Sony has released its PlayStation 4, just in time for the holidays! Before you shell out the cash to buy one for you or your family, (or spend the early morning hours standing outside a store on Black Friday), take a look inside to see it it's worth your time and/or money.
The folks at iFixit and Chipworks have faithfully torn one apart for you, our faithful readers.
Click on the pile of Sony PlayStation 4 parts below to start the slideshow. Enjoy!
This is the Sony PlayStation 4 once the teardown team was finished with it.
I don't know, but judging by the captions on the slideshow I get the impression these guys are a little crazy and enjoy their work way too much.
I worked at a firm that made large systems for the miliitary and industry. We had a senior engineer who was like this. If we wanted to see what was inside of something we just put it on his desk. He happily ignored do not open stickers and all warnings. Sometimes we could not get the thing back together. On the other hand, we always got to see what was inside.
Would be nice to know which chips besides the SoC are thermally bonded to that ginormous sink, seems like not knowing exactly how and where to put the conductive goo is the big threat to incorrectly reassembling this box and seeing it thermally self-destruct in a matter of minutes. It would also be informative to know how many layers in the motherboard PCB, maybe there's a large complement of internal vias that helps "justify" that vast "unoccupied" greenspace (not that fiberglass acreage is all that expensive, I'm just curious like everyone else).
@Naperlou, Yes taking apart things is fun... I'm a test engineer and the most fun i have in this career is when i get to crack open failed projects... I get to see inside and what made it stop ticking which is as tricky then seeing what makes something tick...
$399 and you can't connect a usb drive to it or play cd music on the blue ray player? No, card slot for SDHD memory cards often found in cameras? Still no SACD capability? Hey? Where's the remote for this bundle? I know they intend for this to be an entertainment power house hub to play blue ray movies and stream everything across the internet since enterprise class bandwidth is available everywhere.
Anyway.. entertaining teardown. I would have liked some more specs on the parts. How fast is the blue ray player for instance and any reputable stores selling legit repair parts, new.
Hey, do these guys ever put these things back together again, to see if they still work? Seems that would be critical to any repairability score. And when they take apart that glued together stuff, it'd sure be nice to know what needs be re-glued at re-assembly. (Similar to another readers comments on where the heat transfer grease should go.)
I wish too they'd somehow color code the descriptions to go with the color codes on the pics. Wouldn't hurt to give the function of the chips along with the numbers too. Perhaps they are spending too much time trying to come up with clever verbiage?
Excellent slide show. I don't want to be a stick-in-the-mud but this device does not look as though it would survive Christmas morning. That's my first impression. I'm sure there are impact tests accomplished during the design phase so I'm probably being a little paranoid but it just looks too fragile. I have five grandkids--all loving devices such as this, so I'm sure Sony will sell serious numbers over the space of next year. I feel, as do others, the inability to play music and the fact it is not "backward" compatible are real faults with the system. Again, excellent slide show.
Re slide 34, the variable speed fan itself may be worthy of oohs and ahhs but it is still a !@#$%^& fan, and it is hard to get to and prone to failure--if you plan to own and use this machine for more than a few months. Lint, cat hair, etc. And then consider slide 10, and the 5400 RPM 500GB SATA HDD. What a lousy choice, for everything except price. A SSD would draw far less power and reduce the load on the power supply and heat pipe. The heat pipe is a integral part of the cooling design, and of course depends on the fan's NEVER failing. BTW, the MTBF of the heat pipe will far exceed that of the fan.
The fact that the shield and heat pipe assembly are permanently attached to each other should not be a concern at all. The shield doesn't figure into the actual cooling system very much unless MB components are sinked to the shield and then to the spreader, which doesn't appear to be the case.
It is hard to see exactly what is going on, but it seems like the SoC attaches directly to the bottom side of the heat pipe spreader through a cutout in the shield? What is actually glued to the spreader or the shield? As for repairability, adhesive type pads are available, but less common. However, if there is sufficient mechanical force between the glued components and what they are glued to, a more conventional dry "gap pad" type filler (Bergquist, etc.) should be OK to replace a glue type pad. Just have to examine the situation carefully. It is also entirely possible that Sony never intended that there be ANY field service on this beast.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.