The thermal engineering of the PS4 is amazing:

  • The CPU, GPU and Power Brick are all densely packed inside, three heat generating parts with little room for them to breathe.
  • Only 1 set of small vents on the back
  • No vents on the top, bottom, sides or front.
  • Negative air flow (with only exhaust vents but no intake)
  • The outer shell is made of plastic (rather than metal) so it doesn’t conduct heat well.
  • All of the cooling is powered by one very tiny fan on the CPU that spins extremely fast and is very loud at the tiniest loads

It was much more compact than the original Xbox One, but a few sacrifices were made.  The fact that the PS4 had such poor airflow and cooling without overheating being an issue was either stupidity or brilliance.