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PS5 teardown just revealed one big weakness

PS5
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The expert tinkerers at iFixIt have torn down the PS5, giving us an early look into exactly how repairable the console is.

Overall, the console gets a solid 7/10 for repairability, which is good news for anybody out of warranty and looking to take repairs into their own hands. The team is particularly keen on the outer plates, which can be removed without tools, and the modular nature of the console, which makes disassembly straightforward. 

But there's a catch if you opt for the regular PS5 over the digital edition. 

The good news is that the dust ports are vacuumable, which should avoid the kind of jet engine sounds PS4 machines would make after dust had been allowed to accumulate over months of use. 

But owners of the diskless digital edition have a distinct advantage here: it seems that while replacing the PS5’s optical drive is physically trivial, a replacement simply won’t read disks. “There might be a workaround if you're willing to disassemble the drive and keep the original circuit board,” the team writes, adding that they’ll update if they get the chance to test their theory.

But in any case, this clearly takes what should be a trivial fix and makes it considerably more skilled. 

The main 825GB SSD is also paired with the motherboard, but that’s not an issue given the PS5 will eventually support additional expansion via the currently disabled M.2 SSD ports. This expansion bay is “very accessible” according to iFixIt: “Remove one Phillips screw and a metal shield, and you're ready for upgrades.” 

The PS5 X-rayed

(Image credit: Creative Electron)

The site is also full of praise for the PS5’s cooling system. Including the above X-ray image of the PS5 from Creative Electron, the site highlights the giant fan and heat pipes “overlapping like a freeway interchange.” The 120mm main fan uses omnidirectional cooling to draw in air from both sides, though annoyingly it does require a T8 Torx Security driver to reach should it need maintenance. 

There’s also a foam covered pouch with liquid metal for cooling of the CPU. As the site notes, “Liquid metal is popular amongst PC modders and overclockers because it's an extremely efficient conductor of heat—significantly more efficient than conventional thermal pastes and putties.” All these things – along with the physical size of the console – combine to make the PS5 quiet even under heavy load.    

Well, for most people, anyway. And while iFixIt didn’t spot any obvious causes of noise that some early adopters have complained about, the team did spot a sticker covering one of the screws – and we’ve seen an example of how this can get stuck in the fan causing a bit of a racket.  

You can see the full teardown details on the iFixIt site. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.