Answering Readers’ Top Question: The Risk I Took to Avoid Blowing Up My Raspberry Pi 5

I’m a big fan of the Raspberry Pi 5 Active Cooler. I believe it to be the best way to keep the Raspberry Pi 5 running super cool, regardless of the load on the board. However, after I tested the cooler, some of you asked about the official Raspberry Pi 5 case and whether that would be enough to keep an overclocked Raspberry Pi 5 cool. I’ve got a Raspberry Pi 5, various parts, and time to spare. Moreover, I’m willing to risk sacrificing a Raspberry Pi 5 in the name of research.

Alright, I’ve managed to procure the official case, so let’s see how good it is. Fitting the Raspberry Pi into the case is simple. First, find the heatsink, remove the self-adhesive backing, and stick this part on top of the processor on the Raspberry Pi 5. Then, slide the board into the case. The board is held in place beneath little tabs. The next step is to wire up the fan to the board. The connector will only fit one way. Next, clip the top cover in place. Then, pop the white top cover in place, and stick the rubber feet onto the bottom of the case. Finally, push an imaged microSD card into the slot. At this point, all that’s left to do is plug the Raspberry Pi 5 into power and fire it up.

With the Active Cooler and Raspberry Pi 5 running the Hashcat password-cracking tool in benchmark mode, I couldn’t get the temperatures to exceed 55ºC. Without the Active Cooler, Hashcat would have pushed the temperatures up to 71ºC. Under these conditions, I pushed the temperatures up to 80ºC with the official case and heatsink. It’s certainly good enough, which is impressive. I did, however, discover that a Raspberry Pi 5 kitted out with an Active Cooler will fit into the case if you unclip the fan frame from the top cover and omit the clip on the top. My solution looks pretty good, and I believe it provides the best of all worlds.