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[Gamers Nexus] Weak Design: PlayStation 5 Thermals, Power, & Noise Testing

Md Ray

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Gamers Nexus means business. For the PlayStation 5's thermals and power tests, they go much more in-depth than any publication you could imagine. Video below.






Their findings here:


Summary:

Noise levels
  • Fan noise level: 33-35~dB under full load.
  • Sony has listened to the complaints about previous-gen consoles and has done a pretty good job at handling the fan noise comparatively.
  • Removing one side panel is not very beneficial, but removing both the panels improved temps by -5 °C across VRM, memory, SoC, etc. Not a reasonable solution but Sony could improve this by putting some slats into the side panels, specifically near the fan.
  • They didn't hear any coil whine, different games could trigger it.
Power Consumption
  • Impressive power consumption and efficiency relative to the output in terms of the graphics capabilities, frame-rate, and overall perf is significanly higher than past devices, kudos to AMD for the SoC design.
Thermals
  • Can't get the actual on-die temp measurement of the APU (SoC), it's in the 70 °C range from their tests on the backside of the SoC between the MLCCs. Typically a pretty good indication of the actual die temp.
  • One of the memory modules is thermally a bit warmer than GN would like at 93 to 95 °C, but it's a casing measurement so it is possible the silicon itself is somewhat cooler. Can't say for sure unless given access to the on-die sensor for the actual temp of the memory silicon itself.
  • Sony is definitely heavily lacking in cooling design for its memory specifically and thinks there should be better heatsink contact to the memory chips.
  • Sony can improve memory thermals significantly and the easiest way is through full coverage of the thermal pads on memory modules by increasing the pad's contact patch.
Xbox Series X tests are also coming as soon as they get their unit.

EDIT: Very well explained:
The memory isn't cooled enough as it should be because there is less optimal contact between the memory modules and the steel plate inside which is also less thermally conductive than aluminum. The design could be altered to cool the memory more. The PS5 faceplates also increase temperatures slightly, so maybe adding some vents into the design there could help with thermals too.

The memory is too hot for GN to be comfortable with, but maybe Sony has data that suggests that it's good enough. CPU temps seem fine.

Obviously, Sony made certain design decisions regarding aesthetics, price, manufacturing ease, and many other variables so they did the best they could do given their time and resources, but no one is perfect, and thus any potential flaws in their design can and should be pointed out.
 
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Golgo 13

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It’s obviously not positive with the video headline of “Weak Design: PS5 Thermals, Cooling, and Noise Levels”.

It’s VERY worth noting that this guy is a pompous ass who basically finds fault with everything and revels in negativity.


But I won’t personally be watching a 37 minute long nitpicking of the internal components of the PS5.

As long as the games are good and the thing doesn’t explode, I’ll be happy.
 
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Shrap

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The Sony PlayStation 5 runs its memory hot, but the SOC thermals seem OK. We'll look at PS5 thermals, power, and noise in this testing. Noise & power are good, though!

In this benchmark of the PlayStation 5, we're testing thermals, power, and acoustics, and also running a clip of partial tear-down & disassembly of the PS5. We left the liquid metal untouched (and heatsink mounted) for long-term viability and endurance testing, but fortunately, the board layout allowed us to still easily probe memory and VRM / MOSFET thermals since these components are not directly under the primary heatsink. In fact, the memory barely has a heatsink at all, although the VRM is contacted to a heatpipe and smaller heatsink. The PS5's large blower fan seems to spin at a low enough speed to maintain noise targets and avoid the complaints of the previous generation, but we think there's room in Sony's design to improve thermals in both the chassis walls and the fan PWM aggression.
They also noted they didn't experience any coil whine.
 

Agnostic2020

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He says thermals on gpu and cpu are good .

1 of the 8 memory chips run hotter by 20°c and Sony needs to improve the contact of memory module with the plate on top. He admits that memory chip inside module could by colder than casing of it.


His recommendations is about thermals of memory chips as ssd and apu are good.
 
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Dogman

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While Steve definitely knows what he's talking about (most of the time), as others have mentioned here he has a pretty big ego and tends to be extremely nitpicky on stuff. I doubt any of the stuff he finds wrong here weren't already known or considered by Sony.
 

Reallink

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93C memory is really hot for a clean console in a 68-73F environment. Once dust starts clogging and summer heatwaves hit that's almost definitely going to exceed 100C and start shutting down. I wonder if this is expected or if something went wrong in mass manufacturing.
 
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MastaKiiLA

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I'd also appreciate a summary, or an article. I don't care to watch a long video on thermals and sound. I do appreciate a good test kit though, and it seems like they're doing it the right way.
 

Agnostic2020

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Oh dear, let's hope that's just his sample and not a design flaw. Could that explain why we are seeing more ps5 graphics instability on social media?
What we r seeing on social media is normal for any console launch and electronics in general . Electronic components have 1 to 3% failure rate after they pass their tests.

U just follow many xbox fanboys on social media and thats all they can post now since they can't talk about power of xsx. Follow few ps fanboys and u will think xsx design is in trouble .
 
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longdi

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What we r seeing on social media is normal for any console launch and electronics in general . Electronic components have 1 to 3% failure rate after they pass their tests.

U just follow many xbox fanboys on social media and thats all they can post now since they can't talk about power of xsx. Follow few ps fanboys and u will think xsx design is in trouble .

I wonder if Steve will test SX thermals too? Or has he done so already?
 

Bravedwarf

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It’s obviously not positive with the video headline of “Weak Design: PS5 Thermals, Cooling, and Noise Levels”.

It’s VERY worth noting that this guy is a pompous ass who basically finds fault with everything and revels in negativity.


But I won’t personally be watching a 37 minute long nitpicking of the internal components of the PS5.

As long as the games are good and the thing doesn’t explode, I’ll be happy.

lol what :/ Tech Jesus is incredible channel.
 

Endless Fluff

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One memory module appears to be running way hotter than it should.
Where do you guys get "one"? The thermals are for the bottom row, he only has one probe there, but you can assume that the other memory modules in that region run equally as hot as they're all "cooled" the same way.
Whats the weak part of the design?
Besides the memory running dangerously hot, almost reaching thermal limit, the white plastic shells also trap heat. The whole system runs 5°C cooler with both side panels removed. Style over function.
 

rofif

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He is looking at it like a pc. There can't be any mesh or dust filters and so there can't be any required maintenance.
The box must be possibly small, good looking, DUST FREE WITHOUT MUCH OR ANY maintenance and quiet.
So it can't be full of mesh. It also must work vertically and horizontally.

Of course You can put noctua nh d15 on it and 7 140mm fans and a ton of mesh and have better performance. it's not that matter
 

THEAP99

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Where do you guys get "one"? The thermals are for the bottom row, he only has one probe there, but you can assume that the other memory modules in that region run equally as hot as they're all "cooled" the same way.

Besides the memory running dangerously hot, almost reaching thermal limit, the white plastic shells also trap heat. The whole system runs 5°C cooler with both side panels removed. Style over function.
should i use my ps5 with the plastic off, then?
 

Endless Fluff

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Relative to what? What is the thermal limit of that module?
Thermal limit for GDDR6 is 100°C, the memory in PS5 hits around 95°C with a 21-22°C ambient temp.
For reference, Micron rates its GDDR5, GDDR5X and GDDR6 memory chips with a Maximum Junction Temperature (TJ Max or Tjunction Max) of 100C (degrees Celsius). The typical recommended operating temperatures ranges between 0C to 95C. The reading materials on Micron's GDDR6X don't reveal the TJ Max for the new memory chips so there's still a bit of mystery to the topic. According to Igor, the general consent is around 120C before the GDDR6X chips suffer damage. This would mean that the Tjunction value should be set at 105C or up to 110C.
should i use my ps5 with the plastic off, then?
No, but I do wonder if you'll have to during a hot summer day. Reminds me of the good old PC days where we had to take side panels off and had fans blow on the PC.
 
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Rentahamster

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Whats the weak part of the design?
The memory isn't cooled enough as it should be because there is less optimal contact between the memory modules and the steel plate inside which is also less thermally conductive than aluminum. The design could be altered to cool the memory more. The PS5 faceplates also increase temperatures slightly, so maybe adding some vents into the design there could help with thermals too.

The memory is too hot for GN to be comfortable with, but maybe Sony has data that suggests that it's good enough. CPU temps seem fine.

Obviously, Sony made certain design decisions regarding aesthetics, price, manufacturing ease, and many other variables so they did the best they could do given their time and resources, but no one is perfect, and thus any potential flaws in their design can and should be pointed out.
 

THEAP99

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Thermal limit for GDDR6 is 100°C, the memory in PS5 hits around 95°C with a 21-22°C ambient temp.


No, but I do wonder if you'll have to during a hot summer day. Reminds me of the good old PC days where we had to take side panels off and had fans blow on the PC.
are u fucking kidding me? do u realize how bad this is going to be for millions of gamers? what were sony thinking? what the fuck is the point of this big ass console?!!! i thought it was for good cooling and a quiet fan!!! jesus christ they failed
 

longdi

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Where do you guys get "one"? The thermals are for the bottom row, he only has one probe there, but you can assume that the other memory modules in that region run equally as hot as they're all "cooled" the same way.

Besides the memory running dangerously hot, almost reaching thermal limit, the white plastic shells also trap heat. The whole system runs 5°C cooler with both side panels removed. Style over function.

Ouch, I thought the panels were supposed to help cooling

A 5c drop is bigly, especially if your mem is hitting 95c.

Tbh, I don't quite get why Sony when with them? So they can sell more accessories
 
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Yoboman

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Thermal limit for GDDR6 is 100°C, the memory in PS5 hits around 95°C with a 21-22°C ambient temp.


No, but I do wonder if you'll have to during a hot summer day. Reminds me of the good old PC days where we had to take side panels off and had fans blow on the PC.
Your quote says 120°C, where is 100°C from?

95°C would be the upper limit of expected ranges
 
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longdi

Ni hao ma, fellow kids?
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Next week

BTW your whole gpu overclocked thing doesn't hold water anymore as apu is well within normal temperatures under heavy load based on draw according to him ,,,, longdi longdi
Have not watched the video, what game was he testing with?
That said, just by measuring temps/power draw, no way to draw any conclusions wrt to overclocking imo
 

Endless Fluff

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Your quote says 120°C, where is 100°C from?

95°C would be the upper limit of expected ranges
The very first sentence? 120°C is for GDDR6X, PS5 has GDDR6.

For reference, Micron rates its GDDR5, GDDR5X and GDDR6 memory chips with a Maximum Junction Temperature (TJ Max or Tjunction Max) of 100C (degrees Celsius). The typical recommended operating temperatures ranges between 0C to 95C. The reading materials on Micron's GDDR6X don't reveal the TJ Max for the new memory chips so there's still a bit of mystery to the topic. According to Igor, the general consent is around 120C before the GDDR6X chips suffer damage. This would mean that the Tjunction value should be set at 105C or up to 110C.
 

Agnostic2020

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Have not watched the video, what game was he testing with?
That said, just by measuring temps/power draw, no way to draw any conclusions wrt to overclocking imo
Doesn't matter the game, he got the power draw close to max which is around 230 watt. And yes overclocking becomes an issue when u can't handle the heat resulting from it and here the heat is handled great for apu so clock are just fine as they are.smart design rather than buying offshelf I guess and trying to brute force 🤷‍♂️
 
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longdi

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Doesn't matter the game, he got the power draw close to max which is around 230 watt. And yes overclocking becomes an issue when u can't handle the heat resulting from it and here the heat is handled great for apu so clock are just fine as they are.smart design rather than buying offshore I guess 🤷‍♂️

The thing is,we don't see what frequency ps5 was running at start and through the duration of his tests. 🤷‍♀️
 

timmyp53

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Is there any downside to run the system with faceplates off? Do they help anything? I think the system looks better without them.
My rough understanding is that the main fan sucks air in and blows them out the side vents so it appears it would act as a barrier. Sony would have tested this extensively and we don't know how well this module takes heat. I would assume removing the plates would lead to dirt and dust. Sony likely designed it this way for a reason. I wouldnt go taking the sides off as this is just an isolated test.

Great video btw. I'll have to sub to this guy.
 

Endless Fluff

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Sorry I misread. It would still be in recommended ranges, and would require an additional 10-15°C to be within thermal damage territory if it is relative with what they've said for GDDR6X
Yes, yes. It's still in the safe range (there is also the fact that the reading is a couple degrees off, as the test isn't 100% accurate). I'm also not really worried as I'm sure that Sony has stress tested this enough under various conditions, but this still needs to be improved with the next revision.

And the side panels need to go, if they're actually hindering cooling performance, for the next revision as well.
 
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