PlayStation 5 memory gets toasty under load, early testing finds

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Sony’s PS5 memory runs warm

A hot potato: Sony’s PlayStation 5 is one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, and not necessarily in terms of popularity. Gamers Nexus recently took an in-depth look at Sony’s next-gen console and uncovered a particularly concerning hot spot. How will this play out in the long term?

The team first tested the PS5 in its stock configuration – that is, with both side panels in place. Temperatures across most components were well within reason given the ambient room temperature but the bottom memory module measured around 94 C (201.2 F).

“In a hotter ambient environment, this could have memory running right up against its thermal limits with potential long-term downsides or even short-term memory abnormalities,” the publication said.

With the right side panel removed (exposing the intake blower fan), the bottom memory module ran a tiny bit cooler at 93 C (199.4 F). With both panels removed, the memory fell to 88-89 C (190.4-192.2 F).

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The issue, it seems, is that the memory in question “barely has a heatsink at all” while the other components make direct contact with the main heatsink / heatpipe assembly.

Keep in mind that this is an early look at a brand new platform from a single publication. It does, however, bring up some potentially serious concerns. How will the PS5 respond in warmer ambient environments? What happens if you stuff the console in an enclosed television stand? How will adding additional storage via the expansion slot impact temperatures?

For reference, Micron rates its GDDR6 at an operating temperature up to 95 C (203 F). Samsung and SK Hynix also make GDDR6 although I was unable to find operating temperatures for either.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched in several major markets including North America on November 12, 2020. The digital version retails for $399 while the model with a Blu-ray disc player commands $499.

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