My PS3 is a vacuum cleaner. It’s whining and whurring fan is SOO LOUD at times that we can’t even hear the dialogue on the screen.
One of Little Miss 9’s friends thought someone was using a hairdryer, but it was the PS3. Friends who come over think it sounds like a vacuum cleaner! Everytime the PS3 fan goes up one notch, it sounds like it’s about to take off. I think I’ve counted up to five fan levels – the loudest and fastest one is really scary – even my Wifey thinks it’s about to explode and gets so frustrated when watching DVDs that at times we’ve just given up!
Anyway, it’s already had the YLOD once, been fixed about a year ago and it’s out of warranty now, so I decided – why not take it apart and clean it up? Surely this would help. So I found some instructions online and a few nights ago, set out to take it apart.
The first step is to rip off the Warranty Void sticker. Oh well. it’s already out of warranty anyway!
I’m not sure why the top cover is translucent. It’s not like there’s anything to look at underneath. But under the top cover was the first signs of dust.
I saw quite a bit of dust built up around the card readers. Makes sense since I usually see lots of dust on the outside in this area.
The blu-ray drive came off quite easily and there wasn’t much dust around there.
But after removing the bottom part of the external case, this is where I spotted more dust and the gigantic “vacuum cleaner” fan.
I couldn’t believe the size of the heatsink, fins and fan for the PS3. Most of the bulk of these old PS3’s is just the cooling system.
After I took the fan off, I could see more caked up dust on the heatsink and the fins… not good.
I gave it all a good vacuum, but I didn’t go any further. I wasn’t sure whether removing the heatsink and applying more thermal compound would help or not.
So I put back together. The only difficulty I ran into was putting the top cover back on. Seems like you have to ensure you line up the card readers with the slots in the case correctly to get it to snap on OK.
The real test was turning it back on. Yep – success the PS3 did turn back on! (Thank goodness – as I forgot to backup my save game data).
Was it quieter? Hmmm… a little. It seemed to go up 2 to 3 fan levels but not up to tornado setting. But it was still audible and annoying. I think I’ll still get a new PS3 slim and sell this original 60GB one. Surely someone will want it for parts? (Or run it in a liquid cooled or very air-conditioned environment?)
Found some info about my first generation heatsink versus the new third generation heatsinks here – http://www.joystiq.com/2008/04/25/ps3s-third-gen-heatsink-reduces-size-complexity-boosts-effici/. After seeing (and hearing) a new PS3 slim in action, which I guess has the new third generation heatsink combined with more efficient power usage, it seems that the loud fan is more of an issue for the original models.
I followed most of these instructions on iFixIt – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/PlayStation-3-Teardown/1260/1
Here’s another site with step by step instructions – http://www.ps3news.com/forums/ps3-guides-tutorials/how-fully-disassemble-your-ps3-console-99047.html