I currently have the Raspberry Pi Model B. I got some three heatsinks, one large two small (the large is about the size of the Broadcom chip, small is the ethernet/usb(?) chip). I use my raspberry pi as an audio server. I am running MusicBox on it, and output the audio through a usb audio card. I am using a edimax usb wifi adapter to connect to my network.

Where should I put my heatsinks? Do I really even need heatsinks for this (if not, when do I)?

2 Answers 2


You put the heatsinks directly on top of the CPU and the Ethernet/USB micro controller.

Like this:

RPi Heatsinks

Usually, 99 times out of 100, you won't need heatsinks.

  • 1
    However, when overclocking, heat sinks are recommended.
    – Human
    Sep 7, 2015 at 20:01
  • The smaller one is not a RAM card. It's the ethernet/usb controller.
    – Jacobm001
    Jan 29, 2016 at 21:49
  • @Jacobm001 I noticed that while reading another question recently. I've edited the answer. Jan 29, 2016 at 22:00
  • Link is broken. Oct 1, 2017 at 12:15
  • @RichardChambers Fixed. Oct 11, 2017 at 20:41

I find that heat sinks, while not needed, allow you diffuse the heat from overclocking, allowing you to run the pi faster.

  • How would the mere existance of heat sinks change the speed of the Pi?
    – Ghanima
    Jan 29, 2016 at 21:29
  • 3
    I'm guessing the leprechauns are behind this. It is absolutely fundamental to their correct operation, particularly with reference to peripheral interfaces, that processors are timed using very precise clocks. They do not waver arbitrarily in speed.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 29, 2016 at 21:39
  • Because the CPU throttles down at a temperature threshold. 85°? And it stays down until it’s safe to go up again. What good is overclocking, if the Pi just drops clockspeed under load, when you need it to perform? You need a heatsink for a Pi, even if not overclocking. The heat will also shorten the lifespan of the chips somewhat.
    – user2497
    Oct 12, 2017 at 8:33

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