If the hassle of buying a PS5 wasn't bad enough, now you need to worry about getting the better unit. It turns out, some consoles are noisier than others.
French tech website Les Numériques discovered that some PS5 units are louder than others when playing games or running apps. The review unit the site tested exhibited a different noise output from the one it purchased from a legit retailer.
So what did the outlet do? It purchased even more PS5 units (don't ask me how), and found that the fans inside all five of them were completely different versions. Some were louder, some were quieter, and they all looked slightly unique.
As you can see in the below photo, well, those are two different fans! The one on the left has 17 blades (retail unit) while the one on the right has 23 thinner blades (review unit). Guess which one is more silent? Yep, the 23-blade model output less sound than the other.
This isn't a perfect science, but in general, fans with fewer blades have to work harder to output more hot air in order to cool a system. That extra work leads to extra noise.
The good news is that the difference in noise output wasn't substantial. Specifically, one fan outputs 39 dB at the air inlet while the louder one rose to 43 dB. Both were much quieter than the PS4, so your new console will be an upgrade even if you get the worse unit.
The bad news is that any PS5 teardown cooling tests shouldn't be taken as gospel as your own unit could have a different fan and, as a result, different noise and air output.
At this point, you probably want to smash open your PS5 to see which fan it comes with. Well, you can! By removing the side panel, you can get a glimpse at your console's fan without voiding the warranty.
You should certainly visit Les Numériques to see the full report, which includes recordings of the fan noises and a more detailed breakdown of the noise and heat levels.