Raspberry Pi 4 gets an official case fan

The £4.50 fan will prevent the board's ARM Cortex-A72 processor from overheating

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has unveiled an official case fan for the Raspberry Pi 4 to prevent the tiny computer from overheating.

The £4.50 fan comes with a heatsink and can be fitted into the official case that comes with the Raspberry Pi 4. The Pi 4 itself comes with a 1.5GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor.

The fan does what it is supposed to do and keeps the CPU cool. As the chip can get hot when working at full tilt, normally, the Pi 4 then throttles the speed using a feature called “sprint-and-recover” mode. This can happen when the computer is placed within a case, which can hinder airflow. 

The Raspberry Pi Foundation noted that while it worked to fix problems with power optimisation in an update released last November, overheating can still occur when the computer is in use for extended periods.

In a blog post, the foundation said that to overclock indefinitely, users would either need either a passive cooling solution (like the Flirc case) or an active one like the Raspberry Pi 4 Case Fan.

“It draws air in over the USB and Ethernet connectors, passes it over a small finned heatsink attached to the processor, and exhausts it through the SD card slot. Here’s our workload running with the case fan: now the board remains well below 70C, and as expected the compile job takes the same amount of time as on the uncased board,” the organisation said.

The case fan was designed by Gordon Hollingworth who created the ducting for the device with the aid of a stack of Chinese takeout boxes and a glue gun. 

The case fan costs £4.50 can be bought from suppliers found here.

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