PS3 Fan Noise Controversy

Updated December 2008

I’ve been reading an interesting article in PS3 Fanboy entitled ‘Clean your PS3 fan with quick-n-easy test‘ which is for 40Gb PS3s and works by running a fan test, which speeds up the fan and also supposedly ‘blows out the dust…essentially cleaning it up’. Fair enough.

What is interesting though is the controversy and misinformation about PS3 fan noise in the comments section at the end of the article. To be honest, it looks like it has turned into a bit of a flame war so let’s try and rationalise things a little bit.

Some people are saying that the 40Gb PS3 sounds really loud, and the 60Gb version doesn’t (who knows about the 80Gb version, whatever) and they use examples such as this on YouTube. Now, I have a 40Gb PS3 and let me tell you it doesn’t sound like that at all; in fact, I can barely hear it. So I’m thinking that with the YouTube example given, and what such people are saying, I can infer two conclusions: either a faulty PS3, or a PS3 being run with the fan test. It’s as simple as that.

Other people have been saying that the 60Gb is louder than the 40Gb, although I couldn’t possibly comment on that. However I’ve been gaming with a mate who has a 60Gb PS3 and it sounds comparable to mine; I believe any difference will be negligible.

So what on earth is the point I am trying to make? Once they’ve started up PS3s are very quiet, I mean sometimes it doesn’t even sound like they’re turned on (although the lights are lit up of course). In general, PS3s are made to a very high quality; they keep very cool and the sound is kept to a minimum so if you have a particularly loud PS3 then there is a good possibility that there might be something wrong with it.

December 2008 update: I now find myself in possession of an 80GB PS3.  As to why this is the case, I direct you here for more information.  It is my observation that the fan noise on this model is slightly louder than my old 40GB model.  Why is this the case?  I honestly don’t know, and can only speculate.  Still though, the noise is not really that noticable and nothing for concern.

If your PS3 sounds very loud, then my advice above still stands.  There might be something wrong with your PS3, so get it checked out.  The people to call are the Sony care line.  In addition, you may want to check out the comprehensive PS3 fan guide.

6 thoughts on “PS3 Fan Noise Controversy”

  1. $ony f**k some of us I’m shock ppl are letting them do this you My man are lucky
    you got one of the rare quiet ps3 I went to 4 ps3 no luck even though they where
    60gb they are a lot of quiet 60gb ps3 out there but they are hard to come by
    I want sued $ony for fuse advertisement but don’t have no support the youtube
    videos you see on you tube are real this bin going on since the launch of the ps3
    Japan is lucky one of these days it will catch up to $ony big time

  2. Judging from all discussions I’ve seen around the web and coverage in traditional media, there doesn’t really seem to be an issue here. All products and devices, be they; dishwashers, microwaves, TVs etc, a small percentage (generally very small) will suffer from manufacturing defects. The problem only starts to become serious if an abnormal amount of a certain product is found to be defective.

    I don’t think this is the case here. The vast majority of PS3s are very quiet. Contrast this situation with what Xbox 360 users face: a system that is loud even when it is working ‘fine’, and an abnormally high (1 in every 3 systems were thought to be defective at the height of the problem) failure rate resulting in the dreaded ‘red ring of death’ and other exotic errors.

    I think PS3 users have got it pretty sweet. Have I missed anything? Does anyone else want to add something to the debate?

  3. it depends on how much the prosessor is doing, ive been using my ps3 to do the folding at home and it was quet as a mouse and randomly one day it sounded like a secondry fan kicked in and went loud and now its queiet but if the prosessor starts working hard the secondry fan will always kick in. ive since baught a joytech added cooling fan to aid the ps3 so i will see.

  4. Hi Jason, thanks for your input! Processor load will play a very important part in whether the fan will kick in, and to what extent. On the subject of an added cooling fan, just be careful Jason- I've heard conflicting evidence of such additional cooling fans either working perfectly, or doing more harm than good.

    I'd just like to add (esp now that it is Summer at the time of writing this) that you need the room well-ventilated. If there's hot weather, I'd advise opening your windows if possible! I'd also recommend a perusal of my 'Comprehensive PS3 Fan Guide' on this blog (check the links at the bottom of the post).

  5. Thanks, i will always leave a window open if the PS3 is running gor long periods of time and it recently was putting the fan on full speed.

    But since doing the fan test (i have the 40g) it has made it stopped the fan kicking into ful speed and it runs quiet. ive monitered the added cooling and it helps and improves it 🙂

    i have my ps3 next to the tv ontop of a unit standing upright and its fully open and not inside anyhting

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