Recommending heatsink for Raspberry Pi 3

When experimenting with a Raspberry Pi 3 I noticed that the CPU could get pretty warm.

I decided to measure the temperature during idle and load with:

cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp

And load tested the CPU with 7-zip benchmark:

7zr b


Measured these temperatures:

Idle Load
Without heatsink 50-52 °C 77-79 °C
With heatsink 47-49 °C 65-67 °C
Improvement 3 °C 12 °C


I used a small aluminium heatsink with thermal tape:




The 12 degree reduction in load temperature is well worth the effort.

It should prevent thermal throttling and thereby ensure optimal performance.