PlayStation 5 could have dual fan setup for maximum thermal reduction

A new mockup guesses that Sony's PlayStation 5 has two centrifugal fans on its sides to keep the console running cool under load.

@DeekeTweak
Published Thu, Sep 3 2020 6:30 PM CDT

Like any hardware with an ultra-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD and an SoC capable of hitting 4K 60FPS gaming, the PlayStation 5 should generate some serious heat. But a new mock-up design guesses that the console could feature two centrifugal fans to keep it cool under heavy loads.

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The mock-up, was made by artist Adrian Mann and is featured in How It Works magazine, isn't an official design from Sony. We've yet to see the PS5 teardown that Mark Cerny promised in March. This design actually seems to make sense insofar as the console's dual-vent array and angled chassis, which is shaped to direct airflow during operation. The heat will flow from left to right when the console is on its side, and bottom to top when it's standing upright.

Sony has gone through great lengths to keep the PS5 quiet and cool. The console and its custom AMD SoC were designed from the ground up with heat in mind. Sony worked with AMD to redesign the SoC's power draw; instead of a varying power consumption that often led to fans revving up due to high heat, the PS5 has a constant power flow and its the GPU and CPU speeds that vary.

Here's what PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny said about the PlayStation 5's new cooling solution and SoC design:

"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."

"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."

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The PS5's outer case has been shaped with heat dissipation in mind.

Reports indicate the fan array is lavish, and is more expensive than a PS4s, but no info has been confirmed yet.

A recent Sony patent also indicates the PlayStation 5 could use liquid metal thermal compound to further reduce thermals under load. This hasn't been confirmed, but a switch from thermal paste to liquid metal will affect max SoC temperatures.

Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5 is due out Holiday 2020. No pricing, release date, or teardown info has been revealed yet.

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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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