a dangerous position for the console?

According to the observations of some professional repairers, PS5s placed vertically can 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 also caused a lot of diversion on social networks. Very well, Sony designed it to be positioned both vertically and horizontally, which is practical for trying to save some room space. However, some repairers on the Internet have warned about the dangers that the “standing” position can represent, especially due to a design flaw in the liquid metal container that Sony uses to achieve thermal transfer between its APU – the central part of the chip. 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 coming out

Unlike the PS4, the PS5 does not use thermal paste to cool its APU. For the first time, Sony used liquid metal to conduct the heat released by the processor to the console’s fans while reducing the temperature. The Japanese manufacturer also took more than two years to industrialize the application of liquid metal in its Soc, which ensures better heat removal than thermal paste – which is also found in computers. However, liquid metal, as its name suggests, is more viscous and liquid and, if it leaks, it will be fatal for the console, since it is the best thermal conductor. In other words, if the liquid metal escapes from its container, it causes a short circuit.

© Sony

This is usually not possible because a seal separates the APU and the liquid metal. However, professional technicians 68Logic and Ben Montana, as well as videographer TheCor3r, have warned for several months that they regularly come into contact with PS5s, whether classic or digital versions, that the liquid metal has escaped from its compartment – ​​located above the GPU – following a breach in 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 efficient heat dissipation, causing the APU to overheat and reducing the PS5’s capacities and performance. Then, because liquid metal is a particularly conductive material, it can cause other parts through 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 with machines that have not been removed from their box, especially in warehouses. However, these elements are not enough to determine whether this is a real design flaw or simply special cases in more than 20 million consoles sold. We also don’t 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? For the vast – if not overwhelming – majority, PS5 owners who put it upright have 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 if the company intends to improve the sealing of the metal liquid tank, especially with the rumor of the imminent arrival of a PS5 Slim.

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