As gaming fans remain rabid for new information regarding the upcoming release of Sony’s next generation home console, the PlayStation 5, the Japanese hardware manufacturer has provided a new in depth look at just what makes that shiny new box tick.
In a new blog post and accompanied video via the PlayStation Blog, Masayasu Ito, Executive Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Operations at Sony Interactive Entertainment, provided fans with a complete tear down of the PlayStation 5, including a look at all of its major components and details behind the design decisions with the system. “We began conceptualizing PS5 in 2015, and we’ve spent the past five years designing and developing the console” Ito-San stated. “Inside the console is an internal structure looking neat and tidy, which means that there aren’t any unnecessary components and the design is efficient.”
While the console was officially unveiled in June, the public hasn’t necessarily gained any extensive looks at the hardware. The back of the system sports two USB Type-A ports, that supports SuperSpeed USB with up to 10 GB per second, as well as the traditional HDMI Out port as well as a much smaller AC in connector for power. While fans have already seen the front face of the console, it is important to note that it has the previously confirmed USB Type-C port (SuperSpeed USB up to 10 Gbps) but the additional USB Type-A port will only support “High-Speed” transfers.
As we begin to breakdown down the internal components of the system, Ito-San first notes a question that a lot of fans have shown interest in learning more about: the orientation of the console and specifically it’s stand. The stand is detachable, and just requires the removal of one screw via a flat head screwdriver, if oriented in a vertical position. Housing for the screw resides within the base via a twist-to-open bottom, which also provides a small “plug” for the screw hole within the system to prevent dust or debris from entering. If you wish to have the system placed horizontally, the stand attached perpendicularly to the disk-drive side of the console allowing for proper air flow and avoidance of potential overheating issues.
In a similar fashion to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, to gain access to the internal components of the system you must remove the top panel of the external casing (which I always think I’m going to break when cleaning my PS4). You are then greeted by the cooling fan for the system, which actually provides air flow for each side of the system, along with two dust collecting ports on the black internal housing. “The console is equipped with a large 120mm diameter, 45mm thick, double-sided air intake fan” Ito-San explains, as he begins to remove the various pieces of the next generation home console. With Sony’s decision to have the PlayStation 5 support M.2 SSD storage, Ito-San explains that players will be able to upgrade their storage via the PCIe 4.0 slot next to the fan.
One biggest complaints that fans had when Sony announced its mid-generation refresh console, the PlayStation 4 Pro, was its lack of an 4K Ultra Blu-Ray drive. While many highlighted this decision as one centered around cost saving (launching at $399 USD compared to Microsoft’s Xbox One X at $499), the lower specified Xbox One S provided said drive at a fraction of the price. This time around, Sony didn’t shy away from highlighting the drive’s inclusion into its next generation system. “The drive is completely covered with a sheet metal case and mounted with two layers of insulators to reduce drive noise and vibration when the discs spin” Ito-Son emphasized, as system noise became one of the biggest as the current console generation grew later into its life cycle.
After removing the protective shielding, Ito-San arrives at the heart of Sony’s upcoming system: the motherboard. As previously revealed, the PlayStation 5 comes equipped with an x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads, running up to 3.5 GHz, as well as an custom AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based GPU. “The GPU is driven at up to 2.23 GHz and delivers 10.3 TFLOPS” Ito-San confirms, reemphasizing the already released specification. While Sony has stated it feels good with the raw power they are releasing at the launch of the upcoming generation, Microsoft has continued to tout its title of “Most Powerful Next Gen Console”, boasting its 12 TFLOPS spec in comparison.
Memory, storage and its relative speed has remained some of Sony’s major features of the new incoming hardware, and the video provided gives a first hand look at what will be offered to players out of the box including its 16 GBs of GDDR6 system memory. “For its memory, we have installed 8 GDDR6 RAM that delivers a maximum bandwidth of 448 GB per second” Ito-San emphasizes. Additionally, he highlights the custom SSD for storage that has been one of the major talking points for many in the industry in regards to the console. “For its storage, we have utilized an onboard 825GB SSD instead of a HDD (traditional hard disc drive)” Ito-San continues. Sony has promised increased speed, faster load times, and accessibility for developers to eliminate immersion-breaking instances within their games developed for the PlayStation 5. “With the custom SSD controller, read speeds are as fast as 5.5 GB per second at raw data transfer rates, which significantly reduces the load time of the game.”
Lastly, the breakdown highlights the SoC (system on chip) and delves into the extensive measures Sony has taken to ensure longevity of the system via cooling measures, including the use of liquid metal. “The PS5’s SoC is a small die running at a very high clock rate” Ito-San begins. “This led to a very high thermal density in the silicon die, which required us to significantly increase the performance of the thermal conductor, also known as the TIM, that sits between the SoC and the heat sink.” The hardware development team at SIE reportedly spent over two years finding ways to encorporate the TIM properly as a cooling mechanism, in which resulted in the use of liquid metal, which they believe will ensure “long-term, stable, high cooling performance”. Finally, Ito-San highlights the PS5’s heat sink, which uses a heat pipe (similar to that found in the both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4), but with the update shape and airflow, he states that it allows the system to achieve the same performance as a vapor chamber.
A gallery of photos from the tear down can be viewed below:
With the launch of the PlayStation 5 now just shy of 5 weeks away, there are still a multitude of questions remaining. What does the UI look like? What features will accompany the player experience? What exact games are supported through backwards compatibility? While these will hopefully be answered before November 12th when we all turn our shiny new consoles on for the first time, seeing information blasts like the tear down of the PlayStation 5 is a good indication that those questions (and more) could be answered soon.
The PlayStation 5 is set to launch on November 12th, 2020 in the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, and the rest of the world on November 19th, 2020 (excluding China, as no official release date has been provided yet).
For updates regarding the PlayStation 5, as well as all things PlayStation, keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.