PlayStation 5 fan lottery leaves some gamers with a noisier console than others while Sony may have used an even quieter fan for PS5 review units
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A French-language tech site has discovered through multiple PlayStation 5 teardowns that the console comes equipped with different fans. The team at Les Numériques realized that their test unit’s cooling fan was emitting less noise than a personally owned device, so further investigation ensued. After taking apart a total of five PS5 consoles, it was revealed that two of them had what was classified as the quieter fan while the three others had the louder fan. There were two distinctly different cooling fans used in the PS5 (see image below).
Sony, like other electronic device designers and manufacturers, can legally use the same component from different sources as long as it carries out the function it was designed for. A similar situation is often found in laptop displays where OEMs utilize multiple panels from different manufacturers for the same laptop model. Just like how those laptop displays can offer up differing brightness levels, response times, etc. the distinct cooling fans in the PlayStation 5 produce non-identical sound levels.
Les Numériques also provided a couple of sound clips made after 15 minutes of Demon’s Souls gameplay, when the PlayStation 5’s cooling fan would be truly kicking in. It is pointed out that the sound has been amplified to point out the differences between the two fans more clearly, and it certainly seems that “Fan B” is louder than “Fan A” at 43 dB(A) vs. 39 dB(A). Unfortunately, gamers can only check which fan is installed by removing the cover plate of the PS5 – so there is a lottery involved at the time of purchase.
Furthermore, it seems quite likely that Sony used a third fan for the official PS5 teardown and possibly for some review units too that was even quieter than these other models. The fan removed by Yasuhiro Ootori has a different construction to the fans shown by Les Numériques, with it having six circular notches in the center while the other two have trapezoid-like notches – eight for the “noisy” fan and 12 for the “quiet” fan. Gamers can consider replacing the fan if they have a particularly noisy PS5 console, although this will likely void the warranty, and it might be worth checking for accidental obstructions, such as unstuck labels.