Hardware Easy and effective cooling mod for everyone

ewabc886

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Easy and effective cooling mod for everyone

TV mode only switch
Easily maintain under 50°C in game


Background
After struggling with overclocking of my switches, I thought about the life span of them.
Increased temperature can shorten their lives, but I need the overclocking on some games to maintain 60fps.
I have 5 switches and 1 lite system, and I don't need the handheld function at all for one of the the cfw system.
So i came up with the idea of modding the cooling system, the prolong its life and hope that i can keep both unpatched switches.


Idea
I don't need the handheld mode, and I want a switch console that works like PS4 on my shelf.
So I want to optimize its cooling system, maximize the performance, and utilize the shelf area more effectively.
At the beginning, I came up with the idea of "full mod".
"Full mod" means that I take out the screen, board, speakers, power and volume buttons, basically everything, then fit them into a new shell.
With many cable management and mod.
But I found that I don't want to spend that much time on mod (after I bought the tools)
Then I cam up with the "Easy, everyone level mod"


Results
Please see the image of Table. 1.
I only tested the system compared to the unmodded switch with 1. installation and 2. overcooked gameplay temperatures.
CFW: atmosphere 0.19.3
Installer: Awoo Installer with Wifi connection. Installation process maintained for over 15 minutes. Waited for steady temperature. Value taken anytime when the temperature was steady.
Game: Overcooked All You Can Eat - Overcooked 2 stage 1-2. Playing over 10mins and waited for relatively steady temperature. Result screen has the highest temperature. Value taken at result screen.

https://i.imgur.com/tMfujJ5.png
Table. 1. Excel of the temperature testing.


Tools
screw drivers to disassemble NS
scissors
zip ties
electric insulating tape
pliers
thermal pad (or thermal paste if you can fix the heat sink very well)
PC CPU heat sink (heat sink / cooling fan / any cooling solution that can fit the requirement we can see below)


Product
Not intended to show the process and it is just too easy, so I will just show the product and describe the situation.

Then I moved on to try an old CPU cooler, which I didn't photo before mounting.
See the product from Fig.1a,b for the product appearance.
The cooler used should be this one:
coolermaster vortex-211p
I can't remember where did I bought and use this cooler on. It suck for PC, but good enough for Tegra haha.
Please let me know if you know any good heat sink that has a square base that is not too large so I can make a change.
Mine has a lot of dust now actually.
And the fixing method is funny with zip ties, but it works and it's effective.
I used thermal pad with 1.5mm height.
1. The gap between chip and heat sink can be filled easily
2. The pressure from zip ties is not good enough for thermal paste anyway.

https://i.imgur.com/NvkZGxi.jpg
Fig. 1a. Mounted CPU heat sink - Top view
https://i.imgur.com/dpFGN9C.jpg
Fig. 1b. Mounted CPU heat sink - Angled view


Cutting Area
The area cut can be seen easily from Fig.2.
Part of the metal is not cut away and bent using pliers to help fixing the heat sink.

https://i.imgur.com/ffvHG8z.jpg
Fig. 2a. Cut area - Top view
https://i.imgur.com/aNufkHS.jpg
Fig. 2b. Cut area - Angle view 1
https://i.imgur.com/6CXmkuo.jpg
Fig. 2c. Cut area - Angle view 2


Heat Sink Consideration
The one in Fig. 3 was the heat sink that I wanted to use but the base was too large, and the 4 legs for screws are not "easy" for the majority to remove them.
Do not choose heat sink that has too large base contacting area.
However, if you manage to fix it on the switch, it should be a good heat sink.
Two 80mm fans can be mounted and the result must be better or as good as the CPU heat sink with lower profile.
Also heat sink base with one whole surface is much better than heat pipes on the surface like the one i used.
I didn't meant to use the CPU cooler as my choice. The "product" in Fig. 1 is actually prototype, but I saw the result is acceptable, so I just leave it.

https://i.imgur.com/gxONSx1.jpg
Fig. 3. Heat sink from GPU


Steps Reference
Below are my steps for reference. Please make sure that you know the risks before starting.
You are welcome to leave a question and see if I can answer before moving on. (Although I barely read)
There are quite a number of caution points that I don't include below, I'm lazy to write too much.
1. Remove switch's plastic back and the silver metal plate.

2. Remove the OEM fan and heat pipe, we don't need them if the mod succeed.
But I recommend to do it carefully, because you can go back to OEM fan if anything goes wrong.
At least you will still have an OEM fan.

3. Now you should see the chip's covering as shown under the cut area in Fig. 2a.
Put the CPU heat sink on the back of switch with metal plate on it, and mark the area that is needed to let the heat pipe contact the CPU(brown copper area) of the switch.
Be sure that the area do not go through important parts like NAND, capacitors, or if you can overcome the height, you may carry on.

4. Cut the metal plate. It is easy to cut. Any typical scissors should work.
Cut less than what the heal sink needed, because you can cut more if you later find that it really needs more space, but you can go back if you cut too much.
Also, the metal left can be used to fix the position as mentioned and shown in Fig. 2b,c.
The type of heat sink used affects the direction of metal plate that can be left for bending. Be careful.

5. Put thermal paste or thermal pads and fit the heat sink on it.

Done, for now.
I plan to put the system in a wooden box and make some holes to make it more convenient to use.
I'm quite busy at work. The above "easy mod" planned in Nov 2020, but execute on 1 Jun 2021.
So please let me know if you want to see this further product in the comment. I may update this post then.

Thanks for reading.
 
Last edited by ewabc886,
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ZachyCatGames

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fyi temperature won’t impact the lifespan by any notable amount unless you’re constantly running it in the 80s and disable the force shutdown or smth.
Higher voltages from using higher clocks are what will kill it faster.
 
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ewabc886

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fyi temperature won’t impact the lifespan by any notable amount unless you’re constantly running it in the 80s and disable the force shutdown or smth.
Higher voltages from using higher clocks are what will kill it faster.
My concerns mainly come from the high temperature with the official dock, witch traps the hot air obviously.
Both capacitors and plastics' can be affected by the temperature too.
As normal capacitors operating temperature caps at around 120-150 degree celcius, I don't want the console reach like 80s under overclock.
Also I had experience of GPU dead under high operating temperature at 80s level, although it may not be the only reason for the failure.
And I have 6 switches in total, so after considering all things + TV mode only + overclocked usage, then I make the conclusion of making an open-back switch with the improved cooling.
 
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