PS3 Slim SSD


Last month, we had a power outage that killed the SSD in my wife’s PC. After a lengthy fsck, the drive had numerous bad sectors and was no longer something I’d trust to keep running. It was a 2.5" Crucial MX500 that was purchased in 2019 and still within the 5 year warranty period. The PC was a cheap pre-built Lenovo tower from 2015. I also wouldn’t trust whatever power supply was in there anymore so we decided to just replace it entirely. The new PC is an ASRock DeskMini X300 running an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G. I also added an APC UPS for added piece of mind. We have backups so data loss wasn’t an issue. After a fresh OS installation and restoring her home directory, all is well again.

But anyway, my dilemma was whether or not to bother RMA’ing the MX500 given that both our PCs are on M.2 SSDs now. Using it as a secondary drive was an option but not really necessary as I also have a Synology NAS for bulk storage. I wasn’t going to do it but one day I remembered the drive in the PS3 is a 2.5" HDD and it can be swapped with an SSD. It wouldn’t make a huge difference speed wise since the PS3 isn’t SATA III, but for under $15 return shipping for a 1TB replacement, why not?

PS3 Slim

I have a CECH-2501A from Nov 2010, which I bought on eBay in 2020. The drive is a Hitachi 2.5" HDD 160GB 5400RPM. While I was at it, I decided to also open it up and see what kind of condition it was in internally. This was my first time disassembling a PS3. It wasn’t that difficult in hindsight, but the most stressful part was probably prying the motherboard from the shield assembly. Mine was stuck together pretty good. That and the 5 ribbon cables of which 4 of those are for the disc drive and 1 of those is underneath the drive. I cleaned the dust then replaced the thermal paste on the heat spreaders with some Noctua NT-H1 that I had on hand. There is more thermal paste in between the heat spreaders and processors but I don’t have the guts to try and delid them. I haven’t had any overheating issues with this PS3 so I will leave that for another time if things change. Half way through, I stopped to write down where each of the different types of screws went because I had already forgotten. That helped in putting it back together properly.

The next phase was reinstalling the system software. I didn’t bother with any backup procedures with the old drive as I was ok with losing game saves. I downloaded the PS3UPDAT.PUP file from here and put it on a USB drive. With the USB drive inserted, I turned on the PS3 and began the process. A few minutes later, I was up and running again with a lot more room for activities. More so than with the PS5.

For more pics, check out the gaming album on my Flickr.

PS3 vs PS5

In my last post, I wrote about getting a PS5. Yeah it has better technical specs and amazing graphics, but that’s not what makes a game good. It’s all about gameplay, content, replay value, and little to no game breaking bugs. Case in point: the game that made me get a PS5.

As consoles got more advanced and internet connectivity became the norm, games no longer had to be perfect or complete before shipping. Games could now be shipped in an alpha or beta state and could be patched later thanks to the internet connection. Another terrible trend is microtransactions and in-game currencies. Modern gaming is plagued with nickel-and-diming at nearly every turn. Again, thanks to the internet connection. The latest thing is live service games or gaming subscriptions. The business model is designed to suck as much money from you as possible beyond the initial purchase of the game itself. Not all games of course, but a lot of the big name titles.

This is why although the PS5 is a fancy and powerful console, I actually prefer the PS3 more. This console generation was right on the cusp of when those practices solidified within the industry. Plus the game library is huge and it has free online multiplayer.