DIY Thermal Modifications

Not worth the bother. When I tried it it was just a couple of C° degrees. More secure is the use of good thermal glue than paste/thermal pad. It will give good enough heat transfer and keep oversized heat sink from falling off.

When the metal heatsink is hot, the thermal pad works well. The problem is when the heat accumulates in the box and there is no way to get out. The larger metal heatsink that protrudes from the box is the solution, but keep in mind that not only does the processor heat up. For example, memory.

Just today I did a simple modification on an early model of X96 Air P2, famous for overheating. Drilled some holes in the casing and kept original heat-sink and thermopad. Under the heat-sink I placed an 1mm thick washer to distance it more from plastic casing and to get more pressure on original thick thermopad, turned the box upside-down and glued some rubber pads to let the air flow in from under the box:

Result: temperature drop in CoreElec from 58° to 42°C; temperature drop in it’s original Android from 68°C to 52°C after 6 hours of watching HD IPTV streams (hardware decoded).
Quite satisfactory for quick and simple modification; only one (1mm / fi 18mm) washer and 4 rubbers for water faucet repair needed.

Neat. I bought a 38x38x6mm chipset heatsink from aliexpress that I’ll be trying a similar solution with, the giant heatsink I tried earlier is just not practical.

It really is baffling how horrific the thermals of the X96 are given how nicely designed every other part of the device is.

Looks like the board designers had nothing to do with cheep plastic box design. That’s why I love Odroid N2 board design; you can put on it any cheep plastic box and it will still perform at it’s best :slight_smile:

still perform at it’s best even handling HDR10+ HEVC bitrate 50Mb/s at… 35-37°C
Yep, no other device with so low chipset’s temperature.
In comparison: I have Odroid-C2 located next to Odroid-N2 and in the idle mode it’s temperature is around 48°C jumping to 50-55°C when performing cron’s tasks: syncing files using proftpd, rclone, syncthing. When I was using C2 as my primary Kodi device (before I bought N2) I don’t remember what typical temperature was when playing HEVC with bitrate around 10-15 Mb/s… maybe just for curiosity I will check :slight_smile: ?

Any pictures what does it look like?

KVIM3L running from eMMC has 35-39C all the time as well… C2/C4 have 39-49 (but its running from USB which always results in higher temp for 2-5C)

For me, when it not exceed 50C much I am fine with it, but yes, <40 is nice :slight_smile:

After replacing my heatsink, the X96 will not even work unless I put a large amount of pressure on the board. I have no idea what’s going on, but basically the device is on, if there is no pressure there will be no video, if there is some pressure there will be video with lines and artifacts all over the screen, and if there’s a lot of pressure I can see the picture suddenly with no artifacts. Totally bizarre. I wonder if I damaged the BGA or something.

Sounds like cracked solder joints below BGA due to mech. force… Not much you can do about it, unfortunately.

Brutal if true. I never used that much force to apply the heatsink in the first place.

Then apply the pressure on both sides (SoC and PCB) and it will work for some time. But from my experience it doesn’t take long :frowning:

I wonder what box I should buy to replace it. My demands are so low now, all I’m doing is H265 1080p at most, and already have new heatsinks coming in the mail. You would think I would have learned my lesson about buying cheap android boxes.

edit: looks like the X88 box I was going to replace my X96 with already has a better stock cooling solution. What am I going to do with a bunch of chipset heatsinks?
2022-03-21 23_37_18-X88 Pro 10 Android 10 TV Box 4K - Disassembly - YouTube

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The S905X4 does not and probably never will support CoreELEC. I know nothing about the S908X. Has Amlogic released it yet?

(I used Google Translate)

I bought a MagicSee N5 Plus and I hadn’t tested it yet. Two days ago I decided to do this and initially I was disappointed, because nothing worked right, the performance was horrible and it crashed frequently.

So by coincidence I saw a comment on EmuELEC’s Discord that mentions the problems of overheating of the SoC’s S905X3 and how it can be solved by lowering the temperature.

Then I remembered that I had two fan coolers left over from building a computer, one 120mm and one 80mm…

With two stackable plastic baskets I mounted two supports for the box, placing the fans inside. One for the MagicSee N5 and one for the H96.

Replaces the box’s power supply with another 12 V and 2 A. I used a Y cable with P4 connectors to power both the tv box and the fan cooler, so I avoid using the box’s USB connection.

And the temperature of the N5 dropped from 73% to 52% and now it works great. Tomorrow I’ll check what happens with the H96.

Yes 70C is the throttling temp so keeping it below this solves many problems.


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I want to replace the heatsink on my A95X, but the heatsink seems very strongly stuck on, perhaps with thermal glue? Any ideas on how I could remove it without damaging anything?

Maybe consider trying to add to the existing heatsink rather than replacing it?

I mistakingly used thermal glue on my desktop CPU and have not found a means of detaching it, so if you do find a means, please post the method, as I need to replace the CPU.

The only method that worked for me is to twist it of. Start with small rotation left-right, slowly increasing force to achieve a little movement. When it starts moving a little keep on twisting. It will eventually come off, but be patient cause it takes some (long) time for glue to give up…

Try running it as shown with the top off. It doesnt look to have much ventilation. If it runs cool then make some spacers and problem solved!