RRoD roundup

Well, even though it didn’t matter that much, the second go around with Microsoft’s Xbrick 360 replacement program was smoother than the first. For the most part, it was always informative in what was going on and it was certainly a bit faster. That said, I thought I’d post a little wrapup/roundup for the heck of it. I mean, if I end up using it, it will die again and I’ll have a third opportunity to evaluate the process…

Anyway, it didn’t matter as much because I did go out the day after mine died and pick up a newer Arcade model with the Falcon chip and HDMI port. While I don’t think it is any quieter than the older one, it has been nicer with the HDMI, except for the ghosting, but that is only when I turn it off, never in gameplay, and I think that has more to do with now using HDMI over Component cables as I never noticed it prior to that… so, whatevs. This one has a newer DVD drive too, but it seems to spin just as loud as the older, so no change there either. Bottomline, the only difference I have noticed is the HDMI is brighter, but that could just be a need to adjust the TV brightness… which I might have done on the Component input a long time ago.

As for the process, it took just under three weeks total. I put in the request the night (5/3) it died. Had the return box 3-4 days later. Sent it back a couple days after that… a Saturday (5/10). They received it and turned it around the same day (5/16) and I had it back last Friday (5/23). All the time is wasted in shipping UPS ground, so they could really speed things up if they offered people the option of 1 or 2 day shipping if they were willing to pay for it. Had that been available, maybe I wouldn’t have bought a second one. Anyway, the only hiccup in the process was no e-mail notification from Microsoft that they received my service request, I only knew for sure once the ship-back-to-them-box showed up. After that, I was notified they received it back and then that they shipped it out (along with UPS tracking number).

Also, unlike the first time, looks like I have the same box as before. The serial number looks to be the same, but I don’t know for sure since I didn’t record it before sending it. Last time they switched my registration for me automatically, hence the “No pending repair” message, and I can’t be sure they didn’t do it again. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. The box that came back doesn’t have an HDMI port on it, so it likely has a Zephyr chip and not a Falcon. Shining a flashlight inside, it does have the newer CPU heat sink, but I can’t see the GPU. Do not know if you can tell the Zephyr/Falcon difference that same way or not.

Microsoft is still providing a 1 month Xbox Live card with the returned box. This is nice, but I’d prefer an option for a free download from the Marketplace instead… but, maybe that’s just because I didn’t suffer an XBL outage this time around.

Lastly, the returned brick will be used as a second Media Center Extender for now. I’ll make it available to any friend that has their 360 RRoD on them as a loaner too. In fact, I heard rumblings that someone out there might want to play Star Wars: The Force Unleashed when it drops, so if they drop the cash on the game, they can borrow the console to play it and then I can play that game for free. Of course, that person needs to still be reading this blog to know that offer exists… no one drop any tips on that… 😉