One of our colleagues from Digital conducted the investigation to find out why his personal PlayStation 5 was significantly noisier than that received in test by his editorial staff. And the culprit will not have taken long to be charged: it is the fan, very different from one console to another.
Why do some PlayStation 5s emit more noise than others, especially in games? This is the question to which Digital responded after a proper shelling of the new Sony console, for a final conclusion. We discover in particular that the five consoles dismantled by them are equipped with motley fans.
In all, two models of fans have been identified, themselves different from the fan presented by Sony during his teardown video of the PS5. The manufacturer would therefore rely on fans from at least three separate suppliers … with varying designs in terms of thickness and shape of the blades. This explains the difference of 4 dB (A) observed from one console to another – 39 dB (A) readings for the quietest machine, 43 dB (A) for the less discreet.
Different parts from one console to another, is that normal?
A minimal difference at first glance, but far from trivial in play since the PS5 follow a predefined curve to increase the fan speed as the heat increases. The Numerics also point out that the console power supply is also subject to the phenomenon of coil whine, that soft electronic whistle well known to PC gamers.
Fortunately, the PlayStation 5 remains a relatively discreet console and significantly quieter than the PS4 Pro, whose hiss in play in many cases exceeded 50 dB (A). A point that had also pushed Sony to sneak a a little less noisy version of its console at the end of 2018.
It remains to be seen whether finding different parts from one console to another is normal, and the answer is yes: Sony has every right to rely on several subcontractors to provide it with fans as long as they effectively cool the console. What they do without problem. We contacted Sony who tells us “Take the situation very seriously”, but has not yet commented on the discovery of our colleagues.
Note also that it is very common to find different parts or components from one unit to another of a given product. For its Xbox 360, Microsoft had for example used DVD players supplied by several third-party manufacturers, including Hitachi or BenQ. This practice is also widespread on smartphones, particularly for screens or modem chips, with in some cases variable performance.