Adding Heatsinks to Rasperry Pi Cluster

Today I am adding some heat sinks to the Raspberry Pi Cluster and why you might want to.

Adding some Heat Sinks to my Raspberry Pi’s

One of the things we can do to reduce the temperature of the Raspberry Pi CPU’s is to add a small heat sink. This will draw the heat away from the SOC package (the black squares) on the board. The heat sinks are normally made from a highly conductive material such as aluminium. They aim to have a large surface area to release the heat into the surrounding air.

I purchased a number of small heatsinks for the Raspberry Pi’s, each pack had three heatsinks. For all Raspberry Pi B’s newer than the Raspberry Pi 1 B+ you will only need two. The older Raspberry Pi’s have a larger voltage regulator which can get quite hot which is where the third can be seated.

Three heatsinks for a Raspberry Pi

Each heatsink has adhesive tape on the bottom to allow easy seating on the SOC packages. Below is two images showing the placement of the heat sinks on both a Raspberry Pi B 1 and B+

Image showing Raspberry Pi 1 and placement of heat sinks


Image showing Raspberry Pi 1 B+ and placement of heat sinks

Why I am adding some heat sinks

For some of the experiments I want to do with the Raspberry Pi Cluster I am planning to run the nodes at 100% CPU usage. Most CPU’s will be rated to run at 100% usage at a specific maximum temperature. Normally most CPU’s, when run for a long period of time at 100%, will start to exceed this recommended temperature for safe working.

Some CPU’s will reduce their speed to cool themselves down having a thermal cutoff. However this will reduce your processing power and therefore the power of the cluster. One of the things you can do to reduce the temperature is install a fan or heat sink to the processor.

In the future I may look into the difference between running a Raspberry Pi with and without the heat sinks to compare the temperature reached. In addition the Raspberry Pi 3 can reach much higher temperatures due to its faster processor and increased number of cores.

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