When a new model of the PS5 was quietly released onto the market, there were a few things that were catching gamers’ attention. One was a smaller screw, another was the possibility the console would have better Wi-fi than the base model. What people were not aware of till recently was that as part of its mini-refresh, a much smaller heatsink was used.
YouTuber Austin Evans recently got ahold of a new model PlayStation 5 from Japan and opened it up for an extensive look at the changes. It quickly becomes apparent however that these differences were far greater than just some new screw. In fairness, what he found first was that that screw is actually pretty good. However, as he dug deeper he found that, while running the same game at the same time, on both models, the fans sounded drastically different. At first, he thought this was due to the cooling system, which was only partially correct.
This leads to him testing the model’s temperatures externally which showed the new model running at 3-5 degrees celsius hotter than the base model. He also found that it drew a few more watts in energy and that the fan ran slightly quieter, though those last two were by very slim margins.
Then he opened up the console which is where we really saw what Sony made changes for the new model, which currently is only sold in Japan and Australia. It is 300 grams lighter and was announced soon after the PlayStation 5 was claimed to be “no longer selling at a loss,” which judging by the heatsink might be related.
The heatsink in the original console is larger than the new one, and also has a large copper backing which the new one has a lot less. To compensate for this, their newer fan has more blades. A few people asked him about his capture of external temperatures to which he stated:
Couple people mentioning higher exhaust temps COULD mean the cooler is doing a better job dissipating heat. The thing is, Sony removed a SIZABLE amount of the heatsink on this new model. With fewer fins and smaller heatpipes it simply isn’t as efficient at moving the heat out of the console.
Think about it as if it were a PC. If I remove a large CPU heatsink in favor of a smaller one the exhaust coming off my system would be hotter as the overall system temps are higher since the weaker cooler can’t cope. That’s exactly what’s going on here IMO.
It is important to note that we are not comparing say a PlayStation 4 to a later released PlayStation 4 Slim model. When consoles get redesigned they usually get newer, or upgraded parts that usually allow the designers to shrink the size of the console. In this case, however, the system is running the same tech, having simply switched out the heatsink to shrink the console by a small amount.
On the one hand, this is not horrible news. A 3-5 increase in temp is nothing that will destroy your console when you boot it up. However, over time this is not something to be ignored either. Sony has struggled with overheating issues for years and it looks like that trend might continue. It remains to be seen how Sony will respond now that this information is in the open.