So I have my Raspberry Pi 3 up and running for about 2 days now. It's running 3 small scripts in the background continuously, which have minimal impact on the CPU. I've never seen the CPU usage go above 2%; it always maintains 0-1%.

On the first day the Pi was running at about 50°C. After sometime, it stabilised to 53°C the entire day. The next morning I checked the temperature and it was around 58°C. I then checked the CPU usage and it still maintained the 0-1% usage.

I then decided to get heatsinks and monitor the temperatures. It was still the same; nothing had changed. I assumed it had something to do with the power supply, but I confirmed that the power supply gave a stable 5.12V for about 10 min. I'm using a fast charger and the supply is rated at 5V 2.0A. So I'm assuming there's no leaking current causing thermal damage to the chip.

My room temperature is around 40°C. I'm sure even at this temperature, the Pi shouldn't have such severe temperature spikes.

This is my RPI3 setup:

  • It's running the latest version of Raspbian.
  • It's connected to LAN and WiFi.
  • I haven't disabled the WiFi yet.
  • One of the GPIOs is used to continuously send HIGH/LOW signal to a relay. 98% of the time the GPIO is sending LOW so there's not much current draw either.
  • None of the USB ports are used
  • the HDMI port is unused.

So what seems to be the problem?

  • 2
    There are likely too many possible factors (Pi faults, power supply faults, software faults, ambient temp, etc.) to make a reasonable attempt at answering your question. Your setup looks fine on paper, aside from the ambient temperature. 40°C is hot. Hot hot. With only an 18°C differential between your CPU and the air I'm not entirely surprised your heatsink didn't do much (although I might check your thermal paste and mounting). Thermal throttling doesn't kick in till 85°C, but if you're worried you might try a fan to wick the heat away a little faster.
    – goobering
    Apr 19, 2016 at 13:43
  • Ya when you're near the equator the ambient is always HOT. Anyhow the heat sinks are just stuck using double sided tape so thats why I think it made no difference, ill get thermal paste and try again. Adding a fan would result in more current draw, ill keep that as my last option. I'm not worried about thermal throttling. I'm worried about the safety of the chip, if I leave it on for longer than 2 days and if the temps keep rising I have nothing left to do. Apr 19, 2016 at 14:47
  • 4
    Your tape's made of paper and is an insulator - it'll block any heat transfer. Heat sinks won't do much unless there's a good heat conductive connection to the heat source, hence thermal paste. The chip's rated to 125°C, but as long as you're below 85 it should work without any problems. It's possible its life might be a little shorter due to the toasty hotness in your room, but nothing to lose sleep over.
    – goobering
    Apr 19, 2016 at 14:56
  • Yeah, double sided tape will only make things worse, not help. You mention that you're on the equator? What's the humidity like? If you're talking about 40 C temps, and high humidity, a heatsink isn't going to do much on their own.
    – Jacobm001
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


Your Pi is NOT getting hot. It is running within its designed operating range.

Don't worry about it unless it exceeds 85℃


I feel that the tape only worsens the possibility of heat sink. Also I feel that CPU usage is different from CPU powered up. Since your CPU is powered up always, there will be a heat dissipation for sure. So I feel the behavior is expected!


Taking into account that you have room temperature 40°C, 58°C for Raspberry Pi is very cold :)

Modern semiconductor works good with temperature up to 80°C. Do not worry about that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.