Gaming consoles like the PlayStation 4 give off a lot of heat and need a very effective cooling system to make sure they run efficiently. The PlayStation 4 is a very high-powered device with a hefty APU and thus, too much heat and slow cooling can have the console end up in flames.
When making the latest model in its series of PlayStations, Sony had to pay as much attention to the heat mitigation system as it did to its design and other improved features.
This does not mean, however, that it completely disregarded its previous models. Sony’s engineering director, Yasuhiro Ootori, revealed how the company took the best parts from the previous PlayStations and worked on them for the new one, particularly the N and G iterations of the PlayStation 3.
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How it works?
The design for the airflow inside the PS4 console was taken from the N version, while the G version contributed to how the power supply, cooling fan, and heat sink can be placed.
Talking about the specifics of the PlayStation 4, Ootori stated that the latest model splits its intake of air, which is supposed to be cooler than the one inside, into the top and bottom parts. This air is then passed through the PS4’s heat sink and cools the power source in the console, finally exiting from the exhaust port.
It is important to note here that the airflow is spread evenly throughout the unit, which also expels negative and positive pressure. The heat sink itself has a very simple design with 2 heat pipes running through it.
Furthermore, to produce maximum efficiency, Sony has kept a snail shell design. Even the hard drive has been kept away from excess heat with the way the console has been designed.
Besides this, even the fan’s shape has been changed to a trapezoid, which will reduce noise pollution within the console that is produced by turbulence and the motor. The motor, which is the main power behind the system, has been remodeled to suit the needs of the PS4. It is now a three-phase unit, thus efficiently handling power consumption.
Even though this is more expensive than the single-phase ones used in the PS3 and PS2, it works better by producing fewer vibrations at decreased speeds of rotation.
Not only this, but the console has an internal sensor which measures the air’s temperature that is discharged from it. This makes it possible for the console to moderate the external temperatures.
Despite all this, the console still heats up quite a lot with usage (still under the 50-degree Celsius point, though). Thermal imaging shows how hot the core becomes. This is also the place where the APU and the system memory have been placed.
Other ways to cool it
It also helps if you keep the console placed vertically rather than horizontally while using it and for a while after using it to make sure that there is a quick and efficient passage of air. Placing it horizontally also raises the internal temperatures by about 10 degrees Celsius.
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Again, if placed horizontally in a cabinet or another mostly closed space, the back of the console will heat up very quickly as it requires more energy to dispel the heat it produces. Furthermore, running the PlayStation 4 in standby mode does not seem to lower temperatures that much – an average of just 30 degrees Celsius along the bottom part of the console.