In context: A year after the PS5's launch, Sony decided to revise the console, introducing some small changes and a noticeable update on the cooling side. This update featured a new and smaller heatsink, which implied less cooling performance, but as it seems, it isn't as linear as that.
The first tests run by Austin Evans, although limited, concluded that the exhaust temperatures of the refreshed model were between 3º C to 5º C hotter. In the video, Austin also compared the system's new cooling solution with that of the "old" console, showing the difference in size, material, structure and a different fan. Another difference noted by the YouTuber was the Wi-Fi antenna setup, but no tests were conducted on it.
The higher exhaust temperatures per se don't prove the system has worse cooling performance. It just shows that the air getting out of the console is hotter. This could be due to several reasons, including the new position of the heatsink. A high exhaust temperature is also a consequence of efficient cooling, not just of components running hot.
Further testing was made by HardwareBusters, using sensors attached to different parts of the console, including the VRM, exhaust, VRAM and CPU. As per the data, the CPU runs 11º C cooler in the new PS5 console, from 51º C to 40º C. As for memory and VRM temperatures, they've increased 7.5º C and 1.5º C, respectively. Exhaust temperatures of the old PS5 were about 2.5º C lower.
However, that wasn't the end. After some unpleasant accusations of HardwareBusters testing methodology, the YouTube channel partnered with Igor's LAB, and took new measurements to compare with GamerNexus' test results collected from an older PS5. Instead of just comparing measured temperatures, they used the Δ over ambient temperatures to better represent the difference between both models.
According to the data shown in the table, the new PS5 model looks overall superior to the older console. Although some values could not be compared due to the lack of data on the old PS5, we can still check the improvements in VRM, memory and APU temperatures.
The APU was running 10-12º C cooler, similar to what we've seen in the first tests run by HardwareBusters, but the real surprise was in the VRM and memory. Both were running much cooler compared to GamerNexus' PS5, with VRM temperatures being about 9º C lower and memory temperatures too, ranging from 6.4º C to 20.4º C.
Other tests run by HardwareBusters show the fan duty cycle was about the same between the old and new models, but measured noise was slightly higher on the latter at idle. Power consumption of the two models while gaming was extremely similar, with a slight tendency of being higher in the new model. On the home screen, the refreshed PS5 tends to consume less power.
Table credit: Igor's Lab