Passive Cooling Open CNC case review

By Phil King. Posted

As its name suggests, the Passive Cooling Open CNC Case (£7/$8) has an open design, with Raspberry Pi 5 sandwiched between two segments – one on the top and one on the bottom. There are no side pieces, so airflow over the single-board computer is increased – although EDATEC also makes a closed CNC case that also relies on passive cooling.

Both parts are made from aluminium and feel solid and weighty. On one side, each features grooves that have been cut precisely using a CNC machine; not only do these look cool, but they help to dissipate heat.

On the smooth opposite side of the two parts are thermal pads; for the top piece, there are three that stick to the SoC, power management IC, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module. The base section is almost totally covered by a single thermal pad that sticks to the underside of Raspberry Pi 5.

The case comprises two aluminium heatsink parts that sandwich Raspberry Pi 5 between thermal pads

Unlimited access

The two case parts are secured in place with long bolts. With no side pieces, access to Raspberry Pi 5’s ports is unobstructed. Cutouts in the top part give access to the GPIO pins and PoE header. There are also slots for the two camera/display MIPI ports and the UART and RTC battery connectors, while the fan connector remains uncovered.

So, how much cooling does this case provide? A lot! When idle, Raspberry Pi 5 was 10–15°C cooler than without a case; running a stress test, the difference was around 40°C.



Provides an impressive amount of cooling while giving full access to all Raspberry Pi 5’s ports.


Cooling: Two large heatsink panels (top and base) with thermal pads attached

Features: Cutouts/slots for all Raspberry Pi 5 top-side ports; open sides for the others

From The MagPi store


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