Whatever side you stand on in the system wars, there's no denying one thing about the Xbox 360: The thing is loud. Other than the two fans that work overtime to keep its three-cored, 3.2 GHz CPU cool, the console's biggest noisemaker is its DVD drive, which can often buzz or whir while loading game data.
Now, it appears that the latter problem may be getting solved. According to Xbox-Scene, a site dedicated to disassembling and hacking Xboxes with near-religious fervor, newer models of the 360 are sporting a far quieter DVD drive.
"Microsoft has finally started using the new BenQ VAD6038 drive for the Xmas '06 production run (MFR date November '06 and up) to replace the Toshiba-Samsung and Hitachi-LG drives Microsoft dropped," writes XanTium, Xbox-Scene's first member. According to another poster, the BenQ drive "runs super quiet compared to the TS and HLG drives and even loads stuff a bit faster and smoother."
But although Xbox-Scene posted pictures of the new drive (pictured) as proof, Microsoft had not confirmed if new 360s had the drives as of press time. However, the inclusion of a new drive would only be the first 360 hardware improvement of 2007. This year, Microsoft will be introducing a new smaller and cooler 360 CPU made with the 65nm Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) process and