PlayStation 5 will be quiet and cool, Sony says

Sony has invested lots of time and effort into ensuring the PS5 runs quiet and cool.

Published Mon, Jun 15 2020 5:35 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:43 AM CST

Unlike the PS4 Pro which sounds like a jet engine taking off, the PS5 should be pretty silent even when belting out new higher-end games like Gran Turismo 7.

PlayStation 5 will be quiet and cool, Sony says 4 |

The PlayStation 5 was designed from the ground up with cooling and noise in mind. In fact, Sony completely changed the CPU and GPU clock speed management to variable frequencies in order to maintain a constant PSU wattage, which would ensure the fans don't rev up to supersonic speeds. The console's ample ventilation, unique chassis, and slight V-shape will work in tandem with this new CPU/GPU variable clock scheme to keep the system cool.

Now we're hearing even more from Sony execs about the PS5's silent and cool operation. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Sony Europe exec Simon Rutter says "a great deal of effort" went into making the PS5's robust heat mitigation.

Rutter also highlights how Sony built the PS5 for developers, and teased big possibilities for next-gen games.

"When we put that together with the feedback that we were getting from the developers, there was a happy, serendipitous meeting of minds. The technology allows us to implement the kind of speeds and data flows that developers appreciate, but at the same time they realize very significant gameplay benefits for players," SIE executive vice president and head of Europe business operations Simon Rutter said.

This reinforces what we've already heard from PS5 architect Mark Cerny.

PlayStation 5 will be quiet and cool, Sony says 6 |

Back in April, Cerny gave a huge tech talk on the PlayStation 5's inner workings, and assured gamers would be very happy with the console's fan and cooling array. This is extremely important because the console will generate some serious heat: Despite being power efficient on AMD's 7nm design, the SoC will still get toasty when pushing 4K gaming, and the PCIe 4.0 SSD heats up too.

Here's what Cerny said about the new variable GPU and CPU clock speeds, and why it was implemented for the PS5:

"We built a GPU with 36CUs. Mind you, RDNA 2 CUs are large. Each has 62% more transistors than the CUs we were using on PlayStation 4. So if we compare transistor counts, 36 RDNA CUs equates to roughly 58 PS4 CUs. It is a fairly sizable GPU.

"Then we went with a variable frequency strategy with PlayStation 5. Which is to say we continuously run the GPU and CPU in boost mode. We supply a generous amount of electrical power, and then increase the frequency of GPU and CPU until they reach the capabilities of the system's cooling solution.

"It's a completely different paradigm. Rather than running constant frequency, and letting power vary based on the workload, we run at essentially constant power and let the frequency vary based on the workload."

As for the cooling solution, everything we've seen so far looks pretty impressive. The console is more open and less constrained and constricted, complete with a flowing chassis that looks specifically designed to channel airflow in a certain way.

PlayStation 5 will be quiet and cool, Sony says 20 |

Cerny also teases a full PlayStation 5 hardware teardown is coming soon:

"We then tackled the engineering challenge of a cost-effective and high-performance cooling solution designed for that specific power level. In some ways, it becomes a more simple problem because there are no more unknowns. There's no need to guess what the power consumption in a worst-case game might have.

"As for details of the cooling solution, we're saving them for our teardown. I think you'll be quite happy with what the engineering team came up with."

Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5 will release Holiday 2020, but no price has been announced. Two versions will be available: a disc-less digital-only version, and a full standard version. Both systems will have identical internal specifications.

Check below for specs and more details about the console:

PlayStation 5 specs and details:

  • Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 CPU
  • 8-Core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHz
  • Navi 2X GPU with 36 CUs on RDNA 2 at 2.23GHz
  • Ultra-fast 825GB SSD with up to 9GB/sec speeds
  • Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
  • Ray-tracing enabled
  • 8K output support (for gaming)
  • Plays PS4 games, BC is on a title-to-title basis
  • Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
  • New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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