MSearles
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:50 am

Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 am

Could I please get suggestions on what the best setup would be for a Pi3? I've looked a little into it. I'd like suggestions for the best case, heatsinks, fans, and anything else one might need to have a perfect setup. I'd be using the Pi for emulation. Heatsinks to keep it cool, fans to keep it from being loud, and a good case. Is that all I would need? Is there anything else that gives the Pi3 optimum performance? Thanks everyone.

I was looking into this case, but am not sure if it allows for heatsinks and fans to be used with it - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MQ ... _qh_dp_hza

gkreidl
Posts: 6054
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:49 am

Get a FLIRC case and you won't need a fan (nor heat sinks). The aluminium case is used for cooling and dissipating the heat.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

User avatar
karrika
Posts: 1063
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:21 am
Location: Finland

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:51 am

I also recommend the FLIRC case. It is just beautiful.

Image

The only problem is in adding the flat cable for add-on cards. The metal pillars need a bit drilling or the connector a little shaping to make it fit.

Image

As a companion I highly recommend the Black HAT Hack3r from Pimoroni. This is a must for anyone wanting to add functionality to your Pi3.

And a good power supply.

jahboater
Posts: 4613
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:42 am

MSearles wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 am
fans to keep it from being loud
That doesn't make sense. Few people use a fan, and without a fan the Pi is silent. Get a good heatsink case as suggested, or some cheap heat sinks with decent thermal tape (3M) and allow plenty of ventilation, and you should be fine.

hippy
Posts: 5800
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:54 am

MSearles wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 am
anything else one might need to have a perfect setup.
That is going to be very much 'in the eye of the beholder'.

For me a "perfect setup" is one which presents the Pi in a Set-Top Box style, the SD Card socket, ports, power and connectors on a single panel at the back, with one or more USB sockets on the front. The best, reasonably priced, approach for that seems to be DIY, manufacturing one's own case or repurposing something else, using short extension cables.

I would like boot-up and shut down buttons on the front along with status LED's and a built-in UPS.

I would probably fit heatsinks but, for what I do, I haven't so far needed them. A fan would add noise and be overkill in my opinion but if it were quiet or on-demand I wouldn't be adverse.

MSearles
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:50 am

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:02 pm

gkreidl wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:49 am
Get a FLIRC case and you won't need a fan (nor heat sinks). The aluminium case is used for cooling and dissipating the heat.
karrika wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:51 am
I also recommend the FLIRC case. It is just beautiful.
I noticed there's no power button for this case. What do you guys use to power your Pi on/off? I came across this. Is this good? http://a.co/3ZyETZ9

So here's my list of everything I'd get. It totals to around $120 with the price of an SD card and two SNES controllers.

http://a.co/9zFTl7v
http://a.co/2IT04ON
http://a.co/27ZkLaD
http://a.co/7bYFuad

User avatar
piglet
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:22 pm

That switch will just cut power to the pi. You would need to shut down the pi before using the switch, to avoid the possibility of corrupting the sd card contents.

Being in the UK we have switches on sockets, so I either use these or pull out the plug after properly shutting down.

MSearles
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:50 am

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:55 pm

piglet wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:22 pm
That switch will just cut power to the pi. You would need to shut down the pi before using the switch, to avoid the possibility of corrupting the sd card contents.

Being in the UK we have switches on sockets, so I either use these or pull out the plug after properly shutting down.
So it's pointless to use the switch? I don't like the idea of having to pull the plug on the Pi every time I want to turn it off.

User avatar
piglet
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:05 pm

Yes, pointless.

To work correctly a power off switch for a pi would have to issue a shutdown even for the pi and then monitor the result, then remove power once that has been successful. I've seen a few examples of this such as the one in the link below.

https://blog.petrockblock.com/2015/07/0 ... pberry-pi/

runboy93
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:17 pm
Location: Finland
Contact: Website

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:07 pm

Best hardware? You maybe mean peripherals? :D

User avatar
rpiMike
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:07 pm

hippy wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:54 am
MSearles wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:54 am
anything else one might need to have a perfect setup.
That is going to be very much 'in the eye of the beholder'.

For me a "perfect setup" is one which presents the Pi in a Set-Top Box style, the SD Card socket, ports, power and connectors on a single panel at the back, with one or more USB sockets on the front. The best, reasonably priced, approach for that seems to be DIY, manufacturing one's own case or repurposing something else, using short extension cables.

I would like boot-up and shut down buttons on the front along with status LED's and a built-in UPS.

I would probably fit heatsinks but, for what I do, I haven't so far needed them. A fan would add noise and be overkill in my opinion but if it were quiet or on-demand I wouldn't be adverse.
hippy - have you seen this one : http://amzn.eu/7aa8rqW

hippy
Posts: 5800
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:26 pm

rpiMike wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:07 pm
hippy - have you seen this one : http://amzn.eu/7aa8rqW
I had but must admit I'd forgotten about that one!

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4536
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:01 am

The USB cable with a switch does not transfer power efficiently. I tested one and it exhibited too much voltage loss, in my opinion. I use one on my PiZero, but I wouldn't recommend it for the Pi2 or 3.

If you add a momentary push button switch to the "Run" connectors on the Pi3 motherboard it will allow you to boot the Pi3 after it has been shutdown. So you would use the OS to shutdown, and then hit the run button when you want to boot back up. In the meantime the shutdown Pi3 would be drawing almost no power (the red power LED will be on, but the rest of the computer will be off).

There are several cases with fans on Amazon, but as others said, a fan will add noise, and small fans tend to be louder than larger ones (at comparable CFM). The aluminum case looks like an elegant solution, but keep in mind the Pi3 has a built-in antenna, and that will end up inside the metal case, which could affect WiFi (or Bluetooth) connectivity. However, several reviewers say their wireless works fine, so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Canakit PSU is decent, but not exceptional. The official Raspberry Pi Foundation supply is better.

The heatsinks that come with the Canakit package are next to useless. They are too small for passive cooling so they would have to be used in a case with a fan, and even then they probably wouldn't help much (and they won't fit in the FLIRC case, anyway).

If you happen to live near a Fry's Electronics, they had the Pi3 for less than $35 when I was there recently.

Samsung EVO+ (EVO Plus) microSD cards are what I recommend for the Pi3. They are not terribly expensive but outperform cards costing significantly more. They noticeably reduced a lot of little lag/stutters I used to experience with other cards. Just be careful of who you buy them from. There are a lot of counterfeit Samsung SD cards out there.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

User avatar
Syn
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:53 am
Location: Canada
Contact: Twitter

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:17 pm

HI All,
New to this whole Raspberry Pi "thing". I just ordered a NESPi case and intend to install RetroPi once it arrives. I ordered a 32GB Samsung Evo+ (95 mb/s read) to run everything.

My only concern is heat...should I go with a single tall heatsink? a 30mm 5v fan? or both? I have no intentions of overclocking this, but I do want it to be capable of running 24/7 if necessary.

Any help/recommendations are appreciated :)

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 15049
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:57 pm

Syn wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:17 pm
My only concern is heat...should I go with a single tall heatsink? a 30mm 5v fan? or both? I have no intentions of overclocking this, but I do want it to be capable of running 24/7 if necessary.
What are you planning to run on your Pi? For simple stuff even the Pi 3B can run without a heatsink. If loaded it will need at least a simple heatsink. Fans are rarely required. I run a Pi 3B 24/7 with just a small heatsink. It is running a few simple tasks and also Thunderbird for email (which is the highest load on it). It's fine in the official case.

User avatar
rpiMike
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:15 pm

I would recommend a heatsink when using the NESPi case - as the vents on the case are not very big.

User avatar
Syn
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:53 am
Location: Canada
Contact: Twitter

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:32 pm

Heatsink and fan, or just a tall heatsink?

Most of the time this will be idling on my entertainment stand, but under max load, it will be emulating PS1 and N64 games. Most of the time it will be SNES and Genesis games in short spurts.

User avatar
rpiMike
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:37 pm

Just a tall heatsink, I don't think a fan is necessary for your requirements.

I have a NESPi case with Pi3 and tall heatsink for Retropie. I use a separate open case with heatsink and fan for Minecraft on Pi3.

User avatar
Syn
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:53 am
Location: Canada
Contact: Twitter

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:52 pm

rpiMike wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:37 pm
Just a tall heatsink, I don't think a fan is necessary for your requirements.

I have a NESPi case with Pi3 and tall heatsink for Retropie. I use a separate open case with heatsink and fan for Minecraft on Pi3.
Nice, is there a recommended brand/retailer for heatsinks (in Canada preferably) that has compound/tape pre-applied?

DirkS
Posts: 9902
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:03 am

Syn wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:52 pm
rpiMike wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:37 pm
Just a tall heatsink, I don't think a fan is necessary for your requirements.

I have a NESPi case with Pi3 and tall heatsink for Retropie. I use a separate open case with heatsink and fan for Minecraft on Pi3.
Nice, is there a recommended brand/retailer for heatsinks (in Canada preferably) that has compound/tape pre-applied?
Buyapi.ca and Canakit are Pi zero resellers and I would assume they also sell other 'Pi stuff'.

jahboater
Posts: 4613
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:38 pm

Syn wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:32 pm
Heatsink and fan, or just a tall heatsink?

Most of the time this will be idling on my entertainment stand, but under max load, it will be emulating PS1 and N64 games. Most of the time it will be SNES and Genesis games in short spurts.
Try this and watch the temps. It is an extreme load. I believe it is a more severe stress test than any game. It fully loads the NEON SIMD unit on all four cores; I think on all four lanes, and of course NEON is quad issue on the Pi3, so we are talking about a LOT of work going on!!

Code: Select all

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ssvb/cpuburn-arm/master/cpuburn-a53.S
gcc -o cpuburn-a53 cpuburn-a53.S
./cpuburn-a53
My passively cooled Pi3 throttles back, but is otherwise perfectly stable and happy running this artificial stress test. A 15mm cube heatsink, 3M thermal tape, the board is mounted on edge in free air.

User avatar
Syn
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:53 am
Location: Canada
Contact: Twitter

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:42 pm

jahboater wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:38 pm
Syn wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:32 pm
Heatsink and fan, or just a tall heatsink?

Most of the time this will be idling on my entertainment stand, but under max load, it will be emulating PS1 and N64 games. Most of the time it will be SNES and Genesis games in short spurts.
Try this and watch the temps. It is an extreme load. I believe it is a more severe stress test than any game. It fully loads the NEON SIMD unit on all four cores; I think on all four lanes, and of course NEON is quad issue on the Pi3, so we are talking about a LOT of work going on!!

Code: Select all

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ssvb/cpuburn-arm/master/cpuburn-a53.S
gcc -o cpuburn-a53 cpuburn-a53.S
./cpuburn-a53
My passively cooled Pi3 throttles back, but is otherwise perfectly stable and happy running this artificial stress test. A 15mm cube heatsink, 3M thermal tape, the board is mounted on edge in free air.
Thank you for this. I don't have my Pi yet as I'm waiting for the case to arrive first (going to take a month or two since it's shipping from China. What I'm trying to figure out ahead of time is if I should go with a medium-height heatsink on just the CPU or ALL of the three main chips plus a 30mm fan. OR a tall heatsink on all three chips and no fan.

Looking at some threads, it seems the operating temperature is slightly lower if the fan is used in a pull direction, which will be a challenge with this case as there is no top ventilation. Mind you, the difference between pull and push seems to be about 2-3c.

I'm thinking I can add some vents easily enough based on the design of the case; https://imgur.com/a/e2oYH
I would only have to cut out approximately nine of the lines/holes.

User avatar
rpiMike
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:38 pm
Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:01 pm

The NESPi case does have top vents, your photo is a bad angle.
IMG_4412 copy.jpg
IMG_4412 copy.jpg (15.14 KiB) Viewed 4426 times

User avatar
Syn
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:53 am
Location: Canada
Contact: Twitter

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:11 pm

rpiMike wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:01 pm
The NESPi case does have top vents, your photo is a bad angle.

IMG_4412 copy.jpg
Even better! Now I'm even more excited to get this. Still thinking to push air instead of pull as that should cool off the heatsinks better. Plus it was be easier to put an air filter between the case and the fan if it's pushing.

jahboater
Posts: 4613
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Best hardware for your Pi3?

Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:16 pm

Syn wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:42 pm
What I'm trying to figure out ahead of time is if I should go with a medium-height heatsink on just the CPU or ALL of the three main chips plus a 30mm fan. OR a tall heatsink on all three chips and no fan.
Just the CPU.
You only need the one heat sink - on the SoC. The chip on the underneath of the board is the RAM, the small chip is the USB/Lan controller. These two don't need a heatsink.

Return to “General discussion”