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Solution to quieter ps3.. replacing ps3's thermal paste for heatsink?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Just curious if anyone has tried this or cracked open a ps3 before. I understand that this is a very drastic measure for some people to get a quieter ps3 but just curious if anyone has done this before. Could this possibly be the difference between a loud/quiet ps3.. the thermal paste not being applied evenly?

Well just curious if anyone's done this. I don't think I'll bother messing with it for now while it's under warranty.. but this could be a real solution..
post #2 of 45
Well i did it on my launch Xbox 360 a few months ago and its much quieter. So with that said you "could" try it on your ps3 but its not nearly as noise prone as other systems.
post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 
That's why I'm curious to hear if anyone has actually done this. I think the ps3 is clearly a step above the x360 in terms of quality, etc. so I'm not surprised it had a big effect on a 360. My brother has a 360 and it definetly sounds like a jet engine while playing games.. Fortunately the ps3 is fairly quiet.. but if it could keep the fan from kicking up one notch and make it practically inaudible it would be worth it to me..
post #4 of 45
A little OT, but is the new 80GB version quieter than the 60? Any advantages of the 80 over the 60?
post #5 of 45
i'd like to know as well. i purchased mine in December after the November launch and my fan kicks on when watching DVD's, BDR, or playing games.

when playing movies its not noticeable until there's a quiet scene, but it's still annoying. during gameplay i dont really care since i'm busy doing something else, like playing the game. =)

i've never cracked open my PS3 before, but i'll be hitting the 1yr warranty shortly so i might give it a try.
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frydryce View Post

i've never cracked open my PS3 before, but i'll be hitting the 1yr warranty shortly so i might give it a try.

Ya, I haven't felt the need to tinker with it yet because I honestly don't use it THAT much, since I so far only use it for movies (disappointed so far w/ the games). I'm thinking as people have their consoles for longer more people will be inclined to crack it open and perhaps try applying some arctic silver (efficient thermal paste) instead of the factory gunk. Well, at least the people who feel their ps3 is noisy might try this.

I did take a look online and disassembly seems pretty easy and straightforward. Anyone familiar w/ building a pc shouldn't have much trouble it seems. I'm sure removing the factory paste and applying some arctic silver will definetly help, but the obvious question is how much... Given the fact that the ps3 has a very nice heatsink, the results could be substantial..

Is there any way to monitor the CPU temp short of placing a sensor on the die itself? Just wondering if any monitoring tools are compatible w the cell processor and linux/etc.? It would be interesting to note at what temp the fan speed kicks up a notch.
post #7 of 45
Put it in another room. I put mine in a closet just because of the noise and it is perfect now.
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotdogah View Post

Well i did it on my launch Xbox 360 a few months ago and its much quieter. So with that said you "could" try it on your ps3 but its not nearly as noise prone as other systems.

Hmm I never thought of doing that to my 360, sounds like a good idea, my 360 howls like a banshee, makes late night playing impossible without resorting to noise blocking headphones.

As far as for the PS3, best to check what paste they use for it for a starter. I know the 360 uses "standard" silcion heatsink paste, there is a chance the PS3 uses something of better quality already.

Maybe ADRman, who has a waterlogged PS3 could find out for us
post #9 of 45
I also did the thermal paste on my 360 and the fan never goes over the low setting now. The 360 use some funky heat transfer pads on 1 chip and some pase with a odd little metal square on the outher . I saw a tear down of the PS3 MUCH more complicated setup. Let it dry for a week and see what you get.
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
Ya the ps3 heatsink and design is very nice.. Here's a picture of the paste on top of the cell and nvidia chips:

http://www.therealps3grill.com/DSCF0455.jpg

It looks like plain silicone paste to me.. I'll probably hold off and wait till it's out of its warranty in case anything fails on it. The disassembly honestly doesn't look too bad (like most other consoles) so it's definetly worth a try. Of course this is likely overkill for 99% of the people out there but if you're anal like me then it could be worth a shot. Sometimes when assembling these machines they may not put enough paste, or the heatsink may not be contacting the chips properly which can result in higher chip temps and higher fan speeds..
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

I put mine in a closet just because of the noise and it is perfect now.

You want to make sure that closet has some good airflow, or is kept a little cool.......otherwise, it would be like putting a crying baby in another room and closing the door. You may not hear it, but it will still be happening!

Another suggestion I have heard is to run the PS3 in a vertical position, with the right hand side at the top. Apparently the heat has a path of less resitance and with the fans, it help the heat get out quicker.

Also, make sure the PS3 is not in a fully enclosed component cabinet.

You might can even consider a small USB fan!


To the OP......if you try new or high quality thermal paste, let us know if it helps any! You might also post this in the home theater gaming - playstation forum and see if anyone there has done it!
post #12 of 45
Artic Silver thermal paste. Done.

Those thermal pads...........not very conductive at transfering heat.
post #13 of 45
On the same note. How good is the Fan, Is it a Ball bearing fan? If not, would replacing the fan with a better quality BB fan reduce noise?
post #14 of 45
Good Thermal Paste Plus lapped heatsink.. That should drop at least 5c
post #15 of 45
[quote=RScottyL;11598032]You want to make sure that closet has some good airflow, or is kept a little cool.......otherwise, it would be like putting a crying baby in another room and closing the door. You may not hear it, but it will still be happening!

QUOTE]



Good point. My closet has plenty of airflow being that it is a big walk in, but definately a good thing to consider. If you can make this work though it is so much better.
post #16 of 45
I've never heard a peep out of mine (60GB from December 06). Is this thing cabinet installled or something?
post #17 of 45
btw

if you really are feeling giddy,

water cooling

as quiet as it will get.
post #18 of 45
well here's someone's website on taking apart the PS3. the heatsink and fan combo are a force to be reckoned with, its half of your PS3!!!!!

i'm starting to doubt that changing the thermal paste will do anything considering how massive the cooling system is on our PS3's. i'll just have to accept the noise for now unless someone can prove me otherwise =T

http://www.therealps3grill.com/disassemble.htm
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by frydryce View Post

i'm starting to doubt that changing the thermal paste will do anything [/url]

It doesn't. This was tried months ago in the other "PS3 is loud" threads. What we need is an external fan controller/bus that can connect to the header on the PS3's fan.
post #20 of 45
I must be lucky.

I have a 20 gig model that was bought Jan 5th 2007 as well as a 60 gig one that was bought end of July and they are both silent. Good luck if yours is loud and yoru trying to quiet it down.

Some just must run hotter then others so the fan runs faster to keep it cool. I wouldnt think paste would drop the temp enough to make too much of a diffrence.
post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post

A little OT, but is the new 80GB version quieter than the 60? Any advantages of the 80 over the 60?

No, the 80 is no more quiet. I got it partially for that possibility and ended up with a freight train the first time. From the otehr feedback I got from a bunch of people, the 80's were just as likely or more to have bad units that ended up with excessive fan noise as the previous models. I replcaed it and it is much quieter, but only becuase I was forced to reconfigure my setup to leave it out in the open and not in a well ventillated AV cabinet. And still, it is the noisiest game or DVD player I have had (but I do not own a 360 which I know is supposed to be worse)...
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Daddy View Post

I wouldnt think paste would drop the temp enough to make too much of a diffrence.

It can!

If the original paste is of "lower quality", or if there is not sufficient "even" coverage on the chip......then it can affect how much heat is conducted and transferred.
post #23 of 45
I feel that mine is real picky to ambient temps. It just started getting cooler around here at night (Pittsburgh) and the PS3 has run quieter on the cooler nights. I have it out in the open and a window right behind it that is always at least cracked. Over the summer it would run fairly loud. But still could only be heard in quiet parts of a movie or if you were listening real hard for it. Couple of night ago it was nice an cool at night and it didn't kick above the 2nd (I guess) fan level for about 2 hours of gaming. I only think the noise bugs me because I found out that people have quieter ones. If I wouldn't have known that I would have just assumed it as normal. I got mine in Dec 06. I'm not returning it over this. It doesn't really bother me to much. I am interested to see though if it is a result of manufacturing.
post #24 of 45
Sony has a good warranty. Why mess with it?
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by RScottyL View Post

It can!

If the original paste is of "lower quality", or if there is not sufficient "even" coverage on the chip......then it can affect how much heat is conducted and transferred.


I might be missing something but paste or not, the same heat is in the device and the fan will go the same speed to get it out. The chip isnt overheating so better paste or heat sink contact will just take more heat off the chip but the end result is the exact same heat is in the box needing to get out. It seems like it wouldnt make a bit of diffrence for fan speed.

Anyone else agree or am I really far off. ( I dont know where the temp is being taken though. If it is actual CPU temp then mayb eit might help, otherwise I wouldnt think so)
post #26 of 45
i've seen a few pics of opened up PS3's and the thermal paste is put on there pretty well. If Sony had the thought to put a heatsink/fan of that magnitiude in the PS3, then i'm sure they'd make sure that the paste was put on there well. thermal paste goes for cents for the gallon. Sony won't save any money by using a lower quality paste.

the Xbox problem was that it looked like the QC on the paste was low so there was poor contact between the chip and the sink. the PS3 doesn't appear to have this problem.

i wouldn't really trust a fan controller because when the fan really needs to be on high, i don't want to manually keep the fan low because of noise. i'll deal with the noise by putting up the stereo =)
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeoz View Post

Just curious if anyone has tried this or cracked open a ps3 before. I understand that this is a very drastic measure for some people to get a quieter ps3 but just curious if anyone has done this before. Could this possibly be the difference between a loud/quiet ps3.. the thermal paste not being applied evenly?

Well just curious if anyone's done this. I don't think I'll bother messing with it for now while it's under warranty.. but this could be a real solution..

The PS3 is dead quiet by default.
If yours is loud, you got a bad one. Contact Sony and ask them to fix it.
post #28 of 45
My PS3 noise only really kicked up during the Spring and Summer.

I have AC and keep the house at 76 degrees, and it would be pretty audible.

But, during the winter, I don't believe I even noticed the noise, and I keep the heating at 68.

I have it horizontal on my media stand.
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralt View Post

The PS3 is dead quiet by default.
If yours is loud, you got a bad one. Contact Sony and ask them to fix it.

Maybe it's suppose to be loud by default and your quiet one is broken. Haha jokes on you now. But really any component is gonna have some noise and not be dead quiet. Unless you actually designed it then I apologize oh great one.
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by RScottyL View Post

It can!

If the original paste is of "lower quality", or if there is not sufficient "even" coverage on the chip......then it can affect how much heat is conducted and transferred.

Of course it can affect the temps. The problem is the new paste doesn't reduce the temps enough to drop the fan speed. Seriously, this has all been tried months ago. The people were left with PS3s that were just as loud as before but with no warranty. There are PS3s with literally two different types of fan inside. People have their PS3s in all sorts of positions, enclosures, open areas and the reports of fan noise persist. Reports of quiet operation persist. The machine just isn't consistent when it comes to fan noise.

My solution for the noise is to fold 24/7. Now I don't even notice the fan any more. My brain considers it ambient noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by frydryce View Post

i wouldn't really trust a fan controller because when the fan really needs to be on high, i don't want to manually keep the fan low because of noise. i'll deal with the noise by putting up the stereo =)

I understand, but I've experimented with my PS3 a bit. I put two towels over it and folded for an hour. You wouldn't believe how fast the fan was spinning and the noise it was making. Yet, it kept folding away. That tells me there's some headroom when it comes to temps. I think when watching a movie a manual fan controller would be nice so I could turn it down for a couple of hours.
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