Sony is known for making various iterations of PlayStations before releasing the ‘slim’ variant. Why does Sony bother making hardware changes to the same console you ask? Cost cutting is the major motive whilst introducing minor upgrades in some instances. Looking back at the original PlayStation, we saw the removal of both expansion ports and the additional video output port. PlayStation 2 had the FireWire port removed but introduced a built-in IR sensor. The PlayStation 3 had PlayStation 2 backward compatibility completely removed, 2 USB ports removed and card reader slots were no longer offered. So what has happened PlayStation 4 almost 2 years after its launch? Lets find out.
Sony has released 3 different PlayStation 4 models to date, starting with CUH-1000 followed by CUH-1100 and now the CUH-1200. CUH-1000 being the launch model suffered from loud fan noises and over heating issues, fortunately the overheating issues were reported in a small scale. Quite rightly Sony did not take any chances and were quick to act by releasing CUH-1100 just 10 months after launch without any announcement.
Japanese blog Pocketnews did an extensive tear down of the new console and found out CUH-1100 only has minor updates, but obliviously Sony thought they were necessary. CUH-1100 has a new motherboard labelled as SAB-001, while the original one was SAA-001. Below you can see two pictures comparing both the new and old motherboard.
Even though motherboard layout is almost the same, the CUH-1000 has a two-phase circuit between the power supply and the CPU and a four-phase one with the GPU. The CUH-1100 has a one-phase circuit with the CPU and a three-phase circuit linking to the GPU as reported by DualSHOCKERS. The power supply is now 24 grams lighter and the overall output rating has slightly reduced.
The biggest improvement is the heat sink, weighing 324 grams against 298 of the old one. The old model the heat sink had fins change angle and size and were smaller in the low air flow area where as the new one all of the fins are the same. Here is a picture comparison:
There are a lot of changes in the newest model CUH-1200. Lets starts by going through the external changes before digging into the internals:
● Features a matte finish on the HDD cover verses the glossy finish meaning its less prone to fingerprints and other sorts of visible filth.
● The Sony and PlayStation logos are engraved on rather than printed giving it more of a simple look.
● The subtle buttons at the front are actual buttons protruding out by a millimetre to replace the old capacitive buttons.
● LED Running down its centre doesn’t stretch as far across as the launch model’s. On the plus side the new model’s LED is brighter, and shows up better in daylight conditions.
● The arrangement of the ports the the back have been switched around including the HDMI, auxiliary and Ethernet ports with no real consequence.
Here is a list of relevant internal changes reported by DualSHOCKERS:
● The plastic and metal parts of the HDD bay cover have undergone various changes, including the slits for air intake.
● Under the secondary cover, the Blu-Ray LSI controller is hand soldered to the 12V outlet of the power supply, while the wireless antenna is on the back. The cover is there to avoid accidental contact with the 12V outlet when removing the hard disk drive.
● The HDD is a 7mm thick HGST Travelstar Z5K500.
● The position of the Blu-Ray drive, power source and cooling units are unchanged, but the build of the Blu-Ray drive has been simplfied.
● The power supply’s model number is ADP-200ER, and it weighs 364 g; It’s 80 g lighter than the ADP-240CR included in the CUH-1100.
● Output voltage is +12 v at 1.5 A, , +4.8V at 16A.
● The GDDR5 RAM is the K4G80325FB-HC03 that Samsung has started mass producing in January. Before there were 16 memory modules, now there are only 8 with twice the capacity each.
● The motherboard is shorter by 20 mm from top to bottom and 40 mm sideways.
● The size of the CXD90037G APU (19 mm) has not been changed. The 28 nm manufacturing process is also the same. The CUH-1100’s APU had the model number CXD90026AG
● The secondary chip is the same model number CXD90036G, as the CUH-1100, like the SDRAM module connected to it, numbered K4B2G1646Q-BCMA.
● The HDMI transmitter is a Panasonic MN864729.
● The system boot LSI controller has also been changed to JP 2015-049675, while the LSI system controller is now A00-C0L2.
● There’s no more Blu-Ray LSI controller on the motherboard.
● The cooling system has been changed in the metal frame’s geometry, even if the fan is the same model number KSB0912HE as before. The number of blades and ratings are also the same.
● The metallic shield for the heat sink has been changed from aluminum to steel.
● The heat sink lost the heat pipe crossing the aluminum fins from the base plate, and is now integrated in the plate itself.
Below you can see a few pictures of the tear down showing internals of the new PS4.