There is no doubt that Sony’s PlayStation 5 is the most advanced console ever designed. It has an entirely new look that’s a welcome departure from the miniaturized PS one, and it is massively powerful. But it seems that some users may be running the risk of damaging their console by storing it upright, as opposed to horizontally.
Processors generate a lot of heat when they’re working, and engineers have to find ways to route that heat away from the chip to prevent overheating and damage. This is normally done with a thermal interface material, or TIM. In PCs, this typically comes in the form of a paste-style substance that has the ability to transfer heat between the chip and the surrounding thermal sink, or heat spreader.
But for the PlayStation 5, Sony engineers chose to use a liquid metal TIM. Liquid metal is a unique alloy that contains gallium, indium, and tin. It’s in the liquid state at room temperature, which allows it to have a much higher thermal conductivity than the standard thermal paste. It’s used to fill the gap between the AMD system-on-a-chip (SoC) and the heat sink in the PlayStation 5 to ensure optimal heat dissipation.
However, when the console is positioned vertically, the liquid metal can leak outside of the heat spreader, and it can potentially short-circuit other components in the motherboard. This has happened to several PS5 users and console repair experts, and it’s a huge problem because it could ruin the console.