PlayStation 5 teardown reveals storage expansion bay, massive heatsink

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,593   +124
Staff member
Editor's take: In comparison to the countless smartphone teardowns I’ve waded through over the years, this was quite straightforward and easy to follow. There simply aren’t a ton of steps and parts involved, no doubt good news for the “right to repair” crowd. Of course, with most all of the major components built onto the mainboard, I’m not really sure how much repairing will be doable, but at least the console is easy enough to tear down should the need arise.

Sony on Wednesday beat repair shops like iFixit to the punch by conducting a teardown of its upcoming PlayStation 5 game console.

Masayasu Ito, EVP of hardware engineering and operation at Sony Interactive Entertainment, said on the official PlayStation blog that they’ve spent the last five years designing and developing the machine.

The teardown starts with the removal of the side panels, a task that can be easily accomplished without any tools. From here, we get our first look at the cooling fan and restrictive grills covering it. As a case modder, these grills would be the first thing I’d remove to improve airflow and cooling performance.

Expanding the console’s storage should be an easy enough task thanks to the PCIe 4.0-based M.2 interface.

This is about as far as the average user will ever need to go but of course, Sony pressed forward for curiosity sake. Do note that doing so at home will void your warranty.

The cooling fan and Blu-ray drive come out next, followed by the motherboard shield and the mainboard which houses the CPU, GPU and integrated 825GB SSD. The system’s heatsink is next to exit, a hulking piece of copper and aluminum with strategically placed cooling fins and heatpipes running the length of the unit to help transfer heat.

Last but not least is the internal power supply, a 350W unit that’s nestled on the side of the console.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launches on November 12, 2020.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,496   +3,334
I can't wait to see how much people are going to be getting hit for to buy proprietary SSD expansion.

A 1TBSSD is about $100 or less for PC. 2TB is about $200- $250. 4TB is about $399

I ordered an 8TB for just $899 with tax.


Not being able to get off the shelf SSD for the Xbox is a deal killer for me. All I'm really looking for is a 4TB over the life of the system because these newer devices with 4K textures eat up space fast.

Once Again: Sony made the smart decision.
 

sawtx

Posts: 6   +5
I can't wait to see how much people are going to be getting hit for to buy proprietary SSD expansion.

A 1TBSSD is about $100 or less for PC. 2TB is about $200- $250. 4TB is about $399

I ordered an 8TB for just $899 with tax.


Not being able to get off the shelf SSD for the Xbox is a deal killer for me. All I'm really looking for is a 4TB over the life of the system because these newer devices with 4K textures eat up space fast.

Once Again: Sony made the smart decision.
You do know that you can't just use any off the shelf SSD in the PS5, right? You will have to buy Sony approved SSD's so don't expect to save any money over MS's solution.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 91   +133
I can't wait to see how much people are going to be getting hit for to buy proprietary SSD expansion.

A 1TBSSD is about $100 or less for PC. 2TB is about $200- $250. 4TB is about $399

I ordered an 8TB for just $899 with tax.


Not being able to get off the shelf SSD for the Xbox is a deal killer for me. All I'm really looking for is a 4TB over the life of the system because these newer devices with 4K textures eat up space fast.

Once Again: Sony made the smart decision.
For the PS5 you will not be able to use a cheap 1TB SSD. The SSD needs to meet console speed requirements, so that really limits the choice. At Launch you will be spending over $200 for the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB, assuming it meets the requirements.

I personally think sony's method is better in the long run, but at the same time I see no reason why another vender cant make something that uses that rear pci-e port. Even adapters that convert it to m.2.

At launch you will be spending over $200 to get another 1TB of storage for either console. Prices will come down for both.

I personally feel they both should have included a 2.5mm hdd slot that is empty. Being able to archive a large game and a place to store previous gen games internally would have been a great choice. I myself have been playing old xbox 360 games quite a bit lately, loved the first Dead Space but never played the second. I love that I can just boot up old 360 games, as they still look pretty solid. Plan on booting up GTA4 again after that. These are games that work fine from a HDD, and load fast from a good HDD.
 
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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,496   +3,334
Prices will come down for both.

That's basically what I'm saying. Sony made the best decision. More manufacturers will scramble to create PS5-approved SSD and the more competition there is - the cheaper prices will go as the market is flooding with SSD drives.

The real winner will be the PC user who will be able to use regular PC drives or PS5-approved drives as the PC drive's prices dip.

I can't see buying those stupid Xbox SSD cartridges.

I don't like proprietary storage.

I can retask my 4TB WD HDD from my Xbox One to anything else I want. A SSD cartridge can't do that.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 91   +133
The system looks pretty easy to take apart, which is nice. But some of the design seems a bit overly complex. Lots of plastic bits. Cooler design while large seems a bit funky, seems like the use of heat pipes vs vaper chamber required a pretty funky heatsink array. I also feel like the use of Liquid metal, while a great idea, is to get around limitations heat pipes have extracting heat from the smaller surface areas. Perhaps the CPU cores ran hotter than they wanted without it. As the TIM MS has been using with the xbox for the last few years holds up really well and replacing it is pointless 99% of the time.

I do really like how easy it will be to clean out without taking the system apart. Looks like the entire fan assembly will come out with removing the warranty sticker they cant enforce in the US anyways. The system just seems a lot bigger than it needs to be, I just wonder if this way Sony's way of doing what MS did with the xbox one and over size it just to be sure cooling wasn't going to be an issue at launch.

Wifi 6 & USB 3.1 gen 2. Sony you did good

But both failed on including a rear USB-C with DisplayPort functionality.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 9   +11
I don't understand this obsession to have secondary SSDs as good as the primary one...
All you need is a big size external HDD, not even SSD to store all the games you are not currently playing. The internal one is more than enough for 6-10 games and the other ones stored externally can be moved in a few minutes back any time.
How many people really need to have 20 games installed and play them at the same time? Heck, how many play more than 2-3 games at the same time?

This SSD size "issues" with the next gen consoles are really silly... really silly.
There are no issues with neither of them.
 
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AMDGeForceRX3090

Posts: 17   +23
I don't understand this obsession to have secondary SSDs as good as the primary one...
All you need is a big size external HDD, not even SSD to store all the games you are not currently playing. The internal one is more than enough for 6-10 games and the other ones stored externally can be moved in a few minutes back any time.
How many people really need to have 20 games installed and play them at the same time? Heck, how many play more than 2-3 games at the same time?

This SSD size "issues" with the next gen consoles are really silly... really silly.
There are no issues with neither of them.
either*
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 246   +427
I don't understand this obsession to have secondary SSDs as good as the primary one...
All you need is a big size external HDD, not even SSD to store all the games you are not currently playing. The internal one is more than enough for 6-10 games and the other ones stored externally can be moved in a few minutes back any time.
How many people really need to have 20 games installed and play them at the same time? Heck, how many play more than 2-3 games at the same time?

This SSD size "issues" with the next gen consoles are really silly... really silly.
There are no issues with neither of them.
Not everyone focuses on 2-3 titles at a time. Depending on your social circle, you might jump between games on different nights, and with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare hitting a staggering 200 GB for a single game, that basically means 4 games on the SSD.

You can absolutely mitigate this with an external 1TB USB "storage" SSD, but to be frank, console gamers aren't used to thinking in these kind of terms; there's a reason they don't build PCs.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 9   +11
Not everyone focuses on 2-3 titles at a time. Depending on your social circle, you might jump between games on different nights, and with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare hitting a staggering 200 GB for a single game, that basically means 4 games on the SSD.

You can absolutely mitigate this with an external 1TB USB "storage" SSD, but to be frank, console gamers aren't used to thinking in these kind of terms; there's a reason they don't build PCs.
200GB games in next gen will not be common, if any. They already showed that Spiderman PS5 is smaller in size (despite higher textures) than the PS4 version.
As for the issue of SDD size and all that, console players need to be a little less rigid and search for alternative options, otherwise they need to accept paying more for gen 4 SSDs and stop complaining. They cant have best option and cheapest at the same time...
As someone who delidded a fat PS3 and replaced the TIM and thermal pads on my PS4 Pro I welcome the heavy duty look of the cooling system in this machine.

They haven't cheaped out nearly as much as they did in the past.
Agreed. I had better thermal pads and liquid metal on my PS4 Pro too, so all I can say is good job Sony.
 
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DZillaXx

Posts: 91   +133
How would that be beneficial to a game console with HDMI 2.1? Genuinely curious (not being sarcastic).
Gives you the option to use a USB-C Dock. I like options and its not like you need to use HDMI when most TVs ATM only have HDMI 2.0. People who have computer setups that feed everything into a single USB-C/Thunderbolt dock and would like to maybe connect their console to that from time to time would be at a loss. My work setup connects everything into a Thunderbolt dock, and I would like to do the same for my home gaming setup.

I'd expect more games to support mouse/keyboard on consoles with their new power levels. The low powered cpus IMO were a bad idea from the start of last gen.

People also break their HDMI port, so a second output option would be nice. USB-C is the future, so why not have that available from the back with full support of a dock. Unplug your laptop and plug in console.

While for me it will no doubt sit under a TV for all its life connected to my receiver. More people than you think play on smaller tv's and computer monitors.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,992   +2,447
I don't understand this obsession to have secondary SSDs as good as the primary one...
All you need is a big size external HDD, not even SSD to store all the games you are not currently playing. The internal one is more than enough for 6-10 games and the other ones stored externally can be moved in a few minutes back any time.
How many people really need to have 20 games installed and play them at the same time? Heck, how many play more than 2-3 games at the same time?

This SSD size "issues" with the next gen consoles are really silly... really silly.
There are no issues with neither of them.
You have to have the games on a SSD to play them. PS5 games will not run off of a HDD
and the other ones stored externally can be moved in a few minutes back any time.
Just curious, have you ever tried this? Transferring 100GB of game files off of a HDD takes a whole lot longer then "a few minutes". Especially if the game is made up of many tiny files instead of large chunks, slowing the hard drive way down.

And the new CoD is going to be 250GB. Imagine moving 250GB on a usb HDD. And this may be shocking to you, but much fo the world doesnt have multi gigabit ethernet and would prefer not to ahve to redownload a 200+GB game if they want to play it one day. Amazing I know.
 

AMDGeForceRX3090

Posts: 17   +23
You have to have the games on a SSD to play them. PS5 games will not run off of a HDD


Just curious, have you ever tried this? Transferring 100GB of game files off of a HDD takes a whole lot longer then "a few minutes". Especially if the game is made up of many tiny files instead of large chunks, slowing the hard drive way down.

And the new CoD is going to be 250GB. Imagine moving 250GB on a usb HDD. And this may be shocking to you, but much fo the world doesnt have multi gigabit ethernet and would prefer not to ahve to redownload a 200+GB game if they want to play it one day. Amazing I know.
He didn't say they would run off an HDD. He said to store them.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 9   +11
You have to have the games on a SSD to play them. PS5 games will not run off of a HDD


Just curious, have you ever tried this? Transferring 100GB of game files off of a HDD takes a whole lot longer then "a few minutes". Especially if the game is made up of many tiny files instead of large chunks, slowing the hard drive way down.

And the new CoD is going to be 250GB. Imagine moving 250GB on a usb HDD. And this may be shocking to you, but much fo the world doesnt have multi gigabit ethernet and would prefer not to ahve to redownload a 200+GB game if they want to play it one day. Amazing I know.
I know you need an SSD to play off of it, and an approved one for that matter. That's not the point.
My point is that if you want a cheap option you buy and external HDD and sure some bigger games will take a little longer.
If you want the middle ground you buy an external SSD and you pay more for less time transferring the games to the main SSD.
And if you want the best you get the gen 4 SSD, but pay a premium.

I don't see the issue, there are options depending how much you can afford to spend. What you pay is what you get.

My issue with your "issue" (those who complain about this) is that you want gen 4 SSD and cheap or the PS5 to have maybe 2TB gen 4 SSD and also cost as it does now. Not possible.

If you want that then wait for PS5 Pro coming in a few years, I'm sure it will have a bigger internal SSD at the same price point.
 
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Edster

Posts: 56   +43
You do know that you can't just use any off the shelf SSD in the PS5, right? You will have to buy Sony approved SSD's so don't expect to save any money over MS's solution.
The reality is, there will be SSDs that aren't Sony "approved" and still run fine long as they are PCI-E 4/have the right specs. I fully expect companies to do what Seagate and WD has done this gen and storage drives that is marketed as for PS5 alongside the exact same product that is marketed for PC users, with the appropriate mark up of course. Approved for PS5 would be a gimmick after a couple years.

Where the MS solution means that MS controls all their SSD sales. Which could be a positive or negative depending on what the goal for MS is. It means that they aren't necessarily bent on needing profit (fat chance personally), however, it also means there will be no competition to drive the prices down (they would also be stupid to not price them competitively with PS5 approved drives).
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,867   +1,757
It's not mentioned in the article for some reason but they are applying Liquid Metal from factory! That's awesome! It made such a difference to my PS4 Pro, Good to see them use it.

 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,237   +2,050
The reality is, there will be SSDs that aren't Sony "approved" and still run fine long as they are PCI-E 4/have the right specs. I fully expect companies to do what Seagate and WD has done this gen and storage drives that is marketed as for PS5 alongside the exact same product that is marketed for PC users, with the appropriate mark up of course. Approved for PS5 would be a gimmick after a couple years.

Where the MS solution means that MS controls all their SSD sales. Which could be a positive or negative depending on what the goal for MS is. It means that they aren't necessarily bent on needing profit (fat chance personally), however, it also means there will be no competition to drive the prices down (they would also be stupid to not price them competitively with PS5 approved drives).
I don't think you'll see a markup for 'approved' PS5 drives, more like they will be standard retail drives that have been tested and just certified to work with the machine. That's the benefit of Sony's approach.

Sony also at least have a valid reason why they need to do that anyway, their drive is very fast. Their drive actually hits the kinds of speeds that requires x4 PCIe 4.0 to work.

Microsoft's doesn't at PCIe 3.0 x4. Microsoft's drive is actually slower than the majority of full speed PCIe 3.0 drives available, let alone any PCIe 4.0 ones that exploit the extra headroom available on that bus. 2.4GB/s is absolutely no sweat whatsoever for 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0 if they had an expansion slot configured that way.

Thus Microsoft have even less of an excuse to be using proprietary drives, beyond as an extra premium peripheral tax. Theoretically any decent PCIe 3.0 drive has the performance to meet the minimum speeds the internal drive does.
 
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You do know that you can't just use any off the shelf SSD in the PS5, right? You will have to buy Sony approved SSD's so don't expect to save any money over MS's solution.
No you do not lmao, SSD's are made to a standard differing in memory types and latency which differs in performance. Each and every single SSD will operate on the PS5 with maybe the rare exception of newer models that use some revolutionary controller and the drivers are not yet added to the PS5.

EDIT: sorry maybe the no name brand garbage tier SSD's that are sold on alibaba might be hardcoded not to be used given those lack proper cache buffers and perform like garbage in most cases. Aside from that any brand name SSD that is over 512gb+ from roughly the last 5 years will be fine.
 

gdavid65

Posts: 11   +6
"Do note that doing so at home will void your warranty."

I know in my country, as well as many others, that statement is worthless. As long as it cannot be proven you damaged the item while pulling it apart, they *must* still honour the warranty if something breaks.
 
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