Passive Heat Sink


11 posts
by MartinV » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:46 pm
Hi,

I'm new to using a Raspberry Pi and I'm considering to put passive heat sinks on the chips, but I got a few questions about it:
1: Is it really needed ?
2: In which cases is it needed/recommended?
3: What chips should I put sinks on?
4: Are custom heat sinks for sale somewhere in the shop?

Friendly greetings


MartinV
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:39 pm
by Mobius » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:34 am
I'm in the camp that says it's probably not needed for 99% of users. I'm overclocking at 1Ghz and the main chip is not even warm to the touch. If you do try it, the chip on the top side in the middle of the board is the one. Those stick on heat sinks that are used for computer memory are about the right size. I've used those on the chips in some of my routers.
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:07 am
Location: San Angelo, Texas USA
by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:20 am
I'm in the camp that says its not needed for 99.999% of users.
Volunteer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, helper at Picademy September and October 2014.
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 12163
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by mahjongg » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:49 am
Why so hesitant?
I'm in the camp that says its not needed for 100% of users. :mrgreen:
at least unless those users do something very odd to their PI that is. :lol:

And I define needed, as needed for a reasonable cause. :|
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 5879
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
by milhouse » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:48 am
I've got an overclocked 1GHz 512MB Pi (with 500Mhz Core, 600MHz SDRam, Core +4 overvolt, SDRam +2 overvolt) which, while running OpenELEC, has reached 83C in a case (normal ambient temperature for the UK at this time of year).

Just hammering the ARM at 1000MHz won't affect the temperature much (never more than 55C), but when the core/GPU gets going and in particular the H264 block, the temperature can rise pretty quickly.

Being in a case (one of the MCM/Farnell cases), I noticed the average temperature of the Pi increased by about 5 degrees compared to when it was out of a case. Adding a heatsink has probably reduced my maximum temperature by the same 5 degrees Celsius. So, while under normal circumstances you don't *need* heatsinks on a Pi, sometimes they can help you narrowly avoid hitting the 85C temperature ceiling by mitigating the temperature increase some cases may induce.
Last edited by milhouse on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:59 pm
by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:49 am
mahjongg wrote:Why so hesitant?
I'm in the camp that says its not needed for 100% of users. :mrgreen:
at least unless those users do something very odd to their PI that is. :lol:

And I define needed, as needed for a reasonable cause. :|


Hesitant because one in a million people will want to put the Pi in the oven...
Volunteer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, helper at Picademy September and October 2014.
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 12163
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by Lob0426 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:50 am
And I am in the camp that says it depends;
The Raspberry Pi by itself does not need any extra cooling.

If you box it up with other components it might need cooling. These other components may need the cooling to extend their life, or they may themselves cause heating issues. Wifi dongles tend to put out a decent amount of heat themselves. USB HDD put out some heat but more importantly they can be damaged over time by high temperatures.

I boxed up a RasPi (rev1.0) with a hub and a USB HDD in a wooden slat box. The RasPi reported 145F but the inside of the box was 130F. Not too excessive, but hotter than I want for the HDD. I lifted a corner of the lid and everything cooled down 15F to 18F with no additional cooling. In this case I would recommend passive cooling, put some vents into the box.

So if you are using a Raspberry Pi, alone, in or out of an enclosure (case). Do not bother to cool it. The newer rev2.0 512MB boards run pretty cool already.
512MB version 2.0 as WordPress Server
Motorola Lapdock with 512MB
Modded Rev 1.0 with pin headers at USB

http://rich1.dyndns.tv/
(RS)Allied ships old stock to reward its Customers for long wait!
User avatar
Posts: 1950
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: Susanville CA.
by malakai » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:55 am
Wouldn't that be more a point for heat shielding rather than cooling. And that always brings me to the thought if the one thing the Pi has going for it is a graphics processor why the need to overclock the Media Center builds. If they aren't Raspi friendly wouldn't it point to the code needing to be optimized rather than over clocked? I always wonder why the highest heat issues are for the Media builds where it just seems it would benefit the least.
http://www.raspians.com - always looking for content feel free to ask to have it posted. Or sign up and message me to become a contributor to the site. Raspians is not affiliated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. (RPi's + You = Raspians)
User avatar
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:35 am
by Lob0426 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:44 am
malakai wrote:Wouldn't that be more a point for heat shielding rather than cooling. And that always brings me to the thought if the one thing the Pi has going for it is a graphics processor why the need to overclock the Media Center builds. If they aren't Raspi friendly wouldn't it point to the code needing to be optimized rather than over clocked? I always wonder why the highest heat issues are for the Media builds where it just seems it would benefit the least.


Heat sheilding can help but is not usually that effective in a totaly closed case. If the case has to be closed, such as for weatherproofing, then sheilding may be the answer. In a case that does not require total enclosure, venting, passive cooling or active cooling can be cheaper and more effective.

A lot of the Media center builds are overclocked and usually have USB hubs, USB HDD's and a USB WiFi. All of these can produce heat themselves. A cooling solution can be the answer to make a reliable "System". The only real way to know is to build it, then monitor it. If it needs the cooling then use it. Proper case design to provide passive cooling would be the best answer. Also it should be noted that some of these Media centers probably were using ver 1.0 boards that may have had the 1v8 issue that caused the LAN9512 "chip" to run hot.
512MB version 2.0 as WordPress Server
Motorola Lapdock with 512MB
Modded Rev 1.0 with pin headers at USB

http://rich1.dyndns.tv/
(RS)Allied ships old stock to reward its Customers for long wait!
User avatar
Posts: 1950
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: Susanville CA.
by MartinV » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:23 pm
And if I were to overclock it, how much would I be able to overclock it with passive cooling without taking risks of damaging the chips?
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:39 pm
by Lob0426 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:42 pm
People have been Overclocking just fine without any extra cooling. Some have claimed that they achieved better overclock figures with cooling. No one has ran any real world tests to support these claims so far. If you want to provide cooling for your own piece of mind, heatsinks are the easiest method. The better method is a cooling fan, which cools the whole board. There are threads about both.

Use the search function on the front page to search the forums for cooling and heatsinks.
512MB version 2.0 as WordPress Server
Motorola Lapdock with 512MB
Modded Rev 1.0 with pin headers at USB

http://rich1.dyndns.tv/
(RS)Allied ships old stock to reward its Customers for long wait!
User avatar
Posts: 1950
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:30 pm
Location: Susanville CA.