The PlayStation 5 is one of the most coveted pieces of hardware in history. To begin with, it’s a brand new flagship console from Sony. That in and of itself is going to garner some attention! But thanks to Covid-19 and other factors, there’s also been a shortage of vital electrical parts. This means that Sony has been unable to produce enough PS5s to keep up with demand. Along with Microsoft’s new console, the PS5 has consistently sold out almost as soon as retailers restock it. But things are slowly getting better. To date, over 7 million people have bought a PlayStation 5. If you’re not one of them, don’t panic. Supply is expected to ramp up just in time for the holiday season and a slew of AAA games.
Now, let’s say you’re one of the lucky folks who already owns a PlayStation 5. In that case, congratulations! You’re probably having a blast. But you also want to make sure you’re taking care of your investment. If your console gets damaged, you’ll need to file a warranty claim. And even with Sony’s stellar customer service, that means weeks without your console. One way to protect your new console is to use a cooling stand or fan. We’ve reviewed PS4 external cooling fans recently, and found several useful options.
Today, we’re going to look at three of the best vertical cooling stands for the PS5. We’ll begin with the Kootek PS5 Vertical Stand. This is a fairly basic stand that also sports a pair of controller chargers and three USB charging ports. Next, we’ll examine the Benazcap PS5 Cooling Station. This is a larger stand with built-in storage, and accepts external power for improved charging performance. We’ll finish by reviewing the NexiGo PS5 Upgraded Vertical Stand. This stand is of similar size and design to the Benazcap, but comes in white instead of black. After we’ve reviewed all three options, we’ll wrap up by delivering our final verdict. Let’s get started!
Do I Need a PS5 Cooling Stand?
Before we go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room. Should you even be using a cooling stand to begin with? There are people with strong opinions on both sides, and several misconceptions to clear up. First off, there have not been any known cooling issues with the PS5. The latest PlayStation went through an extended development process, and was thoroughly tested. In fact, its unique shape is a result of a specialized side panel design that allows for more airflow. Sony has been making game consoles since the mid-90s, and they’ve been producing electronics far longer than that. They’re not going to make a rookie mistake like building a game console that overheats easily.
On the other hand, there’s no such thing as an overheat-proof console. That’s why every modern console has overheat protection circuitry! If there’s not enough cooling and the hardware gets too hot, it will automatically shut down. Provided this circuitry works, even an overheating incident won’t permanently damage your PS5. But it’s still an inconvenience. At the very least, you’ll have to wait for your console to cool off before you can continue gaming.
Here’s where it gets a bit difficult. Sony doesn’t like to publish detailed specs about their consoles, such as the temperature rating. As a result, as with earlier Sony consoles, we have to rely on the community for information. Since the PS5 is relatively new, a lot of what we’ve been able to glean is either murky or unconfirmed. We can say for 100 percent certain that the PS5 will not be permanently damaged at a temperature of 90C. Some tests put that number as high as 105C. Then again, these numbers are themselves based on unreliable third-party temperature apps. What we’re saying is that while PS5 overheat reports are exceedingly rare, we can’t give you a definite temperature rating.
The main thing that would cause a PS5 to overheat, at least in theory, would be a hot operating environment. Because it’s an air-cooled machine, the cooling system gets less effective in a warm space. This is obviously a relative measure. 90C is equivalent to 194 degrees Fahrenheit, an absurdly high temperature. You’ll never have a room that temperature under any circumstances, much less one that’s used for gaming. But you might want to game outdoors, or on a three-season porch. You might live in an old home that isn’t set up with air conditioning. In those cases, an external fan can help you get the most out of warmer air.
One other important consideration is clearance. Even the best cooling stand won’t do much for you if you’re just recycling the same stale, hot air. To maximize cooling power, you’ll want to leave as much space as possible around your console. If possible, at least a foot on all sides is preferable. This will give air space to cycle through properly. You’ll also want to dust your PS5 regularly. There’s actually a pair of dust traps under the faceplate for exactly that purpose. Snap the faceplate off, hit those two spots with a vacuum cleaner, and put the faceplate back. That’s all it takes to remove dust from the PS5 under most conditions.
Stress Testing a PS5
The ideal way to find out if you need a cooling stand is to perform a stress test. This is a task commonly performed by PC gamers. But on PC, a stress test is easy. You’ll have reliable temperature software, as well as dedicated stress testing software. This makes it simple to push your system to the max and measure your results. On the PS5, things are a bit more complicated. First, there aren’t any reliable temperature apps for PS5 yet. Secondly, even if there were, you have no manufacturer temperature ratings to compare your results to. Finally, you don’t have stress testing software. Given the fact that the PS5 is brand new, it’s doubtful you could push it to the limit with any existing games.
The only thing you can really do is run your console under the most extreme conditions possible. Let’s say you have no air conditioning. Wait until a 90-degree day, fire up your console, and play your favorite shooter for a few hours. The more graphically demanding the game, the better. If your PS5 hasn’t shut itself down yet, you aren’t likely to face any cooling issues. If it does shut down, or if the housing is too hot to touch, a cooling fan would be a wise investment.
Kootek PS5 Vertical Stand
The Kootek PS5 Vertical Stand consists of a black plastic housing that lays flat on your desk, shelf, or table. Inside this housing, you’ll see a set of three molded indents, shaped for a PS5 and two DualSense controllers. The twin cooling fans are located in the bottom of the console indent, and do a good job of keeping your console cool. That said, they’re a bit loud. You’ll definitely notice a constant whine when they’re powered on.
There’s one thing we should point out about these and all the other fans we’re looking at today. You won’t feel a noticeable breeze if you hold your hand over them. This is because they’re actually pulling air, not blowing it out. The PS5 vents through the bottom, so the fans pull air through instead of pushing it.
To the left of where you set your console, you’ll find the two controller chargers. The controllers sit one behind the other, in little indents that keep them from moving around. You can charge both controllers at once, or leave one on the charger at all times as a constant backup. There are a pair of blue LEDs on the front of the housing to let you know when the controllers are charging.
Also on the front of the housing, you’ll notice a row of three USB ports. These can be used to charge other devices, as well as to connect peripherals like cameras and keyboards. That said, both the USB ports and the controller chargers rely on the PS5 for power. When the console is in standby mode, none of the ports will be able to charge anything.
Benazcap PS5 Cooling Station
The Benazcap PS5 Cooling Station is a flat, black platform similar to the Kootek. However, it’s a bit wider, with more room for storage. In addition to your console and a pair of controllers, there’s also a headset bracket to the left. To the right, you’ll find a row of 15 slots, where you can store your favorite games neatly next to your system. In front of these slots, there’s even a holder for your media remote, if you have one. Basically, it’s everything you need to store your console and all your equipment.
The fans themselves draw a reasonable amount of air, and seem to do a good job of cooling your console. Just as importantly, they run quietly. You don’t have to worry about a ton of fan noise, even during quiet moments in a game or a movie. On the top front of the housing, you’ll see a row of LED lights. These indicate the status of the controller chargers, as well as the fan. The power LED functions as a soft touch button for turning the fan on and off.
On the front panel, there’s a row of three USB ports. The two on the left and right are standard USB Type-A ports for charging external devices. The middle Type-C port, however, serves a different purpose. It’s actually an input port, which can be plugged into an AC adapter. When connected in this fashion, it doesn’t matter whether your PS5 is in standby mode. Your controllers and other devices will still continue to charge.
NexiGo PS5 Upgraded Vertical Stand
NexiGo is a PS5 accessory manufacturer we’ve already reviewed. Not too long ago, we looked at their PS5 controller station, and we were pleased with its performance. The NexiGo PS5 Upgraded Vertical Stand offers many of the same features as the Benazcap stand. For one thing, it stores your headset and games as well as your controllers. For another thing, it also supports an external USB power supply for charging while your PS5 is off. There are a couple of minor differences. Instead of a media remote slot, for instance, the row of game slots is extended to 17.
The main difference is actually cosmetic. Instead of black plastic, the NexiGo stand is made from white plastic. So instead of matching the center of the PS5, it matches the faceplate. If you’re using a white theme to compliment the PS5 faceplate, you might prefer a white stand. We should also note that we were pleased with the performance. The fans run quietly, and can be turned on or off with the touch of a button. Near that button, you’ll also find the Type-C power input, as well as a single USB Type-A port.
So, where does this leave us? The Kootek PS5 Vertical Stand is effective and affordable. However, its charging function won’t work when your console is in standby. It also has fairly loud fans, so you’ll probably want one of the other choices unless price is an issue.
The Benazcap PS5 Cooling Station is a much beefier stand with storage for all your gear. In addition to your controllers, you can also stow your headset, media remote, and up to 15 games. The quiet fan is much appreciated, as is the option to supply external power. We highly recommend this stand.
The NexiGo PS5 Upgraded Vertical Stand is functionally nearly identical to the Benazcap stand. The only material difference is that it holds two more games instead of a media remote. That said, it’s also white, to match the PS5’s faceplates. If you prefer the white aesthetic, this is a very good stand.