XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:56 am

It wouldn't. The TEC needs a heatsink and fan also so the noise level would likely be higher after you use it.

Then there's the power consumption of using a TEC and the risk of condensation killing the odroid from the cold plate being below ambient. TEC's really aren't very good solutions for cooling computers unless you're building something rather exotic and can really deal with all the issues they come with.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby oversim » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:53 am

Do you use thermal pad or thermal paste?
I have a 6 W/mC thermal pad already at home.. And i want ti replace fan heatskin with a fanless one..
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby oversim » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:12 pm

Another question..
I replace the stock-configuration of XU4 (thermal paste) with ARCTIC Thermal Pad, 0.5mm, applied to main CPU, and the others 2 IC that basically are covered by heat skin.
Remounted (after cleaning it) the stock fan heat skin, and now these are my idle temp. ! before was around 45'C ! What was wrong? The quality of the pad used?

Sensor0 : 62000
sensor1 : 63000
sensor2 : 65000
sensor3 : 62000
sensor4 : 61000
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:19 am

Is the heatsink mounted correctly, the two pushins in all the way. Also, does the pad fully cover the SoC? The chip sits at the very edge so you need to be careful of that.

Also, do you have the XU4 in a case? 45C idle temps are pretty low if you do. Also so you have a unit that came with a blue heatsink? If they use thermal paste on the blue stock heatsink then you won't gain much by changing it, though I'd be surprised to see it get much worse, either.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby oversim » Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:44 am

Hi!
I have a recent XU4 with blu heatsink and thermal paste on cpu.
I came back to previous settings, no pad but thermal paste and temperature go down.
Uhm.. 45 idle was without any box , in a cold day :-) now it's about 50/55 in idle.
So the artic thermal pad is not a good product!!
I'm waiting for a new fanless heatskin. But it was out of stock in my local dealer!
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:54 am

Yeah, thermal pads tend to perform much worse than even basic thermal pastes. The old XU4 units with the silver heatsink used thermal pads by default and you can often drop the temps by over 10C by carefully replacing it with thermal paste over the SoC area.

And yes, no case helps a lot, the stock cases increases idle temps by around 8-10C on my unit as there is so little airflow to the unit. If you run the fan then he difference decreases a lot, but at a noise cost.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby oversim » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:47 pm

Yes, I agree. I put a small portion of thermal paste on the other two ICs that are covered by the heatsink and put the board on a big heatskin (that I don't remember where it was used for.. :D ) with thermal pad on bottom.

During a sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 run --num-threads=8 these are the worse temperatures I saw. Honestly I cannot do more than I did... with this hardware..

sensor0 : 87000
sensor1 : 84000
sensor2 : 96000
sensor3 : 93000
sensor4 : 72000
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:03 pm

That's a big heatsink on the back :D

Temps seem pretty normal for that load. Once the A15 cores (sensors 0-3) exceed 95C the thermal driver throttles them to 800MHz, so on big multi threaded workloads like sysbench or compiling it should reach 95C then stay pretty stable at that value :)
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby odroid » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:27 am

@oversim,
I like the tiny heatsink on the USB 3.0 host connector on your board. ;)
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby rooted » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:14 pm

odroid wrote:@oversim,
I like the tiny heatsink on the USB 3.0 host connector on your board. ;)

I thought that was a cute addition as well, every little bit helps I guess. I have two of those on my Pi 3.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby oversim » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:15 pm

odroid wrote:@oversim,
I like the tiny heatsink on the USB 3.0 host connector on your board. ;)


LOL!
Yesterday I had to unplug the USB disk, and when I touched the connector I felt it very very hot, so I put this small heatsink there :D
Near the USB 3.0 area, near the hole of the main heatsink mounting, there is an IC that it's tiny but terrible hot!!
Fortunatly here in italy now the weather is hot, but less than weeks ago was...
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CatalinM » Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:49 am

Made a personal breakthrough on the cooling issue!

First, I removed the stock cooling solution. Then, I took a plastic sheet (from a pack of ham) and cut a 40x40mm piece. Made some slots in it for the chips and placed it on the board. I then put some Arctic Silver on the chips and added a 1.5mm solid copper plate to act as a heat spreader. On top of that, some more Arctic Silver, to help it make a good connection to the stock heatsink (which was sanded down to make it flat). Last but not least, I added a Scythe Mini Kaze 40mm fan to the whole mess. Some of you might realise that the Scythe runs on 12V... this is an issue, but I plan to fix it by building a very small voltage doubler.

At this time, I've set the fan to run 100% of the time, as it is dead silent (it has a very faint modem whirr that is audible from about 20-30cm and I suspect this will be gone once I power it with some 10V). As for temperatures, it runs a solid 46C in powersave mode (all cores at 200Mhz) and I saw a max of 72C in performance mode (1400Mhz and 2000Mhz respectively).

Tried it with only a heat spreader and I hit 95C. After that it started throttling.

Will return with pics soon.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Ameridroid » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:35 am

We performed a new test using the Gold heatsink and Noctua 40mm 5VDC fan, and got almost identical results to the Gold heatsink ventilated with a 120mm case fan (12VDC) nearby. Here's our setup:

Image

The power supply on the left shows the power utilization of the XU4 (at idle - not during the load test) and the power supply on the right shows the power utilization of the Noctua fan.

The effective clock speed was 1.78GHz compared to 1.79GHz for the Gold heatsink with nearby 120mm case fan (12VDC).

Image

Both the heatsink and the fan are available on ameriDroid.com, but you'll have to round up the screws to mount the fan and adapt the fan cable to pull power from the XU4 or some other source.

http://ameridroid.com/products/fan-noctua-40mm-5vdc-ultra-quiet
http://ameridroid.com/products/heat-sink-40x38x36
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Ameridroid » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:39 am

Incidentally, this setup with the XU4 is what we are preparing to use for our back-end store database (currently running on a U3). In the future, customers will be able to log on to see order status and make changes to their order. The U3 was outperforming the XU4 in our database tests with stock coolers on both. But now with this setup, the XU4 is outperforming the U3.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:31 am

It still seems to throttle quite a bit. What TIM material was used (a pad/tape or paste)?

On the stock heatsink with paste I can achieve a ~1.92Ghz average on the big cores in sysbench 8 threads with a 90C throttle, ~60% fan speed and inside the case so i'm a little surprised to see a big heatsink still being slower than that in open air. That said the Noctua fan probably has a nicer noise profile than the stock fan, and the stock kernel really isn't helping performance when throttling kicks in due to the big swings in clock speed.

If you have a chance do you mind running that test again with the max scaling freq set to 1.9GHz? I'd be interested to see if the average clock speed is any higher with the 2GHz step removed. Given the DVFS voltage increase at the 2GHz step I'm pretty convinced running at 2GHz actually reduces performance when the board is thermally limited. I've been able to post up to 10% performance increases on my own XU4 when using a custom throttling profile so it might be time to submit a pull request to improve how that works (I could do with getting some feedback from a passively cooled XU4 though to further optimise)

Throttle performance testing - XU4, replaced TIM (IC Diamond), stock heatsink + fan, inside stock case

Sysbench --num-threads=8 --cpu-max-prime=100000

Stock throttle: 407.74 Seconds
Stock throttle freq, temp limited to 90C/60% fan: 424.93 Seconds
Tweaked throttle, temp limited to 90C/60% fan: 381.65 Seconds

So under like for like conditions, just optimising the frequency it throttles to drops the sysbench times by 43 seconds, or by a good 10% and even compared to a stock out the box kernel performance is improved by 6.5% even when the unit is throttling 5C earlier and running it's fan 40% slower. There is quite a bit on the table there, and I think achieving >1.9GHz average on long multi threaded workloads with the stock HSF and case really shows just how much you can eek out of an XU4 with a bit of thermal paste and some kernel tweaks :)
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Ameridroid » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:28 am

DarkBahamut wrote:It still seems to throttle quite a bit. What TIM material was used (a pad/tape or paste)?

(...)

If you have a chance do you mind running that test again with the max scaling freq set to 1.9GHz?


Thanks for the inspiration, DarkBahamut! We took your suggestion and remounted the heatsink with some thermal paste we had on hand (Cooler Master Thermal Compound), figuring it would be better than any alternative we could test with today.

First, we tried with the scaling_max_freq set to 1900000:

Image

That's right! No throttling at all! Not only that, but the temperature under full load settled at 78C in our test lab where the ambient air temperature is around 35C. We also checked the max wattage utilized by the XU4 (not including the fan) during the test, and it was around 9.5W (9.75W with the fan).

That seemed to leave a bit of wiggle room, so we upped the scaling_max_freq to 2000000 again:

Image

NO THROTTLING AT FULL SPEED UNDER FULL LOAD! The temperature settled at 92C, so there was a little space left to play with. Unfortunately, attempting to set scaling_max_freq to 2100000 was ignored by the OS. Again, we checked the max wattage, and it was around 11.5W (11.75W with the fan).

What we learned: Thermal pads are not very good at transferring heat to a heatsink. They're better than nothing, but nowhere near as good as standard thermal compound.

So if you want to run your XU4 at full speed under full load with no throttling in a room with an ambient air temperature greater than 35C, you can do it all day long with this setup!

Compared to the non-thermal compound tests, the last test at 2.0GHz with thermal compound was 390 seconds compared to 430 seconds for the same setup using a thermal pad instead of thermal paste. That's a 10% improvement in speed!
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:20 am

That's definitely looking healthier :D

The thermal pads/tapes/adhesives unfortunately just aren't very good. I recall when I removed the thermal tapes on my stock XU4 and replaced it with paste. Before I could only sustain ~1.5GHz on the big cores in heavy load, but with the thermal paste I could easily hold 1.9Ghz with no problem, a full extra 400MHz just from switching from tape to paste. That change is one of the biggest thermal gains possible on these units for sure.

The 2GHz results tell 2 very interesting stories. One, no throttling at 2GHz is highly impressive and clearly shows the performance those big heatsinks can get! Definitely that's the route to go in performance critical applications. The second point is the two graphs really show why the 2GHz step is so much of a problem with the stock solution. Even with that massive heatsink, that 100MHz added a whopping 14C to the temps! The DVFS tables call for a 75mV increase when going from 1.9 -> 2.0GHz which comes with a huge power increase. It's something like a 19% power increase (In A15 core power, not total board power, just to be clear) for 5% more frequency. It's really best considered an overdrive frequency only useful for single threaded loads (unless you have the huge heatsink, of course!).

Just an additional point. 'Overclocking' the XU4 is possible since the Exynos 5422 is rated at 2.1/1.5GHz from the factory, HK just limit to 2.0/1.4GHz (for thermal reason I would guess). The unfortunate thing is the only way to enable the higher frequency is to rebuild the kernel with them available. Turning on 2.1GHz for the A15's and 1.5GHz for the A7's is a very easy change - as long as you don't mind building your own kernel. IMO overclocking the A7's is good change. There are no thermal issues to worry about and you can basically run them at 1.5GHz all day long under heavy load. In sysbench this delivers about a 2.2% performance increase (decreases my run times by 10 seconds), it's not huge but every little helps :)

Increasing the A15 frequency is a mixed bag. The 1.9 -> 2.0GHz power and temperature increase give you a clear picture of what happens when you go to 2.1GHz. There's another big rise in CPU voltage which comes with more power and a big increase in temps too. Even that large heatsink won't cope I fear. This means it's yet another single thread 'overdrive' frequency. In multi threaded workloads you'll hit throttling, and with the stock throttling you might even lose performance, so I do not recommend enabling it as is. That said, in single/dual threaded tasks you can hold the 2.1GHz step quite well so it does have uses, it just needs proper thermal management to ensure you don't lose performance once the load is heavy.

Quick pic for reference..

Image

Quick edit: Oh, I believe you can go higher than this too, but I've never tried. Higher than 2.1Ghz on the A15's is pointless from a thermal standpoint, but 1.6GHz on the A7's is tempting... The CPU voltages get a little hairy at that frequency so I haven't tried it (Yet.... :lol: )
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Ameridroid » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:59 am

Keep us posted if you try higher clock speeds on the A7 cores!

I was thinking that it takes about 2 minutes at full load to get to 90C running at 1.4GHz/2.0GHz. Increasing the clock speed to 2.1GHz on the A15s would allow heavy load processes <1 minute (approximately) to complete faster, although throttling would happen if it was a longer heavy load.

Do you have a quick primer for how to make the frequency changes and recompile the kernel on the XU4?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:25 am

So I tried 1.6GHz on the A7 cores. Most of the code is there for it to work thankfully, but it requires building up and some changes to the ASV tables since the 1.6GHz step is missing in those. The thermal driver also has to be changed as it only expects the A7 cores at up to 1.5GHz, so it ends up throttling the little cores unnecessarily without changes.

At first I struggled a bit getting it stable, and while I'm not sure it's 100% stable just yet it seems to be getting close now at the very least. The sysbench times are coming down in line with what would be expected too.

One caveat here is I'm already slightly over Samsungs specified maximum voltage for the A7 cores now (I had to edit it to go higher). I'm not too worried as the voltage cap on the A7's is quite a bit lower than the A15's so it's likely set this way because these are 'low power' cores and in a mobile application they aren't designed to go too far, but as we're actively cooled going a little over should be fine (since I'm still well under the voltage you could supply the A15's). Assuming this is stable this will definitely be the limit however. Even if another frequency step could be coded in, the voltage required would be far over what I would be willing to use on a 28nm HMKG chip.

Sysbench --num-threads=8 --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=100000

A15 2.1GHz / A7 1.4GHz - 381.65 Seconds
A15 2.1GHz / A7 1.5GHz - 372.46 Seconds
A15 2.1GHz / A7 1.6GHz - 363.11 Seconds

(A15 cores are mostly at 1.9GHz due to thermal throttling)

Stability testing..

Image
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby oversim » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:24 pm

Hi Ameridroid (but this is for everyone) did you perform any comparative test between "blu" heatsink and the "yellow" one? Even with a Noctua 5V fan (maybe it's the best in 5V fan scenario).
Of course both are better than the stock one (it's very thin with very small fin).
I'm using the blu one with Noctua fan, but i'd like to order the yellow one.
Thanks! :-)

PS: a question aboout noctua fan.. I simply detach stock fan, and (after a conversion) attached the noctua fan. Are there any values in /sys/devices/odroid_fan.14 I have to change?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Vort » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:49 pm

DarkBahamut wrote:Yeah, thermal pads tend to perform much worse than even basic thermal pastes.

In my U3 experiments I found the thermal pad being an obstruction to the cooling process as compared to the setup with heat sink sitting directly on the chip surface :?
viewtopic.php?f=80&t=3469#p28763 (see the graph)

"Inserted is a smaller graph representing comparison between the original setup (heatsink with thermal tape, blue line) and the heatsink without thermal tape, laying directly on the chip - green line."
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:02 am

In many ways it makes perfect sense for the results to be that way. A thermal paste is designed to fill the small microscopic gaps between the HSF surfaces and the chip itself. That means that most of the contact is still bare metal to silicon even when you are using a paste. The issue with thermal tape is you are left with no metal to chip contact at all so thermal performance is completely limited by the thermal performance of the TIM, which is typically far below that of the metal heatsink.

Thermal pads tend to work best in applications where there is a gap, or an uneven mounting between the heatsink and the chip. Pastes don't work well there, and using nothing could leave an air gap (bare uncooled transistors) so here a pad works best. But in any situation where you can get a reasonable mount then thermal paste is always going to be the best.

There is one other consideration here too. On the XU4's with the silver heatsink, the thermal tape is used as an electrical insulator between the heatsink and the chips underneath - namely the PMIC. With the tape fully removed there is a risk of shorting out the PMIC against the hetasink and causing stability issues. Even if you avoid that I can demonstrate issues on the SoC itself with the tape removed as touching the heatsink with a finger with no thermal tape causes issues with a kernel module acting weirdly (and that was after it was patched, it was even worse before). No solution is ever quite perfect :)
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ronaldlees » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:46 am

zarcondeegrissom wrote:Brief fan talk, and some bread crumbs for my self.

Noctua fan stats.
5V, 0.25watts (50mA). 4500rpm, 17.9dbA. 8.2 cubic m/hr. Max pressure 1.78 mm H2O
Possible Delta fill in (AFB0405MA-A), on order?
5V, 0.25watts (50mA). 5000rpm, 21.5dbA. 9.6 cubic m/hr (5.67 cfm). Max pressure 2.65 mm H2O

I've had that Noctua fan under some testing now, .....

IMG_4852w700lbl1.jpg



I have the Noctua, but have not tested it as thoroughly as yourself. But then again, I've been content to just echo "conservative" into my governor setting. I'm pretty sure the municipal waterway bridge people are look for their mounting hardware though. You might tell em you have it!
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mlwood37 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:01 am

full load not throttling ever ...

Liquid cooled with the air flow directly over the back and the CPU liquid cooled on the front. Temps stable at 38c now i just need to over clock it.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby crispus » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:23 pm

Raymond Day wrote:Just got this photo of it.
Replaced the small fan on my Odroid-XU4 with this one "Gdstime Aluminum Heatsink for Computer Northbridge Cooler Cooling" got it from http://amzn.com/B00ZRDRX8M ...
-Raymond Day

Does the holes / pins fitted for that heatsink without any modifications?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Priidu » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:24 pm

@crispus: I'm using these Gdstime heatsinks as well, and yes -- they do align perfectly (actually, the connectors on the Gdstime heatsink are configurable so you can align them to fit the XU4).

I bought mine from a reputable-looking seller on Ebay though, and got them $5/ea (instead of the $12-something price tag on Amazon). The weight is exactly the same (73g on the dot), so I presume the composition is pretty much identical as well. So far, they work like a charm (about 1.5 months of 24/7 operation). The temps are definitely a lot lower than with the stock heatsink/fan combo. Although to be fair, I had my XU4s in a much more confined case before. Additionally, I applied some quality thermal grease between the Exynos SoC and heatsink. (BTW, if you want to do this, I would highly recommend covering the bottom of the heatsink with a thermal pad first, and then just cutting a hole in it over where the Exynos will be, to minimize the risk of short-circuits with other components on the PCB. If you don't have any TIM at hand, it IS POSSIBLE to (carefully) rip off the one under the stock heatsink/fan and then just paste it under the Gdstime one -- it'll fit perfectly, since they have the same dimensions. Do that at your own discretion, though).
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby todd_r » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:29 am

Is there a case which would accommodate the XU4 with that heat sink and Noctua fan?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby rooted » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:28 am

todd_r wrote:Is there a case which would accommodate the XU4 with that heat sink and Noctua fan?

You can just cut along the vent lines of the factory case and it will poke through.

A case that holds it internally I haven't seen.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mrneilypops » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:23 am

@todd_r
Is there a case which would accommodate the XU4 with that heat sink and Noctua fan?


I used the cloudshell box as per;
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=15310
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby knight » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:35 am

I took the advice in this forum and used a combination of thermal pad + thermal grease for my Odroid XU4. It is working well, but I thought I'd share my first time experience to help others avoid the same mistake I did.

Initially it was not obvious to me how thick of a thermal pad to purchase. Maybe its because of the metric system and my dumb American upbringing... 1.5mm sounded thin enough.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UY ... UTF8&psc=1

In hindsight, don't do that. 1.5MM is way to thick.

Instead, get the 0.5mm stuff:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UY ... UTF8&psc=1

Image
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby rooted » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:33 am

That's a good bit of advice. I know you were joking but we Americans get enough of a bad wrap without saying negative things about ourselves ;)

What is on the first level of your case?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby knight » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:10 am

Heh, yeah I was joking. I tend to think it a good thing when we can acknowledge, and even poke fun of, our own shortcomings.

The bottom tier of the enclosure houses an mSATA-USB3 enclosure w/ 512GB SSD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 10V2GV4988

Since these mSATA-USB3 adapter were inexpensive, I bought several varieties, including a few off E-Bay direct from China. Surprisingly, the no-name adapters were not a whole lot slower than the one made by Sabrent you see in the photo.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby spyvsspy » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:18 pm

Hey guys!
Heres how i solved the heating issue..
viewtopic.php?f=93&t=26017

9$ pure copper heatsink and noctua 40mm fan.

Hope it helps
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:55 pm

Hi guys! I'm asking here since I think the topic is related enough.

There would be some issue if the heatsink I plan to get says "This product is a conductive metal, please don't contact any other surrounding IC."? I know it sounds kinf od obvious but I don't really know, so I prefer to ask. I can link item if needed, but I think I found one great for my needs.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:14 pm

Yes, it's a big issue. You risk shorting the pmic unless you apply isolating tape around it. The problem is that the pmic is already the tallest IC under the heatsink so by adding extra isolation it will cause the heatsink to be uneven and reduce heat transfer.
Ideally you should get a galvanized heatsink (paint isn't that good of a heat transfer medium)
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:52 pm

Should I discard any heatsink made of Aluminion and/or that doesn't explicit says "non conductive"?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:12 pm

For anything conductive you'd need someting insulator - like thermal tape. That would work, but its thermal characteristics are about 10C worse than a thermal paste. It's up to you what you want.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:00 pm

So, it would be a good or bad idea:

If I put thermal pad around PMCI and such and Iput thermal paste un the CPU?

How bad it is?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:13 pm

It would work, but...
The pmic is the tallest IC under the heatsink. It's also on a side. When you mount your heatsink the extra height + thermal pad will cause the heatsink not to make good contact with a side of the cpu which will result in a loss of heat transfer. You can add more thermal paste, but it ages in time and might have reduced performance.
Others have done the same thing and it worked, but your system might be a few degrees warmer than when using a similar galvanized heatsink which sits better on the cpu. Read the beginning of this thread, I think somebody measured the actual difference.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:44 pm

Yes, I think you're right. I'm just searching something "big" with or without a fan, so it can perform better than stock. I jumped on some good ones, but they were alumnium one, so I had to discard them.

Edit:
What would be non-conductive materials? I'm finding only aluminium ones, but I think copper it is conductive too, right? I'm just asking in case I can't find galvanized ones.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:42 pm

Every cooler is metallic and thus electrically conductive. But some of them are galvanized (have a thin oxide layer) or are painted so they are an insulator.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:33 am

Then can I take for mostly sure than the ones painted are insulated? If that is the case, I have a few ones.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:06 am

If you have a multimeter you can check the resistence of the cooler. It should be infinite.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:38 am

Well, I meant a few ones to buy, but I think if it is in a good shape and painted, I will go ahead and take it.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby odroid » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:16 am

Most heatsink must have the anodized surface which is a sort of non-conductive coating.
Our heatsinks/coolers also have the anodizing. You can use it without extra isolation if there is no scratch on the heatsink surface.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby ChicoDeGoma » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:40 pm

Odroid, would you mind if I send you a PM with possible heatsinks? I would like to learn about this but I lack experience in this topic.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby deafcat » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:14 am

So, the XU4 heatsink (the upgraded blue one) is top notch. I tested it yesterday with active vs passive cooling through some burn-in tests and once it's fully set, it performs exactly the same passively in benchmark testing as it does with active cooling (fan, or air cooling source to drop it to ambient temp). A fan should not be necessary on this heatsink whatsoever, unless you're truly nuts and trying to do crazy overclocks on an SBC ;)

The only defficiency I found with the new sink is that it needs a shim to keep it flat, if using thermal paste. this is due to the position of the hold-downs and the off-center contact on the processor. not a big deal although a shim (paper or plastic) could be included with the sink. Otherwise, the heat sink itself is a great and well-performing design. Nicely done HK!



mad_ady wrote:Every cooler is metallic and thus electrically conductive. But some of them are galvanized (have a thin oxide layer) or are painted so they are an insulator.


They are made of aluminum and are anodized. Galvanizing is a process of zinc coating for steel which is definitely conductive. Steel is never used for electronic heatsinks (copper and aluminum are the top choices)
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby tmihai20 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:06 am

deafcat wrote:So, the XU4 heatsink (the upgraded blue one) is top notch. I tested it yesterday with active vs passive cooling through some burn-in tests and once it's fully set, it performs exactly the same passively in benchmark testing as it does with active cooling (fan, or air cooling source to drop it to ambient temp). A fan should not be necessary on this heatsink whatsoever, unless you're truly nuts and trying to do crazy overclocks on an SBC ;)

The only defficiency I found with the new sink is that it needs a shim to keep it flat, if using thermal paste. this is due to the position of the hold-downs and the off-center contact on the processor. not a big deal although a shim (paper or plastic) could be included with the sink. Otherwise, the heat sink itself is a great and well-performing design. Nicely done HK!


What temperatures are you getting on yours? Mine stays in a range from 45 to 65 degrees Celsius and to me that is a little too high. I am only using it with Deluge, NFS, Samba and FTP. I wanted to look for a taller heatsink since even the USB ports are a little too hot as well.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:24 am

deafcat wrote:
They are made of aluminum and are anodized. Galvanizing is a process of zinc coating for steel which is definitely conductive. Steel is never used for electronic heatsinks (copper and aluminum are the top choices)


You're right, that's my bad. I mixed up the terms. I should have said anodized...
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby rooted » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:10 am

tmihai20 wrote:
deafcat wrote:So, the XU4 heatsink (the upgraded blue one) is top notch. I tested it yesterday with active vs passive cooling through some burn-in tests and once it's fully set, it performs exactly the same passively in benchmark testing as it does with active cooling (fan, or air cooling source to drop it to ambient temp). A fan should not be necessary on this heatsink whatsoever, unless you're truly nuts and trying to do crazy overclocks on an SBC ;)

The only defficiency I found with the new sink is that it needs a shim to keep it flat, if using thermal paste. this is due to the position of the hold-downs and the off-center contact on the processor. not a big deal although a shim (paper or plastic) could be included with the sink. Otherwise, the heat sink itself is a great and well-performing design. Nicely done HK!


What temperatures are you getting on yours? Mine stays in a range from 45 to 65 degrees Celsius and to me that is a little too high. I am only using it with Deluge, NFS, Samba and FTP. I wanted to look for a taller heatsink since even the USB ports are a little too hot as well.

Switch to ondemand governor and you will shed about 8 to 10°C
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