Raspberry Pi Zero/2 W Heatsink Enclosure With Fan Stress Test with Stressberry


This guide is provided for information and as it is. Cytron Technologies will not be responsible for any damage or data lost during the installation process. Do backup your microSD card if you have any concern.


Raspberry Pi Zero/2 W Heatsink Enclosure With Fan

You might be wondering why subject your Raspberry Pi to this level of stress? Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W uses the same CPU as Raspberry Pi 3, which is Quad-Core Arm Cortex A53 but it clocked at 1 GHz. Its predecessor, Raspberry Pi Zero W does not require a heatsink as the CPU is only a single core but the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W runs with a quad-core, 64-bit processor. It can overheat if it doesn’t have enough cooling. This results in the CPU being governed (slowed down) to reduce the electrical energy being consumed, and in turn, reduce heat generation. The Raspberry Pi 3B+ and predecessors could also overheat, however, it was less of a problem for the majority of use cases. So we want to take a quick stress test, to reveal your Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W hidden performance. We will increase the CPU load in its case/environment while at the same time maintaining its temperature and speed performance.

The goal of this tutorial is to create a chart that depicts:

  • A stabilization period at the beginning
  • A period of time for full-load CPU
  • View the CPU temperature
  • View the CPU speed (to witness if the CPU is being governed, or not)

There are a million ways to cool down your Raspberry Pi: Small heat sinks, specific cases, and some extreme DIY solutions. Stressberry is a package for testing the core temperature under different loads, and it produces nice plots which can easily be compared.

The run lets the CPU idle for a bit, then stresses it with maximum load for 30 minutes, and lets it cool down afterward. The entire process takes around 45 minutes. The resulting data can be displayed on a screen or, if specified, written to a PNG file. This stress test and case are applicable for both straight header and right angle header variation of Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

STEP 1: Enclosure Installation Process


1. From left, these are what included inside the package:

  • 1 Top Part
  • 4 Short Screws
  • 8 Long Screws
  • 1 Thermal Pad
  • 1 Pair of cooling fans (The fans comes in pair. The wires are tied together. DO NOT attempt to separate to wires.)
  • 1 Mini Screwdriver

2. Use 8 long screws to mount the cooling fan onto the top part. On the cooling fan, make the side that have sticker on it is facing down. (Screwdriver included)


3. Peel off plastic seals from your thermal pad and stick it gently to the top part.


4. Connect the wires from the cooling fan to the Raspberry Pi.

  • Red wire on pin number 4.
  • Black wire on pin number 6.
Note: Please make sure your connection is correct. It might break your board if your connection is other way around.

5. Position your Raspberry Pi properly onto the top part. Mount them together using 4 short screws.


6. You are done. Now you can power up your Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

STEP 2: Stress Test Results

Referring to this Stressberry Stress Test Tutorial, I ran the test 3 times:

  1. Without the case.
  2. With the case.
  3. With the case and overclocked to 1.2GHz.

Let’s observe how the enclosure dissipates heat even on overclock performance. Graph below shows the Stressberry Test results.

graf for site

From the chart, we can see that the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W can dissipate heat better with the case. From my observations:

  • Bare board – the CPU is doing its best to deal with the generated heat. It manages to maintain the CPU temperature well below 70 degrees Celsius.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero/2 W Heatsink Enclosure with Fan – the enclosure provides both passive and active cooling mechanism. This is because of the enclosure itself is a heatsink and now it comes with two fans. The performance is better than the bare board in dissipating the heat even with overclocked speed. The heat from the CPU is absorbed and dissipated through a wide surface area. Then the cooling fans will cool of the heatsink and dissipate the heat away.
  • Overclock with casing test – the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is overclocked to observe how far the clock frequency can be increased while maintaining the CPU temperature and performance. This fan enclosure hold only a little bit higher from the reading without overclocking, while still maintaining the temperature around 50 degree Celsius. There are attempts to overclock Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W up to 1.4 GHz, some are successful, others encounter problems when booting up the board. We found out that 1.2 GHz is the most stable overclock CPU speed for Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

Note: If you decide to try more to overclock more than 1.2 GHz and your Raspberry Pi cannot boot up, turn off the power switch, hold Shift key on your keyboard and turn the switch back on. This should boot up the Raspberry Pi normally using the default non-overclocked speed.

Now you can see that even for this small Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, enclosure  is really important in dissipating the CPU heat. Interested in having this type of enclosure for your Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W?

Let’s get the enclosure at our Cytron product webpage 😁.

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