The PS5, like many PlayStation consoles before it, can be placed either horizontally or vertically, depending on the personal preference and furniture layout of the owner. Normally there’s no difference in the way the console would perform, but hardware repair shop owners are sounding the alarm to a potentially dangerous flaw on the PS5.
At issue is the liquid metal used to cool the PS5’s APUs. Liquid metal is commonly used as a medium to bond coolers to hot processing units, allowing the safe transfer of heat and keeping the processor from melting. Typically, a light film is all that’s necessary to keep everything working as normal. However, it seems at least some PS5s use more liquid metal than your typical gaming computer, and if the seal between the APU and the cooler breaks, some of that liquid metal can leak out if the PS5 is oriented vertically.
As reported by Wololo.net, repair shop owners are posting pictures of broken PS5s with liquid metal pouring down its mainboard. Each repair shop owner reports that these PS5s were being stored vertically, and when the APU seal somehow cracked, liquid metal came pouring out.
YouTuber and console repair specialist TheCod3r spotted one such PS5 in October. The console had stood vertically in its original packaging for months and refused to boot when it was eventually sold. After taking it apart, he found liquid cooling all over the mainboard, likely causing a short circuit thanks to its conductive properties. Two separate repair shops in France have reported similar issues.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to simply keep your PS5 stored horizontally. If you notice your console shutting down due to overheating or if its fan is working unusually hard to keep it cool, it might be time to check in with a repair shop to see if any liquid metal has escaped.
So far it's unknown what might cause the seal between the PS5's APU and coolant to crack. It's also not a widely-known hardware flaw, but that might soon change. Sony reported at CES earlier today that the PS5 shortage is officially over after 30 million of the current-gen consoles have shipped.
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