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PiModules
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:23 pm

Hi,
Agree with you.
The only what can be done is to decrease the FAN noise like we done, but using PWM FAN control and dedicated cooling profiles that adjust the exact FAN speed to existing temperature conditions.
20190907_135554_1024x1024.jpg
PiCoolFAN4 with RTC and PWM Control
20190907_135554_1024x1024.jpg (102.1 KiB) Viewed 1392 times
www.pimodules.com

Best Regards
Ioannis

mby
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:09 am

I bought and tested the PiCoolFan; shipping was fast an reliable and it works like a charm. Now paying around with the parameter...
You can take a look at the manual @ https://pimodules.com/download/picoolfan4-user-manual

bjtheone
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:00 pm

jcyr wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:08 pm
procount wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:27 am
A fan always wins in my view.
+1
+2

Basic thermodynamics agrees with you. Given a big enough heat sink and a low enough ambient temperature you will never heat soak it, However you do have issues with boundary layers. You also have the issue with local ambient, if your case does not have enough ventilation. Turning the Pi on its edge with the heatsink fins in the correct orientation, lets convection currents help. Cheap heatsinks with crappy attachment pads may actually make things worse as the tape acts like an insulator.

However, active cooling will always be more effective and not require low ambient temps. Yes there is a potential noise issue (solvable with good, larger fans turning at lower speeds) and a power issue (solvable with a decent power supply). It totally depends on your use case but for desktop usage with lots of browser action a fan is a simple, easy, cheap solution that just works for me, since I want to Pi to live in a case. If you can live with it naked, and ambient temps are not too high, mounting it vertically may work. @Jamesh reports good results running that way and I suspect he logs lots of hours with a Pi.

The other issue to consider is what temps are you trying to achieve. As long as it is not underclocking, life is good. Most computers have their chips buried inside (especially laptops) and users are not aware of how hot things get. With the Pi it is much easier to become aware of this and then worry unnecessarily about it. I have a number of laptops that are not really useable in my lap due to this. Even my Chromebook gets uncomfortably hot right where the cpu is located if I am watching videos for extended periods. Yet it functions just fine with no fans, in a much worse thermal environment.

And so we are right back to the conclusion of all the threads so far. Fans work better. Heatsinks, done right are good. Pi 4 can run without either depending on your use case.

alphanumeric
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:10 pm

I have my Pi 4 in the Pimoroni Pibow Coupe case, Pimoroni 40x30x5mm heatsink, and Fan Shim. My Fan Shim just runs continuous, I want it that way. My temps are a pretty constant 40c. Without the Fan Shim, just the heat sink, it hit 80c with just moderate use.

jahboater
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:26 pm

bjtheone wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:00 pm
If you can live with it naked, and ambient temps are not too high, mounting it vertically may work. @Jamesh reports good results running that way and I suspect he logs lots of hours with a Pi.
It does work.
My Pi4 will not throttle under any load, even stress tests like cpuburn.
No fan is required - simple, reliable, and silent.

That's in the UK, I cant speak for hotter climates.

Just avoid small cases with no ventilation.

Its true the temps would be lower with a fan, but as long as it doesn't throttle, who cares?

alphanumeric
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:36 pm

To my way of thinking, why run it any hotter than you have too? I'm a lot happier knowing my temps stay at 40c instead of climbing to 80c. Cooler is better IMHO. Thats just me though, well maybe not "just me" ;) The reality is what ever works for you is how your going to go. If your happy with your setup your happy with your setup. :)

LTolledo
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:53 pm

my version for heatsink and fan
RPi4B-4G_Armorcase.jpg
RPi4B-4G_Armorcase.jpg (195.05 KiB) Viewed 1204 times
big heatsink, encasing the RPi4B... and fan to cool the heatsink. Temps hover at 40C as well.
as the heatsink is encasing the RPi4B, there are no dust being blown to the RPi board, compared to "conventional" fan-heatsink combo, or fan only solution.
as much as possible I'd like to minimize the "cleaning maintenance" cycle.

so for me its always a question of:
1. how cool (or hot) I want my RPi SoC to operate (whatever application/use I intend to do). What is my ideal temp limit at given ambient temp.
2. Budgetary constraints
3. HAT or no HAT, access to GPIO headers
4. Space constraints
5. Maintenance/Cleaning cycle

My RPi4B-4G is for my normal desktop use... not running sysbench, cpuburn (or similar) all day everyday 24/7/365.
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

alphanumeric
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:01 pm

I've seen reports of similar heatsink cases / covers not being ribbon cable friendly. Your standard hat header fits in that curved space but the ribbon cable header doesn't. I'd be using a booster header or stacking header anyway no matter what I connected to the GPIO.

EDIT: My only other concern is how does it impact WIFI performance?

LTolledo
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:32 pm

my RPis are within 1.5 meters away from the router, and the WiFi "chip" has a big window on the side of the case...
so not much adverse WiFi impact for me.

lemme get back to you about the ribbon cable... later... please... :D
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

pfletch101
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:55 pm

alphanumeric wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:01 pm
I've seen reports of similar heatsink cases / covers not being ribbon cable friendly. Your standard hat header fits in that curved space but the ribbon cable header doesn't. I'd be using a booster header or stacking header anyway no matter what I connected to the GPIO.
I think that a 'skinny' ribbon cable connector, such as you have to use for Flirc cases, should fit in the available space.

jahboater
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:31 am

alphanumeric wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:36 pm
To my way of thinking, why run it any hotter than you have too? I'm a lot happier knowing my temps stay at 40c instead of climbing to 80c. Cooler is better
Yes definitely, cooler is better - it might last for 35 years instead of 30 years :)
Mine idles in the upper 40C's. I just did a largish compilation with -O3 (about 80000 lines of code) and the temp rose to 51C.
That's good enough for me! Only cpuburn gets my Pi4 up into the upper 70C's. I am happy with that.

Experimenting with fans is fun of course - what ever people enjoy!

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BluPI2
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:07 am

From my experience of using my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ as a Desktop PC, the only thing that would completely eliminate throttling was active cooling with a 5v Fan. Heatsinks only prolong the inevitable.

These heatsinks I bought awhile back worked pretty well though, and it took much longer to reach the throttle temps.

https://www.adafruit.com/product/3082


Sometimes they arrive with bent fins, but I just fix them with a Flathead screwdriver. They fit inside most cases as well.
Proud Owner of a Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+ running Ubuntu Mate

jahboater
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:41 am

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:07 am
From my experience of using my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ as a Desktop PC, the only thing that would completely eliminate throttling
I suggest you try a Pi4 (which is also the topic of this thread).
The Pi3B+ was pushing the limits of the old 40nm node size. The new Pi4 has had a die shrink to 28nm and so runs cooler.
The Pi4 idle temps are high it is true because more is included in the SoC (such as ethernet), but the load temps are more stable than the 3B+ and its easy to stop it throttling.

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BluPI2
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:54 am

I will buy a Pi 4 when the features that I need are working...but I gotta say I find it very hard to believe that the Pi 4 will handle heavy desktop use without any throttling and without any type of cooling or heatsink. Seeing how every other Pi before it throttled. Maybe it really is a beast of an SBC, and all the hype is real though? I guess I'll find out.
Proud Owner of a Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+ running Ubuntu Mate

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PeterO
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:58 am

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:54 am
.but I gotta say I find it very hard to believe that the Pi 4 will handle heavy desktop use without any throttling and without any type of cooling or heatsink.
Have you actually read any of the threads about fans and heat sinks ?
PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
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DougieLawson
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:12 am

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:54 am
I will buy a Pi 4 when the features that I need are working...
What features do you think aren't working now?
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

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BluPI2
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:22 am

Have you actually read any of the threads about fans and heat sinks ?
PeterO
Yes, and all 3 pages of this one. Am I missing something?
What features do you think aren't working now?
Not that it's related to cooling, but Native USB booting, and I figured I might as well wait for the fixed USB-C version since my RPI 3B+
is serving me fine atm. Not to mention the RPI 4 4GB models have been constantly sold out, which is the one I would want. I also prefer Ubuntu Mate which isn't yet working on the RPI 4. Nothing overly important. I just don't see a rush to go out and buy one right at this moment.
Proud Owner of a Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+ running Ubuntu Mate

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PeterO
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:08 pm

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:22 am
Have you actually read any of the threads about fans and heat sinks ?
PeterO
Yes, and all 3 pages of this one. Am I missing something?
No one has ever said that it will handle heavy desktop load without throttling unless you use some additional cooling (be that heatsinks (which just delay the throttling) or a fan (which will prevent throttling)). Why you would think otherwise if you have read threads is hard to understand.

PeterO
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"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

jahboater
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:24 pm

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:54 am
but I gotta say I find it very hard to believe that the Pi 4 will handle heavy desktop use without any throttling and without any type of cooling or heatsink.
As said above, the pi4 is a different chip from the pi3, with a smaller node size, you cannot compare them.

There seems to be lot of people who put the Pi4 into a tiny plastic case with no ventilation - and wonder why it gets hot!

Use a bit of common sense and the Pi4 will easily handle "heavy" desktop use.

Mine has a small stick-on heat sink, not really necessary, but it looked nice!
The Pi4 is currently my only computer and is used for software development and web browsing. It does not throttle when running cpuburn, and never comes close to throttling when doing normal work.

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BluPI2
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:07 pm

PeterO wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:08 pm
BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:22 am
Have you actually read any of the threads about fans and heat sinks ?
PeterO
Yes, and all 3 pages of this one. Am I missing something?
No one has ever said that it will handle heavy desktop load without throttling unless you use some additional cooling (be that heatsinks (which just delay the throttling) or a fan (which will prevent throttling)). Why you would think otherwise if you have read threads is hard to understand.

PeterO
Because this was in reference to my earlier post?...

From my experience of using my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ as a Desktop PC, the only thing that would completely eliminate throttling was active cooling with a 5v Fan. Heatsinks only prolong the inevitable.
I was simply referring to my own experience, and the experience was the same with every other Pi, but I guess there's no point in me saying anything else until I get a Rpi 4 and try it out for my self. I wouldn't even really consider my usage heavy, but the others still throttled.

I just like the peace of mind of a fan because I never have to worry about throttling, not even for an instant, and I can get the max performance out of my PI's 100% of the time.
Proud Owner of a Raspberry Pi 3B and 3B+ running Ubuntu Mate

jahboater
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:44 pm

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:07 pm
I was simply referring to my own experience, and the experience was the same with every other Pi,
But the Pi4 is different - the first with a reduced 28nm node size. You have no relevant experience.
I never have to worry about throttling, not even for an instant, and I can get the max performance out of my PI's 100% of the time.
Yes, me too. But I did not need a fan - just avoid placing the poor thing into a small plastic un-ventilated case.

Metal cases like these where the case itself acts as a heat sink may be of interest if you want extra cooling:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/GeeekPi-Raspbe ... 976&sr=8-6

https://thepihut.com/products/flirc-raspberry-pi-4-case

The thing to do is make sure your cooling solution eliminates throttling with a pathological stress test like cpuburn, and then you will never need to worry about throttling ever with normal work loads. In my case a small stick-on passive heat sink was enough, but YMMV.
Last edited by jahboater on Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PeterO
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:24 pm

BluPI2 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:07 pm
Because this was in reference to my earlier post?...
You wrote "I find it very hard to believe that the Pi 4 will handle heavy desktop use without any throttling and without any type of cooling or heatsink."
which to me reads that you've read that "the Pi 4 will handle heavy desktop use without any throttling and without any type of cooling or heatsink" but that you don't believe it .....

PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

pica200
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:10 pm

So what is the problem again? If you use the Pi 4 in a well ventilated area and even better vertically mounted somewhere it will just run cool enough not to throttle with normal usage. If you really push it you will need extra cooling of which fans are the cheapest and most effective solution. If you want a completely quiet solution then get a case acting as heatsink.

If you live in a toasty area then you will have no choice other than active cooling but you will have the same problem with any device generating as much heat as the Pi 4.

alphanumeric
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:00 pm

Define normal usage? My 4B routinely hit 80c with just a browser window open to one of my surveillance camera network feeds. Heatsink no fan Pibow coupe case . Room temperature was around 24c.

jahboater
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Re: RaspberryPi 4: heatsink or fan

Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:11 pm

alphanumeric wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:00 pm
Define normal usage? My 4B routinely hit 80c with just a browser window open to one of my surveillance camera network feeds. Heatsink no fan Pibow coupe case . Room temperature was around 24c.
Is that your PiBow case perhaps?
My 4B is at 50C just using the browser.
About 20C ambient.

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