Gameshell overheating

It seems that more than a couple of those those who already got their Gameshell are noticing a heating issue with the GameShell, and no one seems to be addressing the issue. I made this topic so all of you who are experiencing this issue can place your complaints here in hope that attention will be be brought to this issue and it will be addressed.


An ideal first step would be getting / creating CAD designs of the case that would work with a 3D printer. I know the original stl’s were posted and @Godzil has some modified ones from those, but the originals were designed for injection molds (as opposed to a bottom-up 3D printer).

This would allow for custom cases to be made to allow for venting and/or heat sinks to be added.

At the same time, there is hot and hot, we can feel something hot at 40°C which is not hot for electronics.

Even if it was to go up to 60 or 70°C it is not a problem for the electronic itself


nonetheless it is noticeably hot. I would love to add some low rofile copper heatsinks. Anyone got a recommendation on this?

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hi guys, ETA PRIME just uploaded a video on adding a Heatsink to the GameShell, here’s the link. please pass it around. Thank You.

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interesting concept. though I don’t think distributing heat over the full surface is effective and you need the correct adhessive tape to have a good compound to conduct heat away from the SoC

I just fired up the shell and checked. As it seems to me, the thermal system is completely left over for the Allwinner firmware, isn’t it?
at least /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/mode is on disabled and the/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp is unreadable. It would be helpful to enable this in order to let us experiment with different cooling concepts and measure their success. Like this, it is more or less just guesswork

I’d suggest they make a replacement case for the mainboard that we could buy and swap in, that includes a heatsync. Maybe even a replacement back with vents?

To be honest, I’ve done during my live unbox measurement of the chip, it was about 38-40°C on the plastic on the outside, you can feel it of course, but that is not terribly hot for electronics, the chip can go as high as 80-90°C without taking any damage.

I of course didn’t had time to run it more than 1-2h and never with an heavy load, but I doubt that the chip temperature is going to be that high in the end.

I don’t think too that there will be a lot of option that would allow to cool it down, even spreading the temperature will not really help I fear.

It would be interesting to use a thermal camera to see, but I fear that such copper heat dissipater will not do spread the heat a lot.

I agree with Godzil here. It’s hot (to the touch) but it’s really not for a chip.

Even if it did get up to 70… that’s still okay. As I’ve said I’ve never had an “overheating issue”

I agree too. Made some measurements myself with a thermal cam pointed at the chip and I tried my best to get it into a 30min continuous heavy-load and couldn’t get any higher than 67,5°C.

During a normal use, on average, I got readings at 51,9°C, touching the plastic case at 43,5°C

When charging and running some heavy duty, some slight temp-increases could occur (±5,2°C)

Again, these are my averages and isn’t 100% accurate. I could do some further testing, but there’s nothing to be concerned from


Did anyone had any luck on sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0 ?

I´m still waiting for @Godzil to compile the kernel with thermals enabled.

38-40°C may not be too hot for electronics, but it’s not a comfortable handling temperature for a handheld device. Now granted, it’s not where your hands are on the device, but it’s where headphones, usb and power button are. Also, users of the lightkey will likely notice the heat when using those extra buttons. If there is a workable solution to removing excess heat away from those areas it will be most welcome.

I believe there may be some degree of “luck of the bin” here. I have run MAME for >30 mins and can only feel the Mainboard case getting slightly warm. Nothing through the external case. Most of my recent phones run significantly warmer than this after comparable use.

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The GameShell overheats to the point of crashing the system while downloading or copying files. I just got mine last week and I decided not to push the system too much by limiting emulation to 16 bit systems and below until a good passive cooling solution comes along.
I considered drilling holes in the MB’s case for ventilation but decided against it because it is not possible to get a replacement case at the moment.
Has anyone had good luck with the thin RPi3 thin copper heat-sinks?

I compiled mesa on GS, and it didn’t respond after a while.
I had to force a shutdown and reboot with the power button.
This happened 3 times during the whole compiling process.

make sure create a swap file for long compilation
the ui hang but that’s not mean it has crash, it just take 10s+ to respond

Also check the cable! I used a bad cable while compiling and got freezes everytime until I changed the cable to one that was beefier and gave more power

That’s a decent remark, the CPi draw quite a lot of current, and the cable quality can play a lot there, especially if the battery is low.