According to the observations of several professional repairers, PS5s placed upright could be damaged beyond repair by a coolant-related fault. False alarm or real danger?
When it was released, the design of the PS5 surprised some – and even made many people laugh – the console having also given rise to numerous diversions on social networks. Very imposing, it was designed by Sony to be positioned both vertically and horizontally, which is practical for trying to save some space in the room. However, several repairers warn on the Internet about the dangers that the “standing” position can represent, in particular because of a design defect in the container of the liquid metal that Sony uses to achieve the thermal transfer between its APU – the chip central part of the console, which combines the CPU, the processor, and the GPU, the graphics circuit – and its cooling system.
PS5: a conductive and cooling liquid metal that escapes
Unlike the PS4, the PS5 does not use thermal paste to cool its APU. For the first time, Sony has used liquid metal to conduct the heat released by the processor to the console’s fans while reducing the temperature. The Japanese manufacturer has also taken more than two years to industrialize the application of liquid metal on its Soc, which ensures more efficient heat dissipation than with thermal paste – which is also found in computers. However, the liquid metal is, as its name suggests, much more viscous and liquid and, if it were to escape, it would prove fatal for the console, since it is the best thermal conductor. possible. To put it simply, if the liquid metal escapes from its container, it causes a short circuit.
Normally this is not possible because a seal isolates the APU and the liquid metal. However, professional technicians 68Logic and Ben Montanaas well as the videographer TheCor3r, have been alerting for several months to the fact that they regularly deal with PS5s, whether classic or digital versions, whose liquid metal has escaped from its compartment – located above the GPU – following deterioration. protection. However, in this case, if the console is vertical, the inevitable gravity causes the liquid to spread on the motherboard. And here there are two problems. First of all, too little liquid metal in contact with the processor prevents good heat dissipation, which causes the APU to overheat and reduce the PS5’s capacities and performance. Then, as the liquid metal is a particularly conductive material, it can cause the other components on which it flows to malfunction.
Whistleblowers claim to have encountered this type of case many times in the course of their work, and TheCor3r has actually discovered this problem on machines that have never been taken out of their box, especially in warehouses. However, these elements are not enough to determine whether it is a real design flaw or simply special cases among the more than 20 million consoles sold. We also do not know the conditions in which the consoles found themselves – were there any shocks that damaged the protection? Were they opened according to the correct protocol? In the vast – if not overwhelming – majority, PS5 owners who have placed it vertically encounter no problem. Technicians still call for caution and recommend installing the console horizontally to avoid fatal damage – especially given its price. Sony has not yet commented on the case and it is not known whether the firm intends to improve the sealing of the liquid metal tank, in particular with the rumor of the imminent arrival of a PS5 Slim.