Over on the Technology Insider (Chipworks) is an interesting post about the differences between the Japanese version of the Sony Playstation 3 (released November 2006) and the European PS3 (released March 2007).
Chipworks took both PS3 systems apart and here are a few of their findings:
The two PS3 versions use different motherboards. On the new version (European), the PS2 Emotion Engine + Graphics Synthesizer (EE+GS) chip is gone. Also gone are 2 RDRAM chips and a bunch of passives. In addition, the layout of the board has changed significantly on the left side.
65nm Cell Processor
The date codes for the Sony Cell Broadband Engine changed from 614 to 648. According to Chipworks, this suggest the new PS3 has not moved to a 65nm cell processor yet.
It appears Sony redesigned the motherboard to cut costs (iSuppli reported that Sony is losing about $240 per system). Chipworks believes Sony may reduce prices later this year when the PS3 transitions to the 65nm cell processor.