[New PS3 Teardown (1)] Latest PS3 Hotter Than Ever

Sep 7, 2009
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
Game software, "Lair," being played on the latest PS3
Game software, "Lair," being played on the latest PS3
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The temperature measurement points of the new PS3 (The circled numbers correspond to numbers in the following table.)
The temperature measurement points of the new PS3 (The circled numbers correspond to numbers in the following table.)
[Click to enlarge image]
The temperature measurement results of the new PS3
The temperature measurement results of the new PS3
[Click to enlarge image]
The temperature measurement points of the first- and second-generation PS3 models (The circled numbers correspond to numbers in the following table.)
The temperature measurement points of the first- and second-generation PS3 models (The circled numbers correspond to numbers in the following table.)
[Click to enlarge image]
The temperature measurement results of the first- and second-generation PS3 models
The temperature measurement results of the first- and second-generation PS3 models
[Click to enlarge image]

The new PlayStation 3 (PS3, model number: CECH-2000A) not only is smaller and slimmer but consumes less power than the former model. So, we started by checking its heat generation rate.

Though power consumption decreased, the volume of the new PS3 is about 2/3 that of the former model. And it seems that the number of vent holes was reduced. So, it is possible that the new PS3 emits more heat.

We used a medical infrared thermometer to measure the surface temperature of the PS3 in operation. This thermometer has a function to check the temperature of the surface of a nonbiologic material.

We compared the heat generation of the new PS3 with those of the first-generation PS3 with a 60-Gbyte HDD (model number: CECHA00) and the second-generation PS3 with a 40-Gbyte HDD (model number: CECHH00). The first-generation model features a 90nm Cell processor and a 90nm RSX, while the second-generation model is mounted with a 65nm Cell processor and a 90nm RSX. The latest PS3 has a 45nm Cell processor and a 65nm RSX.

The infrared thermometer can measure the temperature of an object from a distance of 2cm or less. This time, we measured the temperatures of the three PS3 models from a distance of about 1cm.

The measurement was repeated two or three times for each measurement point. It was conducted in three situations: when the Cross Media Bar (XMB) is displayed, when the PS3 game software "Lair" is being played and a Blu-ray Disc movie, "Casino Royale," is being played.

The temperatures of the latest and second-generation PS3 models were measured in the order of XMB, game and movie, while that of the first-generation PS3 was measured in the order of XBM, movie and game. All of the models were vertically placed on a table without using a dedicated stand.

We used a very simple measurement method, so please use the measurement results only as a guide.

Hotter than expected

After the measurement, we found that the new PS3 is hotter than the former models. Especially, the vent holes on its back was continuously emitting hot air of more than 50°C. Sometimes, the temperature went over 55°C, the maximum temperature that can be measured with the infrared thermometer.

In the cases of the first- and second-generation PS3 models, too, the vent holes on their backs were the hottest parts. But their temperatures never exceeded 50°C.

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