Sunday, May 29, 2011

Has your PS3 died? Not yet? Then replacment thermal compund could be your answer

Well I'm still pondering on why all these PS3's have died since Sony did the 3.61 update. Owning 3 of the things and with reference to my earlier post it has got me thinking. People are reporting that its not only the FATs that are dying but also some slims. As mentioned in my previous post all 3 of my PS3's are now eerily quiet when it comes to fan noise - even if I'm watching a DVD which used to make the fan speed up on all three of them. So you do have to question have the fan set points been changed at which they speed up. And in light that the newer the PS3 slim you have, the less electricity (power) they use, and thus most likely less waste heat they produce, this could have been inadvertently done as perhaps less cooling is required?

So what would the weak point be? As we know once the update was done on my PS3 'one' my main PS3 it died, I had been using this unit as my main unit extensively since July 2007.

Well my PS3 'two' died from the YLOD in February, mainly used for watching films but some game use as well. PS3 'two' was brought second hand, so its age is unkown to me. Noticeably my PS3 'three', a 80gb unit, which is hardly ever used anyway apart from DVD's or as a wirless mulitmedia center, as also a second hand unit.

When the update was issued I updated them all. Out of the 3 only one PS3 has died (my PS3 'one' a 60gb FAT) and this was very shortly after the 3.61 update. A coincidence I question? PS3 'two' and 'three' haven't died. So why should this be?

Well the PS3's obviously die with the YLOD death due to getting too hot and causing 'something' on the boards to fail. Many people believe and so do I, its the thermal cycling of the solder on the boards for the main proceesor chips. So after the updated and the eerie quientness of the fans lately, what was different about PS3 'one' and in-particular PS3 'two'?

Perhaps it is fact that I had replaced the thermal past on the chips on PS3 'two' during its repair. Now that I have repaired PS3 'one' and it has new thermal paste on it, it has not (yet) re-died and is still working on update 3.61 - even with extensive use during this short period. But do still have the eerie fan silence just like the others. The fans are working on all of them very gently but not like they used to. I also observed that on the two PS3's I've repaired, when they were taken apart the thermal paste that was left on either side of the chip / heat sink, looked in my opinion to have "vapourised" somewhat to what I expected to find. I know there's not meant to be loads of it but in fact there looked to be far too little of it left. Is the problem in fact that the thermal paste that was original used on these PS3 not up to the job and has aged beyond its usefulness? This could answer the fact that there is not enough conduction of heat transfer as the PS3's are getting older and thus fail.

Could this also account for some newer slims dying too if an inferior batch of compound been used, not enough had been applied during manufacture or not applied in an appropiate manner?

The possibilities are endless and lets face it when you send a PS3 back for refurbishment, do Sony even acknowledge the statistics of what each fault each unit is failing due to or even the one you sent back? Of course not, apparently the YOLD can stand for a number of faults but Sony to date has not yet advised what these all are and how many are units are failing from what, I wonder why?

On this note if you've got an ageing PS3 60 FAT then perhaps your wisest move is to consider to have it taken apart and have the thermal compound replaced with some new stuff, that has a high transfer rating (this is usually not the cheap stuff).

I still love my PS3 60gb unit. And yes I still put PS2 games in it. So while I rant all I really want is a PS3 60gb that I can rely on day in day out. When things don't work like they should then I usualy take my money else where on repurchase. But in my opionon there is nothing out there that compares to the orginal PS3 60gb unit.

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