SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

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Dirk Broer
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#1 SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:59 pm

52Pi -sometimes written as S2Pi- are developing themselves as the Noctua of SBC cooling: High-end air coolers with good performance.
Image
After we had the Ice Tower cooler for the Raspberry Pi that shaves some 30°C off the Pi's operating temperature we got a specialized 4-pin Nvidia Jetson Nano cooler featuring a far bigger cooling block and two heat pipes, that even managed to shave some 40°C off the Nano's operating temperature!Image
As it uses a 4pin fan, just imagine what a 2cm thick Noctua 40mm 5V fan could do..
Their lastest SBC cooling product is a 2-pin low-profile Pi cooler, looking (at first glance) very much like the Nano cooler, but with a far smaller cooling block and a thinner radiator, that manages to keep the Raspberry Pi's just a tad cooler than the 'big tower' model can -partly due to blowing air down over the board itself too. Gone however is the possibility to add a second fan in push-pull combination.
Image
What does this have to do with a quest for power? The most capable 32-bit ARM SOCs are eight-cores that all suffer the same problem: overheating and hence down throttling.
My Odroid-XU4's Samsung Exynos 5422 SOC sometimes runs as slow as 1100/1000 MHz due to down throttling, while it can do 2000MHz/1400Mhz on its Cortex-A15 respectively Cortex-A7 cores. And the same holds, due to less cooling, even more true for the Cortex-A15/A7 equipped Allwinner A80 in my Cubieboard 4's, that is advertised at the same speeds as the Odroid-XU4. It surely holds true for the [standard] totally un-cooled Allwinner A83T Cortex-A7 Octa-Core of the Banana Pi M3, that is supposed to run at 1800 MHz: all three octa-cores will overheat and throttle down. I have yet to hear of an enthusiastic Banana Pi M3 user on that account.

So we need more cooling, and 52Pi is going to supply it. It is just that they themselves do not know it yet. I will try to tie-wrap my way into getting their low-profile ice-tower cooler securely onto my Odroid-XU4 and my Cubieboard 4, as the normal way of fitting them will not work. I'll keep you informed.

P.S. These coolers might do great on your Frankendroids as well.....
Last edited by Dirk Broer on Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#2 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:49 pm

Can you get better cooling than with the Out-Of-the-Box (OOB) solutions of 52PI? Yes, but it takes some out-of-the-box thinking to make a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) extreme cooler.
When searching for '52pi Ice Tower' in Google I came across 'Sub-20$ DIY Cooler DESTROYS 52pi Ice Tower', so before you mod your Frankendroid to take a 52Pi cooler, first read this.
The bloke who wrote it had thought of using a cheap Chinese northbridge cooler for PC mainboards when he couldn't find the holy grail of chipset cooling: the discontinued Noctua NC-U6.
If you happen to have one lying around: grab it and use it, either on a SBC or on a X570 mobo -or sell it.

The contraption built looks like this: Image
Cooling performance was like this:Image
I'll keep looking for more extreme solutions...

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#3 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:57 pm

Phase one is about to begin: my low-profile Ice Tower (more like an Ice Plateau) coolers have arrived and are mounted,
all I need now is a new OS for the Odroid-XU4 -which trashes the SD cards when overheating- and a PSU for my CubieBoard 4.

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#4 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Miklos M » Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm

Dirk Broer wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:57 pm
Phase one is about to begin: my low-profile Ice Tower (more like an Ice Plateau) coolers have arrived and are mounted,
all I need now is a new OS for the Odroid-XU4 -which trashes the SD cards when overheating- and a PSU for my CubieBoard 4.
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
Image

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#5 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:42 pm

Miklos M wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Dirk Broer wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:57 pm
Phase one is about to begin: my low-profile Ice Tower (more like an Ice Plateau) coolers have arrived and are mounted,
all I need now is a new OS for the Odroid-XU4 -which trashes the SD cards when overheating- and a PSU for my CubieBoard 4.
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
If you suspect the chipset of these board(s) of reaching too high temperatures, you can use either an Ice Tower Cooler -might have troubles fastening- or use a big chipset cooler with heatpipe(s).
Pity that most of the better ones are out-of-production (OOP), but the KKmoon-HB802 seems a good alternative, especially when coupled to a 80mm Noctua fan.
Motherboards generally won't have 5V pins for fans as needed for the Ice Towers, but 12 volt pins, just as most 80mm fans you can buy/order.

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#6 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by scole of TSBT » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:28 am

Miklos M wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
You need either this one...https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/co ... g-edition/
or this one...https://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d15

And you need your case fans taken care of. Did the one fan get replaced?
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#7 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:26 am

scole of TSBT wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:28 am
Miklos M wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
You need either this one...https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/co ... g-edition/
or this one...https://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d15

And you need your case fans taken care of. Did the one fan get replaced?
Ehr...we're talking about cooling tiny chipsets/SOCs here, not x86 CPUs....SBC, Single Board Computer.
Last edited by Dirk Broer on Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#8 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by scole of TSBT » Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:32 am

Dirk Broer wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:26 am
Ehr...we're talking about cooling tiny chipsets/SOCs here, not x86 CPUs....
I understand. I was just trying to help Miklos with info about the CPU cooler he needs on his i9-9820X and i9-9980XE systems.
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#9 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Miklos M » Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:52 am

Dirk Broer wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:42 pm
Miklos M wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Dirk Broer wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:57 pm
Phase one is about to begin: my low-profile Ice Tower (more like an Ice Plateau) coolers have arrived and are mounted,
all I need now is a new OS for the Odroid-XU4 -which trashes the SD cards when overheating- and a PSU for my CubieBoard 4.
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
If you suspect the chipset of these board(s) of reaching too high temperatures, you can use either an Ice Tower Cooler -might have troubles fastening- or use a big chipset cooler with heatpipe(s).
Pity that most of the better ones are out-of-production (OOP), but the KKmoon-HB802 seems a good alternative, especially when coupled to a 80mm Noctua fan.
Motherboards generally won't have 5V pins for fans as needed for the Ice Towers, but 12 volt pins, just as most 80mm fans you can buy/order.
Thank you.
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#10 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Miklos M » Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:53 am

Dirk Broer wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:26 am
scole of TSBT wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:28 am
Miklos M wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
You need either this one...https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/co ... g-edition/
or this one...https://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d15

And you need your case fans taken care of. Did the one fan get replaced?
Ehr...we're talking about cooling tiny chipsets/SOCs here, not x86 CPUs....
Tuesday I am getting it done.

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#11 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:07 am

The Odroid-XU4 needs a copper shim on the SOC for better heat transfer from SOC to cooler.
The heatpipes from the Low-Profile Ice Tower touch the board otherwise. I didn't have a shim, so tried without.
I wouldn't be surprised if the new cooler only partially touches the SOC at the moment, as htop reports 84°C CPU temperature running BOINC, board speeds are 1600 MHz (big) vs 1400 MHz (LITTLE).... which is far faster than before, but still needs improvement as the big cores should be able to run at 2000 MHz. The LITTLE cores run as advertised, 1400 MHz.
Under the old cooler -pun intended- the system ran at 1000 MHz vs 1100 MHz, due to what now appears a malfunctioning fan.

Image

I used pins 1 and 28 to power the cooler, there is not enough room to have the black wire connect to pin 2
Image
The original cooler's pins are too small to be of use.

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#12 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:25 pm

The Cubieboard 4 poses much less difficulties attaching a cooler as is has so much more space to work on -it is easily twice the size of the Odroid-XU4.
Much to my amazement Cubietech appears to have produced a staggering amount of Cubieboards over the years, eleven.
They are, in short:
  • CubieBoard1, with a single-core Allwinner A10 (an ARM Cortex-A8 SOC),
  • CubieBoard2, with a dual-core Allwinner A20 (an ARM Cortex-A7 SOC),
  • CubieBoard2 Dual, two connected CubieBoard2's,
  • CubieBoard3, aka CubieTruck, with a dual-core Allwinner A20 (an ARM Cortex-A7 SOC),
  • CubieBoard4, aka CC-A80, with a octa-core Allwinner A80 (an ARM Cortex-A15/A7 SOC),
  • CubieBoard5, aka CubieTruck2, with a octa-core Allwinner H8 (an ARM Cortex-A7 SOC),
  • CubieAIO-A20 Board, with a dual-core Allwinner A20 (an ARM Cortex-A7 SOC),
  • CubieBoard6, with a quad-core Actions S500 (an ARM Cortex-A9 SOC),
  • CubieAIO-S500 Board, with a quad-core Actions S500 (an ARM Cortex-A9 SOC),
  • CubieBoard7, with a quad-core Actions S700 (an ARM Cortex-A53 SOC),
  • CubieAIO-S700 Board, with a quad-core Actions S700 (an ARM Cortex-A53 SOC),
  • CubieBoard9, with a quad-core Actions S900 (an ARM Cortex-A53 SOC).
There is no CubieBoard8. Searching for it always turn up the CubieBoard4, aka CC-A80
BOINC-wise, the two octa-cores are the most interesting, as they do the most credits per Watt.
The CubieBoard4 should be able to run as good as the Odroid-XU4 having the same big.LITTLE combination of Cortex-A15/A7 CPUs. The main difference -aside from the IO offered by the CubieBoard- is the Video Chip: A PowerVR G6230 for the CubieBoard versus a Mali T628 on the Odroid-XU4.
The PSU that the CubieBoard needs is very hard to find, mostly due to the 4mm x 1.7mm connector plug -but 5V @4A isn't that easy either. The Odroid-XU4 has that, but a 5mm x 2.1mm connector plug.
Last edited by Dirk Broer on Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#13 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Miklos M » Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:39 pm

scole of TSBT wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:28 am
Miklos M wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:07 pm
Can this type of coolers be used in a regular desk top computer somehow? I am having several issues with heat. :?
You need either this one...https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/co ... g-edition/
or this one...https://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d15

And you need your case fans taken care of. Did the one fan get replaced?
On Tuesday, when I will also have the computers cleaned, looking forward to it. I want my gpu's back.

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#14 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Megacruncher » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:42 pm

You're getting your computers cleaned? Why? Eventually the dust & heat leads to a, hopefully small & self limiting, conflagration after which you can continue uninterupted!
Willie the Megacruncher
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#15 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:12 pm

Dirk Broer wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:59 pm
So we need more cooling, and 52Pi is going to supply it. It is just that they themselves do not know it yet. I will try to tie-wrap my way into getting their low-profile ice-tower cooler securely onto my Odroid-XU4 and my Cubieboard 4, as the normal way of fitting them will not work. I'll keep you informed.
P.S. These coolers might do great on your Frankendroids as well.....
Well, some tie-wraps further I decided to buy a Jetson Nano -the 'cheap' 2GB model, as Simply Red already sung "Money's too tight to mention".
The earlier bought top-down blowing 52Pi coolers went to my two Raspberry Pi 4 model 4GB's, as it proved very hard/impossible to secure them to either the Cubieboard 4 CC-A80, respectively the Odroid-XU4. The complete 64-bit ARM squadron of my ARM fleet runs now on 2000+ MHz Cortex-A7x's (forgetting the in total four Cortex-A53's that are part of the two six-core Odroid-N2+'s).

For the Nano I have also bought the specialized 52Pi Nano cooler, but the first setback was that the included miniature torx t7 screwdriver was only able to remove the two outer screws of the four screws holding the relatively big 6cm x 4cm x 1.7cm heatsink, so I'll have to do with passive cooling and stock speeds for the time being.
And while a Cortex-A57 is no Cortex-A72, it certainly is better than the two Cortex-A7 it will replace. It is also better than a Cortex-A53, so the 100+ Euro 4GB model is high on my list too, the Nano cooler will not go to waste.

Upon starting L4T (Linux For Tegra) you are greeted with a screen that the staunch AMD supporter will make thinking "isn't that the logo of the GPUs from that other brand? F#**ing nVidia?", while the more opportunistic user will think "isn't that the logo of the brand that works out of the box when installing Linux? Will I have CUDA running on ARM soon?"
Image
I'll keep you informed.
Last edited by Dirk Broer on Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#16 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:08 pm

First start gave a bit of a surprise: I couldn't install either BOINC or Synaptic, but after

Code: Select all

sudo apt update --fix-missing

sudo apt dist-upgrade
I could install to my heart's desire.
Clinfo at first gave 'no platform', but after installing -amongst others- some nVidia and CUDA files I've progressed to two recognized platforms, GPU and CPU.

After adding to the cc_config.xml these lines:

Code: Select all

<options>
   <alt_platform>arm-unknown-linux-gnueabihf</alt_platform>
   <alt_platform>armv7l-unknown-linux-gnueabihf</alt_platform>
</options>
and

Code: Select all

sudo dpkg --add-architecture armhf
sudo apt update --fix-missing
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo apt install libc6:armhf libstdc++6:armhf zlib1g:armhf libfuse2:armhf
to be sure 32-bit libs are there when needed and, voilá: Boinc starts getting work for 32-bit apps.

Because I was unhappy with the memory assigned to the GPU (a mere 99MB) when using the default 5GB swapdisk I installed and configured ZRAM via

Code: Select all

sudo apt install zram-config
and rebooted

Jetson-Nano2GB
Starting BOINC client version 7.9.3 for aarch64-unknown-linux-gnu *so no need to have this as alternate platform*
log flags: file_xfer, sched_ops, task
Libraries: libcurl/7.58.0 OpenSSL/1.1.1 zlib/1.2.11 libidn2/2.0.4 libpsl/0.19.1 (+libidn2/2.0.4) nghttp2/1.30.0 librtmp/2.3
Data directory: /var/lib/boinc-client
CUDA: NVIDIA GPU 0: NVIDIA Tegra X1 (driver version unknown, CUDA version 10.2, compute capability 5.3, 1979MB, 1343MB available, 236 GFLOPS peak) *CUDA! and enough RAM!**
OpenCL CPU: pthread-cortex-a57 (OpenCL driver vendor: The pocl project, driver version 1.1, device version OpenCL 1.2 pocl HSTR: pthread-aarch64-unknown-linux-gnu-GENERIC)
[libc detection] gathered: 2.27, Ubuntu GLIBC 2.27-3ubuntu1.4
Host name: Jetson-Nano2GB
Processor: 4 ARM ARMv8 Processor rev 1 (v8l) [Impl 0x41 Arch 8 Variant 0x1 Part 0xd07 Rev 1]
Processor features: fp asimd evtstrm aes pmull sha1 sha2 crc32
OS: Linux Ubuntu: Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS [4.9.201-tegra|libc 2.27 (Ubuntu GLIBC 2.27-3ubuntu1.4)]
Memory: 1.93 GB physical, 4.97 GB virtual *ZRAM can deliver enough GB's here too*
Disk: 58.41 GB total, 12.05 GB free *This from a 64GB SD card*

We get the following Benchmark results:
Number of CPUs: 4
1387 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) per CPU
68511 integer MIPS (Dhrystone) per CPU
Stock speeds, passive cooling -which gets really hot, BTW...I happened to have an old Pentium II or III heatsink of 13 x 8 x 5 cm that I've laid on the Nano for the time being.

P.S.: Good thing I did, it lowered the temperature with some 20°C...it dwarfes the Jetson Nano, but it does do the job!
Last edited by Dirk Broer on Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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#17 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:31 am

A Noctua 5V comparison table I made for when you want your SBC (single board computer) cooled -in proper Noctua colo(u)rs!:
Image (click on it for a bigger picture)
There are 5V PWM models for every size, but only the A4x10 5V PWM shows differences in scores as compared to the standard model.

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#18 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:32 am

Just scored the holy grail of passive chipset cooling: A Noctua NC-U6
Image
When it arrives I have some SBC's in line, waiting to be tested...

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#19 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:29 am

Things done so far, SBC cooling-wise:

I already had my three Raspberry Pi 4's with 52Pi Ice Tower coolers, but now i have these premium cooled beasties as well:
  • I re-launched my Odroid-XU4, this time with a Hardkernel heatsink -making it effectively the XU4Q- and a Noctua NF-A4 40x20mm fan on top of it -still quiet.
  • Activated my 2nd Jetson Nano -a 2nd hand purchased 4GB model- with a Noctua NF-A4 40x20mm PWM fan, also very quiet (or it must be that the rest of the crunching farm makes too much noise).
I had actually hoped I could fit the special 52Pi Ice Tower for the Jetson Nano to the 4Gb model, but the 52Pi supplied Torx T7 screwdriver is not up to nVidia tightening standards.
If all is well, the local hardware store has a professional T7 lying for me. I am now first going to try to fit the Noctua NC-U6 on top of one of my Cubieboard4's.

Bummer! It turns out that the holes in the Cubieboard4 are too near to each other (40mm, instead of the minimum of 45mm that the NC-U6 needs)... Might have to place the Noctua NC-U6 on e.g. the Odroid-XU4 (or an Odroid-C model), where the holes are 55mm apart. But I have to measure temperatures first.

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#20 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:55 pm

Just arrived in the post, all the way from China in a mere plastic bag -kudo's to the blister designer:
Image
....wait for the test results!

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#21 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:18 am

While I am at it, let me present to you the possibilities of extremely cooling your SBC or Frankendroid -that hothead hacked Android TV of yours.
What can be used, short of a complete old CPU cooler from a no longer useful Socket, that might be just too big to fit into the space you have?

The Great Chipset Cooler Comperative
NameFan sizeHeat-pipesWeightRadiator size HxWxDBase sizeFasteningMaterialFan Support
Coolink ChipChilla60mm1 double130g94 X 60 X 2236 x ?Push-Pins & Mounting-HooksCopper (base and 6mm heat-pipes) / Aluminum (cooling fins)Comes with 60 x 60 x 10mm fan
Evercool NCA-610EA60mm1 double110g90 X 60 X 2430 x 34ClipsCopper (6mm heat-pipes) / Aluminium (base, cooling fins)Comes with 60 x 60 x 10mm fan
Noctua NC-U660mm2 double130g85 x 70 x 2333 x 33Push-Pins & Mounting-Hooks Copper (base and 6mm heat-pipes) / Aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints60mm fan compatible, no mounting material provided
KKmoon/PCCooler HB-80280mm2 single99g112 x 86 x 1730 x 34Screws & Mounting-Hooks Copper (6mm heat-pipes) / Aluminium (base, cooling fins)80mm fan compatible, mounting material provided
Thermalright HR-05/IFX80mm1 double125g105 x 86 x 2030 x 30Screws & Mounting-HooksCopper (base and 6mm heat-pipes) / Aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints80mm fan compatible, fan wire clips included
Xigmatek Porter CN88180mm1 double150g128 x 80 x 2940 x 40?Screws & Mounting-HooksCopper (8mm heat-pipes) / Aluminium (base, cooling fins)80mm fan compatible, mounting material provided
I could find too little data for the 70mm Syba CL-CNL-CHPMG2 -aka EKL Alpenföhn Ötzi- to make a table entry. It was extremely difficult to obtain data that can be truly compared too. I suspect the radiator height in fact to be the height of the entire cooler, and I had to adjust the radiator width several times too, as here the complete width is sometimes given including fan, or includiung the base. Some base sizes are guesstimates...
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#22 Re: SBC extreme cooling: the quest for more power

Post by Dirk Broer » Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:33 pm


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