Gareth002
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How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:42 pm

Hi. I have heard over the internet that cooling for the raspberry pi 4 is actually getting a bit noticeable, as compared previous installments. i was wondering if the raspberry pi 4 Absolutely needs a cooling system, and if so, how well do you need to cool it?
I'm familiar with making my own wave share gameboys, and that's where my concern comes in. You see, If I made another wave share item with the Pi 4, Do i necessarily need to cool it before attacking the gameboy hat to the Pi 4?

I'll break this down in questions
- Is the Pi 4 cooling required?
- If using something that uses the GPIO Pins, are there effective ways of cooling it?
- Would heatsinks work effectively?
- What happens if I ignored the cooling? I assume it'll damage the board, Right?

I seem to hesitate to buy a Pi 4, I'm unsure if it'll be a good idea for me.

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:25 pm

Q - Is the Pi 4 cooling required?
A- No, unless you want to max out performance, then a (single) heatsink and a fan can help.

Q - If using something that uses the GPIO Pins, are there effective ways of cooling it?
A- you mean something like a HAT? Depends on the HAT, how much heat it dissipates, it also has consequences for the airflow, (unless you orient the PI vertically) normally HATs don't dissipate much heat.

Q - Would heatsinks work effectively?
A - Yes, a single heatsink on the main chip would help (enough), but some (just a little) airflow over it would make it more efficient. Only the main chip needs a heatsink. One way to get better airflow without fans would be not to obstruct airflow, and to place the board vertically, for natural convection.

Q - What happens if I ignored the cooling? I assume it'll damage the board, Right?
A - NO! Under some circumstances the RPI would work slower, but there is NO chance the board would be damaged

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:35 pm

Gareth002 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:42 pm
Hi. I have heard over the internet that cooling for the raspberry pi 4 is actually getting a bit noticeable, as compared previous installments. i was wondering if the raspberry pi 4 Absolutely needs a cooling system, and if so, how well do you need to cool it?
I'm familiar with making my own wave share gameboys, and that's where my concern comes in. You see, If I made another wave share item with the Pi 4, Do i necessarily need to cool it before attacking the gameboy hat to the Pi 4?

I'll break this down in questions
1 - Is the Pi 4 cooling required?
2- If using something that uses the GPIO Pins, are there effective ways of cooling it?
3 -Would heatsinks work effectively?
4- What happens if I ignored the cooling? I assume it'll damage the board, Right?

I seem to hesitate to buy a Pi 4, I'm unsure if it'll be a good idea for me.
1. No
2. Yes
3 Yes, if there is some airflow.
4. No, the board will protect itself and simply slow down to keep temperatures under control
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Re: How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:52 pm

from an ordinary user who actually ran the RPi4B in bare naked, no heatsink no fan, no case setup for 3 days at an ambient of 20C,
with a 2TB USB HDD attached to the USB3.0 port.
watching youtube 1080p videos in chromium, other tabs were google map, CNN, BBC, local weather homepage.
then watched 1080p video in VLC (accessed from USB HDD)

1. it works without any cooling, maxing at 58C idling at 55C, spiking at 62C
2. not using GPIO at the time...cant answer this.
3. Yes, it does. using cellophane tape, I installed a makeshift heatsink using aluminum bottle cap. max temp dropped to 45C, natural air convection flow (hot air rises, cold air fills the void)
4. No, my board is still fine now.

Dont/never assume anything.... ask the questions to things you want to clarify.
Last edited by LTolledo on Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:01 pm

Gareth002 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:42 pm
Hi. I have heard over the internet that cooling for the raspberry pi 4 is actually getting a bit noticeable, as compared previous installments. i was wondering if the raspberry pi 4 Absolutely needs a cooling system, and if so, how well do you need to cool it?
I'm familiar with making my own wave share gameboys, and that's where my concern comes in. You see, If I made another wave share item with the Pi 4, Do i necessarily need to cool it before attacking the gameboy hat to the Pi 4?

I'll break this down in questions
- Is the Pi 4 cooling required?
- If using something that uses the GPIO Pins, are there effective ways of cooling it?
- Would heatsinks work effectively?
- What happens if I ignored the cooling? I assume it'll damage the board, Right?

I seem to hesitate to buy a Pi 4, I'm unsure if it'll be a good idea for me.

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mattmiller
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:54 pm

When the Pi4 1st came out - it ran very hot

Its software has been vastly improved and now its fine

I run mine flat inside in the bottom half of a plastic case and its fine.

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:39 pm

Hanging Pi4B is good for airflow, no need for heatsink.
Keeps at 80° after running cpuburn for 30 minutes:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 8#p1565764
⇨https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/Raspberry_camera.html

https://github.com/Hermann-SW/Raspberry_v1_camera_global_external_shutter
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/github_repo_i420toh264
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:24 pm

One thing not mentioned is if you enclose the Pi in a small plastic case, such as the official case, it overheats doing such menial tasks as sitting idle at the desktop and performance takes a dive.

I have personally used my Pi4b (with original firmware, not yet updated) whilst it was 45°C according to my thermometer.
Using YouTube, the Pi never broke a sweat. A shame I could not say the same about myself that particular day.
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:36 am

What you could do, is use passive cooling. A large heat sink, that will fit under your GPIO HAT.
Image
The issue with this is, that it works quite ok for mostly idle situations.
But once you strain the GPU and graphics for a prolonged time, the heat sink might get saturated, and you still might end up with 80C CPU, and a hard to handle (hot) heatsink. Especially in the scenario where the heatsink is built inside a casing without proper air cooling.

Another thing you could do, is just use a regular passive heatsink, preferably a machined type, like the one in picture below, with multiple fingers
Image
rather than the regular extruder type:
Image

One that fits the Pi CPU, and create a fan in your casing that will provide fresh air inside the case, pass it along the heat sink, and an exhaust hole that will allow the hotter air to exit the case.

You can cool the CPU somewhat, by just cooling the back of the Pi motherboard.
But most cooling comes from a CPU heatsink with proper airflow.

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:06 am

There is no need for cooling if you don't jail your Pi4B into a case.
Just hanging with air from both sides is enough.
80°C and 1.5GHz arm frequency even after 30min of running cpuburn (in the pointed to posting).
I read somewhere that ARM CPU is safe to use up to 120°C.
But firmware kicks in earliear and throttles at 85°C.
So while 80°C "feels" hot it is not and there is no reason to add heatsink.
Adding heatsink and/or fan does not hurt on the other side.

P.S:
Did run again, no change:

Code: Select all

[email protected]:~ $ top -bn 1 -1 | head -14 | tail -4
 9565 pi        20   0    4340   1136    996 R 100.0   0.0   8:47.39 cpuburn-a+
 9567 pi        20   0    4340    172      0 R 100.0   0.0   8:44.73 cpuburn-a+
 9566 pi        20   0    4340    172      0 R 100.0   0.0   8:47.05 cpuburn-a+
 9568 pi        20   0    4340    172      0 R  93.3   0.0   8:07.52 cpuburn-a+
[email protected]:~ $ vcgencmd measure_temp
temp=80.0'C
[email protected]:~ $ vcgencmd measure_clock arm
frequency(48)=1500398464
[email protected]:~ $ 
⇨https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/Raspberry_camera.html

https://github.com/Hermann-SW/Raspberry_v1_camera_global_external_shutter
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/github_repo_i420toh264
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:49 am

X-Gen wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:36 am
Another thing you could do, is just use a regular passive heatsink, preferably a machined type, like the one in picture below, with multiple fingers
Image
Could you post a link to a supplier for these?

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:02 am

The latest DVFS firmware should mean that the Pi4 in a case should run a lot cooler. Unless you are running it flat out all the time, in which case some sort of cooling might help, But you cannot damage it, and flat out for long period use cases are quite unusual.
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Re: How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:03 pm

jahboater wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:49 am
X-Gen wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:36 am
Another thing you could do, is just use a regular passive heatsink, preferably a machined type, like the one in picture below, with multiple fingers
Image
Could you post a link to a supplier for these?
the best size for this type of heat sink on the RPi4B is 35 x 35 x 10,
any wider than that you'll need a copper riser block in between the SoC and the big-bulky-heatsink

though I doubt there are 30 x 30 x 100 heatsinks for the RPi.... (seems impractical though) :lol:

me used 28 x 28 x 10 before, on the RPi3B, but on the RPi4B-4G (desktop) and RPi4G-2G (NAS) am using armorcase with dual-fan ;)

the holiday RPi4B-2G posted earlier that I used bare naked, is now in a RPF Red-White case (top removed) with the machined 14 x 14 x 8 heatsink on the SoC, its only used sparingly ("myth busting" some forum "claims").

later I'll probably attach this (as shown) if I've decided on that holiday RPi4B-2G's the long term task.
ArmorTopCover.jpg
ArmorTopCover.jpg (39.93 KiB) Viewed 1440 times
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Re: How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:13 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:03 pm
the best size for this type of heat sink on the RPi4B is 35 x 35 x 10,
any wider than that you'll need a copper riser block in between the SoC and the big-bulky-heatsink
Yes, interesting, thanks.
I currently use a 30x30x10 with 3M sticky thermal tape.

I guess its all moot with the latest DVFS firmware as I cannot get the Pi even close to the throttling temp with any stress test or any sustained heavy workload.

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Re: How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:10 pm

jahboater wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:13 pm
LTolledo wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:03 pm
the best size for this type of heat sink on the RPi4B is 35 x 35 x 10,
any wider than that you'll need a copper riser block in between the SoC and the big-bulky-heatsink
Yes, interesting, thanks.
I currently use a 30x30x10 with 3M sticky thermal tape.
those sticky "thermal tapes" IMO are no good, thus I usually call those as stick "insulator tapes", and, depending on the orientation of the RPi, those have tendency to "move" by themselves..... moving with it the heatsink placed on top of it

as I have posted on quite a number of topics with "heatsink" I use thermal adhesive to attach heatsinks to the SoC (or other devices that needs heatsinks)

Maintaining a stressed out RPi4B SoC at 36C in a 27C ambient surely does not violate any known electrical/electronics/computer/logical norms......,
or does it? (citation please) :o
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Re: How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:39 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:10 pm
those sticky "thermal tapes" IMO are no good, thus I usually call those as stick "insulator tapes", and, depending on the orientation of the RPi, those have tendency to "move" by themselves..... moving with it the heatsink placed on top of it
I agree its not ideal, but "proper" 3M blue thermal tape seems to work reasonably well. I know some tape provided with cheap heat sinks has been an insulator!
LTolledo wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:10 pm
as I have posted on quite a number of topics with "heatsink" I use thermal adhesive to attach heatsinks to the SoC (or other devices that needs heatsinks)
What thermal adhesive do you use?
Last time looked at the arctic silver one , they kept saying that it wasn't suitable for attaching heat sinks.

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Re: How bad/good is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:29 pm

jahboater wrote: What thermal adhesive do you use?
Last time looked at the arctic silver one , they kept saying that it wasn't suitable for attaching heat sinks.
the Arctic silver site "says" its not recommended for CPU and CPU heatsinks (could be those Intel and AMD types, having large square area)

am using "ordinary" thermal adhesive from my electronics shop, which is recommended for use with high power LEDs
ThermalAdhesive.jpg
ThermalAdhesive.jpg (29.17 KiB) Viewed 1291 times
Main specifications
・ Thermal conductivity: 0.671W / m ・ K
・ Operating temperature: -60 ℃ ~ + 250 ℃
・ Adhesive strength: 1.8Mpa
・ Surface drying time: 3 minutes
・ Complete adhesion time: 12 hours
・ Capacity: 10g

I also use thermal grease, with the armorcase, as I may sometimes need to remove the top cover/heatsink. Using a thermal adhesive with this setup will be "disastrous". The thermal grease is the one used for high-power transistor applications
SiliconThermalGrease.jpg
SiliconThermalGrease.jpg (18.5 KiB) Viewed 1291 times
Main specifications
・ Thermal conductivity: 6W / m ・ K
・ Thermal resistance: 0.036 ℃ ・ in 2 / W
・ Operating temperature: -40 ℃ ~ 300 ℃
・ Color: Gray
・ Capacity: 1g
・Suitable mainly for cooling CPU and GPU.

this is my armorcase for the RPi4B.
the copper spacer is bonded to the armor case using the thermal adhesive
adhesive grease is applied over the SoC before mating the top cover to the RPi4B board.
thermal pads for the memory and USB controller is sufficient enough (as thermal insulator)
RPi4B-4G_Armorcase-open.jpg
RPi4B-4G_Armorcase-open.jpg (200.56 KiB) Viewed 1291 times

the same procedure with the RPi3B+ and RPi3B with armorcase.
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Russell1993
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:27 am

Thanks for the passive cooling idea. Tell me where to get a radiator, order in China, or are there faster options?

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:58 am

jahboater wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:49 am
X-Gen wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:36 am
Another thing you could do, is just use a regular passive heatsink, preferably a machined type, like the one in picture below, with multiple fingers
Image
Could you post a link to a supplier for these?
Just look for raspberry pi heatsinks on Ebay or Amazon. There are plenty.
THe one above, I used the copper version on my Chinese Media players.
All you have to do, is check the maximum size heat sink, and install it.

This seller sells a few:
https://www.amazon.com/Easycargo-Raspbe ... B07C7VCC9C

This seller sells different sizes:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WSZKW38

They come with glue on the back, and offer about 5-10C hotter temperatures than using non-sticky thermal grease; but still can cool a Pi just fine.
Especially if you get active cooling the Pi won't come anywhere near 50-60C!
Thermal tape isn't the best. It's better to use standard dualsided (non-thermal) sticky tape (believe it or not, it works), and it's better than most other compounds. As long as the tape is thin (like regular scotch tape)
Just make sure you get the largest size that fits your pi. It's better than getting a sink that just fits the CPU.
All measurements are measured in millimeter.

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:10 am

If you could install these (if they fit size-wise), these are awesome (with a fan):
https://www.amazon.com/Alphacool-Copper ... B077VM8FJW
Image

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:23 am

I follow the policy of "the cooler the better", but I am also thrifty, frugal....ok, cheap.
Along with the 2 tiny, and ineffective heat sinks that came with my 3B+, I just left the top off the case and used an old desktop cooling fan supported by 4 nylon screws to stand over the top of the pi. It is powered with a left over and cheap usb power supply. It keeps my 3B+ under 45c at max load. Ugly, but it is behind the monitor anyhow.

My 4B came with 3 ineffective heat sinks and a tiny case fan, that I ended up plugging into the 3.3V pin due to fan noise. This kept the unit at 60c. I didn't like that, so I set the thing on top of an old laptop cooling pad, with only one fan running, powered again by an external usb power supply, and under max load, keep the unit now at under 50c.

Rather ugly, solutions, but effective and inexpensive. I have trouble believing running the units to the point they are so hot they have to throttle back is ever a good thing.

Another viewpoint was given when my wife saw my "McGiver Solutions", and simply stated: "By the damn Flirc case already!"
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:27 am

60c is absolutely fine. No reason not to like it.
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Gareth002
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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:20 pm

I was reading on eBay that the standard case is like a oven, And they said "Cooling is a absolute requirement".
Do i assume that's outdated/corrected?

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:24 pm

Gareth002 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:20 pm
I was reading on eBay that the standard case is like a oven, And they said "Cooling is a absolute requirement".
Do i assume that's outdated/corrected?


Or you could assume that a statement from a Raspberry Pi Engineer is more likely to be accurate than a random and unattributable opinion published on an auction site...

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Re: How bad/gpod is cooling on the Raspberry pi 4?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:48 pm

Gareth002 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:20 pm
I was reading on eBay that the standard case is like a oven, And they said "Cooling is a absolute requirement".
Do i assume that's outdated/corrected?
The latest firmware uses dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) to reduce power and hence temperatures. Most people are seeing a 5-10deg drop in idle temperatures. If you are running full speed all the time (very unusual), then the improvement is not so great, but there are also changes to the steps the frequency can change by which means we can keep a better level of performance whilst still reducing temperatures.

So with the standard case and the new firmware you should see a decent drop in temperatures. Still quite warm, but nowhere near as hot as when the Pi4 was first released.
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