Players have been receiving their PS5s this month (for the most part) and one of the biggest debates is on just how loud the console is. While it’s undoubtedly much quieter than the PS4 overall, some users have reported moderately louder noise from the PS5. The cause of this noise has had a few culprits—coil whine, the disc drive, and even small label that was “buzzing” against the spinning fan—but there’s another factor at play. Your PS5 fan may not be the same model as someone else’s.
Discovered and researched by French outlet Les Numeriques, they found that among five PS5s they took apart (one review console from Sony, and four others owned by members of the staff), two came with a quieter fan while three came with a different slightly louder fan. What’s more, both of these fans (pictured below) are different from the fan shown in Sony’s pre-release PS5 teardown video (shown at the top of the page).
In their research, Les Numeriques found that one fan (Fan A) ran 38 dB at the air inlet while the other (Fan B) ran 43 dB at the inlet under the same conditions. It’s not a massive difference, and still much quieter than the PS4, which could exceed 60 dB at times. The different PS5 fans are the same size, fitting into the PS5 in the same way. Where they differ is in the blades, with vastly different configurations on each one. The quieter fan blades don’t extend all the way to the central spoke of the fan. The blades of Fan A are also more densely packed.
It’s easy to check which fan you have, and you don’t need to void your warranty to do it. All you need to do is remove the white side panels of the PS5 and look at the fan, which is easily visible underneath. Make sure to replace the panels when you are done, though. They are engineered to create air pressure and suction to get the air moving. Without the panels installed, airflow and cooling on your PS5 won’t be as efficient.
It looks like there’s no way to tell which fan you’ll be getting when you buy a PS5. All five of the PS5s checked by Les Numeriques were model number CFI-1016A. Apart from the audible and visual differences, however, it’s unknown what performance and cooling differences there are between the two fans, and whether or not one is better than the other at keeping up with Sony’s unique liquid metal cooling solution for the PS5. It’s also unknown how and if the different fans correlate with the PS5 issues that some users have been reporting.
For now, the different PS5 fans appear to make little difference to the console overall, and are simply the result of Sony trying to source enough parts to meet the overwhelming demand. Many people have been unable to even pick up a console yet, with scalper groups scooping up thousands of inventory and preventing legitimate customers from getting their hands on one. 5 dB of noise difference with the PS5 fan is a small price to pay compared to the enormous markups and inventory shortages that players without a PS5 are facing right now.