I have a third generation 80GB PS3 which recently has started getting a very, very noisy fan within a few minutes of turning the system on (before even playing a game sometimes), like so noisy I have to crank my AV amp up just to hear in-game audio. The noise is from the fan speed and movement of air, as opposed to some kind of obstruction on the fan or the optical drive.

I recently took the thing apart entirely (like, literally every part that wasn't soldered) and gave it a thorough clean, as well as re-apply good quality thermal paste to the CPU and GPU, however it's done nothing to reduce the noise.

High fan speeds suggest overheating, however the console doesn't feel in the least bit hot, and the exhausted air isn't particularly warm either. Orientation of the PS3 doesn't seem to affect it, it has more than the recommended clearance around it

Any suggestions as to what could be causing it if it's not dust clogging it? Any remedies I should try? Is it about to go pop?!

  • Sounds like one of the fans went; might be time to replace it. Try turning on the PS3 with the cover off and see if you can identify which fan it is.
    – Frank
    Aug 20, 2012 at 23:43
  • Pretty sure there is only one fan in there - the big massive one in the bottom. The noise isn't fan sleeve/bearings going, rather fan spinning very, VERY quickly.
    – BenLanc
    Aug 21, 2012 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


If I were you, I'd consider myself lucky that my PS3 actually keeps itself cooler (many people have the opposite problem resulting in a faulty PS3).

Could be caused by a faulty temp sensor which would be difficult to try to find or fix.

I can think of a few things you could try to do:

  • Replace the existing fan with one that isn't variable (you'd be on your own for making sure your PS3 doesn't overheat).

  • Put a resistor inline with the supply load such that the provided current is around where you want (would be a good idea to get readings first with a multimeter).

Not sure what kind of numbers you might get but given a supply voltage of [X] volts, and a current of [Y] Amps, use V=IR (X=YR in this case) to get a resistor value, in Ohms, that drops the current to where you want.

Alternatively, you could use an inline potentiometer to allow you to manually control the fan speed externally.

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