Microsoft Xbox One Cracked Opened: First Photos of Hardware Inside Xbox One Emerge

First Images of Xbox One Hardware Reveal Simple Mainboard Design, Massive AMD Chip

by Anton Shilov
06/27/2013 | 10:21 PM

The photos of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One internals reveal a rather simplistic and clean PC-like design, but point to relatively high power consumption and fairly big system-on-chip designed by Advanced Micro devices. Considering basic aspects of the Xbox One hardware, it is clear that the company does have a room for further optimizations and thus price decreases.


When opened, Microsoft Xbox One appears to be very cleanly and rather densely built. The game console features a 2.5” hard disk drive with 500GB capacity, a slim Blu-ray disc drive for some reason marked as “engineering sample” as well as a huge cooler with at least two heat-pipes and a 120mm cooling fan. The bigger the fan is, the slower should be its speed and the lesser is noise output. It looks like there is another, much smaller, fan in the upper left corner of the console. In theory, this one may be loud.

The mainboard of Xbox One is custom built advanced system board with multi-phase VRM for AMD accelerated processing unit, soldered 8GB of DDR3 RAM (most probably made by Micron Technology) that connect to the APU using 256-bit wide bus and a lot of other elements. Surprisingly, the system continues to have a separate I/O controller (south bridge). The motherboard features two coaxial connectors (which may be used for testing purposes or for connection to an internal Wi-Fi antenna [less likely]) as well as two debug LEDs, which may indicate that it is not yet final. The mainboard has two Serial ATA connectors and a number of power connectors, some of which support fan speed control and other do not.

Image by Wired web-site

The AMD APU seems to be rather big, which points to its significant heat dissipation and relatively high cost. Given the extremely high level of integration (eight general-purpose x86 cores, custom AMD Radeon HD graphics solution, high-speed internal buses, large coherent caches, 256-bit memory controller and so on), it cannot be cheap these days.

Going forward, Microsoft has a lot of opportunities to reduce the cost and improve other characteristics of the system (lower power consumption, heat level and noise level, etc.).

Microsoft and AMD did not comment on the news-story.