Improving Cooling

Discussion in 'UDOO BOLT' started by xohmz, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. xohmz

    xohmz UDOOer

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    Hello, all.
    I thought I'd share my short adventure in improving the cooling on this board. Instead of changing the fan and dealing with finding the right dimensions, power consumption, and connector, I found it much easier and fun to replace the heatsink.

    Disclaimer:

    I'm almost certain this voids any warranty, take this adventure at your own risk!

    Materials:

    Intel PGA988/989 heatsink
    Non-conductive thermal paste
    >90% Isopropyl Alcohol
    Typical tools (screw driver, pliers, etc)

    Optional:
    3D printed custom air duct (password: bolt)

    Images:
    imgbb album (password: bolt) - Sort A-Z to get correct order or see timestamps.

    Process:
    1. Carefully remove stock heatsink assembly by loosening each screw a little bit at a time. This should keep the heatsink level and even the pressure on the processor.
    2. Clean the processor with the alcohol and lint free cloth to remove all traces of the old thermal paste/pad.
    3. Remove the fan and fan bracket from the new heasink assembly
    4. Remove the mounting screws from both the old and new heatsink assemblies. The screw-side discs are flexible and can be removed with pliers.
    5. Place the new heatsink's springs on the old one's mounting screws. We need the old mounting screws because they will accept the fan screws.
    6. Apply the new thermal paste to the CPU. More is better than less, it is non-conductive so don't worry too much.
    7. Attach the new heatsink carefully. Tighten each screw a little bit at a time to maintain equal pressure.
    8. Attach stock fan on top of the newly attached heatsink and plug it in!

      If you 3D printed the optional fan duct:
    9. Slide the fan cables out and route them by the corner of the heatsink to make room for the fan duct.
    10. Carefully slide the fan duct over the fan, ensuring not to jam the fan cables.
    Results:
    I should have taken better data before the modifications, but it looks like temp is about 3C lower and the cooling rate is higher when the fan kicks on.

    Possible Improvements:
    I did not lift the heatsink too see how well the paste spread over the CPU. The heatsink was not very smooth and I suspect the paste might have spread perpendicular to the long axis of the CPU. Buffing the heatsink surface and or applying more paste might improve heat conduction. I'll try this later on.
     
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  2. xohmz

    xohmz UDOOer

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    I ended up removing the heatsink to see how well the paste spread and my suspicions were confirmed! In this picture we can see that the paste spread along the grooves of the heatsink, perpendicular to the long axis of the chip. I cleaned the chip and heatsink, reapplied the paste from one end of the long axis to the other end right down the middle (forgot to take a picture, sorry!), attached the heatsink again. From that, I got an additional 2C cooler. I'm very pleased with these results and would recommend it to anyone comfortable with the process!
     
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  3. nophead

    nophead UDOOer

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    I always spread the paste with a blade to a thin layer all over before assembly. I don't rely on it spreading itself.
     
    Xanatos, Zgembo and xohmz like this.

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