Radxa ROCK 5B SBC goes fanless with metal case

The Radxa ROCK 5B was one of the first Rockchip RK3588 SBCs, and when we reviewed the developer edition of the board in July 2022 it came with an heatsink and 5V fan that was always on. That’s probably fine for testing, but many people will prefer a fanless solution.

It turns out a metal case turning the ROCK 5B SBC into a fanless device has been available since the end of last year, but I’ve only come across it today. The black part is made of metal and the front and back plates are made of green plastic.

Fanless Radxa ROCK 5B metal case

As with all cases, there are always questions about compatibility with accessories, and for metal cases in particular, whether it’s actually used to cool the processor. Since it’s been around for many months, other users have already tested it out including Radxa forum’s user Deadmeat user who confirmed the SSD and eMMC flash module fit well in the enclosure, and other users confirmed a 2mm SSD thermal pad can be added to cool the storage device with the enclosure.

Radxa ROCK 5B Metal Enclosure SSD eMMC module

There’s an extrusion in the metal case for the CPU, but some thermal paste is apparently required as shown below, although I’d assume a thermal pad of the right thickness may also do the job.

Radxa ROCK 5B metal case thermal paste

Deadmeat tested the configuration above by building the Linux kernel, and none of the system’s temperatures go over 59°C, so it’s all good:

There are however some downsides. The button power is hard to reach and people are using a toothpick to turn the board on, and some find it difficult to disassemble once it’s been assembled. Some of the sellers like Ameridroid also indicate that M3-0.5 (6 or 8mm) screws are not included nor is thermal paste, but the description may be out of date as a relatively recent user review (May 2023) says the screws and thermal paste were both included with the metal enclosure.

Besides Amerdroid, the fanless metal case for Radxa ROCK 5B SBC can also be purchased on Aliexpress and Allnet China with prices varying from $15 plus shipping to around $28 with shipping depending on the shop.

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ROCK 5 ITX RK3588 mini-ITX motherboard

6 Replies to “Radxa ROCK 5B SBC goes fanless with metal case”

  1. Fully agree – this case is not suitable for frequent disassembles. Even first assembly is kind of tricky (had to broke one plastic fastening). Temperature is more or less OK, so SBC can be used as server with moderate average loads. It could be interesting to compare it with KKSB case, which came a little bit later than this green “wonder”.

  2. I have had this case for a few months and I still get over heating that locks-up the board. I need to unplug and wait 5 mins for cpu to cool down. Happens 1 or twice per month due to the summer temps.

  3. Hi Jean-Luc,

    I noticed Arace Tech updated both listings for Rock 5A and 5B now up to 32GB for Black Friday sale? Very competitive pricing to compete with Orange Pi 5 models…?

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