I have been looking into cooling solutions for the Raspberry Pi, are there any CPU coolers out there that will fit on the Raspberry Pi CPU? I know there will be an overhang of the cooler on the CPU itself, but having looked at some CPU coolers I am worried about if the cooler would be to wide. E.g. it will not fit because there is not enough room for heat pipes.


There are people who have watercooled the pi, I believe mostly as a novelty since doing this will cost more than it could possibly be worth.

If you want something simpler, you could saw down a piece of heatsink, or ask at a computer store for something similar -- I recently got a B+ with an accessory package that (bizarrely) included aluminum sinks for the CPU and GPU, although as others have pointed out, it's very unlikely this is necessary. If you actually want a tiny CPU fan, good luck ;)

In any case, I would first try overclocking it to the max allowed by the firmware (1.2 Ghz, I think), and watch the temperature with:

vcgencmd measure_tmp

It should be fine up to 80-85 C° (but you should double check around about that and make your own decision).

Your best bet would be submersion in liquid nitrogen, which the pi can survive. Presuming you get around the firmware, you might beat this lunatic, who got it to run at ~3.0 Ghz for 1/2 a minute...

  • How do you go above the max clock speed allowed by the firmware?
    – Darth Vader
    Jan 9 '15 at 20:50
  • Actually that's 2nd hand -- I've never tried. It may be that you can, but you will have to try first. If you get up to that point and can't get any further, then you have another question ("My pi overclocks OK at 1.2 Ghz but now the firmware won't let me..."). Severe overclocking is a crapshoot in that two ostensibly identical chips may fare very differently; in fact, that's how (e.g.) Intel processors get an approved frequency slapped on them. All i7's are made exactly the same way on exactly the same production line, then afterward they are tested to see which ones...
    – goldilocks
    Jan 9 '15 at 22:35
  • ...have the best potential in relation to others. The fastest ones were not made that way on purpose, they were evaluated based on various criteria. This is called binning. So there's no theory here that can apply to all pis. You need to actually have one, incrementally test it, and deal with cooling in response to that. Some of them may work with no cooling at 1.2 Ghz. Others may simply burn. You can't just do some research and say, "I'll start at 1.5 Ghz", etc.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 9 '15 at 22:38

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