back to article Too hot to handle? Raspberry Pi 4 fans left wondering if kit should come with a heatsink

Some early adopters of the Raspberry Pi 4, released on 24 June, are running into heat issues, especially with the official Pi 4 case making no provision for a heatsink or fan. The Raspberry Pi 4 has a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A72 CPU, for approximately three times the performance of the previous model. That …

  1. bluefin333

    I prefer my Pi(es) Hot

    Nothing more to add, apart from gravy...

    1. ColonelDare

      Re: I prefer my Pi(es) Hot

      Custard surely?

      1. Richocet

        Re: I prefer my Pi(es) Hot

        Mushy peas?

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I prefer my Pi(es) Hot

        Why not Both!

        Meat one side and fruit the other side, saves time and still delicious.

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: I prefer my Pi(es) Hot

          Clanger. Yeah, I know pasty, and not a pie.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: I prefer my Pi(es) Hot

            Oh yeah it might be a bit annoying getting custard on your meat and gravy and vice versa

  2. LDS Silver badge

    Small heatsinks are less then ideal

    The heatsinks I saw for PIs are probably too small to be very effective - maybe they would need metal cases acting as a larger heatsink for fanless designs, or fans are needed.

    1. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

      Something like the new FLIRC case ?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

        Nice!

      2. Totally not a Cylon
        Thumb Up

        Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

        I've got the PI3 version and it looks as good in real life as the pictures.

        Heavy enough to stay put with cables plugged in too.

        1. JassMan Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

          What it really needs is one of these to do the cooling - it will certainly hold it down no matter how many cables are plugged in.

      3. MatthewSt

        Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

        Awesome! Just bought one for my 3B+. Thanks

        1. mrwenni

          Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

          nice case, but they couldn't be bothered to add some decent screws.

      4. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

        Something like the new FLIRC case ?

        Looks very nice, but I don't think it will work with a PoE HAT.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

          Looks very nice, but I don't think it will work with a PoE HAT.

          There's a vented case available that accommodates the PoE HAT cooling fan.

      5. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

        I've got one for a Pi 3B+ and it works well but on a Pi 4 temps start at at about 70ºC and throttling starts at 80ºC so I don't think that case will do much for it.

        1. AndyS

          Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

          Sorry, I don't understand your comment at all.

          It runs hot, so a heat-sink case won't help it?

          That's the entire point of a heat sink.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

            Look at the graph, a heat sink can't bring a Pi 4's temperature down enough to prevent throttling.

            1. gerdesj Silver badge

              Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

              A heat sink on the CPU is not the same as an entire case heat sink. The ali case design is often used in embedded thingies eg APUx and can work well. It needs testing, not sneering at.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

                I've tested it on a Pi 3B+ and it works but if you stress it it can still reach 80ºC, so given that a Pi 4 reaches 70ºC shortly after not idling, as I said, it's not going to do much for it.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

          a Pi 4 temps start at at about 70ºC and throttling starts at 80ºC so I don't think that case will do much for it.

          The FLIRC case for 4B is not available yet, it's still a pre-order product. I would guess that they are still testing and honing. So it mght differ quite a lot from the 3b+ version and the pre-order photo. Maybe even have fins or mounts for further passive cooling and fans if they have a performance target to achieve.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

        Now just bolt a fan on to the case, plug it into the wall socket and you have a miniature, self-contained marvel.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

      I dont use cases but I got a heatsink for my 4G and just sticking an 8 inch tube of rolled card on the top of the heatsink to make a chimney knocks a good 15c off it.

    3. big_D Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Small heatsinks are less then ideal

      I have just normal heat sinks on my 3B+, which is used for Pi-Hole duties and that is more than enough, but it isn't really pushed most of the time. A 4B doing the same job would probably get away with heat sinks as well - it runs headless and, depending on the number of clients on the network, doesn't get pushed hard - but if it is being used for media player or as a general PC, I'd definitely look at a proper cooling solution for it.

      Mine's the flame retardant coat in the corner.

  3. Toltec

    80% hotter?

    I know it is a quote, but what does that mean exactly? 80% higher power consumption or the running temperature relative to room temperature?

    Edit: I followed the link, seems like it is the latter.

    1. Joe W Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: 80% hotter?

      Same thoughts. Plus most of these comparisons are sensitive to the units used. People talking about "twice as hot as it was today" mean quite different things depending on whether they use Fahrenheit, Celsius, Remorqueur (however that's spelled) or Kelvin. Strictly this construction only makes sense in Kelvin. Here, the qualifier "with respect to ambient temperature" would be needed to get what is really meant here.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: 80% hotter?

        ”Strictly this construction only makes sense in Kelvin“

        Works in Celsius as well, assuming you get the starting point right; Twice as hot as 30oC is 333.15oC, not 60oC.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 80% hotter?

          You don't have º on your keyboard? Here, have some for later then: ººººº

          :)

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: 80% hotter?

        Remorqueur (however that's spelled)

        Réaumur.

  4. Dwarf Silver badge

    3D printed heat sinks

    Is someone having a laugh or do they just not understand thermal conductivity and why plastic may be a poor choice ?

    I’m guessing that some plastic lagging will be great for increasing its temperature

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: 3D printed heat sinks

      You can do metal 3D printing, although I don't know how effective such heatsinks would be.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: 3D printed heat sinks

        Yep, they are called welders :-)

        I'm fairly sure that the 3D CAM versions of those is not in the hobbyist price range and an order from heat-sinks-r-us is probably a lot cheaper and easier.

        Would be a fun toy to play with though - until the point you burn your garage down with it..

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: 3D printed heat sinks

          As you say, 3D printers that print metal are a real thing but they're not exactly hobbyist machines. A 3D printed heatsink can be useful as a cast, though (either as a positive to mold a negative from, or to use directly in lost-plastic casting.)

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: 3D printed heat sinks

            A 3D printed heatsink can be useful as a cast, though (either as a positive to mold a negative from, or to use directly in lost-plastic casting.)

            Quite. PLA works extremely well for lost-form casting as it tends to leave no residue at all (it evaporates).

          2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Re: 3D printed heat sinks

            The company I used for all my 3d printing does a variety of metals*. It's not cheap but it's affordable unless you do something silly like going for the 18K gold option.

            *Via the lost wax process mostly, I think.

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: 3D printed heat sinks

              Nothing wrong with 18K gold ... for jewelry. For industrial use, 18K gold is just wrong, either 14K is sufficient or you need pure gold (plating).

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: 3D printed heat sinks

        Indeed it's only worth while 3D printing to make a mould and then casting Aluminium. The 3D printed metal is poorer heat conductivity.

        Actually carve one out of candle, pack in silver sand and pour in the aluminium or Al alloy. Then mill/grind the base and polish to mount on IC(s).

        A 3D printed heatsink is a nonsense idea even if you can print metal. Maybe even cutting up an old PII or PIII heatsink is a better idea. I've kept a bunch of those to heatsink audio amps, linear regulators and RF amps. I've some 486 and GFX heatsinks too.

        Icon: Dragon breath to melt metal in crucible.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: 3D printed heat sinks

          Speaking as a manufacturing designer, extruded heatsinks (think car audio amplifier cases) are easier to manufacture than machined heatsinks ( think metal hedgehogs).

          The only advantage to 3D printing a lost plastic part to cast aluminium is to to achieve a geometry with high surface area. Desirable, but probably not worth the faff just to achieve a bit more cooling in a certain space (or the same cooling in a smaller space). Cast parts will have a different grain structure to extruded or machined parts, but I don't know the effect of this on conduction.

          Of course you can get a complicated geometry in other ways, such as bending copper pipe. And then you get the option of filling it with a suitable volatile liquid, using phase change and convection to cool to chip.

  5. The Basis of everything is...

    Heats always worth adding

    IMHO heatsinks are cheap and electronics generally like to run as cool as possible. If you're up for assembling a Pi then you can manage a few extra pennies and 30 seconds to drop in a couple of bits of ridged metal. It's currently 26C in my office, and my little Pi 2B which is idle at this time of day is reporting 47C with the lid on and 42 lid off. All nicely within spec of course, and a fan is probably overkill plus tiny fans make a noise out of all proportion to the volume of air wafted around.

    What I really need is a heatsink for me...

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Heats always worth adding

      Speaking of pennies, with a bit of thermal adhesive, and some lose change, you can build a heatsink out of coins. Really.

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: Heats always worth adding

        [Tim Hartnell was] "well known for his attempts to keep the ZX80 cool by balancing a frozen carton of milk on top of it"

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Heats always worth adding

        I once made a heat sink for a peristaltic pump from two forks and a few paperclips. Worked like a charm!

        1. VictimMildew

          Re: Heats always worth adding

          My ZX80 (or was it the ZX81?) worked fine using a strip of curved aluminium attached to the built-in heatsink using a bulldog clip.

      3. LewisRage

        Re: Heats always worth adding

        Back in the day I had a 386dx running at 33Mhz (I think, all a bit hazy now) and I could set it to run at 40mhz via dip switches but it got astonishingly hot, this was in the pre heatsink as standard era so it was just a flat topped chip on the board.

        One day I stumbled across a ~15cm piece of machined aluminium and an idea struck me. I superglued it straight onto the top of the chip and set the dips to 40mhz.

        Worked like a charm. I got my extra 5 MIPS and I didn't blow the chip up.

    2. Dave Bell

      Re: Heats always worth adding

      This week is bad, for any computer.

      I'm not sure how accurate the sensors/software are on my box, but it's running around 10℃ hotter than usual, and I am not planning to transcode any video files until things are cooler. Overnight temperaturs are forecast to be plenty high enough.

      Doesn't matter whether it's global warning or a freak year, when it's this hot, computers have problems. In that, the Raspberry Pi 4 isn't really all that special. But, on tests I have seen reported, I think a fan is needed. A heatsink alone doesn't make much difference.

      1. AndyD 8-)₹

        Re: Heats always worth adding

        " I think a fan is needed. A heatsink alone doesn't make much difference."

        hmm 4/5ths power rule anyone?

  6. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Meltdown?

    I had to put a heatsink on my original Pi Model B back in the day.

    Incidentally the lowest power Pi seems to be the Zero W, not had a single problem so far.

    Runs warm but passive air cooling seems fine.

    Why aren't there "micro" fans yet? You'd think a 3D printed fan would be trivial to make, using

    a simple hand wound coil and beam break detector for both position feedback and stall detection.

    No Hall sensors needed so loads cheaper and can work with a simple pair of LEDs run alternately

    as both detectors and emitters, due to not needing to worry about spin direction.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Meltdown?

      A quiet fan is limited by physics. The amount of air you can shovel around is roughly proportional to the area (diameter squared) and speed. The smaller the fan the higher the speed and the noisier it gets. Plus you need proper bearings that need to be installed properly. I'm pretty sure that this is not an application for 3D printing...

      1. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

        RE. Re: Meltdown?

        So very large fan = low speed and quiet.

        I did wonder whether a distributed maglev (tm) fan might work, with pyrolytic graphite around the outer edge to add positional feedback.

        For that matter why not use a 3D printed longitudinal fan? Pressed in manufactured bearings at each end, the whole thing would have massive air flow directed onto the chips but only a small footprint.

        Optimise the design so that it uses minimal material, perhaps a "double helix" structure? Should even work with a pager vibrate or drone motor if you wanted to go down the low power route.

        Also see https://www.digikey.in/en/product-highlight/s/sunon-fans/me-series-maglev-fans

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: RE. Meltdown?

          Way too large, the largest dimension of a Pi is about 50 mm.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE. Meltdown?

            Large? Nah. this is large.

            Joking aside, it annoys me no end that a fan is needed - I rather liked the lack of noise.

            I'm a fan of fanless, so to speak.

            1. BritinUS
              Happy

              Re: RE. Meltdown?

              Large? No even close! Try https://www.bigassfans.com/

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: RE. Meltdown?

          I did wonder whether a distributed maglev (tm) fan might work, with pyrolytic graphite around the outer edge to add positional feedback.

          Back in the day of early Athlons I had a couple of CPU coolers that basically had the motor's magnets in a ring on the circumference of the fan and the drive coils stationary around them. This allowed, according to the marketing blurb, to have just a small bearing at the center of the fan and the fan blades to extend inwards much further than with a hub motor, allowing airflow directly to the heatsink core sitting over the actual CPU chip. Never mind that the airflow near the fan center would be quite minimal anyway and hence add next to nothing to the overall cooling, but the fans were pretty quiet for the time.

          Unfortunately the designers didn't sufficiently account for the radial forces acting on the magnets; the fans all died due to them becoming unstuck

          1. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

            Re: RE. Meltdown?

            Ah! Yes the fix here would be to slot the magnets inside the frame so they can't move. Also as it's a hacker project why not recycle magnets from old optical drives and cardboard jewellery boxes?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meltdown?

        "A quiet fan is limited by physics"

        Quite. It takes Noctua (who are somewhat obsessive about being not noisy) 5 *years* to design a fan.

      3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Meltdown?

        Maybe dont use a traditional fan.. there are other desigbs that make way less noise.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: Meltdown?

          I wonder why the downvotes.. you can use a bigger fan running slowly or an impeller type fan.. you need low flow anyway.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Meltdown?

      This video shows someone's fan mount for a Pi 4. It works and stops throttling but it's a shame to have to stick a ruddy great fan on it.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Meltdown?

        I watched that the other night. It still makes a very small device.

        When I get a Pi 4, it will get a fan and airguide heatsinks like he showed on YouTube - but possibly not exactly the same case

        One question though. There was something he said that made me think the fan was pulling air in. I would have expected an exhaust fan there. Which is it?

        1. AIBailey Silver badge

          Re: Meltdown?

          I think there's plenty of debate in general as to whether fans are better sucking or blowing?

          My Pi 3B+ has a case fan that sucks air out of the case, which I can understand is good in terms of actually removing heat away from the chips, however I could also configure it to blow air in. As it's positioned directly above the CPU, I would assume that a constant flow of air aimed towards the heatsink would be good in that it would cause a lot more disturbance in the airflow hitting the fins of the heatsink , and so ultimately drive more heat away from the source.

          I'm genuinely curious as to the best method. Computer CPU fans still, if I recall correctly, push air into the fins of the cooler rather than draw warm air away?

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Meltdown?

            Personally, I figure that it doesn't matter until it matters. That is, it doesn't matter which way the fan is blowing. All that matters is that the cooling system is keeping the temperatures within specifications. My gut (and experience) tells me that for the vast majority of installations, a fan will achieve that regardless of which direction it blows.

            I can imagine situations where air direction might actually be a critical consideration, and I'm guessing which way is best depends on the hardware. If, for instance, the heat issue is overall buildup in a case rather than a single problematic chip, then sucking is probably best. If the heat issue is a specific chip, then blowing is probably best.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Meltdown?

              "That is, it doesn't matter which way the fan is blowing."

              That's probably true in 99% of cases. I've found that in a dusty environment, a fan that blows into the case is better because then you only need a filter across that one inlet. If it's sucking out, then every gap in the case draws in dusty air.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: Meltdown?

                Excellent point -- I hadn't thought of that. I love filling gaps in my understanding!

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Meltdown?

      I agree -- aside from the Zero, which seems to be fine without a heatsink, I've had to put heatsinks on all of the Pis that I've put to work in the past anyway. I'd do so with the 4 out of pure habit.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meltdown?

      Well, I found a fan that is moderately quiet and will cope with even the heaviest loads - but you still need a heat sink to maximise the surface over which heat is transferred. It's very inefficient to use a fan straight on the CPU, there's not enough surface.

  7. Starace Silver badge
    Flame

    Heatspreading technology?

    Having created conduction cooled boards in the dim and distant past they tended to be a bit thicker than that to get the copper and heat conduction layers in. Plus they were usually firmly strapped to something at the edges to dump the heat into, pcb foil layers not exactly being renowned for having massive heat capacity. So I'd assume the 'heatspreading' on this isn't adding much at all.

    Hope something useful and cheap pops up to sort this out.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Heatspreading technology?

      Signetics solved this with the 52120 back in 1972. Apparently it needs a 6ft fan 1/3" away from the package

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "heat-spreading technology"

    Does this mean the whole board gets hot enough to scald?

    Hey kids - get 'em while they're hot.

    Hey parents - these are great for class action.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "heat-spreading technology"

      Could make a great plastic cutter then :)

    2. bish

      Re: "heat-spreading technology"

      I got the 4GB one on launch, and after a week ordered the FanShim from Pimoroni to stop it throttling itself, because it was almost constantly bumping up at the limit (just running some containers, headlessly, albeit in a warm cupboard). But no: because it uses the whole board to (very inefficiently) dissipate heat, the whole board only seems to get slightly warm (YMMV). Even the processor itself didn't seem to get hot enough to cause a burn, unless one were to find the most sensitive patch of a baby's very sensitive skin and hold it in place for a while. I'm not sure there's much mileage in going to court with that sort of use-case.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: "heat-spreading technology"

        Even at 90 degrees, the specific heat of the top of the chip isn't high enough to cause a burn without waiting a while with your finger on it. It would feel uncomfortable, but you'd be fine. The board, probably not. If you're looking for a recipe for the thing to get damaged, running the chip at a temperature above spec for a long time or putting it through loops of heating up a lot, throttling until the temp goes back down past another limit, and letting it sail back up would both be good options.

  9. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Corrupt SD cards

    Until they come up with a solution for SD card corruption due to an improper shutdown, my Pis have found themselves in a box, replaced by Rokus. Shame.

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Corrupt SD cards @jr

      Been running a Pi kiosk in a museum which has plenty of fluorescent lights for two years. Because it's a wooden structure they kill the power each day at the main breaker. Even though the Pi gets a hard shutdown it has been booting up OK with no issues when the power is switched back on.

      Maybe you should buy better SD cards.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Corrupt SD cards

      If you buy your SD cards from the local market then power cuts will not corrupt the data - they got corrupted when you first put some data on the card. My first two Pi's were ordered in 2012. One died from a poor quality power supply. The other is still going with its original SD card and no UPS. Years ago I had problems with defective flash. Sort out a competent supplier and the problem goes away.

      1. bish

        Re: Corrupt SD cards

        Also depends on use. I have several Sandisk SD cards in various Pis that have been going strong for over 4 years, with me regularly pulling the plug without safely shutting down, and one that corrupted after only one power failure while running openhabian (which seems to constantly read and write to the card - I replaced it with my own homebrew scripting and have had no such problems). But yeah, as long as you're not intensively reading/writing, I've found the SD corruption thing to not really be as big of an issue as some make out.

        1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

          Re: Corrupt SD cards

          Various Class 10 genuine Sandisk cards corrupt when RetroPi is shut off incorrectly by the kids. That's just a fact.

          1. Bob Carter

            Re: Corrupt SD cards

            Ditto - my OSMC installation on a Class 10 Sandisk card was trashed by a hard power shut off...

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Corrupt SD cards

          "I've found the SD corruption thing to not really be as big of an issue as some make out."

          Me too -- in fact, I've never had it happen at all. Perhaps I just got lucky in my choice of SD cards.

          1. Dwarf Silver badge

            Re: Corrupt SD cards

            Backups exist for a reason. Even if its a small computer, the rules are still the same.

            I generally find that the SD cards wear out after a couple of years of work, given their price, buy a new one, restore from backup and carry on.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Corrupt SD cards

              SD cards do wear out, but that's a different issue. It doesn't always take years -- I have a Pi that uses the SD card heavily enough that they last about 3 months before needing to be replaced.

          2. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Corrupt SD cards

            In my experience, the SD corruption issue was terrible with the first models, although I think that was mostly software. Every time the device was shut down improperly, there'd be problems and usually the easiest thing was rewriting the card. Then 2013 or so rolled around and that stopped happening. I wondered about that so I subjected a victim pi to a cycle of power cuts at random intervals, including during writes and boot, but it survived all of them. I'd suggest you retrieve your pis, update the OS, and try again.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Corrupt SD cards

              I've been running Pis since the first batch in 2012. No SD card corruption ever.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corrupt SD cards

      Fixed, years ago, during the time of the first RPi. Have you been asleep for 5 years?

  10. bigtreeman

    Newer, faster, hotter

    These A72 cores pump the heat.

    My Nanopc-t4 has a cpu overheating problem with its moderately sized heatsink (no fan).

    I have to stand it on its side to improve convection air flow to cool it, will need a fan in summer.

    The heat is also generated by the power supply circuitry.

  11. The Basis of everything is...
    Flame

    Peltier cooling and funking great heatsink

    Of course in the spirit of all things Pi where technical coolness is more important that cost or practicality....

    Peltier cooling elements are available from your favourite tat bazaar. At 5v / 1.5 A you'll need another USB power feed - but who isn't feeding their Pi from USB hub these days? At at 30 x 30 mm it's bit on the large side so a nice copper block riser (and thermal paste) might be needed to lift it clear of other components, but then you'll need to get a thermocouple in there to control it as a 65C temperature differential is likely to freeze your poor Pi. And possibly some thought given to controlling condensation to avoid embarrassing shorts.

    A suitably large heatsink will of course be needed on the hot side of the peltier array.

    It certainly won't get ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>

    1. quxinot Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Peltier cooling and funking great heatsink

      Don't be ridiculous, a Peltier is horribly overdoing things.

      Be sensible. Watercooling will be more than adequate. :)

    2. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Peltier cooling and funking great heatsink

      The trouble with using a Peltier is that it takes power to operate it, and so the heat sink and fan have to be much larger than for the device alone. Peltiers only make sense when it is necessary to get to below ambient temperature.

      I remember a case where a CCD sensor was in a sealed box and needed cooling, so a Peltier was added between CCD and metal box. The result was that the CCD ran hotter.

    3. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Peltier cooling and funking great heatsink

      I was hoping somebody would say Peltier. Just so we can have a 100W Peltier to cool a 15W computer. :D

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Peltier cooling and funking great heatsink

        If I remember right ,some versions of Peltier can generate produce electricity from heat.

    4. AndyD 8-)₹

      Re: Peltier cooling and funking great heatsink

      "aren't people using these USB socketed mains outlets?"

  12. Jove Bronze badge

    In the Raspberry Pi world ...

    ... it will not be long before we hear of a Pi being used to create new cases with fans on a Pi driven 3D-printer.

  13. iainw

    The ‘official’ case is a closed plastic box with no vents. The board will inevitably overheat and throttle in such a case and therefore the case is not fit for purpose. It needs to be withdrawn from sale.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Facepalm

      The "purpose" of a Pi is to be cheap enough for school kids to muck about on and their parents/teachers not have to worry if they wreck it.

      That many people have found other uses for it is just great. But not part of the officially stated "purpose" of the device.

      1. vaporland

        your comment makes no sense

        the 'purpose' of the raspberry PI is to provide processing power in a small package. if it has an inherent defect it needs to be reengineered.

        'officially stated'? I bet you're fun at parties...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No problems

    Got one here, running Nextcloud.

    Keeps the room nice and warm. Looking forward to my heating bill going down this winter. >:)

  15. DanielR

    Noctua fans required.

  16. Oldgroaner

    Fan of fans

    Why bother with a heatsink when the fan for Pi 4 from Pimoroni works fine and is cheap. Can program it to come on at whatever temp you fancy (65C is suggested) and one can see it rapidly cooling the chip. So quiet you don't know it's cut in unless you notice the LE changing colour. Fits over the first few pins but they're stlill available.

    1. bish

      Re: Fan of fans

      Yep. Wish I'd ordered mine right away, rather than bumping up against the throttling threshold for a week.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. David Roberts

    What you need

    Is a great big tin box with fans and space to mount all your Pis and run the cables.

    Make one neat package instead of lots of little boxes dwarfed by the cables.

    Now i wonder what i have lying around?

  18. James Loughner
    Facepalm

    Heat Pipe

    What no one suggested heat pipes I though this was a tech site LOL

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Heat Pipe

      Heat pipes just move the heat from one place to another. You still have to dissipate it.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Heat Pipe

        Yeah, but no one puts a heatpipe on without a plate/heat sink to go with it.

        So a heat pipe would work well at quickly getting heat away into a block/heatsink. For proof of concept, see most phones out now!

  19. borkbork

    Underclock/volt?

    Is that a possibility? I doubt I'd notice a couple hundred Mhz difference, especially vs the noise from a 40-50mm fan.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Underclock/volt?

      That is basically what the CPU/GPU chip does itself when it notices it is in danger of over-heating.

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Underclock/volt?

      I have a Pi3 under my telly running OSMC, but the Leia builds seem to hit 100% CPU on a single core from time to time and stay there. I capped the CPU so it wouldn't bake. Runs fine for everything I need.

      With the heat recently I've run it topless, but that's about it.

      1. genghis_uk
        Coat

        Re: Underclock/volt?

        Isn't a topless Pi a Flan??

        Sorry.. ok, I'm leaving

  20. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Worked Too...

    I remember many years ago, keeping a small square bottle of water on a desktop cpu.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Worked Too...

      The risk of that is condensation on the bottle dripping onto the electronics below, depending onhumidity, ambien temperature, how cool the water in the bottle is, etc.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Worked Too...

        Better to use alcohol or (artificial) blood

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Worked Too...

          That wouldn't stop the condensation issue, though.

  21. Bob.

    Snowflakes!

    What is this 40-60C nonsense?

    It ain't too hot till it gets to 90C+, with random shutdowns, or sets fire to the curtains.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I do not understand is

    Why they put a spectre vulnerable CPU that was not in production (ARM Quote that no effected CPUs were in production) when the Spectre issue became piblic? Was it because they would have had the throw then in the bin otherwise?

    Personally I would have preferred they stuck with a53s with the same RAM and SOC I/O throughput and didn't call it a desktop replacment just because it is atleast as vulneable as an intel desktop.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge

      Re: What I do not understand is

      Because they are cheap. The board is /intended/ to be cheap. It is for school kids to muck about on and learn via taking risks without anyone needing to care too much if they break it. They always use chips that are out-of-date or binned aside for some other reason.

      I imagine they were not even thinking about a Pi4 until Broadcom suddenly had a pallet-load of chips that were suddenly more difficult to sell. (Pure speculation there - I am not affiliated with Pi: I have played with a few, and encourage the not-IT students around here play with them too, but generally use more suitable - ake expensive - boards for my own projects).

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: What I do not understand is

        "but generally use more suitable - ake expensive - boards for my own projects"

        I mostly use Pis for toys and prototyping. I don't tend to use them in "serious" projects, primarily because they're too large (usually too tall) for the sorts of projects I tend to do. I have field-stripped all of the connectors and such off of Pis to reduce their profile, but that's a lot of work.

        Instead, I tend to just use naked microcontrollers, or rarely a more serious SBC as you're talking about, depending on the project.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What I do not understand is

        RPi foundation made a lot about it been capable of being a desktop replacement, so an amount of people are going to be using it for that purpose, including web browsing and online banking and without any antivirus.

        Now either you believe that spectre is an issue or you do not, if the later then you might consider that the big names in CPU production do actually believe it is a problem, even intel is moving towards addressing their fail.

        So when you say it is "Cheap" so it is okay then fine if you never trust it with anything important but when someone has their credentials hijacked are you willing to explain how it was all their own fault?

        I actually have all but the last 2 versions, Pi 3b didn't seem worth the upgrade and the pi4 to me is just getting rid of vulnerable hardware and using a charity to do the selling. Shame on all involved.

  23. herman Silver badge
    Flame

    Shhhh...

    Mouser has some very quiet Sunon fans such as this: 369-MF25150V31000U99 and MF25101V31000UA99

    1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

      Re: Shhhh...

      If you know where to buy them... They seems to be out of stock every where.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    does ceramic heatsinks work ?

    do those fancy ceramic heatsinks work any better than aluminum ?

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: does ceramic heatsinks work ?

      Ceramic heatsinks pull heat away a little bit faster than aluminum ones, but that's not the reason that they are used. The benefits of ceramic heatsinks are that they weigh less and are nonconductive (so you can do cool things like print circuitry directly on the heatsink).

      The primary downside is that they are more fragile.

  25. John Geek
    Flame

    hmm, one of my pi3's is in a nice alloy case that has a heat spreader pressed against the CPU chip.

    now, my workload for it is very light weight, it runs a python script that sleeps for 2 minutes, then reads some weather data and updates a couple servers. so it runs very cool

    ah, they have a pi4 version now...

    https://flirc.tv/more/raspberry-pi-4-case

  26. georgezilla Bronze badge

    So .....

    So a CPU gets hot when used?

    No shit.

    Who knew.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: So .....

      Not the point. The point is better stated as "The CPU in this one gets hot a lot faster and thus has to underclock itself a lot more frequently than the CPU in the last one". Surely you would agree that this is a factor to be considered when buying the device, yes?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it me or it's just unfit for purpose ?

    I mean, the beauty of the PIs is their fanless nature: no moving parts, better longevity.

    Why have they started this fan non-sense, I think, with the 3B+ ? My 3B, I think is the last one fanless.

    I say, bring back passive cooling !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it me or it's just unfit for purpose ?

      Underclock it to the 1/3 of the previous model. No overheating. Plus the extra benefits (more ram etc).

      IMO this is a non issue.

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Is it me or it's just unfit for purpose ?

      That's the beauty of it to you. The beauty of it to other people is that it's a teeny board with a lot of poke. Some people will want to use these as desktop replacements, so having a little fan is bearable.

      Me, I'm in the middle. Some of mine are used for Kodi and others for MiniSatIP. MiniSatIP doesn't take much grunt and is in the attic, so no-moving-parts is nice there. Kodi takes a bit of power, but I like it to be silent, so to me there's a limit on how many Watts it can draw before it runs too hot. It may be that a Pi4, underclocked hard, could run all the 4k H.265 stuff from my UHD Blu-Rays without cooking, and that would be adequate for me.

      Other people will have different use cases which are just as valid as yours or mine.

  28. Andy Denton

    How long...

    .... before some nutter comes up with a water cooling kit for it, I wonder?

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: How long...

      Pinging Linus Tech Tips now.

    2. defiler Silver badge

      Re: How long...

      Too late:

      https://thepihut.com/products/raspberry-pi-water-cooling-kit

      (Out of stock)

  29. VikiAi Silver badge

    A PI4-version of one of these will likely come out sooner rather than later:

    https://www.banggood.com/Aluminum-Alloy-Armor-Enclosure-Case-Metal-Shell-Compatible-with-Raspberry-Pi-3-Model-Bplus3B-p-1416646.html

    or:

    https://www.banggood.com/Aluminum-Alloy-CNC-Enclosure-Case-Metal-Shell-Compatible-with-Raspberry-Pi-3-Model-Bplus3B-p-1425732.html

    or with fans:

    https://www.banggood.com/CNC-V3-Aluminum-Alloy-Armor-Protective-Case-Dual-Cooling-Fan-Kit-For-Raspberry-Pi-3-Model-B-3BPlus-p-1456092.html

    *As per the title: these are 2-3B(+) ones, but I'd put money on 4-compatible versions already rolling off production lines.*

    1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

      Re: A PI4-version of one of these will likely come out sooner rather than later:

      You mean something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Dorhea-Raspberry-Aluminium-Radiation-Protection/dp/B07TXYWY4Q/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=aluminium+case+raspberry+pi+4&qid=1564023473&s=gateway&sr=8-4

      1. VikiAi Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Seek and ye shall find

        Yep! Good spot, Olivier2553!

        Just showed up on BangGood too. (Nothing particularly special about BG, but I can only justify time to tracking new arrivals on one such site and they have, so far, provided an e-shopping experience that hasn't outright driven me away!).

        https://www.banggood.com/Armor-Aluminum-Alloy-Case-Protective-Shell-Metal-Enclosure-for-Raspberry-Pi-4-Model-B-Only-p-1539228.html

        https://www.banggood.com/Black-Silver-Aluminum-Case-Enclosure-Shell-With-Cooling-Fan-For-Raspberry-Pi-4-Model-B-p-1539229.html

        https://www.banggood.com/9-Layer-Acrylic-Case-Cooling-Fan-Micro-HDMI-Adapter-Kit-for-Raspberry-Pi-4-Model-B-p-1539218.html

        and unrelated to Pi, but likely of interest to El Reg's primary demographic:

        https://www.banggood.com/10-LED-Festival-String-Lantern-Hanging-Lamp-Party-Patio-Home-Decorative-Night-Light-p-1538527.html

        :-)

  30. zebm

    Fake news

    I went to the shop in Cambridge on Saturday and walked out with the 4GB model, an official case and a Pimoroni fan. All fits together fine as demonstrated to me in the shop when I queried whether the fan would fit in the case.

  31. tonkei
    Paris Hilton

    Easy cooling

    There's at least one fan shim available…

    https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/fan-shim

    I look forward to hearing how noisy it is in use :)

    1. Oldgroaner

      Re: Easy cooling

      So quiet you only know it's onwhen the LED changes colour.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Easy cooling

        Pimoroni have sold out.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fan shim

    I can highly recommend the Pimoroni 'Fan Shim'. My Pi 4 4Gb is in a PiBow Coupe case with the Fan Shim fitted and is now idling at 42°C (not using 4K). Before, I think it was approaching 65-70°C. They also provide a bit of code which can make the fan kick in and run when a certain temperature threshold is reached which works well. However, I decided to go without the code and just have it run it all the time as it is pretty quiet anyway!

  33. Fizzle
    Boffin

    Temperature control

    See Chris Barrat's YouTube here for an excellent analysis and best solution to over-heating.

    https://youtu.be/AVfvhEJ9XD0

  34. avantekcomputer

    Or use a pint of milk.

    https://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/ZX80-ZX81-ZX-Spectrum

    1. Toni the terrible

      I have this mini fridge meant for cooling 2 bottles of wine; a possible solution to keep the Pie cool?

      1. jms222

        Have you failed to notice that bottles of wine do not produce heat ? At least until you drink them.

        Also Peltier coolers are really really inefficient compared to anything.

  35. spold Bronze badge

    Marketing feature

    Ideal IoT controller - Ticks off one of the IoT device essentials...

    - Tells jokes

    - MAKES TEA (tick)

    - Takes the dog for a walk

  36. Jame_s

    heat spreading = grief spreading

    it's maybe worth noting that even on the PI3 the heat spreading technique can heat up the sd card to the point of malfunction too.

  37. JaitcH
    FAIL

    RASPBERRY PI - COMPROMISES SINCE VERSION 1

    Didn't the Raspberry group make pre-production samples? First they screwed up the power circuitry and now it's getting too hot?

    Even when I design a board for personal use I always have a few samples made, if only to make sure the board stuffer can do it's job, and the stuffed PCB can fit in the enclosure.

    The Raspberry group should remember a lot of it's users are D-I-Y people with very tight financial resources.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: RASPBERRY PI - COMPROMISES SINCE VERSION 1

      I'm not entirely clear if you're complaining because it's too cheap or too overpowered, but I'm certain that the Pi foundation will be glad for your advice to try out a few prototypes first. I certainly hadn't thought of that, and I doubt anyone else has either.

  38. DavidCarter

    The fan shim seems to be better at cooling obviously compared to the heatsink, with or without FLIRC. Adding both a heatsink and fan shim makes it worse... https://blog.pimoroni.com/raspberry-pi-4-thermals-and-fan-shim/ - FLIRC doesn't eem to make any difference (https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=raspberrypi-4-cooling&num=1), depends on your aesthetic needs. I use just a Pibow Coupé 4 with the Fan shim myself, it's totally silent

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