Gaming, Technology, Video Games

Inside The PS4 and Xbox One: Help Me Understand

So, recently a video was released showing the inside of the PS4, and in the article I happened to run across, it showed the inside of an Xbox One as well. I’m not a tech nerd as far as the inner workings of the technology goes, so I need some help here. Please explain to me how on Earth the PS4 is supposed to cool itself efficiently as opposed to the Xbox One. It pains me to even ask this question, since I’m somewhat a Sony fanboy, but I’m concerned. Take a look for yourself in the pictures below.

Historically, the Playstation line of consoles has been great as far as cooling is concerned. I’ve owned all 3 iterations so far, and none have overheated or come close to doing so. In the pictures below, however, the fan inside the PS4 seems rather small, and the intake vents seem near nonexistent. I’ve heard talk that the fan is a “centrifugal” one, apparently meaning that it’s more efficient than the standard fan in the Xbox One, even though it’s smaller. Is there any truth to this? I watched the video put out by Sony, and the guy taking it apart (Yasuhiro Ootori) didn’t go into much detail as to how the fan works.
The Xbox One is on the top, and the PS4 is on the bottom:

Looking at the Xbox One picture, it looks as if the fan takes up nearly a third of the system’s interior space; it’s quite obvious in the picture. If you look on the PS4 picture, the fan is in the middle of the top row of parts. Compare this to the size of the console itself; the piece on the middle left is the bottom shell. You could probably stack 9 of those fans in there! How can the fan, that looks to be about half the size of the one in the Xbox One, adequately keep the system ventilated.

Furthermore, look at the heatsink in the PS4; in the above picture, it’s the metallic box on the bottom right sheet of metal. Then, take a close look under the fan in the Xbox One; I think the heatsink is situated under it. Just like the fans, there is a rather large size difference between the two, with the one inside the Xbox One being larger. Does this mean that the Xbox One will be cooler than the PS4? Did they learn from last generation’s mistake?

I can’t quite pass judgement on the cooling capabilities of the PS4 until I pick mine up, however, but the prospect of my PS4 overheating doesn’t sound very appealing. Please, if you are more learned in this aspect of gaming and technology, inform me!

On the other hand, I hope you’re enjoying the site’s redesign as much as I am! I much prefer this layout, and I hope you find it better as well. Take advantage of the new search bar if you want to look up any keyword for something I’ve talked about in an article, such as “Halo,” “PS4,” or even “Chickens.” There’s also a list of the top read posts over the last couple days; take a look to see what other people are reading. The e-mail follow button is there as well, as you can probably see, which is much more conveniently placed than it used to be.

Also, on the right hand side you’ll see my Twitter feed! It’s a brand new account; I’ve never had a Twitter before. I’ll be posting relevant stuff there from time to time with links to my articles, quick thoughts and questions concerning gaming, and other tidbits of info that I can’t write a full article about. So, if you’re up for it, follow me @OpinionAsAGamer

Keeping It Cool


15 thoughts on “Inside The PS4 and Xbox One: Help Me Understand”

  1. Excellent article dude. It’s a good question. I’m in IT and I’m also trying to figure this out. So far my excitement for either console has started to ebb slightly. It might be that Sony has just managed to invent a next gen console without that much of heating problem or they haven’t thought of it and they are idiots which I highly doubt. Or Microsoft is paranoid about their RROD in the past and are playing it safe. I honestly have no idea so this comment is moot…:-)

    We’ll just have to wait and see I guess but from the most recent things I’ve read about both consoles neither is now a day one purchase for me and isn’t going to be any time soon.

    1. What changed your mind about it being a day one purchase? I’ll be at my local GameStop as soon as doors open next Friday for a PS4, as long as they don’t sell out at the midnight launch…
      I hope Sony knows what they’re doing with this fan, but I supposed I should trust them more, given their previous track record; you’re right, MS could just be playing it safe/overkilling it

      1. I’ve been reading little tid bits all over the place, I can’t remember from where though but I know after reading the FAQ on the playstation blog about what the console does and won’t be able to do on launch and apparently can’t do, I felt kind of uneasy. There are things that the ps4 can’t do eg like listen to mp3’s or watch certain videos. That was never communicated at all and I being the idiot I am just believed that those features would still be there. Now, I don’t care about those because I would use the console primarily for gaming but If those features have been taken away, what else can both of these consoles not do that the ps3 and Xbox 360 can? After realizing this I would rather save my cash, wait for the guinea pigs to test the consoles, let the Internet rAge a blood feud between both companies then when the dust settles, I’m going to see what both truly have to offer me. Man that was a long comment :-). Will you be my guinea pig? Lol

      2. Lol I’ll be posting PS4 stuff pretty much every day as I learn new things about the system in he coming week. Maybe even doing a livestream at some point since it can do that through twitch.
        And I see what you mean about the features it has or doesn’t have, but I thoroughly read the faq, and I’m ok with it lol

    2. “It might be that Sony has just managed to invent a next gen console without that much of heating problem or they haven’t thought of it and they are idiots which I highly doubt. Or Microsoft is paranoid about their RROD in the past and are playing it safe.”

      In respect to the latter, you just may be right. The RRoD was a serious issue but, oddly enough, didn’t seem to deter a lot of people in the NA region. Were I involved in the discussions at MS, given the climate surrounding their console, I’d be seeing if there was a way to play it as safely as possible with the heat without making the console overly large. Then again…considering the power of these consoles making it bigger may just be the best idea.

      In respect to the former, it doesn’t seem to me to be a bad idea to question whether or not the folks at Sony are stupid. The last generation of their consoles, both home and mobile, have seen a series of bad ideas and bad design choices and, while it’s certainly possible for the people in charge to be changed out for others or learn from their mistakes, I don’t think we should overlook a whole generation of consistent mistakes. We shouldn’t say that their utterly damned either, we should just proceed with caution.

      “…neither is now a day one purchase for me and isn’t going to be any time soon.”

      That’s a damn smart way to go.

      1. With you 100% voice. I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on with these things anymore. I’ve got plenty of games to keep me busy with current gen. I’m curious to see what problems are going to creep out in the coming months though

  2. (1) I enjoy this version of the site better, it doesn’t look cluttered or distract from the articles. That’s important.

    (2) The inside of the PS4 looks troublesome.

    As I said before, I have a Toshiba Qosmio X-505 but before that I had two different Alienware gaming laptops that Dell utterly fucked up. What’s relevant to point out is that each laptop was ‘repaired’ once and the second laptop was repaired two more times, including what was called ‘VIP repair service’. The second set of ‘repairs’ are most important because they dealt with issues related to overheating, issues that were never fixed. This could be related to the quality of their service, after all I didn’t have a working laptop for more than a month in a period of 10 months before getting a complete refund and getting that Qosmio.

    But toward the end of the Qosmio’s extended warranty I was hit with a barrage of heating issues. I want to be clear here and say that I didn’t use a cooling pad, ever, with the Qosmio and I didn’t need to with the Alienware laptops because they simply ran far too hot and, of course, had to be sent back. A cooling pad is not a necessary peripheral, it should not be a necessary peripheral, but for a gaming laptop it is and I learned this the hard way. This is because there is so little room for airflow and ventilation truly seems to not be a design consideration. A gaming laptop NEEDS a quality cooling pad and I’m glad I have one, otherwise it will suffer from heat issues that will spread and cause all sorts of problems. You can’t repair heat damage, you have to replace it.

    I mention this because what I’m seeing of that PS4 is reminiscent of the lack of airflow and apparent design consideration for it that I’ve seen in a number of gaming laptops -including my own. I’m not inclined to say that it will ‘just run cooler than the One and that’s why it has so little room for airflow’ because I can’t stress enough how important it is to move that cushion of hot air away from those components. The PS3 suffered from design issues in several important ways but I don’t think one of them was heat, but here…it looks like it will be a real problem.

    I’d like to be very wrong about this.

    1. I sure hope you’re very wrong about this, but I guess we’ll see. If worse comes to worst, and people have overheating issues, I’ll just set my PS4 aside and wait till an external fan is produced, (like the Nyko Intercooler for my 360) assuming mine isn’t one of those that goes boom. I hope it doesn’t come to that, and I would also hope that the head honchos at Sony haven’t just randomly decided to get stupid about their airflow design, seeing as they’ve done well in the past. However, companies never cease to amaze me anymore; for better and for worse…

      With all that being said, I trust Sony, and I’ve had many, many Sony products; not a single one has let me down. If it weren’t for my track record with their products, I would probably refrain from buying a PS4 on launch day. I trust them until I’m proven otherwise, however.

      1. When I was still interested in console gaming, Pretty and I were looking at the PS4. She had serious issues with reliability and customer support with the 360 and I just didn’t ever like Microsoft’s policies. The more we read about both consoles the clearer it became and it looked like Sony actually learned from a generation of serious, stupid mistakes. My only turn-off (until pay-to-multi-player) was how backward compatibility was handled and the real potential to have to buy games I’ve already purchased when and if (e.g. Clocktower for PS) they would be put up on ‘the cloud’.

        But if I was still interested in console gaming I’d honestly be going with Sony, much like you.

      2. When I do purchase, I’m sure it will probably be PS4. I’ve also always had Sony Products, and only experimented slightly with other consoles. I still prefer playstation though. Exclusive’s on Playstation are just so much more appealing except Titanfall, I am jealous that I won’t be playing Titanfall 😦

      3. Yeah, aside from Titanfall and the new Halo, I have no reason to buy an Xbox One; I’ll get it eventually… like, after the price drop in a few years haha

  3. If you’re comfortable building your own PC, you can always scrap together a budget gaming box. This Acer Aspire is only one inch thick and weighs less than 3 pounds.

    1. I’ve got an Acer netbook (I can’t remember what model) and it’s good for just the minimal stuff/emergency laptop. For the price, I’m happy though. I would definitely look into one of their higher end computers for a stock PC if I were going to get one rather than building one from scratch.

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