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.