You aren’t supposed to be able to buy Sony’s redesigned PlayStation 5 yet, but because global commerce is just too complicated, some people have already gotten their hands on them. One of those people is YouTube vlogger Dave2D. He gently took apart the unofficially named “Slim,” noted the savings in weight, if not so much size, and detailed some intriguing details about the new heat management and detachable disc drive.
Sony has made a smaller, usually slimmer version of each of its PlayStation consoles available as its market matures: the PS2, PS3, PS4, even the PS One, kinda-sorta. Usually, there is no question that the newer, smaller version is an all-around better pick. But the newest version of the largest home console in decades isn’t a straightforward improvement in efficiency, at least as seen by Dave2D and Linus Tech Tips.
The new console is now divided into four panels, and the finish differs between the top and bottom. That’s because, on the newer, slimmer PS5 standard edition, the disc drive is now detachable. There are visible screws on the module, but the drive connects through a single socket port.
You might think this is a huge repairability win for console disc drives, one of the most failure-prone parts of any system. But you must take your PS5 online and “pair” that disc drive and its firmware with Sony’s servers. For both PlayStation and Xbox systems, dating back to the Xbox 360, replacing your disc drive requires either solder work to move a connected board over to the new drive or purchasing a licensed drive from Sony or Microsoft, when available. It is a boon for the person who buys the “Digital Edition” of this newer PS5 and later decides they need a disc drive, because it can be attached to either model.
Dave2D dings the “slim” PS5 for abandoning much of the iconic style of the original, while not providing much of a space savings. He also notes that the new PS5 comes only with horizontal-oriented clear plastic feet. At the same time, the $30 optional vertical stand doesn’t seem necessary, at least for the disc version. Ports have moved around a bit, and additional storage is a bit more accessible, but otherwise, it’s much the same creature.
Getting into the PS5 requires “a bunch of security Torx screws,” Dave2D reports, but fairly easy to pull out components after that. The newest PS5 has five heat pipes and a seemingly larger heatsink, presumably to reduce heat and fan noise. Otherwise, the power supply, power draw, and processor seem to be the same.
Linus Tech Tips’ teardown goes a bit deeper into the thermals and noise suppression of the new model. The slimmer version produces about the same fan noise as the original but with the sound directed more toward the sides. Given that it has the same power draw and an identical 6 nm die size, the processor in the new PS5 is all but identical to the last “Oberon Plus” revision of the PS5. Linus Sebastian notes that every smaller PlayStation before this came with a smaller node and power improvement. Unlike Dave2D, however, Sebastian likes the look of the new modular-but-still-proprietary system.