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YouTuber defends claim that PS5’s new model is ‘worse’ than the original
Austin Evans reiterates his statement that the console runs hotter due to cooling changes
The tech YouTuber who caused a stir last week by claiming the new PlayStation 5 model is “worse” than the launch model has defended his position.
Austin Evans managed to obtain the revised PlayStation 5 model, which quietly went on sale in Japan, UK and Australia this month, and posted a YouTube video claiming the revised model “is worse” because of the changes made to its cooling system.
Now, in a new video, Evans addresses the abuse he’s been taking online for his video, while standing by his claim.
“What I saw was that the new PS5 runs hotter,” Evans reiterates. “And with the thermal images that I was able to take, plus the fact that I tore open the PS5 and saw that Sony has significantly reduced the size of the heat sink, putting two and two together I determined that it is a downgrade compared to the first model.
“Now, a lot of people have taken issue with that. Some people have said that maybe it’s more like thermally efficient, for example, but my argument there would be that just doesn’t square with the laws of physics.”
Evans explains that if the new PS5 had featured a completely different layout, or alternative cooling like extra air channels or a larger fan, then it would have been arguable that these changes could have cancelled out the smaller heat sink, but that this was not the case.
“The PS5, it just simply has a smaller heat sink. There’s less aluminium, there’s less copper, there’s less material, there’s 300 grams less. And the laws of physics pretty simply dictate that there’s less material and less surface area to remove that heat off of the chip.
“Now, can I tell you with 1000% certainty that the chip, which is really the most important thing on the inside, that the actual [system on a chip] is running hotter than the original model? No, without being Sony, I cannot tell you exactly what that is.
“But using some, what I would consider to be common sense, that the cooling apparatus is far smaller and therefore the temperatures I’m seeing that are coming out of the system are significantly higher, I feel pretty confident in the fact that the new PS5 simply does not run as cool as the original.”
After theorising on why he believes Sony made these changes, Evans points out that while he’s taken an extreme degree of abuse from people online following his video’s publication, Digital Foundry was one of the few who actually bought one of the new PS5 consoles and did their own tests.
“In their testing […] they determined that it has probably about the same power as the original PS5 and that you’re getting about the same performance, which is well worth a read,” he explains.
“People keep sending it to me as if it’s like the ‘Exposed – Austin Evans is Wrong’ article. I 100% agree with every single word in that article, right? At no point have I said that the PS5 is losing performance or anything like that.
“All I have said is that based on my own testing, it seems to be running hotter, which would logically make sense with a smaller heat sink. And therefore, you could have some issues down the line. If you’re in a really thermally constrained environment, you’re in a TV cabinet or something, your PS5 may run hotter, it may have less longevity. But that’s all I’ve said.
“However, the discourse has quickly turned into [how] I hate the PS5, and I’m this clickbait YouTuber who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is just trying to get views.”
After taking the console apart, Evans discovered that the new console has an updated fan design and small changes to its Wi-Fi antennas, which could match plans for a new wireless communication module mentioned in a Sony document earlier this year.
However, by far the most significant change discovered in the teardown was confirmation that the revised console weighs 300g less than the original model – as first suggested by a Sony hardware manual – due to a significantly reduced heat sink.
A heat sink is a device designed to transfer heat away from CPUs, GPUs and chipsets so that they can run more efficiently and safely. Without effective cooling, hardware can degrade over time and performance can be affected.
The original PlayStation 5 already runs hot and the recent introduction of expandable NVMe SSD storage requires users to add further cooling via an additional heat sink.
While PS5 launch hardware uses a CFI-1XXX model numbering scheme, the revised model uses the new CFI-11XX scheme.
As previously suggested, the updated PS5 has been confirmed to feature a new screw to attach the console to its stand, which can now be adjusted by hand instead of requiring a screwdriver.
Sony is reportedly planning to start production on a further PS5 hardware redesign featuring a “new semi-customised” 6nm CPU from AMD in 2022.
The company claimed in May that the standard PS5 model would break even beginning in June 2021. “And from then on, we project that it will gradually become increasingly profitable,” PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said during an investor relations event.