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Sony has begun shipping out a revised version of its PlayStation 5 console, and that has enabled some people to take a look inside. Most notably, YouTuber Austen Evans did a side-by-side comparison with a launch PS5, and he was able to spot some key differences in the design. This includes a reduction in the heatsink, which accounts for why the new PS5 is 300 grams lighter than its predecessor.
Based on that smaller heatsink, Evans and others have come to the conclusion that the new PlayStation 5 model is worse than the original. But that’s a squishy statement that doesn’t really line up with how we buy and use a gaming console.
In his video, Evans found that the new PS5 was putting out hotter air than the original PS5. And with the smaller heatsink, it makes sense that the overall cooling assembly is getting hotter before it’s able to push that air out. But that difference is a matter of 3-to-4 degrees Celsius, which shouldn’t impact performance. And that’s where I fail to see how the new PS5 is worse.
I suppose you can claim that the latest PS5 model is worse if you are purchasing it as some sort of weird silicon cooling toy. But most people are probably purchasing it to play games. And both the original and revised hardware play the same games with the same performance.
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And on top of that, Evans’ new PS5 was actually quieter. So while the new system was putting more heat into the room, it was also putting out less noise. While a lot of that comes down to the fan model your PS5 comes with, it’s hard to declare the new PS5 worse if it’s better at something key like noise pollution.
Concern trolls are just worried that the PS5 will melt
As I’ve tried to quell concerns about the PS5 revision on social media, some have countered with fear, uncertainty, and doubt. They’re just worried that Sony is selling defective PS5s to make a quick buck. Or some think that this will shorten the life of the PS5. Of course, almost no one legitimately fears these things, but if you do have any real anxieties, let’s do a quick thought experiment.
Imagine that this revision was actually a slim model with a new chassis and case. And then pretend that you opened the PS5 and found this smaller cooling structure. And while it runs a bit hotter, it’s still well within spec and produces less noise. Would any of that sound strange or unacceptable? No. You would not hear those same complaints.
You should consider this PS5 revision in much the same way. While it’s not a slimmer case, it’s definitely a similar style refresh for Sony. The company shipped the console with a massive heatsink. It really is a behemoth of twisting, turning metal. And I suspected from the beginning that the company settled on that design out of an abundance of caution rather than because it was strictly necessary. And now, with months of real-world results, Sony is refining its PS5 device to save money and materials.
And we have to recognize the reality of the world. The original PS5 cooler used a lot more copper, which is expensive and hard to source right now. By eliminating most of that material from the design, Sony may encounter fewer supply constraints. And that will enable it to ship more systems this year. I think that is far more important than maintaining an oversized and potentially overengineered cooling system when a smaller design is getting the job done.
In short, don’t let your anxieties prevent you from getting a PS5 just because it’s not a certain model. At least not until someone can provide some evidence for how the system plays games worse.
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