The PS5 has a unique way to dissipate heat, a liquid metal alloy called Galinstan. This is different from traditional thermal pastes in that it remains liquid at room temperature, allowing it to transfer heat much more efficiently between the processor and the CPU cooler.
This new form of cooling is also a lot less prone to failure like the well-known Red Ring of Death that plagued the Xbox 360. But just how does this liquid metal work? How does it compare to traditional thermal pastes in terms of efficiency, durability, and if it can be replaced at all?
Liquid metal has many advantages over the traditional thermal paste that most of us are used to. Essentially it is an extremely conductive metal alloy that is liquid at room temperature which allows for better contact between the processor and the heat sink to maximize heat transfer. Additionally, it is a lot more durable than previous methods of heat dissipation such as copper masses and other thermal pads which could deteriorate over time and potentially lead to an internal short circuit.
However, using a liquid metal alloy is not without its challenges. Unlike traditional pastes that are generally electrically non-conductive, most liquid metal compounds are actually electrically conductive which means they are very difficult to apply and can be easily shorted out by other parts in the system if not properly applied.
This is why Sony chose to use foam that seals the liquid metal inside the APU, so that it cannot leak out. However, it is still recommended that you keep the console horizontal to minimize the chance of liquid metal leaking out. Additionally, if you do find yourself with a PS5 that has oxidized liquid metal spots it is best to vacuum those areas out periodically to avoid overheating and/or poor performance. Ps5 Thermal Paste