Each major version of the Raspberry Pi has managed to double the core count, with the Pi 3 sporting the quad-core BCM2837. More transistors, more speed and unsurprisingly, more heat. In fact, according to online reports, the chip in the latest Pi can hit 100°C when maxed out. But is that workload realistic?
Over on Reddit, user “ghalfacree” took the above thermal shot of the Raspberry Pi 3 with its CPU running at 100 per cent. He goes on to suggest that all Pi 3 owners should invest in a heatsink, to make sure the blighter doesn’t melt.
Hah! I'd like to see you burn me now, BCM2837! pic.twitter.com/CGFQHGACEf
— Gareth Halfacree (@ghalfacree) March 1, 2016
The above setup — in addition to being adorable — reportedly dropped temperatures by almost 40 per cent.
ZDNet’s Nick Heath decided to hit up Pi co-creator Eben Upton about the discovery, with Upton of the opinion that this sort of usage is on the extreme end of extreme. Would the average Pi 3 user hit these temps?
“In everyday use I would say ‘never’,” [Upton] said.
Further on in the article Upton does concede that the ever-improving hardware of the Pi means the company would have to consider thermals more seriously going forward:
“It’s the difference between Raspberry Pi 1, with a relatively small amount of processing power, and Raspberry Pi 3 with 10x that amount of processing power. As we get towards laptop levels of performance we have to apply the same sort of techniques you apply for managing the thermals [in a laptop].”
So, the final verdict? Don’t benchmark the soul out of your Pi 3 and you should be alright.