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Additional testing reveals that the brand new PS5’s smaller, lighter heatsink retains the console cooler

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Enlarge / On the left the old PS5 heat sink, on the right the new PS5 heat sink of the “11 series”.

Last month, Sony began shipping a slightly revamped version of its PlayStation 5 console with a smaller, lighter heat sink and a handful of other tweaks. An earlier teardown and analysis of the revamped PS5 made headlines because it suggested the new PS5 was running warmer than the old one based on the temperature of the air expelled from the console. This makes intuitive sense if you assume that a smaller heat sink will automatically do worse at dissipating heat. But more detailed and accurate tests by the YouTubers at Hardware Busters International support our skepticism about this claim and show that the exhaust air from the PS5 is warmer because the new cooling system removes heat from the console better than cooling systems should.

The Hardware Busters test measured the temperature of the APU, memory, voltage regulator modules (VRMs), and exhaust air while Devil May Cry 5 was running on both PS5 models. The exhaust air on the new PS5 is a few degrees warmer than on the old one, but on average the APU on the new PS5 ran around 11 ° C cooler and fell from around 51 ° C to 40 ° C.

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The memory and VRM temperatures in the new PS5 rise a bit – the memory temperature increases by about 7 ° C and the VRM temperature increases by about 1.3 ° C – but no increase should have a big impact on reliability or longevity the console. The much larger drop in APU temperature is worth the tradeoff.

Comparison of the CPU, RAM, VRM, and exhaust temperatures of the original PS5 and the revamped model with the smaller heat sink.

Comparison of the CPU, RAM, VRM, and exhaust temperatures of the original PS5 and the revamped model with the smaller heat sink.

These results only compare a single old PS5 to a single new PS5, and the numbers might look different with a larger sample size. But they should at least convince you that the smaller heat sink on the newer, lighter PS5 doesn’t automatically translate into a hotter, louder, and more error-prone console. The model number of the new PS5 is CFI-1102A while the original is CFI-1000 – look for these numbers if you want to make sure you get the new version.

The Hardware Busters team noticed a few more minor differences in the system board with the new revision, but found that almost everything that is important to keep the console cool – the number and type of fans, the fan speed, and the noise level – are either identical or almost identical. The new PS5 was about a decibel louder and its power consumption was a few watts more in most cases, but this kind of slight variance between consoles is normal and isn’t necessarily related to the heat sink or other internal changes.

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