Are you scratching your head over how to install the heatsink on Raspberry pi? This short article will show you how to install the heatsink and where to install it on your Raspberry Pi.
Table of Contents
- Why apply a heatsink to the raspberry pi?
- Before installing heat sinks:
- Where to Put Raspberry pi 4 Heatsinks
- How to Install Heatsink on Raspberry Pi: Step By Step Guide
- What Do I Do If the Heatsink Can’t Cool My Raspberry Enough?
- How to Install Heatsink on Raspberry Pi: The Final Verdict
Why apply a heatsink to the raspberry pi?
The Raspberry Pi is a powerful and versatile tool for a wide range of use. However, it can generate a significant amount of heat during operation.
The biggest culprit of heating among various Raspberry versions is the Raspberry Pi 4. Even under normal load or idle, the CPU of Raspberry Pi 4 can still get hot. You can solve this issue mainly by installing a heat sink.
Measuring Raspberry temperature
Before installing heat sinks:
Check the compatibility of your heat sinks with the Raspberry Pi: Not every heat sinks are compatible with every Raspberry Pi. Make sure to choose heat sinks designed explicitly for your Raspberry Pi version.
Check the size of your heat sinks: The Raspberry Pi versions have different form factors. For instance, Raspberry Pi4 has a larger form factor than previous models. Make sure to choose heat sinks that are large enough to cover the CPU and other components.
Determine where you will be placing the heatsink: When installing heat sinks on your Raspberry Pi 4, placing them on the components that generate the most heat is important.
Examine your Raspberry Pi and determine these components.
Where to Put Raspberry pi 4 Heatsinks
The main component that generates heat on the Raspberry Pi 4 is the central processing unit (CPU). The CPU starts to heat quickly, especially if mounted in a closed case. Placing the heatsink on the CPU will reduce the heat.
Without a heatsink, a Raspberry Pi4 board with no case can heat up to about 60°C. This can go up to over 80°C for a board closed in a case and CPU load at 25%.
At this temperature, the CPU starts to throttle and lose performance.
Raspberry Pi board showing a CPU
The USB controller on the Raspberry Pi 4 can also generate heat during operation, especially when multiple USB devices are connected. A heat sink can be placed on top of the controller to help dissipate heat.
Power Management Chip
This chip manages the power supply for the Raspberry Pi 4 and can generate heat during operation. A heat sink can be placed on top of the chip to help dissipate heat.
How to Install Heatsink on Raspberry Pi: Step By Step Guide
Installing heat sinks on your Raspberry Pi 4 is a relatively simple process. Here are the general steps to follow:
Step 1: Choose the Appropriate Heat Sinks
Make sure to choose heat sinks designed explicitly for the Raspberry Pi 4 and are the appropriate size for the components you want to cool.
Step 2: Clean the Components
Before attaching the heat sinks, clean the surfaces of the components you want to attach to the heatsink. Use a lint-free cloth or alcohol wipes to remove any dirt or debris.
Step 3: Apply Thermal Adhesive
Apply a small amount of thermal adhesive to the back of each heat sink. You can use thermal tape or thermal paste. Ensure not to use too much adhesive, which can cause the heat sinks to slide off or interfere with the electrical contacts.
Step 4: Attach the Heat Sinks
Carefully attach the heat sinks to the components. Make sure to align the heat sinks properly to cover the components evenly. Apply gentle pressure to ensure that the heat sinks adhere to the components.
Step5: Allow the Adhesive to Cure
Allow the thermal adhesive to cure for at least an hour or as the manufacturer recommends. This will ensure that the heat sinks are securely attached and have proper contact with the components.
Step 6: Check the Temperatures
Once the heat sinks are attached, you can check your Raspberry Pi 4 using software such as Raspberry Pi OS’s built-in temperature monitor.
If the temperatures are still high, consider using additional cooling solutions such as a fan or liquid cooling.
Following these steps, you can effectively install heat sinks on your Raspberry Pi 4 to help dissipate heat and protect your device.
What Do I Do If the Heatsink Can’t Cool My Raspberry Enough?
Ideally, installing a heatsink in a closed case will only help a little. Consider using a fan or other cooling solution in addition to the heatsink. If this won’t help either, you may replace your Raspberry Pi.
Consider a Raspberry Pi case with enough openings. An open case dissipates heat passively from the heatsink and therefore doesn’t heat like the closed one.
Some Raspberry Pi also comes with a fan already installed.
Using a fan to cool Raspberry CPU
How to Install Heatsink on Raspberry Pi: The Final Verdict
Installing heat sinks on the Raspberry Pi 4 can help dissipate heat and improve performance.
Following our step-by-step guide, you can effectively install heat sinks on your Raspberry Pi 4 to help dissipate heat and protect your device.