After releasing the new console, Sony continued to improve it. They aimed to reduce production costs and address issues reported by users, such as Dualsense stick drift and excessive heating. As a result, there are currently four versions of essentially the same PS5 on the market. These include three revisions of the standard PS5 and the PS5 Slim.
It’s important to note that all four consoles have the same power, and games run with the same quality and FPS. While the Slim version stands out with its design and removable disk drive, the first three revisions of the original PS5 look externally identical. You can only differentiate them by their model number or if you disassemble them to inspect the cooling system and motherboard. Let’s take a closer look at these versions.
What revisions does the PS5 have
As I mentioned earlier, there are effectively four revisions of the same console. The PS5 Slim isn’t an official name, but how Sony positions it as an enhanced version of the standard PS5. The original model was released in November 2020, the second revision in August 2021, and the third revision in August 2022. The PS5 Slim appeared in November 2023. These revisions apply to both versions with and without a disk drive and are internally the same. Let’s review their differences in a clear table.
|November 12, 2020
|4.5kg with disk drive, 3.9kg Digital
|4.2kg with disk drive, 3.6kg Digital
|3.9kg with disk drive, 3.4kg Digital
|4th revision (Slim)
|3.2kg with disk drive, 2.6kg Digital
As you can see, each revision of the PS5 became lighter. Additionally, Sony changed the cooling system in every new revision. As a result, the third revision is the “coolest,” with improved ventilation and a replaced cooler. However, the PS5 Slim heats up the most and is the noisiest. This is mainly due to its smaller casing, which made integrating a robust cooling system challenging. The first three revisions do not differ in appearance, but the 4th revision (PS Slim) received a new design. You can see the comparison in the picture below.
In the third revision, Sony introduced a new motherboard and altered the chip’s technology. The chip now operates on a 6 nm process, making it more energy-efficient. The PS5 third revision consumes 20W-25W less energy than the original. Also, the third revision is almost 600 grams lighter with reduced cooler sizes. This reduction also decreased the noise, but the difference is barely noticeable in reality, amounting to just a couple of decibels.
Which PS5 revision you should buy
Let’s discuss which PS5 revision you should consider buying. I want to go through each revision and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
PS5 First Revision (2020): This is the original PS5. It had several issues, such as drifting sticks on the DualSense controllers that came with this version. This revision also shipped with three different types of coolers, some noisier than others, and it was impossible to know in advance which type of cooler was installed in the console.
PS5 Second Revision (2021): This is a lighter version of the first PS5. Sony changed the cooling system, making it slightly quieter and lighter by removing excess copper from the radiators. There were fewer defects in the DualSense controllers in this revision. Despite rumors among Sony fans that this version is the worst, consuming more energy and heating up more, tests show it performs like the first revision.
PS5 Third Revision (2022): This is considered the best version of the PS5. It has reduced energy consumption, is 600 grams lighter than the original, and has an improved cooling system, making the console quieter and cooler. Additionally, the motherboard was completely replaced to enhance ventilation. Performance-wise, it’s the same as the previous revisions, but it tends to be cooler under the same load, potentially leading to a longer lifespan.
PS5 Fourth Revision (Slim 2023): This is what the PS5 should have been at launch – smaller, lighter, and with a removable disk drive. However, it’s more expensive than the standard PS5 (for unclear reasons) and, due to its small size, it couldn’t incorporate an efficient cooling system. Therefore, this PS5 heats up more, is noisier, and consumes as much energy as the original model, but it has a more attractive design and is 1kg lighter.
Which PS5 to Choose? I recommend the original PS5’s third revision. So far, it appears to be the most refined version and is cheaper than the PS5 Slim. It’s also worth keeping an eye on new revisions of the PS5 Slim. If Sony can make it cooler and quieter, it could become the ideal PS5.
How do you understand which PS5 revision you have
Understanding the differences between the original PS5 and the PS5 Slim is straightforward due to their distinct designs. However, differentiating the first three revisions can be more challenging. You can do this by checking the model number. To find it, look at the bottom of the console. In the top left corner, you’ll find the model number (as shown in the picture below). It is also duplicated on the box, near the serial number and barcode. The model number always starts with CFI, and it’s easy to spot.
Pay attention to the fourth character. As mentioned, the model number always begins with the three letters CFI, followed by a dash and four digits. The first digit represents the PS5 series (1 for the original and 2 for the Slim), while the second indicates the revision.
- If the second digit is 0, it’s a first revision PS5.
- If it’s 1, then it’s the second revision.
- If it’s 2, it’s the third revision.
This is the only way to distinguish these three PS5 revisions. For more details on how to decode the model number, you can refer to this link.