52Pi Ice Tower Raspberry Pi 4 Cooler Review: Big Honking Fan

Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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Honestly, the fun of getting creative with the cooling is part of why I want a Pi 4 in the first place.
I'm still really curious to how The Pimoroni Heatsink performs when it uses thermal compound instead of the thermally insulating tape that they used.
I'm a little suspicious they deliberately nerfed the cooling on that $3 heatsink on purpose, in order to sell fan shims....
It really shouldn't be that hard to passively cool <10 watts.

How does this ice tower cooler perform without the fan on? It seems like a relatively neat way to add a heat pipe.

Watching all these cooling solutions for the Pi4 come out makes me wonder what kind of chipset/ram heatsinks would fit on it.
I hear some m.2 cooling will fit without much effort
 

King_V

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How does this ice tower cooler perform without the fan on? It seems like a relatively neat way to add a heat pipe.
They addressed that in the article.
The Ice Tower, thanks to its dramatically greater surface area and overall mass, is a different story. Even with the fan removed, the Ice Tower kept the SoC well below the throttle point with a peak recorded temperature of 68 degrees Celsius. This impressive result suggests a passive Ice Tower could handle even extended sustained workloads, though eventually the laws of physics suggest it too will begin to throttle without forced convection from a fan.
 
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Giroro

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I don't agree with the idea that passive cooling is destined to eventually throttle without a fan, because physics.
In a perfectly sealed case, maybe.. but not with ventilation.
 
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King_V

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Yeah, that it seemed to be leveling out on the graph suggested that it would continue to keep things at 70 or below.

Maybe that part of the comment was a little bit of hedging bets, a sealed or maybe poorly ventilated case, different ambient temperatures (say, if you live in India vs if you live in Finland), etc.
 
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bit_user

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eventually the laws of physics suggest it too will begin to throttle without forced convection from a fan.
WTF?

I don't agree with the idea that passive cooling is destined to eventually throttle without a fan, because physics.
I know, right?

Yeah, that it seemed to be leveling out on the graph suggested that it would continue to keep things at 70 or below.
It's converging well below the throttle point!
 

bit_user

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If you want better performance from the 4 GB version, rather than overclocking and buying a big heatsink, your money is better spent on a faster board.


A bonus is that it runs full 64-bit Ubuntu and is much more power-efficient, but the downside is it's not exactly a Pi.

The linked page shows that it converges at about 73 degrees C, with its passive heatsink and all 6 cores + GPU stressed.
 
Dec 7, 2019
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This is so absurd, I want it!
It's completely absurd, as I opened it the partner screamed and the children cried, and I started to have the faintest whiff of buyer's remorse. I had the hope that I'd be able to bodge the PiBow 4 to fit the Ice Tower but when I saw it I thought this plan had gone completely out of the window... Not so, surprisingly a perfect fit and no bodging required, just had to omit the bottom plate and 4 riser screws from the cooler kit and it all fit's together beautifully.

It's still absurd, but I love it!

 

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