PlayStation 5 Slim Could Ditch Giant Cooler for Smaller, Dual-Fan Solution

Image: Sony

One of the biggest questions surrounding the PlayStation 5 is why the console is so massive, but thanks to an official teardown video shared by Sony last week, we discovered that its enormous footprint was owed to an intricate cooling solution that comprises a meaty heatsink and 120 mm (45 mm thick) double-sided air intake fan.

In an interview with Nikkei’s Cross Tech, PS5 engineer Otori Yasuhiro confirmed that the fan was to blame for the system’s size, as its dimensions ultimately set the standard for the rest of the console. But Yasuhiro also provided some unique insight, such as how the PS5 could have easily been made smaller if a dual-fan configuration was used instead of a single, huge one. Unfortunately, that option was rejected due to cost concerns.

“…if you prepare two cooling fans, one for side A and one for side B, you can reduce the size,” Yasuhiro explained. “However, the cost increases because the number of cooling fans increases to two. In addition, two cooling fan rotation controls are difficult compared to just one. Therefore, we decided to cool both sides of one main board with one large fan.”

Could a dual-fan design be in the cards for the inevitable PS5 Slim? That certainly sounds like a possibility.

In an accompanying article, Yasuhiro discussed Sony’s choice of going with a liquid metal TIM instead of something more traditional (i.e., thermal grease). Like the single fan, this decision ultimately came down to costs.

“…if thermal grease is used, an expensive heat sink with high cooling performance is required,” Nikkei wrote. But “if TIM, a liquid metal that leads to increased costs, is adopted, the total cost of cooling can be ‘reduced’ as a result. Since the rotation speed of the cooling fan can also be suppressed, noise can be suppressed.”

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