Heat issue

I’m finding that the SSP is getting hotter than it used to be. I haven’t had a chance to use it much since the recent major update, being busy and away, but few weeks ago and today I noticed that it was running hot. It’s never been an issue for me before; it’s in its own case, with one extra module. (By hot I mean uncomfortable to the touch and just unpleasantly heat generating sitting on the desk).
I was not doing anything with the SSP, it just sat on for about an hour.
I know I could have the sides empty for air circulation, bit I didn’t have to do that before.

Is this normal with the update and the use of the GPU?
Has anyone has similar experiences?

I can’t say I noticed it … and mine is often left on for hours on end when Im doing development.

that said, thats just anecdotal… I’ve not measured before/after…and indeed, as stressed in previous posts - I found early on its pretty important to give the SSP some airflow - it needs to get rid of heat, and if its not doing that via vents etc, then its going to do it thru the faceplate :wink:

as for other (anecdotal) ‘evidence’, I helped out on the Percussa stand at Superbooth, where two SSPs were running all day, in constant use … so Id say something like 8+ hours, and they were running surprisingly cool in the 4ms 60hp.

that said, we were in the tents, and so the ambient temperature was perhaps a bit lower? (though it was not my any means cold) - again, that helps all helps, you need to get rid of the heat - with high ambient temps, in summer, thats going to be harder… esp. if you have a passive cooling.

(ive not been running mine quite as much in last month or so, as its 30-35C here… and I really don’t feel like sitting down at a desk during that time :wink: )


( * ) I guess, if you have two sdcards you could load up the old firmware on one, new on the other and do some testing, but its not something Ive time to do.

edit: oh, I noticed, I did a temp test a while back in response to another post

I could do another one, but Im pretty sure, that at that time Id have been using a version of the firmware that used the gpu.

If you are worried about the temperature you could wire a small quiet 12v PC case fan to the 16 pin bus connector and point it at the heat sink on the rear of the SSP. Shouldn’t be necessary though.

you’d likely still need to create some ventilation holes… the 4ms cas ‘sealed’ except for the 4ms logo :wink:

for a fan to work, ideally you need to position it to draw (cold) air from one side, then over the heatsink, the exhaust out (hot) air on the other side.

thats said, OP has the 64x (as we can see the disting also installed) fro me its been bought to leave the extra 4 has free, to let the SSP breath.

I think also the main question from the OP was… has the GPU usage changed the cooling requirements.

I suspect the answer to some extent yes… any optimisation that means the SoC is doing more work, on the GPU or CPU would result in an increase surface temperature… thats physics for you (more switching = power = heat)

however, bare in mind, the firmware change also meant whilst there was now additional load on the GPU, there was a reduction in load on the CPU… (for same preset) - pretty difficult to say, the net effect of that change - in theory, so we can only go on ‘in practice’ which will vary for each user.

but my practical experience, was I haven’t really noticed it… but my SSP had enough airflow.

this is no ‘defence’ rather practical use-case…
as Ive stated previously, I was not happy at all, with the temperature my SSP used to get up to in my main case (Pittsburgh 360) , faceplate used to get very hot… hence why I moved it, so I could get much better ventilation.


note: I would say, generally you do not want SoC to overheat, as this will shorten their lives.
however, they do protect themselves, by throttling in such cases - but this would lead to ‘performance’ issues.
but not sure that is happening, as it appears in these cases the front panel is essentially turning into a secondary heatsink, so whilst unpleasant to use… its likely keeping the SoC within operating temps.

Its also interesting to note, even the small gaps I have make such a large difference in cooling.
I think this shows that the heatsink of the SSP does work really well, even with passive cooling.
but it does need some way of getting cooler air :wink:

Hi all,
Thanks for the replies. Just to update quickly, I took out
the Disting and the overall heat is much more reasonable. I haven’t done enough lately to really test things up (it’s summer after all!:)), but I think you’re right Mark; the SSP needs the sides for airflow, and definitely not a disting.

1 Like

yeah, its a shame that these 4ms cases don’t have some ventilation slots on the back of the unit… so that the entire HP can be used. ( * )

I wondering if with, with a steady hand and a Dremel, you could create two sets of ‘slots’ on the back at each end, and thus get back the extra hp…

I’d love an audio IO module in the 4ms rack… to allow for input and output at line level, and headphones.
(that said, we’ve seen some noise issues with some IO modules, so would have to be very careful with selection here)


( * ) unfortunately, as mentioned previously, eurorack is kind of a bit ‘seat of your pants’ in terms of design, so things like heat dissipation, power and grounding tend to be left to the user to figure out.
wasn’t really an issue when majority of modules were analogue, but these days with more powerful digital modules, its a bit cowboy like… with little solid information out there from both rack and power designers.
I wouldn’t mind so much, but its not like cases/power are very cheap in Eurorack!

1 Like

Yes it’s a shame. The case with the SSP could definitely use an I/O module. I do have a Dremel, and when time allows, I’m going to fashion two slits in there. I’m going to make a guide if some sort to make a clean cut.

Now I’m wondering, about their location… I was thinking on the sides and maybe in the back, but not so much underneath, right?

what I would try is, some slots in the base (*) , the some slots along the back at the top.

the idea being to create some ‘flow’, so cooler air drawn in from the bottom, then vented thru the ‘top’
this would also make the vents not so visible… as the alternative, which I think would be slots on either side, one at top, one at bottom. (again idea is to encourage air flow)

all that said, as having two gaps at either end (when not using the extra 4hp) works well, it seems its not too vital, almost like the case just needs a way to vent the hot air, rather than having an issue getting cooler air in. (perhaps because if you look closely, there are gaps in the case where its folded?)


(*) this assumes you have some feet on the 4ms, to ensure a gap under case.

I noticed mine was getting hot and freezing up quite often so Ive done something similar. I’ve drilled 2 holes in the bottom and 2 on each end, will see if it makes any difference, there’s plenty of aluminium left for more holes if not

1 Like

Let us know how it goes. I haven’t had a chance to work on it yet.

1 Like

Quick update: I haven’t had an issue with the heat again and I’m not entirely sure why.
I’m in a learning mode with it now, (Finally going over the new vst modules, thank you Mark!:slight_smile: so maybe not doing too much processing and playing with it. I did take the disting out and that seemed to have helped. I put it back in though now being winter, the temp in the home is cooler, so right now it’s all good. I won’t drill in the case then if it’s not needed.