XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Un4Seen » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:43 pm

About that... I did see other people using 12V fans, isn't that a problem? I mean the board outputs 5V, so I'm guessing that a 12V fan either won't run or it will somehow stress the board?
As for the Noctuas... their connector does not fit the XU4 connector, so the cable has to be cut/soldered. Plus they are expensive and I don't know if they can be PWM controlled by the board.

Yes, I think you might be right that an active cooling fan will be necessary even with a taller heat sink, but the taller the heat sink, the slower and quieter the active cooler can be.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm asking for a good enough default solution from ODROID, so that we can just buy it an use it without hacking it.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:56 pm

Using a 12V fan shouldn't be a problem. It's undervolted, so it will run slower (fewer RPMs) than normal. It's possible for some fans not to start at all, though.
And yes, the Noctua is expensive and the connector needs to be soldered. It can be controlled with the normal PWM mechanism (I'm using one).
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Un4Seen » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:24 pm

I am amazed how huge difference in temperature can be achieved by limiting the four large cores (indexed 4 to 7) from 2GHz to just 1.9GHz. Temperatures dropped by 10-15 degrees Celsius and I bet that the power consumption has decreased significantly too, even though the performance drop is only 5% (theoretically).

With this tweak and using the tall blue heat sink with the blue fan glued on top, I get temperatures like this:
Code: Select all
Frequency  : 1400.0 1400.0 1400.0 1400.0 1900.0 1900.0 1900.0 1900.0 MHz
Temperature: 66.00 61.00 70.00 70.00 49.00 C
Fan        : 74 %
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Un4Seen » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:30 pm

Not to mention that limiting the 4 large cores to 1.5GHz achieves total fanless operation with the large blue heat sink. Instead of investing money into silent fans, it's more worth it to limit the large core frequencies to 1.5GHz on all my three XU4s and buy a fourth XU4 to compensate for the performance loss :)

And I have some of the even larger golden heatsinks that Amerodroid sells, coming in from China in a moth or so. Perhaps with these I can achieve fanless operation even at 1.6GHz or 1.7GHz...

Still, I'd love it if ODROID sold some even taller heat sinks mounted on the quiet version of the XU4 by default and some quieter fans.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby barrymac » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:26 pm

My silent solution. Fan almost never comes on even under load, and is very quiet noctua one when it does. Note the adjustable sliding mounts for the heatsink which allow for different positioning than a typical northbridge heatsink which has the mount as diagonals off the corners.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=251984192998&view=all&tid=2142555672015
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Raymond Day » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:11 pm

I got 2 XU4's that I put on a bigger heat sink with fan I got on Amazon. The 1st one I did not know how to take off the old fan and the USB 3.0 ports don't work on it any more. now I know can easy use a ink pen! Take out the ink part and push it down on the pins to release them. Have to find the right pen for the good size hole. You do have to push hard to get it on then it will unsnap it.

Did that with my Cloudshell-1 so got the heat sink and fan on it good.

Just got this photo of it.

Cloudshell-1 working.jpg
Cloudshell-1 working.jpg (90.7 KiB) Viewed 3106 times


The fan will come on every now and then and it is a little loud when it does. But it don't stay one for very long.

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:26 pm

Did you break just the usb3 hub (meaning that usb2, hdmi and microsd still works)? Or did you break usb2+3, hdmi and microsd (with networking as well)?
The odroid can still be salvaged and used for cpu intensive tasks like mining or boinc...
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Raymond Day » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:30 am

break something right by were the pins go to hold the heat sink down. I used a pointed pliers and it's to hard to use that and I must of mess something that is next to the pins. Only the 2 USB 3.0 don't work now. Every things else works still.

A picture is worth a 1000 words so I don't need to type any more just show this.

Odroid XU4 USB 3.0 not working.jpg
Odroid XU4 USB 3.0 not working.jpg (152.71 KiB) Viewed 3104 times


Can zoom in on the photo but still not real good to see what's wrong. I guess it's the 2 things right next to the pin on the right side of it. Can see how the capacitor is messed up just a little on the side by the pin.

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:42 am

So you've lost networking as well, or only the two ports? Do they still work if you plug a usb2 device?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Raymond Day » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Yes networking works. Just lost the 2 USB 3.0 ports. The part that messed up is right next to were the 2 USB 3.0 ports are mounted on the board.

Yes the USB 2.0 still works. That's how I can still use a keyboard and mouse on it.

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:42 pm

You were lucky then :)
The problems I've seen resulting from changing the cooler lead to a lot more burnouts.

You could look at the XU4 manual/datasheet and see what the damaged components were and what values and go to a phone repair shop and ask them to fix it for you.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby odroid » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:04 pm

@Raymond Day
Refer this schematics page 9, 23, 29, 30 and 31.
https://dn.odroid.com/5422/ODROID-XU4/S ... OT1606.pdf
Anyway, open a new thread to try to fix the broken USB 3.0 ports since it seems to be out of the topic.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Raymond Day » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:17 am

Thanks for the pdf link!

Looking at it better it looks like the C51C capacitor is chipped on one side!

So if I can buy I guess a 100uF serfice mount capacitor on page 25 of that pdf that says its the "USB HOST Power Switch" I could solder it on there to replace it.

Is that the right one to replace it with? If not what is the right number so I can look it up to order it. If this is the same part to replace it.

It be nice to have the USB 3.0 ports working again.

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby Raymond Day » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:11 am

Looks like I messed up the side of that capacitor. Like the ring around it is broke. I just put some solder on it but still did not fix it. I guess need a new tinny capacitor on it.

Just to show you use the right tool like a pen to take off the old heat sink to not have this problem.

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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:16 am

Hello

I want to present some temperature tests on my Odroid XU4Q (with default blue heat sink) with no fan or along with Noctua Fans: NF-A4x20 5V , NF-A4x10 5V
http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products ... 3452239825 (XU4Q)
http://noctua.at/en/nf-a4x20-5v/specification
http://noctua.at/en/nf-a4x10-5v/specification

Test time: 3min
CPU Load: 100% (stress --cpu 8 --timeout 300s)
CPU Idle: 3-10% (only basic stuffs running)




Scenarios presented:
no_fan - means test is made with no fan, only blue heat sink
nf_a4x10 - means test is made with Noctua fan NF-A4x10 5V
nf_a4x20 - means test is made with Noctua fan NF-A4x20 5V
blow - fan is sitting horizontally on the top of the blue heat sink and is blowing air in the heat sink
suck - fan is sitting horizontally on the top of the blue heat sink and is sucking air from the heat sink
blow_from_side - fan is placed vertically ~1cm away from the heat sink (~3mm away from the Odroid board border) and it is blowing air along the heat sink spaces. Odroid board is ~1cm above the bottom of the fan (so some air may get under the board too). A "roof" is placed over the fan/board ~1cm above heat sink (so blowing air is better directed along the heat sink).

PS: the bellow script I created to register the temperature over given time with/without CPU stress. (it may be not the best, but does the job)
Code: Select all
DEFAULT_TIMEOUT=300
DEFAULT_CORE_NUMBER=8
TIME_STEP=2

cpu_tmp_record() {
        local timeout_used=$3
        if [[ $1 != 'true' && $1 != 'false' ]]
        then
                echo "[ERROR] Please set boolean parameter for stress cpu."
        elif [[ -z $2 ]]
        then
                echo "[ERROR] Please insert output file name."
        elif [[ -f $HOME/$2 ]]
        then
                echo "[ERROR] File already exist. Please set other name."
        else
                if [[ -z $timeout_used ]]
                then
                        timeout_used=$DEFAULT_TIMEOUT
                fi
                echo "[INFO] Launched stress test on $DEFAULT_CORE_NUMBER cores for $timeout_used seconds. Output is saved to $2 ."
                $1 && stress --cpu $DEFAULT_CORE_NUMBER --timeout ${timeout_used}s & $( while [[ $timeout_used -gt 0 ]];do cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp  /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone1/temp /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone2/temp /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone3/temp /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone4/temp | awk '{sum += $0} END {print sum/5000}' >> $HOME/$2;((timeout_used=timeout_used-2));sleep $TIME_STEP;done ) & wait
        fi
}

cpu_tmp_record() <arg1> <arg2> <arg3>
arg1 - allowed values: true/false (mandatory) - if true, then it will stress CPU with stress command
arg2 - name/location of the output file (mandatory)
arg3 - number of seconds to run the test (optional, default = 300 seconds)
Last edited by c0rn3l on Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby campbell » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:27 am

What did you have the CPU governor set to? The no-fan temperature seems quite high for idle.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:17 pm

campbell wrote:What did you have the CPU governor set to? The no-fan temperature seems quite high for idle.

Hm... I do not have knowledge about this "CPU governor". If there is a default, then that is what I used :D. I didn't changed settings about CPU running mode or anything alike.
"IDLE" represents a 3-4% CPU load actually in my tests.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby campbell » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:41 pm

I suggest you redo your thermal test after running the following command:
Code: Select all
echo ondemand | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:40 pm

campbell wrote:I suggest you redo your thermal test after running the following command:
Code: Select all
echo ondemand | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

CPU governor is set on "performance". I will give a try in idle to see how it is going with "ondemand" governor
Is it harmful or may it cause damage to XU4 "performance" governor if running 24/7 ?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:46 pm

No, but it keeps the CPU frequency at a maximum (1.4G on the little cores are 2GHz on the big cores) even if they are idle. So, on performance you get the fastest performance, but at a cost of higher power consumption and more heat. Ondemand increases the frequency proportional to the load.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby campbell » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:16 am

Some more context: if you have a high steady state computational load, the performance difference between "ondemand" and "performance" is negligible. The only reason you would want "performance" is if you care about that last little bit of spinup time for bursty loads. The difference in idle power consumption between them is quite significant.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:13 pm

campbell wrote:I suggest you redo your thermal test after running the following command:
Code: Select all
echo ondemand | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

Why is not persisting the change after reboot?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:51 pm

The change is only at runtime. The proper way to change it is to make the change in boot.ini, or better yet (since boot.ini gets overwritten on package update), make the change in /media/boot/boot.ini.default (uncomment the governor line) and run sudo dpkg-reconfigure bootini before rebooting.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby rooted » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:00 pm

mad_ady wrote:The change is only at runtime. The proper way to change it is to make the change in boot.ini, or better yet (since boot.ini gets overwritten on package update), make the change in /media/boot/boot.ini.default (uncomment the governor line) and run sudo dpkg-reconfigure bootini before rebooting.
/media/boot/boot.ini only applies to certain OS builds, I suppose all official builds have it though.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby odroid » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:25 pm

The recent XU4 4.14 kernel release doesn't accept the governor parameter from boot.ini.

So you have to run below command to make a permanent setting.
Code: Select all
echo 'GOVERNOR="performance"' | sudo tee /etc/default/cpufrequtils
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:37 pm

Oh, this explains why my fan is spinning more often :D
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby tmihai20 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:24 pm

4.14? You guys really went far with it :D I am still on 4.9.61 with OpenMediaVault. I love how oDroid XU4 is ageing, I love the fact I bought one.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby campbell » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:40 am

I still think the default should be "ondemand" rather than "performance", particularly given the emphasis on recent variants with passive cooling. Again, the difference in actual performance between "ondemand" and "performance" can be hard to observe, but the difference in idle power draw (and therefore heat) is considerable. If "performance" is going to be the default, it should at least be shoved in the user's face - it shouldn't be possible to use one of these devices without knowing about the governor.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby linuxest » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:18 pm

Personally, I really like the performance mode. ondemand mode is not responsive when I used the xu4 as a living room computer with my family. If the official OS images set the governor to ondemand by default, many first impressions must be very bad.
I bet the minimum clock freq. must be 1Ghz instead of 0.2Ghz to improve the responsiveness if the ondemand mode is strongly recommended.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby campbell » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:04 pm

linuxest wrote:1Ghz instead of 0.2Ghz to improve the responsiveness if the ondemand mode is strongly recommended.

That would certainly help. Power consumption is nonlinear with clock speed, there's a distinct hockey stick shape. Pretty sure idling at 1/1 GHz instead of 1.4/2 GHz would consume at least a half watt less power.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:00 am

campbell wrote:I suggest you redo your thermal test after running the following command:
Code: Select all
echo ondemand | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor

I did again the test with onDemand setting, so temperature with no load on CPU and no fan, just the default XU4Q blue heat sink, is ~49degr celsius.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:06 am

odroid wrote:The recent XU4 4.14 kernel release doesn't accept the governor parameter from boot.ini.

So you have to run below command to make a permanent setting.
Code: Select all
echo 'GOVERNOR="performance"' | sudo tee /etc/default/cpufrequtils

For kernel 4.9 this didn't worked. It persist only for few minutes (1-3min) after reboot. And it requires to install cpufrequtils I suppose.
The solution mad_ady provided worked for me with boot.ini.default:
mad_ady wrote:The change is only at runtime. The proper way to change it is to make the change in boot.ini, or better yet (since boot.ini gets overwritten on package update), make the change in /media/boot/boot.ini.default (uncomment the governor line) and run sudo dpkg-reconfigure bootini before rebooting.


But I was not able to configure the minimum frequency.
None of the bellow persisted after reboot:
Code: Select all
sudo cpufreq-set -d 600MHz
echo 'MIN_FREQ="600MHz"' | sudo tee /etc/default/cpufrequtils

Code: Select all
gru@stuart:~$ sudo cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/cpuinfo_min_freq
200000
200000
200000
200000
200000
200000
200000
200000
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:32 pm

I use this non-standard trick to set min/max frequency on boot:
1. Install odroid-cpu-control: https://github.com/mad-ady/odroid-cpu-c ... /README.md
2. Edit /etc/rc.local and add these lines:
Code: Select all

/usr/local/bin/odroid-cpu-control -s -g ondemand
#set minimum frequencies because the heat gain is minimal
/usr/local/bin/odroid-cpu-control -s -c 0-3 -m 400M
/usr/local/bin/odroid-cpu-control -s -c 4-7 -m 700M
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby c0rn3l » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:00 am

mad_ady wrote:I use this non-standard trick to set min/max frequency on boot:
1. Install odroid-cpu-control: https://github.com/mad-ady/odroid-cpu-c ... /README.md
2. Edit /etc/rc.local and add these lines:
Code: Select all

/usr/local/bin/odroid-cpu-control -s -g ondemand
#set minimum frequencies because the heat gain is minimal
/usr/local/bin/odroid-cpu-control -s -c 0-3 -m 400M
/usr/local/bin/odroid-cpu-control -s -c 4-7 -m 700M

If you have to add a call in /etc/rc.local, why not adding following line before exit 0? I understand that call is made at every reboot.
Code: Select all
cpufreq-set -d 600MHz
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby normaal » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:32 pm

My solution for silent xu4:
just screw noctua fan (http://noctua.at/en/products/fan/nf-a4x10-5v) on top of existing heatsink using included wires and 3d print out new top cover case (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2702741).
And offcource use cpupower "ondeman" power cpu management /etc/default/cpupower (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/CP ... cy_scaling).
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CoBrA2168 » Tue May 29, 2018 9:43 pm

If I want to purchase the Noctua 40mm fan for my XU4, which should I be buying? It's a bit confusing, considering there are different variants (A4x10 vs A4x20, and 12V vs 5V). Also, it sounds like the connector won't work "out of the box."

Can someone advise which fan I should purchase? And what adapter (if needed) I'll need to buy to get the fan connected to the XU4?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Tue May 29, 2018 10:21 pm

@CoBrA2168: I have two noctua fans for XU4. You should get only the 5V variant. The 12V fails to start. Also, make sure it supports PWM (non-PWM noctua fans don't work since the signal is PWM). Regarding 10 vs 20 it's the fan's thickness. Both are ok. The 20 fan is a bit thicker. Presumably the thicker fan cools better/faster than the thinner fan because of increased airflow.

No noctua fan works out of the box with odroids. You will need to cut the wires from the small molex connector that comes with the xu4 fan and solder/connect the cables to the noctua cables respecting polarity. If you don't have a xu4 fan (e.g. you have a xu4q) you need to get a proper molex connector. Otherwise you can use 5V and GND from the 30 pin GPIO, but the fan will be always on, on full blow.

It's not a difficult operation and you will be rewarded with much cooler operation.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CoBrA2168 » Tue May 29, 2018 10:43 pm

mad_ady wrote:@CoBrA2168: I have two noctua fans for XU4. You should get only the 5V variant. The 12V fails to start. Also, make sure it supports PWM (non-PWM noctua fans don't work since the signal is PWM). Regarding 10 vs 20 it's the fan's thickness. Both are ok. The 20 fan is a bit thicker. Presumably the thicker fan cools better/faster than the thinner fan because of increased airflow.

No noctua fan works out of the box with odroids. You will need to cut the wires from the small molex connector that comes with the xu4 fan and solder/connect the cables to the noctua cables respecting polarity. If you don't have a xu4 fan (e.g. you have a xu4q) you need to get a proper molex connector. Otherwise you can use 5V and GND from the 30 pin GPIO, but the fan will be always on, on full blow.

It's not a difficult operation and you will be rewarded with much cooler operation.

Thank you for the quick reply to my question. As for the right one to get, it seems like the A4x20 5V PWM (https://noctua.at/en/nf-a4x20-5v-pwm) is the one to get.

My plan was to get a third-party case for the XU4Q (passively cooled) which allows for mounting of a 40mm fan (I'd get the Noctua). In this instance, I won't already have the proper connector, since I'll be purchasing the XU4Q version without the fan. Do you happen to know if this connector below is the correct one for the XU4? There is a "OmniJoin" kit included with the fan, which sounds like I could use that in combination with the correct connector to provide a solder-less solution.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-150mm-UL15 ... 41844ed017
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed May 30, 2018 12:09 am

It doesn't seem to be the same one. The correct one is Molex 51021-0200 (http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products ... 6727436639).
Yes, noctua fans come with some things you can crimp and connect wires solderlessly.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CoBrA2168 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:30 am

mad_ady wrote:It doesn't seem to be the same one. The correct one is Molex 51021-0200 (http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products ... 6727436639).
Yes, noctua fans come with some things you can crimp and connect wires solderlessly.

I couldn't find that exact one on any site for purchase, but the one I linked above does appear to be the same Molex connector plug. It's labeled (on eBay) as a "Molex 51021-2P" cable, where the "2P" I believe means 2-pin. I couldn't find any specific model on the Molex connector site with the model 51021-2P, leading me to believe it's actually the same connector.

Since they are very cheap (around $1 USD) I might order one even if I'm not 100% sure its compatible.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed May 30, 2018 2:09 am

Good point. Should work then.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CoBrA2168 » Wed May 30, 2018 2:14 am

mad_ady wrote:Good point. Should work then.

Whenever I finally bite the bullet and purchase everything, I'll post back here to confirm if it does indeed work. I plan to make my order for the XU4 and other accessories this week, however shipping times might be long so I wouldn't expect a full answer very soon.

Thanks @mad_ady for the useful information. You helped solve most of my confusion about getting the Noctua fan working with the XU4.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Wed May 30, 2018 5:23 am

No problem. Enjoy it!
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CoBrA2168 » Wed May 30, 2018 11:47 pm

mad_ady wrote:No problem. Enjoy it!

@mad_ady sorry to bug you again, but I was researching a bit more the Noctua 40mm fan options that would work with the case I bought. I ended up with the "Hominoid" case created by another user on this forum (see here: viewtopic.php?f=97&t=26373) from Ameridroid. Unfortunately, it seems that that case will only accept the 40mmx10mm version of the fan (A4x10). Noctua only offers 2 versions of that fan, one that is 12v and another that is 5v. Neither seem to support PWM :(

Would the 5v 10mm fan still work in my situation? Or would I be better off with a different case all together?
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu May 31, 2018 4:26 am

As far as I know from a different thread on this forum a user was not able to use the non pwm fan with his xu4 because even at full "fill", the signal still has periodical gaps and average voltage is ~4.3V - not enough to start the fan. You can use a non-pwm fan with the 5V gpio, but as always on. PM hominid and ask if he can suggest how to attach the bigger pwm fan.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby CoBrA2168 » Thu May 31, 2018 5:58 am

mad_ady wrote:As far as I know from a different thread on this forum a user was not able to use the non pwm fan with his xu4 because even at full "fill", the signal still has periodical gaps and average voltage is ~4.3V - not enough to start the fan. You can use a non-pwm fan with the 5V gpio, but as always on. PM hominid and ask if he can suggest how to attach the bigger pwm fan.

Interesting...well something doesn't seem right, since he built the case specifically for the 10mm thick version, and even has a video guide on how to modify the Noctua fan for the fan header on the XU4. So I would be surprised if all of those users have faulty fans.

Are you sure it wasn't the 12V model that failed to start? I found some other user's posts on these forums, and it seemed to be the case with the 12V models not spinning up correctly. If that's the case, then maybe I can just get the 5V version (without PWM) and still be ok.

I sent Hominoid a PM asking for clarification on which exact model I need to purchase. Will post back here when I find out.

EDIT: @mad_ady - hominoid got back to me via PM. I was correct, the 10mm 5V non-PWM version is the one to get. I wonder if that person having issues had a bad fan, board, and/or cable connection to the board itself.

I'll be purchasing the 10mm 5V non-PWM version along with the rest of the parts that should be on the way. I'll still report here whether or not the cable I bought on eBay works.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Thu May 31, 2018 12:06 pm

Ok, keep us posted!
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby hominoid » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:20 am

mad_ady wrote:As far as I know from a different thread on this forum a user was not able to use the non pwm fan with his xu4 because even at full "fill", the signal still has periodical gaps and average voltage is ~4.3V - not enough to start the fan. You can use a non-pwm fan with the 5V gpio, but as always on. PM hominid and ask if he can suggest how to attach the bigger pwm fan.

The XU4 is a PWM system but uses a 2-pin (VCC,GND) voltage controlled fan in the design. A 5v PWM signal from the SOC, power increased by a transistor, pulses the VCC of the fan, if I'm not mistaken on the details.
A PWM fan on the other hand is required to be 4-pin (VCC,GND,TACH,PWM) and the PWM signal is only for timing, not to power the fan. It has a separate constant VCC input to accomplish this and an output tachometer signal as required by the PWM Fan specification.
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby mad_ady » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:09 pm

Hmm, strange, this is the fan I ordered and used on my xu4: Noctua NF-A4x20 5V PWM and came with a 2 pin adapter cable that I connected to the board. It does have some 3 pin cables too in the box, but I thought the third in is for rpm reading.
@hominid: is the A4x10 fan you used non-pwm, but works with pwm?
Edit: Here is the post that lead me to believe non-pwm fans don't work: viewtopic.php?f=97&t=29106
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Re: XU4 heatsink without cooler (or low noise)

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:13 am

PWM or non-PWM fans should work on either PWM or non-PWM devices (full compatibility either way) since the all the fans only require 2 pins to actually run (VCC + GND). The only difference between the fans is that the PWM fans have PWM logic on board so they accept a PWM timing signal (the 4th pin) that tells the fan how much to pulse it's motor. The non-PWM version don't accept this so it just takes a VCC and GND.

The XU4 instead has this PWM logic on board and directly pulses the VCC output pin (rather than telling the fan to pulse it's own motor) which results the fan in getting less power and thus spins at a lower speed. The fan is effectively blind to the PWM process which is how you get PWM control on a non-PWM fan :)

My advice would be to get whichever is cheapest since both will work exactly the same when it comes to the odroids.
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