PS4 fan noise – pretty much solved.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 | Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy

So Sony did not manage to solve the PS4 sounding like a hair dryer issue. I had to take it into my own hands and it became sort of like a personal crusade.

TL;DR

Break your warranty. Replace the thermal paste. Hate Sony.

Kill the noise – €10

01-foam My first idea was to simply buy some acoustic foam and kill the noise. As this foam works best with high frequencies I thought it might work. I put some foam in my TV stand, made sure enough air would be supplied and fired up the machine. It took maybe 20 minutes for the jet engine to set off. Even though the stand is permanently open in the back and has air vents on top it heated up and got noisier than ever. I took out piece by piece of the foam to no avail.

More air – €2

02-elevation Next thing I tried was elevating the thing, so that there is no heat buildup on the bottom of the case. Looks funky, but is completely useless yet cat approved.

More cooling – €30

03-heatsink Next thing I got was a giant heatsink. I figured putting it on top of the device might help to keep the overall heat at bay. Again, no notable results.

The last frontier – breaking the warranty and replacing thermal paste. – €20

04-thermal-paste Sony, I hated you so much already that I dared to open the box and break my warranty. You were not able to fix this multiple times, so I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the warranty anymore. I bought myself Arctic Silver 5 with some paste remover and surface polisher. I also got some new cooling pads. It turned out to be a good idea.

As you can see the thermal paste looks completely wasted. Not evenly spread, bubbles of locked-in air, dry. I am not a hardware pro but this looks pretty bad to me. Also, the cooling pads were rather small, also dry and put in place in a very inaccurate way. I fixed that as well.

Recap

After replacing the thermal paste and cooling pads the machine was running almost without any noticeable noise. It takes maybe 20 minutes for the fan to speed up to a level where I can hear it, but it is much more silent now. Tried to put the machine back into my TV stand, but that did not work, it still overheats in there. So now the PS4 is sitting below my TV stand, elevated with felt pads, cooled by a giant heatsink and its warranty broken for the final fix, good thermal paste.

I spent over €50 and quite some time to get to this point. Again, I cannot emphasis how disappointed I am with Sony and its customer care. Case closed.

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5 Comments to PS4 fan noise – pretty much solved.

Harry
18. June 2015

Mate, what kind of cooling pads did you get and where acn those be found?

Thanks

Nick
15. July 2015

I can’t remember, it was just a basic thermal pad from amazon, something similar to this one: http://www.amazon.com/Thermal-Pad-Ultra-1mm-120x20mm/dp/B004230RUO/ref=sr_1_1

You may consider getting the latest revision of the PS4, less power consuming, less noisy they say… http://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-ps4-model-is-lighter-quieter-more-efficient/1100-6428651/

Rod
29. November 2016

I did the exact same thing. Replaced the stock thermal paste but instead of replacing the thermal pads, I tested whether the casing actually touched the ram chips, and it didn’t so I just used dollops of thermal paste instead. No problems. But as for the fan noise, I my case, it’ because it is already on it’s way out and will need to be replaced. But The so called fan, which is more accurately a turbine, is the worst form of cooler you can use. So I intend on buying a barometric bearing fan and cutting a hole below the intake of the turbine, in the outer shell in order to suck the heat out of the machine and blow it out the bottom of the PS4. This will lower the heat significantly and using a barometric bearing fan will ensure silence and longevity.

Shinpansen
27. September 2017

Hi,
I know I’m two and a half years late, but I recently got a PS4, and I went through the same step as you.
After weeks of tests and research, I finally understood why this console is so embarrassingly loud.

Maybe you already know that, but the PS4 was produced with two different fan models.
– The Delta ones, which are really noisy and shitty.
– The Nidec ones, which are more efficient and quiet.

Most 1st gen PS4 had the shitty Delta ones. Which means, that whatever you would try to do, your PS4 will still be as loud as a jet engine.

In the 3rd gen, the Slim and the pro, the Nidec fan was installed most of the time (but not always). Which means, that those consoles are a lot quieter.

I recently bought a Nidec fan (15$), and I’m going to replace my fan. I’m almost sure it will reduce the noise.

But I hate Sony just now. It’s a shame that they sold such poor quality product…

(sorry for my bad english).

Nick
28. September 2017

Thanks for the hint! To be honest I had no idea there are 2 fan models, but I “solved” the problem by moving the device from my living room to the staircase leading down to the cellar. 🙂 http://www.nick-prosch.de/?p=5485

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