A new PS5 model began appearing in Australia, Japan and parts of the United States earlier this month, with a new strut design and mysterious weight reduction. Thanks to a video of the disassembly of Austin Evans YouTuber, the mystery was solved: Sony changed the heatsink that helps cool the PS5.
The new heatsink is significantly smaller than the original and compensates for the total weight reduction of 300 grams (0.6 pounds), according to Evans.
It’s not clear why Sony changed the heatsink so early in the PS5’s lifecycle, but Evans notes that his particular unit has warmed up more as a result – with rear exhaust temperatures around 3 to 5 degrees higher. This could be due to manufacturing variation, however.
Sony uses this heatsink to cool the PS5, and the console has a heat pipe with a shape and airflow designed to create the same level of performance as a steam chamber.
The heat sink, hard copper plate and aluminum dissipation fins take up a significant amount of space inside the PS5 and contribute a lot to its overall size. It’s interesting to see Sony downsize this piece, and hopefully this is the first sign that the company is working on a smaller PS5 model.
Evans concludes that the changes make the PS5 worse, due to the extra heat it recorded. That could make launching PS5s more desirable, if that’s something we see replicated elsewhere.
“I don’t think there’s any argument that this is a worse console, at least for thermals and for cooling,” says Evans. “As far as I’m concerned, I prefer a launch PS5.”
The review comes as Sony reveals it is no longer selling the $499 version of the PS5 at a loss, and after reports last year suggested Sony was struggling to keep PS5 costs down thanks in part to its expensive cooling solution.
Evans has only opened a Digital Edition version of the PS5, so we’re not sure if Sony also changed the model’s cooling unit with a disk drive.