Is a fan necessary for VIM3?

I’m getting a VIM3 to install libreelec/coreelec into it.

Is the fan necessary to prevent throttling on 4K video playback or is it enough with the case + heatsink? (This one:

Anyone knows what are the temperatures with heatsink alone vs heatsink + fan?

Hi, I think it will be enough, you can also add a thermal pad under the bottom and put it on the bottom of the metal plate.

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Case and Heatsink is enough for LE/CE use as Kodi is not a demanding workload. In LE I normally see average temps around 45ºC on the CPU with an ambient air temp in the room around 24-25ºC. In the summer when the AC is switched on it’s a few degrees lower. I have the older/smaller heatsink installed with a fan but it never hits a high enough temp to turn the fan on, and when I’ve run tests to ramp CPU temp and check it works the current fan models are pretty quiet.


Thank you both for the answers, that’s good to hear. Is 45ºC your average temp while idling or using it? Any idea about what would the max temp be while playing 4K for a few hours?

I really want to go passive, but … I don’t want to regret it later as I would then need to replace the passive heatsink with the old heatsink + fan.

@kilian if you are really concerned about your device temperature management, you can go for a fan and heatsink.

the khadas 3705 fan is good enough for your usage case, and will fit within a slim package.

but if you really doubt if your setup might become thermally unstable (maybe its crammed behind the TV)
you can choose for even more special cooling solutions,

this is my very extreme solution for example, it has never crossed 40C in the most enticing workloads, but I doubt you’ll need to go this far.

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It goes up to 65ºC sometimes. I should point out it’s sat on-top of an Odroid N2+ and in a semi-closed cabinet with limited ventilation (behind speaker cloth) which probably doesn’t help with thermal things. If you want to run emulators and retro-games, get the heatsink+fan. If you’re only going to use it for Kodi, a) Get a VIM3L, it’s cheaper, runs cooler, and is equally good for Kodi and you don’t need the fancy NPU etc., or b) get the larger heatsink, it’s fine.


I’ll simply be using it as a media center close to the TV on top of a wooden table, mostly for 1080p and 4K hardware decoding my local library. I’ll rarely need to software decode anything I believe. I don’t plan on playing retro-games on it neither. Just kodi with a bunch of addons like hyperion, upnext and others. I doubt that’s going to be stressful for the vim3 but I’m not sure.

I’ve considered the VIM3L too but I’ve seen the SoC is far less powerful, so I thought that the UI usage might become slower than the vim3 after adding a skin and some addons. Is it really equally good for Kodi? Because the vim3 seems much better looking only at the specs.

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then you should go for the VIM3 basic and a passive heatsink,
best combo to go for, not over the top, not underkill :slight_smile:

You know, a powerful processor is well suited for online 4k torrents of 100 gigabytes in weight, if for local viewing, x3 processor will be enough.

I’m not sure Khadas will appreciate their product being recommended as a piracy streaming tool. It’s best that you keep those habits to yourself.

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Yeah I think I’ll do that :slight_smile: , from what you guys said it seems it’ll be fine with the heatsink.

Thank you all for helping me out

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