Acceptable temperature for a Fanless Akasa NUC7i5 running ROCK

Hi all, I have just finished moving the hardware from a NUC7i5BNH enclosure to the Akasa Newton S7 and installing ROCK on it. Before moving next I am monitoring the operational temperatures. The NUC is just running the BIOS which shows the temperatures. Is it normal that it operates at 60°C just with the BIOS? I am worried that the temperature will grow with ROCK to risky levels. I am pretty sure that I have followed all the instructions carefully during the move. I have used the conductors included in the Akasa package, no other thermal conductor. Am I safe running the system? Should I move everything back to the Intel enclosure which uses the fan system?

Im running the 7i7BNH in the Plato X case which was originally OK’d for it but then they found it to not be good enough if you are running the i7 at maximum loads for extended periods. I have not found it to be an issue this far with external tens in the low 40°C’s and in the bios up around 52-60°C and haven’t had any issues. Worst case when I know its going to be running a big library import and audio analysis I will put a fan nearby to assist cooling or sit it on a laptop cooler (very effective) … YMMV

If I were going to run the 7th generation processors I’d probably go for a better thermal compound than that which comes with the Akasa cases just for a bit more peace of mind. I didn’t resort to that when I built mine (5th gen i5 in a Plato MC) but doing it again I would. When I ran Windows 10 I monitored temps extensively and the only time things get serious was when the machine was analysing my smallish collection of around 5000 tracks. I imagine that it is really large collections that may take tens of hours to analyse the may cause terminal stresses like throttling. If that were the case there would be nothing to stop you doing all of that in its fan assisted case, backing it up for security and then transferring to the fanless case.

I have been continuously monitoring the BIOS temperature for a day and it remained below 60°C. It is a hot summer so the temperature indoor is close to 30°. I have also transferred 250GB of music to the internal storage through the LAN, rebooted the NUC in BIOS mode and the temperature was around 50°C/55°C. In a couple of weeks I will give it a try, using ROCK to serve music. It is unfortunate that the temperature cannot be observed while the server is running (only the BIOS shows it, not the web interface). The current setting is NUC7i5 (w/ Samsung NVME 960 M.2, Samsung EVO 850 1TB, 2x4GB Kingston HyperX SODIMM) transplanted into the Akasa Newton S7, only using the thermal pads provided by Akasa. I have already ordered the Arctic Silver thermal compound and when it arrives I substitute the pads with the Arctic Silver 5 and see what happens. I am considering the Silverstone NB04S laptop cooler for “peak” operations.

I am interested whether the Arctic Silver has had a noteworthy impact on the cpu temperature. You managed to measure the temps yet?

@danny It would really be an awesome addition if you could implement cpu and ram temperature read outs in the ROCK interface. As I have my NUC passively cooled without acces to a monitor.

I have had no troubles so far, but my ROCK is powered on all the day and sits on a cooler to be on the safe side. So I cannot confirm for sure that the pure passive would make the day.

Ah alright, using such a fan kinda defeats the purpose of a fanless case :P.

You are partially right… because when I sit in the same room I can turn the cooler off… but the rest of the day it helps!

I spent a long time monitoring temps on a 5i5 installation in an Akasa Plato MC with Windows before ROCK was launched. It was fine, high 30’s idle and into the 40’s on load.

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I have applied some good quality thermal paste on the processor and have elevated my NUC7i5 in Akasa case by about 2 inches using a glass plate with speaker feet. It has has made a significant improvement on the temperature. On idle the case is 30 degrees Celsius and under max load it reaches 36 degrees Celsius (using an infra red thermometer). Very happy with these temperatures.

Unfortunately you need to measure the CPU for effectiveness. Low temperature on external case could just mean bad thermal coupling.

You are right, forgot to mention that the internal temperatures (CPU and RAM) remained the same, around 40 - 44 degrees Celsius. But those are measurings in the BIOS as there is no way to do read outs in ROCK during playback. Hint hint :)…

It is important tu use a huge amount of cooling paste. In my younger days build pc’s and the amount of cooling paste was minimal. In this case I tried that at first, but with very high teperatures. After that I put on a huge amount of paste and now the core=temperaturs is 35 on idle, 63 to 70 on heavy load.

This means that the chassis does not provide sufficient contact area with the CPU for heat removal, so a large amount of paste is needed to fill the slots, which is not good, because the thermal conductivity of any paste is less than that of aluminum, especially copper.

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There is always space between the chassis and the cpu-area. Therefore they deliver the thermal paste with the case.

These is a difference between using thermal paste and using a “huge amount”. To much thermal paste can have the opposite effect.

The contact area of the chassis should be smooth and polished or even polished to a mirror shine. Also clamp the system board must provide a flat, straight and gap-free contact of this contact area with the processor.

I just finished the project to build a NUC ROCK core with 7i5 in Akasa Newton S7. I really like the simplicity and sound. But this thing gets pretty warm. I don’t know how to measure the temperature, but is it ok if I can put my hand on for extended time? It is not as hot as my First Watt J2 (single ended).

Since ROCK (I’m assuming) takes almost no time to set up, one could theoretically install a bare bones Linux system first (such as Ubuntu 18.04 etc) and monitor temperatures. See ‘stress’ for a program that can generate serious CPU use. This may also be possible with a bootable USB “live-CD” type installation. (Sorry, no idea. Fedora might be a good bet.)

Just an idle thought. I realize it’s well outside of the simplicity and ease of use that is ROCK’s remit, but since temp monitoring is apparently not imminent… don’t really see any alternatives for edge cases.

I’m not at all sure that in such chassis can be provided an effective and adequate heat dissipation from the processor because the processor is contacted not by a copper substrate (like conventional coolers) with excellent thermal conductivity, but by aluminum shell.