The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a case fan for the Raspberry Pi 4. The $5 fan is available to purchase starting today and it is built to keep the single-board computer from overheating.
Combined with a small heatsink, the fan works with the official case that comes with the Raspberry Pi 4, which was announced last year. It's powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor called Broadcom BCM2711, marking a significant upgrade from its predecessor.
That said, the Raspberry Pi 4 can get hot when it runs at maximum performance for a long period and eventually throttles the CPU's frequency to minimize heat, a feature called sprint-and-recover mode. This happens under certain conditions such as when you’re using a case, which can block proper ventilation, or when the computer overclocks to 1.8GHz or higher.
Over the last 18 months, the foundation has addressed this issue with power optimization feature that it released in November of last year. While that update fixed the problem in some cases, the overheating issue arises when the Raspberry Pi is used for extended periods.
The foundation describes how the new case fan works: "It draws air in over the USB and Ethernet connectors, passes it over a small finned heatsink attached to the processor, and exhausts it through the SD card slot." A test workload that ran with the fan demonstrated that the board managed to keep its temperature below 70 degrees Celsius.
The fan is available to purchase for $5 via Raspberry Pi approved resellers in select countries. In the future, the foundation will expand its availability to more territories not yet included in the list.