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New PS5 model gets the teardown treatment — here’s what’s changed

PS5
(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Last month a new PS5 model was spotted on sale in Australia. On the surface it seemed to be the same unit only sporting a fresh model number (CFI-1200) but it was quickly discovered the new version of the PS5 was actually around a pound lighter compared to a launch model. 

This led to plenty of online speculation about what had changed under the console’s white plastic shell. 

Well speculate no more, as thanks to YouTuber Austin Evans (opens in new tab) we now know exactly what Sony has tweaked in the PS5 1200 model. Evans stripped down the console and discovered that the motherboard had been reduced in size, the cooling system has been tweaked to include larger vent holes and the SSD enclosure has also been redesigned. Evans even remarked, "they have completely redone the entire PS5 design."

Another change is that the console’s CMOS battery is now located underneath the heatsink. Previously it was exposed, which made it much easier to replace, but now switching it out would require a complete disassembly of the PS5. Of course, this change isn’t really something that the average user would ever notice, and is likely more to do with ease of manufacturing than anything else. 

Evans also ran some tests to check if the new PS5 model ran cooler and/or quieter, but found the difference was marginal at best. However, the comprehensive testing did reveal that the new PS5 draws around 201W of power compared to the base PS5 consuming roughly 218W; handy if you want to reduce your home's power consumption. 

This is actually the second time that the PS5 console has been tweaked. Sony previously revised the console last year with model number CFI-1102A. This version of the machine most noticeably changed the screw that attaches the PS5 to its base stand. It also shaved around 300g (0.66 pounds) off the console’s weight by reducing the size of the motherboard and heatsink, and the 1200 model has further reduced these components. 

On Twitter (opens in new tab), Evans summarized the findings by concluding: “Sony shrank almost everything including motherboard and the internal packaging to make it lighter and almost certainly cheaper (for them).” 

Of course, Sony recently raised the price of the console in select regions including the U.K. and Canada. This price hike feels particularly galling if the manufacturing cost of the console has been seemingly reduced via this new model.  

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For now at least, this new model appears to be only available in Australia, but like the 1102A model before it, the PS5 1200 is highly likely to roll out worldwide over the coming weeks. 

The big question therefore is should you upgrade if you already have a PS5? We'd advise against it. While the upgrades to the console's power consumption and cool systems appear useful, these are minor changes and almost certainly not worth shelling out for the cost of a new system.  

Unfortunately, these changes aren’t likely to impact the availability of the console either. PS5 restock has improved in recent months, but actually buying Sony’s next-gen hardware remains a frustrating task. This new model is unlikely to have a significant impact on stock levels as it doesn’t swap out the console’s core components,. In theory, manufacturing will still be constrained by the same shortages that have been affecting production since its launch in November 2020. 

Rory Mellon
Deals Editor

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.