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Nov 23 2011
By: Logical_Dolphin PIayStation MVP 12905 posts
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Avoid YLOD, 3 tips for a Cooler-Running and Greener PS3 system (Models CECHA01-CECHG01)

534 replies 70502 views Edited Nov 23, 2011
UPDATE: This information is not up to date, to get the latest information please click on the link directly below:

With all the concern of late about the continued longevity of the original "fat" PS3s, I thought it was wise to take some preventative action to make sure my system can run as long as possible. Using information from this forum and corresponding with fellow forum member tjger, we tested these 3 tips to share with you, with the goal of getting a PS3 running cooler and greener, which hopefully means better longevity.
I'm sure some of you may be familiar with at least one of these tips, but perhaps not all three. And if you decide to use all thee tips, you should get the maximum benefit. *WARNING* Of course you shouldn't attempt any of these tips if you are uncomfortable with opening up and servicing your own PS3 (or for some reason your PS3 is still under warranty). If you are not comfortable, you may want to ask a video game repair facility to perform these tips for you. For those that wish to familiarize themselves with opening up and disassembling their own PS3, you should carefully study FixMyPlaystation.com's plus ifixit's illustrated guide to assist you.
In terms of importance for addressing first, IMO tip #3 is the most important one, followed by tip #2 and tip #1. In terms of ease of accomplishment, it would be tip #1 by far, followed by tip #2, and tip #3.
NOTE:
These tips are intended only for the owners of PS3 systems models:
60GB (CECHA01)
20GB (CECHB01)
60GB PAL(CECHC01)
80GB (CECHE01)
40GB (CECHG01)
If you have any of the following PS3 models:
40GB (CECHH01)
40GB (CECHJ01)
80GB (CECHK01)
80GB (CECHL01)
80GB (CECHM01)
160GB (CECHP01)
160GB (CECHQ01)
I recommend that you do not attempt to perform tip #2 or tip #3 yourself. The reason is that performing either tip requires the heatsink to be removed. The problem is that it can be difficult to reattach the heatsink properly back on these models, when you re-assemble the PS3. If it is not re-assembled properly, thermal conduction between the CPU/GPU & the heatsink could be compromised, and you would then be worse off than you were to begin with. Several people on this forum have had this issue happen to them.
Although it is still very important have the thermal grease replaced on these models, I recommend that you should have a repair place like Gophermods do it for you. They would have the expertise to reattach the heatsinks back on properly. 
 
Tip #1: Replace the PS3 power supply
The standard power supply that comes with the backwards compatible PS3 run very hot and is a huge source of heat inside the PS3. These power supplies provide far more power than any of the backward compatible PS3s ever needs. In my opinion they run so hot it probably would have been wise that Sony made the power supply external, so that the PS3 could cool more efficiently.
In the backwards compatible 20GB/60GB/80GB models you will either have the ZSSR5391A or the APS-226 (APS-227 if you have the 60GB PAL CECHC01) power supply. I had the ZSSR5391A power supply and that power supply was extremely hot to the touch. I would say it was as hot as a clothing iron, but I never made any actual measurements.
You should replace your power supply with model APS-231, it runs much cooler than the default power supply. This power supply is originally included in the 40GB PS3 (CECHG01), but is fully compatible with all the PS2 backwards compatible PS3 systems. You can identify a APS-231 visually because it has less ventilation holes than the ZSSR5391A/APS-226, has a matte finish and a plastic bottom. Obviously if you already have a 40GB CECHG01 model, you don't have to do a thing
With my original power supply, my fully assembled PS3 was warm to the touch above when the power supply was installed. With the new one, it was completely cool.
This is the easiest tip to implement, since it doesn't require you to fully disassemble the PS3, like the other tips do. The APS-231 power supplies available for sale on eBay. The average cost is around $30.
Also the APS-231 power supply consumes less power than either of the original power supplies (with a savings of at least 100W), so your electricity bill should be lower plus you will be helping out the environment. LOL
Check here for more information regarding the PS3 power supplies.
Tip #2: Replace the PS3 fan with a 19-bladed one
There are two different fans that are compatible with these PS3 systems, a 15-bladed fan and a 19-bladed fan. The earliest produced PS3 models had the 19-blade fan and then Sony switched over to the 15-blade one. It is generally believed that the 19 bladed fan moves more air and is quieter than the 15-blade. There has also been some speculation that the 15-blade fan recirculates hot air in the heatsink because of its faulty design.
While you probably need to replace your fan you should verify it first. Usually you need to nearly disassemble your entire PS3 to get a look at a the fan, but there is a trick to do it without opening up your PS3. What you need to do is to shine a very bright flashlight into the exhaust port on the back of the PS3, just above the serial number, in a dark room. Since the PS3 case is made of translucent plastic, you should be able to make out the silhouette of at least 1/4 of the blades on the PS3 fan. Multiply the number by 4 to estimate how many blades you have. Also keep in mind the 19-bladed fan has straight blades and the 15-bladed fans are slightly curved.
Replacement original used PS3 fans can be purchased from eBay for around $20. There is a company called Tailsmoon that also sells their own new replacement fans for $30-40, however I have read some testimonials (especially on Amazon) that say some of the fans were made unbalanced and can scrape the heatsink making more noise than before, and cause the entire PS3 to vibrate. To be on the safe side, I suggest you stick with a used OEM 19-bladed PS3 fan from eBay.
While the 19-bladed fan is quieter, it only is by a few decibels. If you are playing in a warm room or watching content and playing games in HD, don't expect a whisper quiet system. But you can be sure your PS3 is getting a better air flow than it did before.
I replaced my fan before I replaced my power supply, and I noticed that the area above my power supply was cooler than it was with the 15 blade fan, so I believe my PS3 is getting an improved air flow, in and out. After further testing, I believe that the overall system cooling effect is further enhanced, as the 19-bladed fan increases in its speed levels.
Tip #3: Replace the original thermal grease
Many people know about this one. With all the early talk of how reliable the PS3 is with estimated defect rates of less than 1%, and the PS3's ability to survive a grueling stress test. Apparently it turns out the PS3's Achilles heal is the thermal grease that Sony uses on the PS3. It is believed that the thermal grease tends to dry out after 2-3 years, and when it does the PS3 may have issues keeping itself cool during normal use.
Many people have been advocating replacing the original thermal grease with Arctic Silver 5 (AS5), while there is nothing wrong with that, there are many other thermal compounds you should consider. With any silver-based thermal compound there is the potential issue of problems occurring if excess paste were ever to spill onto the motherboard, because of its conductive nature. While AS5 is made not to be conductive, it is still slightly capacitive. Another issue with AS5 is it can take up to 200 hours to cure properly, while many of the other compounds out there have little to no curing time.
There are many non-metallic based compounds that you can choose from, that perform just as well or better than AS5. Here is a site that gives a comprehensive comparison. Whichever one you choose, it is bound to be a drastic improvement over what Sony uses, and should never dry out or need to be re-applied.
Personally I went with the IC Diamond 7 (IC7) thermal compound. It is comprised of 92% micronized diamonds. Diamond is one of the best thermal compounds out there, and supposedly has 5 times better thermal conductivity as silver. It's cure time is only about 2 hours, and it costs about the same as AS5.
As far as application of the thermal compound goes, I would suggest that a pea sized amount (~8mm in diameter) be placed in the center of the PS3's CELL & RSX processors (unless the instructions of the thermal compound you select suggest otherwise). This way the compound will spread out evenly when you replace the heatsink, preventing air pockets forming in the compound (that can counteract the thermal transfer process). See this video for a demonstration.
Conclusion
With these three tips, I believe you can make your PS3 run and cool better than it has before, and you can assure yourself that you have taken all the steps you could to keep your system operating properly for a long time. Of course these tips are going to be most effective to those whom never had their PS3 repaired due to experiencing a motherboard based YLOD issue, but even if you have you should still get some benefits from these tips too. If you are currently a victim of a YLOD issue, fellow forum member SomeGuy_0 has posted a guide that gives you all your available options.
Godspeed.....
*ADDENDUM*
For those looking for a good quality extra/replacement backwards compatible 60GB/80GB PS3, tjger found a eBay seller I can recommend.
This seller sells his refurbished backwards compatible 60GB/80GB PS3s with the cooler APS-231 power supplies pre-installed and the CELL & RSX processors have AS5 applied to them. He even tests his systems for several days straight to verify that there are no issues with the PS3, before he sells them. On top of that, he guarantees his systems with a 90 day warranty. His eBay feedback is very good too.
His refurbished PS3s are a bit more expensive, but given that the backwards compatible 60GB/80GB systems have been long since discontinued, the system enhancements and guarantee this seller provides makes it worth it IMO...
 
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Splicer
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010
This is one of the best guide ^^

Owners of the first few Gen Original PS3 please take note of the above! ^^
Final Fantasy XIII Lighting Edition PS3
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010
Thanks, we worked hard on it. I hope some people can benefit from this information.
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010
Great guide but you went overboard with your last word lol - but I am sure this guide will pro-long the life of some "older" PS3's.
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010
I tend to always go "overboard" LOL Smiley Tongue
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010
Good info, thanks! Does the IC7 Diamond thermal compound cost much more than the AS5?
someguy_0
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010

very nice guide, the tip about the thermal grease drying out, over time, IS TRUE!!! <- that is wat likely causes YLOD in my opinion.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010

 


SomeGuy_0 wrote:
Good info, thanks! Does the IC7 Diamond thermal compound cost much more than the AS5?

http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/ic-diamond-7-carat-thermal-compound-15-gram-p-16605.html

 

http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/ic-diamond-24-carat-thermal-compound.html

 

about the same..

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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010

Good write-up! Ive done all that, except the first one. I would be cautious using the 40gig power supply. The 60gig needs more juice than a 40, hence why it has a different power supply.

 

I definitely recommend upgrading to a 19 blade fan and better thermal paste!

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60 GB PS3(320 gig)

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Re: 3 tips for a Greener and Cooler-Running Backwards Compatible PS3 system

May 16, 2010
nice guide but paying 30$ xtra and opening the ps3 is risky for those who dont no much about inside and dont no how to use a thermal paste
afridi118 psn
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