PS5's cooling system will optimize itself on a per-game basis

Cal Jeffrey

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In context: One of the more surprising things discovered during Sony's PlayStation 5 teardown video shown earlier this month was the console's massive heat sink and fan. The intake fan itself is 120mm wide and 45mm thick.

Aside from its titanic size, the cooling system in the PS5 will have software controlling it that Sony says will improve its performance over time based on data collected from individual games. Yasuhiro Ootori, PlayStation 5's chief architect, told Japanese website 4Gamer that the PS5's fan would be controlled by software monitoring the console's accelerated processing unit (APU).

The APU in Sony's next-gen console is the custom AMD CPU/GPU revealed back in March when the company unveiled the specs. Software will gather data from several temperature sensors placed throughout the PlayStation 5 and correlate it to how the APU is performing. The fan's speed can then be adjusted on a per-game basis.

Pro tip: If your PS4 sounds like a jet engine, try opening the case and blowing out the dust. Both my PS4 and PS4 Pro run near silent after a thorough dusting.

"Various games will be released in the future, and data on the APU's behavior in each game will be collected," said Ootori-san. "We have a plan to optimize the fan control based on this data." [translation via ResetEra]

The design chief also revealed that his team tested and optimized the cooling system by running it in a PS5 with a transparent case. The team used dry-ice vapor to observe airflow and to see the effects on internal temperatures.

Some users have voiced concerns about the fan's size, noting that the PS4 sometimes sounds like a jet engine taking off and that the PS5 might even be worse. Ootori-san notes that because of the fan's enormous size, it will generally run at slower speeds than the PS4 fan, thus producing less noise. Additionally, this smart-fan will theoretically operate at optimized speeds based on the game currently running. For less demanding titles, the tech should reduce fan noise significantly.

Image credit: Aldeca Productions

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cldmstrsn

Posts: 204   +166
This is a fantastic idea. As a person who has never cared about fan noise as I usually have what I am playing on blast I wouldnt mind the fan ramping up if it meant it staying cool and I have an even experience. I was lucky and got mine pre-ordered and cant wait to delve into Demons Souls.
 

brucek

Posts: 578   +702
TechSpot Elite
Of course the fan controller will react to thermal sensors, and of course Sony will adjust the temp vs. fan setting curve as they gather more data over time.

The rest smells like hype BS or maybe just a misunderstood/mis-translated quote. A game is not a monolithic entity with constant system stress throughout, nor will it always be played at the same resolution or in the same ambient temperatures.
 

pildorman321

Posts: 18   +11
Would really hate to depend on Sony, I have rivatuner + Fan Speed Controller on my pc... (expect louder and louder fan noise from dust buildup)
 

defaultluser

Posts: 50   +49
This isn't unique . Like any PC processor, it's going to have a single fan curve - what you hit on that fan curve depends on how high a temperature/power consumption your game yields.

You could update/tweak those fan curves through software updates from Sony / or if Sony allows the user to set something like Radeon™ Chill, but otherwise this is jut a fan speed curve, determined by whatever your APU load percentage is.

I'm sure if the cooling solution has enough heat-density, you could hybrid-idle that fan, but otherwise it's going to be fairly ordinary. PC users have already had this capability for over a decade.
 
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Aryassen

Posts: 109   +140
Of course the fan controller will react to thermal sensors, and of course Sony will adjust the temp vs. fan setting curve as they gather more data over time.

The rest smells like hype BS or maybe just a misunderstood/mis-translated quote. A game is not a monolithic entity with constant system stress throughout, nor will it always be played at the same resolution or in the same ambient temperatures.
My thoughts exactly. Actually, I thought all consoles monitor and adjust their fan speeds dynamically (apparently, I was wrong an this is a novelty). Still, the primary driver must be momentary temps, not game titles. I'm sure that it's much easier to keep the console cool in a 10 degrre celsius ambient environment than in a 30, regardless of what title it's running... :)
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,898   +1,797
Yeah I'm confused as to why this is news, consoles have done this for a couple of generations now. PS4 Pro being a prime example. GTA 5 barely makes the fan move, The Last of Us Part II makes the fan go something fierce.

I either assume something's been lost in translation or just a really slow news day.
 
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3volv3d

Posts: 292   +125
Yeah I'm confused as to why this is news, consoles have done this for a couple of generations now. PS4 Pro being a prime example. GTA 5 barely makes the fan move, The Last of Us Part II makes the fan go something fierce.

I either assume something's been lost in translation or just a really slow news day.
PS4 Pro fan noise is due to it needing a clean and some thermal paste, my PS4 pro would go tits when I loaded God Of War, just the menu alone was enough to send mine to jet mode. Now it is super quiet.
It is simply poorly put together, its an extra minute or 2 of care and the right ingredients. That being said I have not got TLOU2.

I just can see some software glitch causing fans to not kick in and consoles to die.
 

dangh

Posts: 165   +195
All consoles already adjusting fan to the temperature. What this feature will do is to analyze all the games and identify what games and when does to a spike in energy consumption, after which goes to normal level, which will allow temperature reading to be ignored for that duration. So fan wont hit 100% because for a 1 second temperature jumped 10 degrees, system will know that at this stage of given game this is normal and system knows it will be able to dispatch heat without additional stress on cooling system.
 
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Cal Jeffrey

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All consoles already adjusting fan to the temperature. What this feature will do is to analyze all the games and identify what games and when does to a spike in energy consumption, after which goes to normal level, which will allow temperature reading to be ignored for that duration. So fan wont hit 100% because for a 1 second temperature jumped 10 degrees, system will know that at this stage of given game this is normal and system knows it will be able to dispatch heat without additional stress on cooling system.
Yes. That is what I was gathering too, but it was unclear from the translations so I didn't want to get too specific about how it works and be wrong. Sometimes when something is unclear or unknown, vagueness in the story brings out good discussions like this and leads to better insight. ;)