Cleaning a PlayStation 4 Pro: From noisy to whisper quiet

photo of Sony PS4 Original

When I lost my driving license, I bought myself a PlayStation 2. When I reached 40, I bought a PlayStation 3. And, so, another event prompted another upgrade – during the pandemic I upgraded my PlayStation 4 to a PlayStation 4 Pro (no, I still can’t justify a PlayStation 5).

Bought, used, from CeX, it came “refurbished”. But I suspect that’s little more than a wipe over with a damp cloth and checking it turns on. As a result, it makes a sound like a jet aircraft taking off. It was time to sort it out!

As soon as I bought it, I upgraded the hard drive to a 2TB SSD but it’s now time to sort it out fully.

The following video was what I used to show me how to disassemble and reassemble the console…

Although I didn’t make use of it, iFixit also has a non-video guide on how to take apart the console, albeit with the intention of replacing the fan (which I wasn’t doing).

So, I followed the above to completely strip the console (bar the BD drive).

One area that lot of people struggle with is disconnecting the PSU cable. I’ve seen lots of suggestions but, for me, a pair of long-nosed pliers was the solution.

Once in pieces, I cleaned every part, with a combination of brushes and a canned of compressed air. The side vents were full of dust, as was the heatsink and fan. I also removed the thermal paste from the processor, as well as replacing the thermal pads.

I would recommend Thermal Grizzly paste and pads. I used a 99.9% rubbing alcohol for cleaning off the existing paste.

One tip is to not cut the pads to the same size as the originals, as they are pretty small (often smaller than the chips they’re supposed to be covering). In fact, I over-sized mine, which meant that the pads sat over the side of the chips, potentially adding thermal wicking for the edges too.

I then followed the second part of the video to re-assemble.

The end result… it’s so quiet I had to check it was working correctly. I also took the opportunity to do a database rebuild too.

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