3.  Not a big deal... just a "why not make it better?"

 

Unless you set your xbox to output 720P, the dashboard is not rendered in 720p - it is rendered directly in 1080p.  The guide (popup that works in game as well as in dash, including notifications) is the only thing rendered in 720p and upscaled and that's always been the case (some kind of limitation they could not overcome).  This particularly impacts the text in popup notifications (always looks blurry to me) but will not affect avatars in the dash (games may render to whatever they want, and most do render to 720p and get scaled on the way out - so an avatar in-game might be getting upscaled).



C8 said:
Groucho said:

On top of that, I noticed that the NXE is upscaling a 720p image to my 1080p screen.  The jaggies on my avatar are pretty evident, and unchanging from 720p to 1080p (there's a very small amount of "blur" to the jaggies with 1080p, due to the upscaling, but they are clearly still present).  I actually prefer the 720p version -- at least its crisp.  I'm a little confused as to why MS didn't make the NXE run natively in 1080p.  I guess the premium themes are all 720p, and they didn't want to upset the folks who make themes?  NO idea.  I'm sure my 360 has always upscaled the interface... I just didn't notice until I had a (spiffy, actually, I like them) avatar to look at onscreen.  

I guess not noticing is the reason they don't provide a 1080p native version... although the clarity of background images, etc. clearly suffers next to my 1080p native PS3.  Not a big deal... just a "why not make it better?"

 

Unless you set your xbox to output 720P, the dashboard is not rendered in 720p - it is rendered directly in 1080p.  The guide (popup that works in game as well as in dash, including notifications) is the only thing rendered in 720p and upscaled and that's always been the case (some kind of limitation they could not overcome).  This particularly impacts the text in popup notifications (always looks blurry to me) but will not affect avatars in the dash (games may render to whatever they want, and most do render to 720p and get scaled on the way out - so an avatar in-game might be getting upscaled).

I doubt your comment.  I am using a HDMI cable.  I can toggle between 720p and 1080p at will, and there is basically no difference between the two, outside of some minor blur at 1080p.  The jaggies are there, and are clearly from a 720p upscaled image -- the same one rendered when I set the output to 720p.  I would take photos, if I cared that much.

The avatar is most definately upscaled, or MS has gone and implemented some wierd shader capable of producing 720p-ish jaggies in a 1080p render.... and I kinda doubt that.  Its pretty easy to see individual pixels on a 40" LCD screen, even at 1080p, let alone 720p, from under 20cm away.