Monday, April 1, 2013

Attaching heat sinks to the Raspberry Pi for overclocking

My Raspberry Pi was getting a little hot when I overclocked it to above 1100 MHz.
So I decided to attach some heat sinks to it.
All you need to do this are the following:

  • Some heat sinks (copper or aluminum depending on your preference)
  • Thermal adhesive, I used Arctic Silver
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Some clamps
  • A clean surface
Unplug your Raspberry Pi and put your it on a clean surface like so:

I got this heatmap from and put heat sinks over the  three hot spots.
Start by cleaning the black surfaces of the hot spots with the isopropyl alcohol and a lint free cloth.
Once that is dried, it's important you don't touch it or get anything on it.

Next get your heat sinks and thermal adhesive ready. Instructions should come with your thermal adhesive but it is commonly to mix a 1:1 ratio on a clean surface. Wait 1-2 minutes for it to thicken just a little bit then spread a thin layer on the processors and attach the heat sinks. Make sure to hold them down with rubber bands or clamps while they cure.

I was able to get a 6 degrees Celsius difference from the commands:
/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp
cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp

With this done, I have the following stats in /boot/config.txt and they seem to be stable


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  1. What were your temperatures before and after?

    1. I should add that. Beforehand I would get up to 56 degrees Celsius. Now I always stay below 50 degrees Celsius. It's in kind of a crowded warm area besides my HDDs and XBox360 so it gets pretty hot there. I probably would get even better results somewhere with a bit more ventilation.