Monday, August 30th 2021

Sony Takes a Step Backwards with PlayStation 5, Cuts on Cooling Capacity in the new Revision

Sony's latest gaming console, PlayStation 5, has been selling at loss up until August 4th, when the company announced that the new console is now profitable. However, it seems like Sony is trying to extend those profits even further with the latest revision of PlayStation 5 that is seemingly taking a step backward. According to the latest report, Sony has updated its PlayStation 5 internal design and the console is now featuring a smaller heatsink, which you can see below. The new revision is featuring a significantly smaller heatsink and an absence of the large copper cold plate. The fan that cools the heatsink is also reduced, resulting in a complete thermal downgrade.

While there was no in-depth testing of the cooling performance, the exhaust system of the new PS5 revision is spitting out 3-5 degrees Celsius higher temperatures. That is just measuring the air coming out, where the actual SoC could run hotter by an even larger margin. As we wait for more testing of the new PS5 revisions, we have to wonder why Sony opted to cut corners on such an important piece, that ultimately provides the console with longevity, due to cooler silicon.
Sources: Austin Evans, via TechSpot
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143 Comments on Sony Takes a Step Backwards with PlayStation 5, Cuts on Cooling Capacity in the new Revision

#1
NC37
Custom cooling mods in 3...2...
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#2
sam_86314
AleksandarKwe have to wonder why Sony opted to cut corners on such an important piece, that ultimately provides the console with longevity, due to cooler silicon.
Modern tech companies couldn't care less about longevity. What better way to encourage sales of a future slim model?
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#3
HIGHLANDER58
You should know why Sony would cut the cooling down, their engineers probably figured out the cooling was just a bit too good and most likely would offer a long life and in todays world, a company just cant have people owning things for a long time without having to keep buying new ones. After all, how else will all the over priced execs pay for all their bullshit.
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#4
Animalpak
Instead of making a functional console, compact and with an adequate cooling system as were the Steam machines but also of today's thin clients they make bulky and futuristic shapes that have terrible cooling and then revise them every year.
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#5
Chomiq
Sony’s CFO Hiroki Totoki recently stated that PS5 manufacturing will not grow during this shortage, and that to maintain the current supply volume, the PS5 may undergo small revisions with new parts or big design changes.
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#6
Patr!ck
Happy I was able to get an original PS5 disc Edition model. However it's almost been a year and the NVMe expansion slot is still not enabled for every users.
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#7
Rhein7
Slim version incoming? :rolleyes:
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#8
Sihastru
The new revision is featuring a significantly smaller heatsink and an abundance of the large copper cold plate.
There's an abundance of not making sense in that sentence.
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#9
TheDeeGee
GN done an in depth cooling test with the original PS5, and some RAM was already very toasty with over 90C.
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#10
Chomiq
According to Digital Foundry:
At worst it will run hotter but the boost frequencies will not change. They are not governed by the cooler, but by an algorithm derived from a single 'model' SoC.
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#11
Alan Smithee
"That is just measuring the air coming out" - you know that the air exit temperature being hotter indicates the cooling solution is working better, not worse, right? Getting rid of the heat is what the cooling solution does. An indication the CPU is running hotter would be if the air exit temperature was cooler, because the cooling solution wouldn't be removing the heat as efficiently.
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#12
Crackong
Should measure frequency vs core temp / ram temps instead of the existing air temps.
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#13
Valantar
sam_86314Modern tech companies couldn't care less about longevity. What better way to encourage sales of a future slim model?
Plus that raw material prices (copper, aluminium, etc) have increased massively over the past year or two. Reducing the amounts of these metals probably represents a noticeable cost savings when you're looking at millions of units.

The weight reduction is 300g, so if we assume that's split 50/50 between copper and aluminium (and assuming the copper prices are pr Kg and aluminium prices are per metric ton), that's a $1 savings per console - not much on the overall BOM cost, but make a million consoles and that's a million dollars. Assuming production costs also sink due to the smaller heatsinks, and you're probably looking at multiplying that BOM savings by anything from 2x-10x. This is how mass production ekes out profits, by taking something that works and cutting it down until it barely keeps working. This is probably relatively minor overall, and I bet we'll see more in the future.
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#14
ARF
HIGHLANDER58You should know why Sony would cut the cooling down, their engineers probably figured out the cooling was just a bit too good and most likely would offer a long life and in todays world, a company just cant have people owning things for a long time without having to keep buying new ones. After all, how else will all the over priced execs pay for all their bullshit.
Err, except that the customers are not so stupid and will not buy the new ones :D You know what customers satisfaction is?

Here, they make the console less quality in order to save a penny or two from the BoM.

But of course, that will result in fewer and fewer sales.

Their religion is - the greed will save us all :D
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#15
Vya Domus
Alan Smithee"That is just measuring the air coming out" - you know that the air exit temperature being hotter indicates the cooling solution is working better, not worse, right?
This is just wrong, if you move more air through a heatsink that outputs the same amount of heat the air temperature will decrease because the energy density in the air that is exhausted goes down and according to your logic the cooling would be worse. So a higher air temperature could also indicate that there is less air moving or that the system is simply outputting more heat. The temperature of the air exiting a cooler does not tell you anything about the effectiveness of the cooler without some other information.
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#16
Arkz
Die shrink? Is it drawing less power?
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#17
ARF
ArkzDie shrink? Is it drawing less power?
No and no. There is no die shrink and it is not drawing less power.
Actually lower cooling capacity means that the chip will boost much worse, so the overall performance will be worse, too.
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#18
Chomiq
ARFNo and no. There is no die shrink and it is not drawing less power.
Actually lower cooling capacity means that the chip will boost much worse, so the overall performance will be worse, too.
Or that it will boost the same but temperatures will be higher. Model SoC is the same and boost frequencies are locked to that.
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#19
ARF
ChomiqOr that it will boost the same but temperatures will be higher. Model SoC is the same and boost frequencies are locked to that.
The boost clocks are not locked in the time domain. In an absolute sense, it will probably reach the same highs, but for much shorter periods of time.

"But that's not the most surprising feature of the PlayStation 5 hardware. When the full specifications of the gaming system were revealed, we learned that the CPU and GPU both featured a 'boost clock' design based on AMD's SmartShift technology. That means the frequencies are variable, though they are capped at 3.5 GHz for the CPU and 2.23 GHz for the GPU."
PlayStation 5's Boost Clock Design Opens Up a Lot of Opportunities, Says Developer (wccftech.com)
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#20
TheLostSwede
It seems like no-one that covered this 'tuber, stopped to think and look at the design changes.
Yes, they removed the copper based plate the cooler was sitting one, but they also implemented much longer heatpipes than in the old design, although it also looks like they got rid of a couple of of shorter heatpipes at the same time. It's hard to judge a cooling solution based on looks alone.
I very much doubt Sony would risk getting a bunch of RMA's just to save a buck or two per console, as that would be a lot more costly to the company.
Instead of drawing hastily conclusions, it might be better to wait for someone to test them side by side and compare internal temperatures.

It might be worth noting that Sony has three different fan suppliers for the PS5 as well, so that might make a difference, since the two consoles clearly have different fans.

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#21
BorisDG
My guess is that Sony was selling PS5 without profit (even like Nintendo with the WiiU at a loss) and now they are looking for at least some. Fans are fine. Some dude made test with Nidec (which was reported it's the noisiest one) outside of the console and was dead silent. Most issues are vibrations on the chassis.
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#22
Valantar
TheLostSwedeIt seems like no-one that covered this 'tuber, stopped to think and look at the design changes.
Yes, they removed the copper based plate the cooler was sitting one, but they also implemented much longer heatpipes than in the old design, although it also looks like they got rid of a couple of of shorter heatpipes at the same time. It's hard to judge a cooling solution based on looks alone.
I very much doubt Sony would risk getting a bunch of RMA's just to save a buck or two per console, as that would be a lot more costly to the company.
Instead of drawing hastily conclusions, it might be better to wait for someone to test them side by side and compare internal temperatures.

It might be worth noting that Sony has three different fan suppliers for the PS5 as well, so that might make a difference, since the two consoles clearly have different fans.

As I noted in another thread on here, I would guess Sony is sitting on a metric crapton of thermal data from the millions of PS5 users out there, from a gargantuan amount of different usage scenarios. That would make it pretty easy to design a cut-down cooling solution that would still be safe in 100%/99.9%/99%/[wherever they draw the line] of usage scenarios.
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#23
TheLostSwede
BorisDGMy guess is that Sony was selling PS5 without profit (even like Nintendo with the WiiU at a loss) and now they are looking for at least some. Fans are fine. Some dude made test with Nidec (which was reported it's the noisiest one) outside of the console and was dead silent. Most issues are vibrations on the chassis.
They've more or less already admitted to that. Even so, cutting this little material cost out isn't going to change that.

The point about the fans was that different fans might result in different exhaust temperatures. As such, it's a poor means of comparing temperature.
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#24
lexluthermiester
This is, once again, much-ado-about-nothing. One only needs to LOOK at that new heat sink and THINK about airflow within the PS5 chassis to realize the changes are refinements that improve thermal performance over-all.
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#25
ExcuseMeWtf
sam_86314Modern tech companies couldn't care less about longevity. What better way to encourage sales of a future slim model?
That of course, will have even worse ventilation due to size constraints.
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