I’ve purchased a NUC7i5BNK and Akasa Plato 7 to make a silent Roon server running ROCK. I want a silent NUC because I want to use the HDMI output for multichannel music and therefore need to have the NUC in my music room. I have a few questions. First, should I turn off the fan in the BIOS? And second, should I use the Akasa-supplied CPU/GPU heat sink pads or instead use a heat sink compound such as Mastergel Maker Nano-High Performance gel. I ask this because one builder who made a YouTube video of his Akasa build said he had much better thermal performance with the heat sink compound. And finally, will there be any way to test thermal performance while running the NUC with ROCK?
i have build the same system with 8GB RAM and 120GB SSD. There is no need to deactivate the fan in BIOS, but i recommend to deactivate all not necessary devices like Bluetooth etc. I used first only the thermal pads from the case, but in the end i have also added some heat sink compound on CPU side. The temperature of the CPU is now between 40 and 50 C (only in BIOS visible), that is more than ok. I removed also the two WLAN antennas from the NUC case and put in the Akasa case. Performance and sound are very good, i use it with a Mutec MC3+ USB recklocker.
I would also need a monitoring tool like “top” in ROCK running mode, ssh login is unfortunately not possible. A idea for the Roon team maybe to implement a display (CPU/RAM usage, temperatures) on the web status page.
Thanks so much for this information. I’ve got a follow-up question. You say you added some heat sink compound to the CPU. Did you add this to the thermal pad, or use it instead of the thermal pad? I’ve seen videos where folks substitute heat sink compound for the thermal pad, but I don’t know about adding heat sink compound to the thermal pad. All of my previous build experiences involved standard boards and CPUs where this didn’t come up.
i add some compound on CPU chip and a thermal pad on the smaller GPU chip.
Just tying a couple of threads together:
Thanks, Soeren, and thanks for the link, Geoff. I’ll use the Mastergel diamond-dust heat sink compound on the CPU.
So I transferred my NUC to the Akasa case, and put in the memory modules and the SSD. I was dismayed when it refused to start! Instead the light blinked in a pattern of three, indicating a problem with the memory module(s). It turned out that one of the two was defective; the computer will start with the other one in place in either slot. Amazon is sending me new ones. Meanwhile I updated the BIOS and made the recommended changes to the BIOS. Temperatures seem fine. Next up is loading ROCK, but I think I’ll wait on that until I’ve installed the other stick of RAM.
Glad it wasn’t something worse.
Not having the extra memory in place will not make a difference to installing Rock so go ahead and install away. You can even use your Rock system and it will most likely perform just fine. Install the extra memory when it arrives but don’t fret on it.
I indeed installed ROCK and the missing CODEC, and all is well. Now I need to get it into my system, load some music, and start the free trial. I’m looking forward to it.
I added the new memory, which is fine, and loaded some music. Now to try it out!
I’m going to make the same build (i5 nuc 7th gen + akasa fanless case) because I need the nuc next to my AVR in my home cinema setup.
I would like to know if you had any issue with that construction till now, I mean especially thermal issues.
No, there’s been no thermal issues. The NUC is on 24/7, and the case is warm (roughly 35 degrees C) to the touch, but that’s it. I think the CPU is at around 50 degrees C. There’s also a 1TB HDD in it holding the music files.
Mind you, I’m not a heavy user of DSP, just use convolution on one endpoint. I’m happy with it.
@Geoff_Coupe – are you using ROCK or a random Linux distro?
I would love to do some minor thermal testing on that
@danny - I’m using ROCK. How do we do thermal testing of it?
I’m using the same chassis with 7i7BNH and things are fine under normal load…when it’s running a new library import or large analysis I use a laptop cooler under it
I was running a thermal datalogger on the case, m2 ssd and Ram I think it was. I’ll see if I can run it again as I think it’s still hooked up with the sensors