Does a heatsink for RPi 3 processor needs to be exactly centered ?

It fell while I was "aiming" for the processor with the board in its case (I know, sloppy). Thankfully the thermal pasted heatsink landed quite well aligned on the Broadcom chip. Except it is offset by a 1/2mm or some laterally, horizontally, perpendicular.

Question: Could this position cause an issue please (fire, overheating...)? Do I need to wait a specific time for the thermal paste that came already in place to dry ?

Thanks !

  • Most Rpi3 heat sinks don't use paste - they come with thermal tape. All you need to do is peel it off and stick it on. Centering is good, but if the thermal tape overlaps the bottom of the heat sink then it is not likely the heat sink will touch adjacent components.
    – SDsolar
    May 15, 2017 at 5:21
  • Ok thanks ! Indeed I just had to peel off a protection and then there was a sticky paste already in place.
    – MFJC
    May 15, 2017 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


A mis-placement of a heatsink of 1/2 mm will cause no trouble and no significant change in thermal behaviour. The only potential issue could be a damage and/or short circuiting of neighbouring components, e.g. R82 or R10. Those resistors are pretty close to the chip. Check those in detail - though from pictures of the PCB I would assume that you're pretty safe.

As for the time of your thermal paste/adhesive ... that would depend on the product.

  • Thanks for your help ! For the time nothing was included with it. Around a couple hours / a night should be enough right ?
    – MFJC
    May 15, 2017 at 0:39

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