Given that the PS5 already ran pretty hot, it’s not the best sign that the console’s latest revisions are shipping with smaller heatsinks than the original console.
Stock of the latest console has arrived in Australia and Japan, and one of the things we know it changed was the need for that annoying screw for the PS5’s stand. But teardowns of the new PS5 revisions have revealed that it’s not just the stand screw that has been changed.
A new video on the Austin Evans channel has torn down a brand new PS5, acquired from Japan, and an older existing model with all the original parts. Not only is the heatsink in the new PS5 revisions around 300 grams lighter than the original heatsink unit, but there’s also a lot less copper coverage and fewer fins, too.
Sony made some noise recently about how the PlayStation 5 is now profitable — although the Digital Edition is not — and one likely reason for that is reduced cost of materials. It’s worth noting that the internal fan for the PS5 appears to run a bit more smoothly and efficiently, but the difference between the two won’t be noticed in a regular living room setup (or if you’re wearing headphones).
What Evans’ teardown doesn’t reveal, sadly, is the impact of the changed cooling mechanism on the internal thermals. An analysis by Gamers Nexus did this when the PS5 launched, although it took a substantial amount of time and custom wiring to get proper temperature readings on the memory and different points on the PS5’s SOC. Evans’ video did capture the external temperature of the PS5’s exhaust, however, revealing an increase of about 3 degrees with the new model.
One of the concerns with the original PS5’s cooling setup was the fact that the bottom memory module ran surprisingly hot, hitting around 94 degrees Celcius when at load — and that wasn’t with the console in a TV cabinet, but in a well ventilated room. One option there was to run the PS5 without either of the side panels connected, as this helped drop temperatures by about 5 to 6 degrees. That’s especially worth thinking about if you’re in Australia and your PS5 is in a more enclosed unit. (Besides, removing the panels won’t just help ventilate the console — it’ll make it easier to fit in tighter TV cabinets, since you won’t have to deal with those space-age curves.)
Most regions are only just starting to get the new PS5 revision, so it’ll be a little while before we start to see more in-depth tests and breakdowns of the new PS5 under load. There’s no reason to believe that the console will suffer from any problems that the original console didn’t have, so don’t panic if you were thinking of pulling the trigger on the PS5. But it’s still interesting seeing just how much weight and surface area Sony shaved off here. And I’m curious: just how much do copper heatsinks cost to manufacture these days? If you know anything about that side of the industry, please get in touch!