Home Forum Hardware Discussions Cooling fan recommendations

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    Let’s get some cooling fan discussion going!

    Note: temp sensors in /sys one can just cat for degrees Celsius are located at:


    My experience so far with a 80mm, 12V, 350mA, 4800RPM fan is mixed. Fan does its job well – it keeps the sensors at not much above 40C when CPUs are busy at 2GHz and DDR4 is at 2400, but it’s the loudest thing in the room by far (45-ish dB).

    Any quieter solutions are welcome.


    I came across another 80mm candidate for a cooling fan for the macchiatobin:

    CoolerMaster A8015-20CB-3BN-F1 (a leftover part from a CoolerMaster mini-ITX box) – 12V, 120mA – an extremely quiet specimen! My macchiatobin is finally quieter than my desktop ; )

    But most importantly, temp stays in the low 40s C under various stress tests @ 1.3GHz (same tests otherwise can go to 80C without active cooling).


    Some of the easily overlooked heat conditions are:
    – Prompted wait of u-boot.
    – UART BOOT fallback of on-die BootROM.


    Indeed, that u-boot prompt is a real heat hazard on the macchiatobin. The highest temp I’ve ever read on the mcbin was in the u-boot prompt – tsen reported 89C, after I had left u-boot prompt unattended for some time, under passive cooling.



    I’ve just ordered a cooling fan myself. I found that the passive cooling simply was not sufficient.

    I’m running Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS (as per the macchiatobin wiki) and my system is quite hot even when idle:

    thermal_zone0 = 70 c
    thermal_zone1 = 66 c
    thermal_zone2 = 66 c

    I’m concerned to run anything heavy as I do see the temperature go up very rapidly when there is anything CPU/memory intensive for example. Of course heat is the enemy in this case – so want to avoid damaging this board.

    Any suggestions? I hope to have the cooling fan in the next few days.


    Hi slimsamu,

    Apparently board’s passive cooling was designed for ambient-t-controlled environments, and most developers’ workbenches clearly do not qualify. So active cooling is the way to go, and the purpose of this thread ; )

    Re fans, in my experience 80mm-diameter fans are perfect for positioning right by the edge of the board, blowing at the SoC’s heatsink (incoming ascii art warning):

       | I           |
       | I           |
    F->| .  ###      |
    F->| .  ###      |
    F->|             |
       | DDDDDDDDDDD |
    N  - network connectors
    I  - PCIe3.0 x4 slot
    .  - missing JTAG connector
    F  - 80mm fan
    D  - DIMM
    #  - SoC
    -> - airflow

    Clearly, a solution where the fan is positioned right on top of the heatsink would be optimal, but the board does not provide any attachment means for such contraptions.


    Hi blu,

    Thanks for your reply. I have a fan on order and will scale back the tests I started performing – which led to:
    kernel: armada_thermal f06f808c.thermal: Overheat critical high threshold temperature reached



    FWIW they seem to be shipping with an actual little cpu fan on top of the heat sink.

    Sadly the fan is *incredibly* noisy, and I think mine is failing after a few days of running. Will need to measure and get a replacement somewhere.


    I had one of these laying around. It’s a drop-in replacement for the stock fan and is nearly silent.


    To stress test, I’ve set my MacchiatoBIN to run at 2GHz and have four instances of this cpuburn running


    After 60 minutes the temperature hovers around 67C (up from 50C at idle) in a room that is 23C. Power consumption is 19W (including 4GB RAM, 120GB SATA SSD, and 1Gb ethernet). There’s been no thermal throttling.


    I ordered a nice little silent 40mm fan for mine, a ‘Fractal Design Silent Series R3 Black/White Silence-Optimized 40mm Case Fan’ from newegg.

    Almost imperceptibly quiet and keeps the thermals just as well as the stock fan.


    BTW, Gabor, I just came across your blog, and I’m super jealous of your benchtable : )

    For comparison, this is what I’m working with MacchiatoBin on a notebook (cooling turned out quite adequate, though).

    Also, perhaps unsurprisingly, GEMM was among the first things I ran on my MacchiatoBin after powerup, but mine was of the home-variety SP one. Curiously enough, the combined results from your DGEMM and my SGEMM are very close to the ideal SP FLOPS = 2x DP FLOPS: yours: 17.5 DP GFLOPS, mine: https://github.com/blu/gemm#results, 6.52 SP flop/clock/core * 4 cores * 1.3GHz ~= 34 SP GFLOPS).


    Opened here a thread asking what’s a suitable chassi for running the MacchiatoBin with an M.2 NVMe SSD and automatically powered on/off fan, http://macchiatobin.net/forums/topic/slim-macchiatobin-with-m-2-nvme-ssd-chassi-where-order/ .

    I like to use the MacchiatoBin as a home/office server for stable operation in low and high loads.

    The MacchiatoBin with its support for 16GB RAM, 10Gbit ethernet, high-IOPS SSD via the PCIe, and slim form factor, is I think the best option for a small ARM64 home/offie server today, so I just need the right chassi and fans – and a confirmation that the MacchiatoBin has the logics built-in to detect temperature and switch on/off fan accordingly, maybe I need to script that myself e.g. when above 55 centegrades, turn on the fan for the next 60 seconds.

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