thradtke
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:40 am

Another point of view: Just replaced the board in my desktop system by a 512MB one, reused one of my 256MB boards as security camera, one old board is left over by now (replacement part for the camera). In two years we'll likely have an all-new board and most of us will retire their old Pi's. There's not much time to kill them, plus a spare board is easy to obtain and inexpensive.

And if you do keep it for 10 years, then there might be a tin-whisker killing your carefully heat-sinked board ;-).
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Lob0426
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:05 pm

I have one of the Ver.1.0 (256MB) boards that has the 1v8 issue. It constantly ran hot. The LAN9512 chip is uncomfortable to touch. This heat transfers out through the board heating everything up. I run this board with heat sinks. They do reduce its temperature. Overall my experience shows only about a 4F to 10F drop using the heat sinks alone. Not a lot but sometimes that is enough.

That board ran as my web server until a couple of months ago. I now have a Chinese 512MB board in its place.

These boards could very well be being used 10 years from now as my web server!
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:15 pm

I too have a V1.0 board that has the 1.8V problem. I have a tiny heatsink on the LAN chip to keep it a bit cooler, but that is just because I happened to have one lying around. I doubt it would be a problem without it, even though the chip does run a bit hot.

I don't have a heatsink on the SoC/RAM stack on any of my Raspis. No point.

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:30 pm

I think you are looking at using heat sinks on the Pi
In a academic way, and not a practical way
If you need to put heat sinks on , you are using
The Pi beyond its normal working capacity
If you put heat sinks on components when
Not needed, you will be compounding the the
Problem, they will get hot ,this will stop the
Normal ambient air from keeping it cool

If you are using the Pi in a hot environment
A small fan will be more use
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Qcbob
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:08 am

I have receive my first Raspberry Pi couple days ago and this subject have really help me taking a decision to add or not a heat sink to it. While reading all this, I made a little experiment with and without case and the conclusion were quite suprising.

I am overclocking to 800mhz throught the NOOBS config.I have one of those Cyntech Case which are very enclosed and does not leave many place for air to flow into it (I really like the model!). Without case I run at about 47,8 C and once i put my case on, about a minute or so, It reach an average of 51,9 C. I have reach a minimum of 43 C (while blowing air on it) without case and an maximum of 58 C enclosed while trying to run a Java application.

For my personnal use as a cheap desktop computer it would be more beneficial to simply remove the case instead of buying heatsink to gain a significant change in temperature. At this point, inside a "almost" seal case, the heat skin would become another place to keep heat instead of really dissipating it. The case have a serious dissipation problem and heat sink would simply getting the inside of the case warmer since there is no place to evacuate the air from inside the case.

At this point... for a 40$ computer, Heat sinks are more a goodies than a real use for what I am actually doing with it. It would melt the case before it get damage by the heat. And if it reach a point where it melt my case... I think I would simply buy a new one instead of worrying about the damage it do on a cheap computer. Take the SD card and swipe it to a new one. It is not like the hard drive is weld to it!

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:22 am

50 is well within the design specification of the SoC. It will start to reduce clock rate at 85. You are nowhere near that.
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Hayden_James
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:02 am

I'm over clocked and over volted but without heak sinks AND fan, temps were close to 80c constantly (in a closed Cyntech case!)

Now with sink + fan runs around 50c.

One important point many miss is that heat sinks in closed top cases without fan is pointless, because hot air is trapped. Also if you run Pi uncovered heatsinks are also pointless because running without a case or a convertable case will be cool enough without heat sink/fan.

So bottom line is you can overclock and overvolt up to the range of raspi-config's max overclocking setting using the default "uncovered" setup. But buy an aftermarket case with little ventilation and that changes!!

I have a fully closed Cyntech case for the pi above and I had to run with the top cover off until my sinks and fan arrived.

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:41 am

Hayden_James wrote:I'm over clocked and over volted but without heak sinks AND fan, temps were close to 80c constantly (in a closed Cyntech case!)

Now with sink + fan runs around 50c.

One important point many miss is that heat sinks in closed top cases without fan is pointless, because hot air is trapped. Also if you run Pi uncovered heatsinks are also pointless because running without a case or a convertable case will be cool enough without heat sink/fan.

So bottom line is you can overclock and overvolt up to the range of raspi-config's max overclocking setting using the default "uncovered" setup. But buy an aftermarket case with little ventilation and that changes!!

I have a fully closed Cyntech case for the pi above and I had to run with the top cover off until my sinks and fan arrived.
80 is still within acceptable limits of course, so you still don't need the heatsinks.

Or just drill some holes in the case?
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berighteous
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 03, 2014 6:35 pm

So the answer is still NO no matter how you run the pi, especially if it's not in a closed case?

I've been away from the "scene" for awhile and I see thousands of auctions for heat sinks for the pi on ebay. I thought maybe I missed a new development where they became necessary. I guess not.

I keep mine screwed to a block in the middle of one of these :
Image

With about 10 inches of open space on all sides. No fans, no heat sinks. I do overclock to 1000 mhz. I'd put a heat sink and fan on it if it'd get me to 1200mhz...

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 03, 2014 6:51 pm

berighteous wrote:So the answer is still NO no matter how you run the pi, especially if it's not in a closed case?
It depends who you ask and what you hope to achieve.

The Pi will come to no harm if you don't, but if you're running a high overclock and want to avoid the possiblility of the Pi throttling back its clocks if it hits 85°C, you may need a heatsink and possibly a fan in confined spaces even with an ambient room temperature of only 20°C.

Typing...

Code: Select all

vcgencmd measure_temp
...into a remote console whilst running your Pi as hard as you're ever likely to run it with give you an idea of how hot it's going to get. It's then up to you what course of action you do or don't pursue.

In short, the stock answer of "The Pi does not require a heatsink or cooling fan" no longer applies in all cases.
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 03, 2014 8:22 pm

Actually, it almost certainly does still apply. Has anyone actually seen throttling happening? I have seen quotes of temps, in enclosed cases, get in to the 80's but not had any evidence of throttling. I think when Dom was testing the only way he could make it throttle was to use a hair dryer on it. (may be misremembering).

But for general use, no way do you need a heatsink.
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 03, 2014 8:43 pm

jamesh wrote:Actually, it almost certainly does still apply. Has anyone actually seen throttling happening? I have seen quotes of temps, in enclosed cases, get in to the 80's but not had any evidence of throttling.
Don't forget that not everyone has an ambient temperature as low as we're fortunate enough to have here in the UK. In a bog-standard Pibow case, mine would definitely be throttling back if room temperature rose above 30°C when 'Turbo' overclocked and pushed hard, even with a small heatsink. As similar temperatures have been reported by others, I've no reason to assume that mine is the exception to the rule.

You're only going to get evidence from those who check temperatures, and I doubt there are many Pi users checking them, probably because they're being repeatedly told not to worry about temperatures. ;)
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sun May 04, 2014 1:03 am

I think it would be hard to get a Pi to the throttle point. Mine runs at 950Mhz all day long and never even gets close. I would venture to say that on in an enclosure in the 108F sun and overclocked would a Pi hit its thermal limits under normal circumstances. I've run 5 of them and none has ever gotten too hot. I live in C/S CO USA sometime during the summer we will hit mid 90F (32.2C) I would be willing to throw one on my back patio and log temps. My house it climate controlled at 74 (23C) so it won't get too hot inside.

Maybe one day when it is hot out I will take my arcade cab to my garage and see what temp it hits at full tilt, but chances are I will forget.

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Fri May 09, 2014 5:13 pm

I was thinking that how much you can overclock (AND of course overvolt) RPi until it breaks/becomes really unstable if cooling is not a problem :P

I once overclocked my Samsung Galaxy S Plus from 1,4GHz to 2,016GHz, it was unstable but 1,996GHz was stable WITHOUT any overvolting!

Image
(AMD FX-8320 stock cooler)

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Fri May 09, 2014 6:07 pm

I once overclocked my Sharp MZ-80K from 2MHz to 4MHz without any problems other than the tape interface didn't work due to software timing.

After adding a little mod-board that stopped the overclock when the tape was in use everything was fine.

:)

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Fri May 09, 2014 6:35 pm

Jessie wrote:I think it would be hard to get a Pi to the throttle point. Mine runs at 950Mhz all day long and never even gets close. I would venture to say that on in an enclosure in the 108F sun and overclocked would a Pi hit its thermal limits under normal circumstances.
Well, mine was reaching a maximum of 83.7°C when gaming last week with a room temperature of only 20°C. The answer was to throw the Pibow case in the bin and run bare for a while. That lowered peak temps to a more sane 74.5°C which I could live with if I had to. If it's like this with a room temp of just 20°C, what's it going to be like if that's raised to 30 or 40°C?

It's the people using them in hotter climates that I think are being sold short with the standard "No heatsink or fan required" line. I guess it depends on a person's definition of "required". It won't go bang if it reaches 85°C, but it will slow down if overclocked, then that's potentially the ~50% performance boost of a 'Turbo' overclock suddenly vanishing until it cools back down again.
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 12:38 am

As long as its not overclocked I think "no heatsinks required" always applys. Overclocks are never gauranteed. I can see your point about overclocking on a hot day but I'm not sure anyone using this thing out in the sun or in an industrial environment would ever overclock. I've installed industrial computers in the boiler building of a powerhouse where the temp is between 35 to 40C in the building and never once have they asked "hey can you OC this thing" or "does it run crisis?" Price is no concern for them and uptime is paramount.

The only time I see (maybe I am shortsighted) users overclocking a Pi is the enthusiast case and most of the time in a home. If my home gets to 30C (86F) and the cooler goes out I'm getting a hotel room. Again this is my opinion not anything scientific but I bet "no heatsinks required" covers 98% of use cases and 100% of its intended use cases.

I should see how hot my Pi runs in my arcade cab, most of mine are in the open.

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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 3:09 am

FatalError wrote:I was thinking that how much you can overclock (AND of course overvolt) RPi until it breaks/becomes really unstable if cooling is not a problem :P

I once overclocked my Samsung Galaxy S Plus from 1,4GHz to 2,016GHz, it was unstable but 1,996GHz was stable WITHOUT any overvolting!

Image
(AMD FX-8320 stock cooler)
looks like my phenom II 965's stock hsf, which BTW will run at 4.2GHz with 1.5 vcore (that is about 200W)
** The cpu will do that not that tiny cooler which could never handle near a 200w load
anyone managed to mount a hyper 212 (or a NH-D14 for that matter) on a pi yet? you know for science

my guess is you will be limited by the max power draw of the fuse on the board and the tiny wires of the micro usb connector
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 9:38 am

ALways worth remembering that you cannot overclock more than 1.2Ghz - even with liquid helium cooling. As I understand it the PLL"s don't go higher than that. (I think it's 1.2)
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 9:41 am

Jessie wrote:As long as its not overclocked I think "no heatsinks required" always applys.
I agree with that, except possibly in some of the much hotter countries where the Pi might be sold.
Overclocks are never gauranteed.
I understand that they're not guaranteed, but they are provided, therefore, effectively approved by the foundation with encouragement to use them in the form of easy setup via raspi-config. Maybe a little extra needs adding to the standard raspi-config overclocking warning message regarding possible erratic but non-damaging performance behaviour without adequate ventilation and/or in warm environments?
I can see your point about overclocking on a hot day but I'm not sure anyone using this thing out in the sun or in an industrial environment would ever overclock.
Industrial use is an entirely different matter as it's not something that falls within the intended design purposes of the Pi. As the Pi's primary purpose is education, isn't it better to assume that the end-user doesn't know about potential performance issues when overclocking in hot conditions? I'd imagine that this will be the vast majority of people's first ever experience of overclocking, so it's not sensible to assume that they have any prior knowledge.
I've installed industrial computers in the boiler building of a powerhouse where the temp is between 35 to 40C in the building and never once have they asked "hey can you OC this thing" or "does it run crisis?" Price is no concern for them and uptime is paramount.
If price is of no concern then I doubt they'll be using a Pi for such applications anyway.
The only time I see (maybe I am shortsighted) users overclocking a Pi is the enthusiast case and most of the time in a home. If my home gets to 30C (86F) and the cooler goes out I'm getting a hotel room. Again this is my opinion not anything scientific but I bet "no heatsinks required" covers 98% of use cases and 100% of its intended use cases.
As overclocking is only a few clicks away via raspi-config where any end-user can get to it, surely it has to be included in 'intended use cases'. You and I are both lucky enough to live in first-world countries where ambient temperatures are either within comfortable limits, or we have the means to ensure that they are. Over 85% of the world's population live in developing countries where they may not have the luxury of doing so, and many of those countries have significantly higher ambient temperatures than we do.

At the risk of sounding like a demented parrot, if my temperatures are peaking with 1°C or so of 85°C with a 'Turbo' overclock in a standard Pibow case when gaming at an ambient temperature of just 20°C, even an averagely hot summer in the UK will cause some throttling. With total Pi sales exceeding 2.5 million, I'd be surprised if there weren't at the very least tens of thousands of end-users in a similar position, and possibly many more.
I should see how hot my Pi runs in my arcade cab, most of mine are in the open.
If the Pi inside the arcade cabinet is running a 'Turbo' overclock, this would provide interesting comparative information. Assuming that the cabinet is enclosed, the air inside may behave more like a heat soak than a heat sink after an extended period of time, so it may take several hours to see maximum temperatures depending on the size of the cabinet.

Please note that in all of my posts relating to high temperatures, I'm not moaning. I have no other reason than a genuine desire to help. :)
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 9:58 am

I think the fact that the device throttles itself if it overheats basically ensures people never see problems even when overclocked. Most of the time they won't even see the effects of throttling as the clock rate is going to be boucing up and down multiple time per second anyway.

So the only purpose of a heatsink would be the reduce the amount of throttling seen when in high ambient temperatures with turbo overclock in a lightly ventilated case. And in most cases there won't be any throttling anyway.
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 10:08 am

In a complete conincidence, I just read that the Ouya and SHIELD use active cooling to prevent throttling, to keep gaming speed consistent. So it's not to stop the chip overheating as such, but to keep the CPU speed consistent.
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 10:27 am

I'm not convinced that a heatsink alone is likely to make much difference either unless the case is fairly heavily ventilated so that convection can draw fresh air through the case.

The heatsink on mine (fitted by the previous owner) only slowed down temperature rises, it didn't really make any measurable difference to temperature over an extended period of operation, not in a Pibow case anyway. Even a perfect passive heatsink can only cool a device to the same temperature as the air around it. A heatsink would need to protrude outside the case ideally where the air temperature is considerably lower to stand any chance of making a significant difference.

Anyway, I'm experimenting with active cooling on a bare Pi board at the moment and seeing a temperature drop large enough compared to the Pibow scenario to stop mine throttling back unless the ambient temperature ever goes above 40°C, and that's pretty damned unlikely here in the UK. If that ever happens, I'm emigrating to Greenland. :D

I'll be eating up a fair amount of that new found headroom when the Pi goes inside the same small home-brew case as a 3.5" hard drive later this year though, so I'll be sure to report back with some in-situ figures. It's all interesting stuff (to me at least), even if not critical as such. :)
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 11:15 am

I was actually thinking of using an old little heat sink from some electronics I put it constantly on the 3.3v pin.
I don't believe I need it, as I use it for xmbc right now, but because it is overclocked and on for hours or days, it can only be beneficial .. right ? :D
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Re: Heat Sinks, Do YOU need them.

Sat May 10, 2014 11:28 am

DominusPi wrote:I was actually thinking of using an old little heat sink from some electronics I put it constantly on the 3.3v pin.
I don't believe I need it, as I use it for xmbc right now, but because it is overclocked and on for hours or days, it can only be beneficial .. right ? :D
Nope. I have a model B with 256 running OpenELEC. Not used all the time, but on all the time. No heatsink, no problems...the H264 etc decode is pretty energy efficient, so is unlikely to get the chip up the temps seen when doing 3D.
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