I've noticed that there's a new post nearly every day talking about replacing the thermal paste and pads on a PS4 in order to quiet it down. And while many of those posts end with a quieter PlayStation, many of them end with a bricked console. I'd like to attempt to set the record straight.
While TP may be the problem, it should be noted that replacing it is not the first step you should take. Replacement requires you to remove the processor, which, if mishandled, can and will break your PS4 beyond repair.
By far, the #1 reason for a loud machine is dust. Dust clogs up the vents, the fan, the heatsinks, etc, which reduces air flow, which makes things hotter, which makes the fan work harder, which is what is making all the noise.
If your PS4 is too loud for your taste, I suggest following these steps:
- Check the vents and other parts on the outside of the console, and blow them out with compressed air. You can also use a brush or Q-tips to brush out any dust or hair that has caked on. If you have a PS4 Slim or Pro, you are able to pop off the top and dust the fan directly without voiding your warranty.
From here, you'll need to do some disassembly. The PS4, PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim are built a little differently from each other, and I'm not going to go too far into the differences, since there are plenty of Youtube vids about it, and this post is already long enough. Just know that if you need to remove a warranty sticker, you will void your warranty. If you are still under warranty, you should just send it to a certified tech for service.
- If you are out of warranty, open the console and dust with compressed air. Be sure to hit the heatsink, which are located on the board opposite the processor. This requires a little more disassembly to reach, but dirty heatsinks are typically what causes electronics to overheat.
At this point, if the problem persists, you will now start getting into removing/replacing parts. Meaning it's going to be easier to accidentally brick your PS4 if you mishandle said parts. If you have never built a PC, I would stop and bring it into a shop to get it fixed. It may cost upwards of $100, (a savvy shopper might find some for sub $50) Either way, it's still cheaper than $300 for a new system. They should also guarantee their work for 90-180 days.
Now start thinking about changing the thermal paste and the pads. There's plenty of videos that show you the step by step, but be sure to ground yourself first, (meaning, make sure you aren't carrying any static electricity. If you don't know what that means, STOP). Also, do not touch the processor with your bare hands. Use rubber gloves or some clean, non-conducting cloth to handle it.
The fan could be a problem, but it's usually dust-related. Depending on your model, you may have to separate the processor from the motherboard in order to get to the fan assembly, at which time, you should replace the TP anyway.
One last consideration: The PS4 is a loud machine. Period. If your console isn't shutting down on its own or flashing warnings about heat, you may just have to deal with it. Try putting it in a place that isn't going to reflect the sound directly back at you, such as inside a TV stand, or a cabinet. As long as its a place that is well-ventilated, there shouldn't be a problem.
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