Using a NUC case - adapting heatsink, fanlessly

Hi everyone,

I’ve been looking for cases in which I could install my NX dev kit, fanlessly. I’m not aware of any off-the-shelf solutions; sell some fanless products but they include the module and a new carrier board; I just want a case that will suit the dev kit carrier.

One option is to get a case designed for an Intel NUC. These are quite widely available; here’s a random one:

The challenge, I think, would be how to get the heat from the top of the chips to that case.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m imagining a big cube of aluminium, or a heat pipe, or… something.

Note I’m not trying to build a product, this is just for my desk where it is currently the only device with a fan.


Hope someone has such experience can be shared. Furthermore maybe you can get some hints in the thermal design guide:

I’ve done it:

This particular case is an “Akasa Newton H”, which cost £48 from eBay.

There is an aluminium “pillar” cast into the metal which is designed to align with the CPU on the NUC board for heat transfer. Its position was not ideal for the NX but I have bodged it; as you can see the board protrudes slightly from the case. I’ve also used a piece of copper bar (again from eBay) between the NX chip and the case pillar, with some thermal grease, to make up for the vertical distance. I used two of the existing mounting pillars and added a couple more.

There are other variants of this case intended for other NUC boards, and it’s possible that there exists another one that would be a better fit.

So far the temperature, as reported by /sys/class/thermal, has not gone about 40 C but I have not done much of a stress test.

I can recommend this for anyone who wants to eliminate the fan noise.