You may have heard that the PS5 is more likely to overheat if kept upright than horizontal, but what is not well understood is the reason why. Many repair shop owners have reported that the PS5’s thermal interface material can leak out of the CPU if it is kept upright for an extended period of time. This liquid metal is used to increase heat transfer between the console’s processor and its cooler, helping it regulate the system temperature.
The problem seems to be that the liquid metal is prone to shock and gravity, which causes it to break down from where it sits on top of the CPU, and seep out from under the chip. This can then short out the circuitry and fry the processor, causing the infamous red ring of death.
It is not clear what is causing this to happen, but it is thought that the liquid metal might be prone to damage due to shock and gravity, and that the seals that hold it in place might be compromised when the console is jostled or dropped.
This issue was first raised by YouTuber Logic68 back in 2020, and has since been confirmed by several other repairers and technicians. Sony has not addressed the issue yet, but it is likely to be fixed with a new version of the PS5 due to arrive in 2023. For now, it is probably best to keep your console horizontal if possible, and clean out any dust buildup from the fan every couple of months.