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PlayStation 5 Fan Lottery Responsible for Noisier Consoles

PlayStation 5 cooling fan
PlayStation 5 Cooling Fan (Image credit: Sony)

Sony has been installing different cooling fans on the PlayStation 5 (PS5), French tech website Les Numériques reports. The outlet noticed a difference in the noise exhibited by two different PS5s, one being a review unit Sony provided and the other a unit they purchased.  Les Numériques proceeded to disassemble several PS5s and found five different fans in five different consoles. 

As seen in the image below, the cooling fan on the left is reportedly from the retail PS5, and the one on the right is from the review unit. The noisier fan (left) includes 17 blades that extend to the center hub. The one on the right has 23 blades that are slightly less thick. 

Louder fan from retail unit (left), quieter fan from review unit (right) (Image credit: Les Numériques)

When it comes to air coolers, many factors dictate airflow, CFM and noise. However, the rule of thumb is that the fan with more blades will require less power to move more air, thus providing better cooling. With the differences in fans here, it could be assumed that the fans with fewer blades are ramping up more to provide more cooling and, thus, producing more noise. 

This discovery is alarming and puts existing PlayStation 5 teardown cooling tests into question in terms of how much they'll match the experience regular customers can expect. Furthermore, this difference in fans could contribute to the PS5's less than stellar cooling. For what it's worth, our PlayStation 5 review unit wasn't quiet. 

It's possible that Sony realized this when providing different fan models in its consoles. Additionally, this slight variation doesn't appear to enough to warrant major concerns. Still, most would assume that all PS5s use the same fan. It's troubling that Sony didn't make this discrepancy apparent. 

While it may seem unethical, this practice is, unfortunately, something that companies have utilized for years. We’ve seen this with monitor panels, memory modules and, more recently, in the SSD market, where it's become controversial. As long as the part, which is the cooling fan, performs up to spec, it is within their right to provide a different part. 

If you’re the owner of a slightly noisier PS5, you can verify the fan installed by simply popping off the side panels, as this doesn’t void the warranty. But note that as long as the fan is providing ample cooling to the system, it's unlikely Sony will replace it or your console. And we don't recommend you get handy and try to replace the fan yourself because you'll void the warranty. Seeing how scarce the PS5 is right now, perhaps it's better to deal with the noise.

  • Phaaze88
    Oh for crying out loud... one thing after another.

    So, early adopters:
    L-l6tHeseDYView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-l6tHeseDY
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    Phaaze88 said:
    Oh for crying out loud... one thing after another.

    So, early adopters:
    L-l6tHeseDYView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-l6tHeseDY
    they do be havin' demon's souls so I'd wager... yes 😭
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    thepersonwithaface45 said:
    they do be havin' demon's souls so I'd wager... yes 😭
    I guess?

    I tried playing Dark Souls 3... not my cup of tea.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    so i am glad i can't get the new consoles yet. let them debug them. i have no new games I care about anyway. I am still playing Thief and RD2 Online on Xbox1

    i will be happy to get them when they are abundantly available and debugged

    meanwhile my GT-R Pro is showing me it's gaming teeth and it's pretty impressive for a tiny and (most always) silent box. it's an emulation champ! and it plays old games like Thief: The Dark Project super fast and better than ever. Especially with the resolution patch and hi-res textures. and antialiasing. this is my retro box.
    Reply
  • keithdmitchell
    Yeah, it was pretty alarming finding this out and researching it a bit. While the one Tomshardware received was loud, the one I was able to purchase has been whisper quiet. Still, for Sony to not be upfront about this, well that's crap.
    Reply
  • kyuuketsuki
    And we don't recommend you get handy and try to replace the fan yourself because you'll void the warranty.
    Please stop spreading this FUD. You cannot void a warranty by opening up a system, breaking a "warranty seal", or even replacing components. Unless Sony can prove that something you did caused the issue that you are claiming warranty coverage for, they are legally required to honor the warranty.
    Reply
  • rgd1101
    kyuuketsuki said:
    Please stop spreading this FUD. You cannot void a warranty by opening up a system, breaking a "warranty seal", or even replacing components. Unless Sony can prove that something you did caused the issue that you are claiming warranty coverage for, they are legally required to honor the warranty.
    "try to replace the fan"
    Reply
  • Pytheus
    kyuuketsuki said:
    Please stop spreading this FUD. You cannot void a warranty by opening up a system, breaking a "warranty seal", or even replacing components. Unless Sony can prove that something you did caused the issue that you are claiming warranty coverage for, they are legally required to honor the warranty.
    Companies can make any excuse to void your warranty, your simple admission to touching the electrical components can be an introduced ESD issue. You shouldn't believe for one second they can be held legally responsible if you tinker with the hardware.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    Pytheus said:
    Companies can make any excuse to void your warranty, your simple admission to touching the electrical components can be an introduced ESD issue. You shouldn't believe for one second they can be held legally responsible if you tinker with the hardware.

    The FTC's ruling on the illegality of Void Warranty stickers has made those practices much harder for companies to get away with as long as you know your rights.
    Reply
  • Pytheus
    atomicWAR said:
    The FTC's ruling on the illegality of Void Warranty stickers has made those practices much harder for companies to get away with as long as you know your rights.
    As I have said, if you admit to touching the hardware they can claim an ESD related failure.
    Reply