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DC cooling methods.

Discussion in 'Dreamcast' started by pheadbaq, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. pheadbaq

    pheadbaq New Member

    Lil' disclaimer before I begin. I'm a bit of a PC tweak freak already so I can hardly resist messing with my game systems. One thing I know, though, is that the cooler the computer and it's components are, the better it will perform. So if all of this sounds a little, ehhh, off the deep end you'll know why.

    I posted a message on this topic:


    It was more or less about why HeadHunter is so buggy, and I suggested the possibility of DC overheating.

    As I said in the post in the link above, I took my DC apart to find a few disconcerting things. First there are two plastic-type (not sure what type of material they are) pads over each of the main CPUs. My first reaction when I saw them was "oh cool, SEGA used thermal tape." Do correct me if I'm wrong (I'd certainly like to hear that these pads are actually dissipating heat), but I would think these things would absorb heat as opposed to conducting/dissipating it as would a heatsink.

    Secondly, take a look at the back of your DC. Observe a vent, then a metal plate with a lip pointing towards the bottom of the DC. The metal plate and that lip are covering the DC mainboard. The plate is not dissipating very much of the mainboard's heat because of said plastic pads. Now given the fact that hot air rises and cold air falls (basic earth science here, SEGA) why on earth would you close off the DCs mainboard to cooler air by putting a lip over it next to the only vent on the unit other than the side-mounted fan? Also, since the fan blows air out, that lip is preventing it from pulling more cool air across the system components and it's also blocking air flow.

    I'm almost done ranting here so just bare with me. Think of a vacuum cleaner. Start it up and put your hand over the end of the tube. It's still pulling air through, but not nearly as much as if your hand weren't in the way, so it's working harder and accomplishing less; same with that plate. The fan is mounted on the bottom of the DC, so it's trying to pull most of the air from the area that's blocked by the lip. Anyone else out there see all these design decisions as slightly rediculous?

    Also, because of that lip, I don't see how those external cooling fans that mount on the back of the DC can do a whole lot of good. Sure, it's forcing more air into the DC, but mostly over the top of that plate. So now we have a cool metal plate, but still a toasty mainboard.

    Please post some of your ideas on all this including cooling methods. Here are a few of my own thoughts. I haven't actually implemented any of these yet but I'm sure it would work:

    1. Remove the bottom plastic piece from the DC altogether.

    2. Take out that crazy metal plate and those awful plastic pads.

    3. Put tiny heatsinks on the main DC CPUs. You can buy PC chipset heatsink kits that would work for this purpose ("Vantec chipset cooler bundle" comes to mind).

    4. Mount (or place, whichever is more feasible) a regular 'ol personal desktop fan behind the DC. This would basically push cool air accross most of the components in the unit.

    That's about all I've come up with so far. Feedback please.
  2. IceDigger

    IceDigger Founder Staff Member

    I have a replacement power supply in my DC which easily gets TWICE as hot as the normal one. the dc is overall hot as heck, but I have no bugs or crashes AT ALL.

    the cooling is good as it is.
  3. IceDigger

    IceDigger Founder Staff Member

    A little cooling never hurt anybody ;)
  4. Supergrom

    Supergrom Member

    HAHAHAHAHAAHA, hilarious!

    ^sarcasm above^

    anyway, i dont have any overheating problems with my DC either, but i guess if you really wanna cool it down, thats fine. is it possible to overclock the DC? i seem to remember a topic about this, but dont recall the answer. That might be a reason to do all that extra cooling stuff. Plus, id like to see dreamSNES run full speed =)

    (Edited by Supergrom at 5:49 am on Dec. 29, 2001)
  5. Cynnamin

    Cynnamin New Member

    MILK CRATES@&*$($@
  6. Gear

    Gear New Member

    I live at a tropical city (28-35C at day), and the dc doesn't overheat at all. In fact, it is the only console wich doesn't have any kind of these issues.
  7. CrazyTaxi

    CrazyTaxi New Member


    (Edited by CrazyTaxi at 6:47 pm on Dec. 30, 2001)
  8. FLEABttn

    FLEABttn New Member

    I'm sorry.
  9. BoBo

    BoBo New Member

    I wanna know more about overclocking the dreamcast.
  10. IceDigger

    IceDigger Founder Staff Member

    you can't without adding extra hardware, and even then it would be pretty #### useless, since the games were written for the original speed of the DC, extra speed is not gonna help much, if at all.
  11. Gear

    Gear New Member

    I think he was thinking about emulation purposes
  12. BoBo

    BoBo New Member

    Yes, especially for emulation purposes, and games would run a lil smoother also.
  13. Shaneus

    Shaneus New Member

    screw the advantages of overclocking ur DC for emu purposes...

    ...it would make it more l33t, just like my blue LED makes it l33t ;)
  14. Supergrom

    Supergrom Member

    lol, u must be REALLY l33t if you have a blue LED. you could ultimately l33t if you had an overclocked dc AND a blue LED though ;)

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