Raspberry Pi Heatsinks: Are They Effective?

by Clayton Lambert

Raspberry Pi heatsinks sounds ridiculous right? If you’re just the average Pi user you’re not very likely to run into heating issues. However, if you’re like me and enjoying cranking up the clock speed and squeezing every bit or performance you can out the Pi, they’re not so ridiculous. Speaking of ridiculous, I have a new project coming soon, let’s just say it involves the Pi, about a gallon of mineral oil, and a fish tank.

Let’s how these heat sinks perform on the Raspberry Pi overclocked @ 1 GHZ. I will run a few different tests, one just air, one with the heat sinks on, and then also run stress tests on each.


  1. 1. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 2 (1GB) Starter Kit
  2. 2. Kootek Aluminum Heatsink Set
  3. 3. (Optional) Poweradd Pilot E2 12000mAh USB External Battery Power Bank


Raspberry Pi Heatsink Results


Before I did these tests, I already had a pretty good of how well these heat sinks would work on the Pi. Across the board in almost every review people that purchased these observed a ~5(C) drop in temperatures. In my tests I received similar results with and without a stress test running on the Pi. Honestly, I cannot complain about their effectiveness, Raspberry Pi heat sinks have a small but noticeable effect on CPU temps, especially at higher overclocks.

If you want to crank up your clock speeds, or overall just want to change the aesthetics of your Pi, heat sinks may be a good purchase for you. I mean look at this Raspberry Pi… it’s beautiful!

Raspberry Pi Heatsinks

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  • Quentin says:

    Nice test !

  • Shiv says:

    Hey Claytonn,

    Thanks a lot for putting this together and other videos on RPi. I am just getting started and found your videos very handy and helpful.

    I wanted to know whats your personal experience on running the RPi using the battery pack. How long do those last ? I have few plans of running the Pi on field where there is no power supply and have like 10400 battery pack what i use for my mobile just wanted to check if they drain out the Pi pretty fast when using the camera or they are reliable for slightly longer ?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.


    • Clayton Lambert says:

      Really late reply, sorry. I’ve been caught up with some other projects and I missed the notification because my entire blog got hit with a wall of spam and I must have marked your comment as read.

      To answer your question though, the RPi usually can run for a solid 20+ hours under a medium load without overclocking. I don’t have any exact numbers to confirm this but that might actually be a good idea for another video 🙂

      Again sorry for the delay, hope this is still useful for you.

      Be sure to let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Simon says:

    All good doing this, however you need to see if the governor starts to down-clock the CPU.

    To find the governor set speed:

    # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/cpuinfo_cur_freq

    To find the actual CPU frequency:

    # vcgencmd measure_clock arm | sed -e “s/frequency(45)=//g”

    You may want to round off and divide this readout in your script:


    My Pi 3 without heat sink down-clocks to 600 MHz after about 20 seconds, yet maintains 78ºC temperature. I have it clocked to a maximum of 1.35 GHz. With a similar heat sink as your blue one, it down-clocks to 1.1 GHz and stays at around 80ºC. A slight breeze over the heat sink gets it to 65ºC and maintains 1.35 GHz.

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