The PS5 launch is just a few weeks away, and as we're getting closer to the console's release, Sony has been giving us a closer look at what we can expect from the hardware and UI.
After a brief glimpse at the PS5's interface and UX, as well as a console teardown, Sony has addressed one aspect of the system that plagued the PS4 – the notoriously noisy fans – and how it's overcome the problem with the new hardware.
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In an interview with 4gamer.net, helpfully translated by resetera user orzkare, Sony’s Yasuhiro Ootori offers new insight into the design philosophy of the PS5, namely on cooling, as well as some new details of a previously undiscussed feature!
Ootori, VP of Sony’s Mechanical Design Department, piqued our interest earlier this month with his detailed teardown of the PS5 that showcased Sony’s decision to use a heat sink, in contrast to Microsoft which has opted for a vapour chamber cooling solution in the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, coupled with a liquid metal thermal interface and bespoke fan design.
The decision to use the tried-and-tested method of a heatsink has some fans worried that the PS5 may have noise levels comparable to the PS4 Pro, but Ootori’s comments should put those worries to rest:
"Even with a large heat sink, the company has achieved both improved cooling performance and cost reduction.
"Although the heat pipes are used, the shape and airflow of the heat pipes have enabled the company to achieve cooling performance equivalent to that of an expensive vapour chamber with superior cooling performance and reduced costs."
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He went on to discuss the innovative decision to use a liquid metal thermal interface in place of the more-standard thermal paste, highlighting that Sony has wanted to use liquid metal for "a long time" and has spent "more than two years" perfecting its implementation to reduce two important factors: heat and cost.
"Let’s say you spend 10 yen [$0.10/ £0.08] for a TIM [thermal interface material] and 1,000 yen [$10/ £7] for a heat sink in the cooling structure of a certain system. If you change to a 100 yen [$1/ £0.70] TIM, you can get the same cooling effect with a 500 yen [$5/ £3.60] heat sink. In other words, you can reduce the total cost."
Liquid metal and vapour-chamber level heatsinks are cool and all, but what about fan noise? The PS5 fan is large, at 45mm thick, so it’ll move a lot of air, but Ootori revealed that developers will have new ways to conquer jet engine levels of fan noise.
"Various games will be released in the future, and data on the APU's [Accelerated Processing Unit’s] behavior in each game will be collected. We have a plan to optimize the fan control based on this data."
It’ll be interesting to see how both thermal and noise performance compare against the PS4 and PS4 Pro in notoriously loud and hot titles like God of War when the PS5 launches this November.