One of our competitors decided to call us out in a blog post yesterday. So I wanted to respond to some of their criticism and give our full view of why Original PS3s (CECHA01) are awesome and better (and will always be better) than the new slims or even the super slim.
Now, the PS3 slims and the super slims are good PS3s. They are affordable, they have a blu-ray player and allow you to play awesome HD games. If you don’t have the option to get an Original PS3 they are a good option.
But, The orignal PS3 was a leap forward in gaming technology. It was fulfillment of a medial center not only a gaming device. It included many features and function, best of which was backwards compatibility. It also had 1080p and blu-ray disk games and movies. Compared to the Xbox 360 original models the PS3 was reliable, had more features, and looked better (my preference) etc. In general it was and is a great muti-media console, much more than anyone expected.
So when the new PS3 slim was released it had less USB ports, it is not grounded, no card readers, and most importantly still no backwards compatibility. For many of us Sony fans, we love our old games. This was pretty disappointing as many of us hoped it would come back. It is more affordable but it has less features. The design was still pretty cool and everyone can appreciate the hard drive size.
But, lets get into the technicanl stuff.
In terms of lifespan, PS3 slims are a lot younger than the original PS3s, obviously. Have they sold more slims? Sure. The amount really is not really the point. The important metric is lifespan. Most PS3 users didn’t have a problem the first 2-4 years after the release. (unlike original xbox users). The amount of users reported by Sony were less than 1% of owners.
Only time will tell if slims have the same or worse failure rate. They are still young. All we know is that we see them, for many reasons: YLODs, Blu-Ray Drive Issues, Overheating and Power Supply (Some only months beyond the 1 year warranty). We handle a lot at our shop and Slims are a growing number of repairs that we do. It is a reality.
Many of us professionals in the industry are seeing a large number of slims. Don’t take our word for it. Checkout one of our other competitors said on facebook. We see just as many.
Also, speaking of failure rates Square Trade did a study of two years looking at the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3. The study was done in 2009 when most launch consoles were 2-3 years old. There is no mention of any Yellow Light of Death or YLOD, Why? because it wasn’t a problem. Disk read errors were the most common failure. Yet 2-3 years into the lifespan of the PS3 slim, we do see YLODs and many other problems. Will they make it to 5-6 years like the original? It is hard to say, What we do know is that we see quite a few and they didn’t make it.
What we believe is leading to many failures with the slims is the cooling system. We provided some pictures in the other blog posts but here they are again.
Metal is used in heatsinks to pull heat away and then allow the fan to blow it out of the vents inside the PS3. Plastics doesn’t conduct heat as well, so any heat that builds up in a plastic container will remain inside of the container. A larger heatsink made of aluminum and copper is much better at pulling heat away and dissipating it, than a small one made only of aluminum. For those of you who build PCs the choice is obvious, the more copper and the larger the size the more effective at cooling and better the performance.
To say that the slims don’t need as much of a heatsink because they don’t produce as much heat is partially true. The systems infrastructure inside the BGA chips is smaller and the components on the board are smaller and may produce less heat. But, like every printed circuit boards that don’t use ARM chips, they need to be actively cooled. The major problem is the duct work inside of the system.
The power supplies inside the PS3s run hot. All power supplies are hot as they have to build up charge etc. In the slims the air is pulled over this power supply before it is pulled over the GPU and CPU. This means the air is heated up significantly before having a chance to cool the processors. This will lead to the same failures that the older consoles have. The original models can pull room temperature air.
We have done our own testing and it is clear that the slims run hotter. We are going to work on a video to show this, but we can tell you what we know. Most slims after 2 hours of usage have an exhaust run at about 120 to 130 F (This is after new thermal paste and were dusted off, if a slim is dusty well I don’t want to think about that) Most of our original PS3 models run at about 95 to 105 F after two hours. (This after new thermal paste etc.) We have also taken measurements at the CPU and the different seems consistent. They are about 5-15 F hotter than the exhaust. Slims just run hot and it is because of the duct work. The benefits of the increased efficiency is lost if you don’t have a good heatsink or duct work. Thermocouples don’t lie.
Look we wish the slims were backwards compatible and more awesome than any game console before, but it is not the case. The main reason that the original models are so awesome is that they have backwards compatibility. Some of the PS2 games are the best games that have even been made. We should be able to play them not only for nostalgic reasons but because they are good games. Having access to these games is really important for most Sony fans. Giving this up to buy a cheaper PS3, is just not worth it.
Luckily our experiences in repairing original PS3s has been very successful. If you have a YLOD original PS3 it can not only be repaired, we can upgrade it. This will give you years more gaming with your original PS3. We are skilled at what we do. There is no need to get a slim if you send your PS3 into a reliable repair center.
Are slims a good PS3, maybe for some. Are the original PS3 awesome and worth saving over buying a new slim PS3? Definitely, that is the bottom line.