Tronsmart MK908 homebrew cooling system

mk908fanMini PCs, particularly quad-core models, are demanding more from their passive cooling than ever before. But as users mod their devices, swap out stock ROMs for higher-performance custom ROMs, they’re becoming more concerned the passive cooling will struggle under the demand.

One user on Freaktab.com has documented his findings, measuring temperatures with the basic passive cooling and came up with a longer term active cooling solution. [Thesawolf] took apart his Tronsmart MK908, cut out room for new heatsinks top and bottom and wire-wrapped new 5VDC brushless fans to keep the unit cool.

Like most modern CPUs, the Rockchip RK3188 has built-in over-temperature protection that automatically throttles the performance should the temperature rise too high. In its original condition, the MK908 appears to have no thermal performance issues – its only when users change the firmware and push the device beyond its original design that heat production appears to become an issue.

[Thesawolf] saw temperatures drop from 104.7degreesF down to 78degreesF with the new heatsink/fan combo.

It’s a clever design and nicely executed but we wonder whether it’d be possible to power the fans internally from the MK908′s USB socket. The 5VDC fans used here are 230mA types so that’s 460mA total current just for the fans, but it would make the wiring neater and keep the whole build self-contained. It’d be also interesting to see how the MK908 performs with just a single fan and whether two fans are needed.

Anyway, full marks to [Thesawolf] for the build.

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