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Sony Introduces First PS5 Revision With "Cheaper" Construction

Sony press material showcasing the PS5 Digital Edition and PS5 side by side.
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's first revision of the PlayStation 5 is out, with the model number CFI-1100 featuring lighter construction thanks to a redesigned heatsink. This has caused many to speculate that the new changes will degrade PlayStation 5's performance. However, Richard Leadbetter from Digital Foundry has debunked any notion of performance problems from testing his own CFI-1100 unit.

This whole story started when tech journalist Austin Evans got his hands on the CFI-1100 and broke the unit down to see what the major changes were. He found that the unit was 300 grams lighter than the original, and this was caused by a completely redesigned heatsink with less mass. The heatsink changes include a full replacement of all copper metal with aluminum and fewer heatsink fins overall. But the unit has a newer, quieter, more powerful fan to compensate (presumably) for the reduced heatsink mass.

PS5 CFI-1100 Teardown

(Image credit: YouTube - Austin Evans)

Austin also measured the PS5's exhaust temperature and noticed a 5C increase in temps compared to the original, giving users more reason to think this new model will be less powerful or more prone to overheating.

However, Richard Leadbetter puts to rest any notion that this new PS5 is worse than the original unit. Leadbetter notes that in his testing, the new PS5's acoustics were quieter than the original PS5, and power consumption remained the same as the original unit, all while running Control with ray tracing enabled with a peak power output of 214W. This means that the PS5 isn't ramping up its fan to compensate for any sort of overheating, so it's operating within its specified limits.

Leadbutter also believes there's a possibility that the smaller heatsink is more thermally efficient, despite the change to less efficient aluminum metal. But he admits it's just a theory.

There's also a good chance that Sony overbuilt the PlayStation 5's original heatsink due to time constraints. Leadbutter notes that components for consoles are built all at the same time, not in a series. That means Sony could have overbuilt the PS5's heatsink to reduce the chance of production failures at the factory, which makes a lot of sense, given how many PS5s Sony sells worldwide.

Either way, the new PlayStation 5 is running within its temperature limitations so you can rest assured that you will get the same performance as on the original model. Even if the unit is legitimately running hotter, the temperatures should be nowhere near dangerous.

  • maik80
    The APU is in 6nm instead of 7 of the original
    Reply
  • kal326
    I’m no expert on thermal dynamics, but wouldn’t a higher temp of exhaust indicate that more heat is existing the system all other things kept even?
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    kal326 said:
    I’m no expert on thermal dynamics, but wouldn’t a higher temp of exhaust indicate that more heat is existing the system all other things kept even?
    (y)
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Going by GamersNexus' original thermal tests, every component except the bottom of the memory is relatively cool and nothing to worry about if they have the same thermal tolerances as modern desktop and mobile chips of 90°C. Assuming they have addressed the memory, which could be as simple as a redesigned inner panel to guide airflow over it, I don't see anything concerning.

    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    kal326 said:
    I’m no expert on thermal dynamics, but wouldn’t a higher temp of exhaust indicate that more heat is existing the system all other things kept even?
    Well all other things are not the same though.
    There is less mass in the cooling but the same power draw which could mean that there is more heat generated in the system and that's why there is more heat coming out.

    Just saying, of course we need more info and an expert to look at it.
    Will wait for steve from gamers nexus to take one apart. (If he can find one)
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    TerryLaze said:
    Well all other things are not the same though.
    There is less mass in the cooling but the same power draw which could mean that there is more heat generated in the system and that's why there is more heat coming out.
    If the power draw is the same then the heat generated is the same. Power and heat are essentially the same for most electronics
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    kal326 said:
    I’m no expert on thermal dynamics, but wouldn’t a higher temp of exhaust indicate that more heat is existing the system all other things kept even?
    Everything else the same, yes. But you'd have to look at air flow rate plus temperature (delta of exhaust vs intake) to figure out how much heat is being exhausted.

    Assuming both models draw the same power, they will both exhaust the same amount of heat in steady state. But that doesn't necessarily tell you anything about what temperature they are both operating at.
    Reply
  • VforV
    I'm sure GN and/or DF will eventually test this extensively and all will be cleared up, if it's better, worse or the same, for the user.

    I doubt Sony made it worse, but they did clearly cut costs. The mistake they did is not coming 1st with this news and explain the modifications and show the temps and that there is nothing to worry about.
    Without doing this, they are 100% at fault for this bad PR that their adversaries, thru influencers and shills (Like Austin, which is known to be pro-Xbox) have take advantage and done exactly that: a superficial, non-professional test to discredit Sony and PS5. But again it's 100% Sony's fault for this happening, they gave them free ammunition.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    TJ Hooker said:
    If the power draw is the same then the heat generated is the same. Power and heat are essentially the same for most electronics
    Yeah but the heat absorption/transfer rate and so on of the cooler changes things.
    You do not have the raw APU dishing out the heat, if aluminum heats up 5 degrees more then you will have 5 degrees more heat.
    And I'm in no way sure that's the case I'm just saying that it could be a factor.
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    kal326 said:
    I’m no expert on thermal dynamics, but wouldn’t a higher temp of exhaust indicate that more heat is existing the system all other things kept even?

    That's what I think. More heat is leaving through the exhaust, so less heat needs to leave by natural convection through the case. The new cooling solution is superior.
    Reply