Terasic DE10 Thermal Observations

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Thought I’d take a closer look at the thermal issues with the Terasic DE10 running MisterFPGA, and the effectiveness of various solutions! This was all done without benefit of ducting or a case, so the temps could get lower.

Step 1 – Nothing

After running the Genesis Core for about 10 minutes,
it’s a bit toasty at about 70C
Step 2 – Heatsink only

Thanks to my ISP’s rubbish router, I have a heatsink
just small enough to fit the DE10

A bit of lapping was done, and some Noctua heat compound was
applied to the FPGA
Step 3 – Heatsink with Arctic Cool 12V Fan at 5V

I had a spare Arctic Cool 120mm fan and even with 5V
(and drawing 30mA), this makes a pretty big difference.

The heatsink is no longer the hottest component on the DE10
Step 4 – Heatsink with 12V SuperMicro 6000rpm Fan

For fun, I cranked up this ex-Rackmount Server 80mm fan. It draws
1A at 12V.. it was a jet engine!

But very effective
Step 5 – Heatsink with 12V Noctua 80mm Fan at 5V

This looks like the winner. I had a spare Noctua 1800rpm fan
lyingn around. It runs at 5V and (draws only 20mA).

Very quiet and not as much airflow but a good compromise.

Perfect for running off the USB hub!

Footnote 31 Jan 2020

Someone pointed out that I hadn’t done a test of the
DE10 without a heatsink, but with a fan.. So here’s the latest test!

My new fan under test is the VERY affordable

Sunon 80mm EF80251S1-1000U-A99.

You can find this on Mouser for a few bucks.

It’s exactly the same hole pattern as the Noctua tested earlier, and will
start and run at 5V even though it’s a 12VDC fan. It draws very little
currentand works just as well as the Noctua. Quiet too.
It’s a bit cooler tonight so here’s the control .. Memtest for 10mins with
no heatsink and no air. About 61C.
Well there you go.. a good result ! A drop in temp of 17C
without needing a heatsink at all..

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