PS5 Goes On Slim-Fast

For the past few decades, most console makers have first come out with a large flagship model, and then a few years later, released a smaller, more compact slim edition. Not content to wait for it, [Matt] at DIY Perks made his own PS5 Slim, and the results are awe-inspiring.

Generally, slim editions are made by lowering the TDP of the chip under the hood. A lower power draw means less cooling is needed, a smaller power supply can be used, and a design that is overall easier to manage. Unfortunately, [Matt] had none of these benefits and instead had to contend with the full 180 W that the AMD CPU inside the PlayStation can draw.

Taking apart the console left him with the main board that was quite thick as it had heat pipes on both sides. His first thought was water cooling as it can rapidly move the heat needed, but even with right-angle fittings, it didn’t fit within the ambitious thickness goal he had set for himself of less than 2 cm (about 3/4″). To do that, [Matt] had to fabricate a copper water block from three sheets of copper. The first one connects to the motherboard via standoffs and has cut-outs for various connectors and parts. The middle layer has a channel through which water can flow, and the last layer seals it together.

With the three layers together, he soldered them in a toaster oven repurposed as a reflow oven. Cleverly, he used silicone grease to prevent solder from getting into areas he didn’t want, like the fins in the CPU block. Luckily, the grease dissolved in alcohol, and after flushing the chamber, he had a solid copper, water-tight, custom loop.  However, on his road to glory, [Matt] ran into a snag. He accidentally covered the intake vent on the radiator, and the PS5 overheated, killing it. With a fried mainboard and a project almost on the cusp of completion, he resorted to using the PS5 he had received for B-roll.

Last-minute motherboard swap aside, the final project is gorgeous. The polished exterior and sheer thinness of it are striking. [Matt] has already disguised his PS5 before and after this, we’re not quite sure where he could possibly take it next. But we’re excited to find out.

28 thoughts on “PS5 Goes On Slim-Fast

  1. If you measure the volume of the whole system, including the power supply and water cooling pump/radiator/tubing, then it is not slimmer than a PS5. It is bulkier, uglier and harder to manipulate.
    It seems to run cooler though… I guess that is something.

      1. Its interesting that both approaches seem to value design above functionality…Ill never understand the ‘standing fan’ type ps5 original design tho, especially that mega cheap plastic argghghhg

    1. Gaming is not for everyone, just like not everyone likes playing an instrument, or playing sports. The inherent value of a things isn’t determined by what your particular affinity for it.

      1. Gaming is a pastime for some and an addiction for many. When you chase achievements in gaming you are not building skills and not making more games, you are simply feeding the addiction. The game makers know this and try to find ways to exploit addictive personalities; first they did it with coin operated arcades, then later with special editions and expansion packs, and now with subscriptions and micro transactions. “Gaming” is also the official term in the world of casinos used to describe the industry of electronic gambling, so really the only difference is that you can sell video games to kids after taking the adult content out.

        I know many people have a personal attachment to video games and don’t like to hear it, but you really are better off spending your free time doing something constructive. The Internet is full of wonderful information on interesting things to learn or build, all you have to do is put down the controller. And you should encourage this with your friends and family, as it’s the only way you’ll get more traffic to DIY blogs such as this one.

        1. I could say the exact same thing about any number of hobbies. Instead of worrying about what other people enjoy doing with their own time and money how about finding something more constructive to do with yours?

        2. Growing up I had no friends and video games was the only thing that keep me from going insane. Guess you can say I owned almost every consoles that was made from Nintendo, Sega, psn, expect Xbox. But then I lost interested in video game after ps4 bc all I see is remake, remaster, no new ideals, and it wasn’t feeding my addiction no more. I started outdoor hiking not much but better than sitting at home 24hrs a day play game. Ps5 slim is ugly with all this wires and big tubes lol

      1. This, so many people get so judgy and preachy when it comes to something they know so little about/have so little experience in. Ironically if you were to look at all of their hobbies I’m sure you’d find some of their arguments would apply there as well. So what’s the point?

  2. I’m surprised that a modern system would break by overheating so easily. Modern PCs at least seem pretty robust and don’t necessarily even shut down, instead throttling to maintain temperature.

    1. Yeah that seems very bad design for a system that is prone to overheating… I guess they’d rather have a broken ps5 than a throttling one. More sales and probably fewer complaining customers.

    2. A console that cuts performance in order to maintain it’s temperature isn’t doing it’s job properly because then performance becomes non-deterministic. A console isn’t supposed to be a computer, it’s supposed to be a uniform platform for games to run on so that developers know the system limitations and don’t have to make compromises.

      1. And apparently cooking itself to death doesn’t count as ‘cuts performance’… The cooling system on the PS5 is nowhere near good enough that it will work properly in all sane environments longer term it seems, which means a safety shutdown at the very least should have been in the machine, and thermal throttling would still make sense, keeps the machine useable enough when the cooling system has filled with crud, at least throw up the warning icon on screen before a protective shutdown!

        Even with a thermal throttle response added its a uniform platform, the performance of which will be highly predictable, as the ‘power mode’ and temperature response should be known and reported, if you don’t want to put any dev time into throttling back your games demands when overheating is occurring just putting up the error message and give the user time to save the game before the system shuts down is enough.

      2. Ever heard of the original Xbox? You know the one released in 2001.
        On every boot it tested how fast can it push its RAM and applied that clock freq minus a safety margin. And this is why some games run significantly slower on some units than others.

    3. It’s just as likely that the safety protocols didn’t initiate because of the changes he made. There is a good chance he removed sensors or changed the system in such a way it couldn’t tell it was overheating.

      1. This, plus the failure may have been coincidental to the blocking of the fans in the water cooling/power supply and instead caused by some other factor of the modifications done to the system (like a tiny liquid leak/fragment of metal shorting the wrong spot, etc).

    4. Its worth noting that a stock PS5 has thermal protections that shut the system down before damage occurs… its theorized that it talks to the PSU in order to accomplish that.

      Removing the stock power supply may have inadvertently broken that function. Is it poor design from Sony? Perhaps, but Sony was probably not planning for some mad lad to shuck the whole system and re-design the entire cooler.

    5. I’m thinking it’s probably the RAM or VRM that died, and Sony left out thermal sensing for those components with the idea that the thermal solution would ensure the APU would cut out long before those other parts would overheat.

  3. It’s like dude, you just made a better product than the factory could.. what are they even doing down there..selling us piles of plastic boxes that could catch on fire? I think I’d rather order a Playstation from you.

  4. Recently assisting my son with a legacy gen 1 PS3 console I know that the earlier consoles would alarm about an overheat condition and shutdown before damage occurred. Looks like they didn’t bother here. Shame that.

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