Question Cooling an Intel Atom C3955 on the Supermicro A2SDi-H-TP4F in a Fractal Design Node 804 Case?


Oct 21, 2015
OK, guys, forgive my lack of familiarity with NAS & server issues, this is my 1st NAS & I'm probably being way too cautious, but heat is a killer & I am always trying to keep temps down on the boxes I build, so here's my concern...

I dropped more than I probably should have on a motherboard for simply serving media to the entire house, as well as to provide a central location for work/documents we use at home for business. Eventually, we want to be able to utilize the server from our satellite/remote office locations as well, but for now I just want to be able to stream throughout the house... we have computers in every room these day (7).

The Supermicro A2SDi-H-TP4F has the embedded Intel Atom C3955 with a simple heat-sink attached; no fan... this seems wrong to me, despite everything I read telling me the Intel Atoms producing very little heat. Can that be true when streaming to a few rooms in the house at once, hi-res video, etc? On Supermicro's website, on the specifications page for this mobo, they show a couple of chassis' optimized for that motherboard, & 2 of the 3 images there, show a small fan attached to the heat-sinks. I called Supermicro & they didn't have any advice except to look at the same images I note above (if you want to take a look, here is the link to the specs page, scroll to the bottom & click the links to the images of suggested chassis:

Other images here:

Anyone have a suggestion as to what fan I might use & how to attach? I have been planning to use the Fractal Design Node 804 case, but I have been thinking maybe I should use the Coolermaster Cosmos I have laying around here... It's a freakin' massive beast, I wanted to get rid of it but maybe it's a better idea? On that little <7"x7" board, I could get a lot of airflow over that heat-sink without an attached fan & the more I am thinking about it, the better it sounds, as far as heat is concerned... I was trying to create a small footprint & keep it in my home office, but I think putting the server in a closet I have, centrally located in the house, might be a better solution. Low temps are FAR more important than a noisy box, especially if it is not anywhere near anyone. The tiny cases always concern me, so much heat generating electronics in a compact size seems to be asking for problems.

Has anyone ever used a small closet as a server room? Again, I am concerned about temps even in that closet. I designed a way to have a small window air-conditioner to vent into that room, but I was thinking that a small air conditioner like that might create too much condensation... any thoughts on that would be welcomed as well...

Thanks guys, always appreciate the knowledge & help offered here!

I had Atom-based ITX board for quite a while, never had troubles with overheading, running Windows Server 2008. Retired it due to low performance.

The CPU will be probably coldest part in your server. HDDs and PSU will generate much more heat.