Surprise: The PS5's liquid metal thermal compound increases longevity in thermal tests.
A new heat test by TronixFix illustrates some of the advantages of the PS5's new liquid metal cooling. The PS5's cooling solution is pretty advanced and uses three main parts: a dual-sided 120mm intake fan, a complex vapor-chamber heat sink design, and a layer of liquid metal that conducts heat from the PS5's main processor chip and passes it to the heat sink. The result is a remarkably quiet, efficient, and cool machine that can perform higher-end 4K 60FPS loads.
The stress test aims to see which thermal interface material (TIM) is better at conducting heat and maintaining longevity. The test includes two PS5s: A stock model with liquid metal, and an altered model with traditional thermal paste. Steve from TronixFix disabled both fans from each PS5 and ran the consoles to see how long they would last before shutting down. Predictably, the PS5 with liquid metal lasted longer.
- Liquid metal - 16 minutes, 29 seconds
- Thermal Past - 13 minutes, 12 seconds
The PS5 with thermal past pushed out cooler airflow, but it was louder and its fans revved more erratically. The PS5 with liquid metal, however, outputted more heat because it was conducting more heat from the SoC. The liquid metal is more efficient at pulling heat generated from the processor, which is then dissipated by the heat sink and blown out the back by the powerful 120mm fan. Thus more heat is processed out the back of the system.
The PS5 with thermal paste had cooler exhaust but it was hotter where it counts most--inside the console.
Steve also says thermal paste can work in a pinch, but you shouldn't replace the liquid metal.