/u/JamesStrang1 PSA: Chromecast Ultra overheating issues can be solved with a DIY heatsink

PSA: Chromecast Ultra overheating issues can be solved with a DIY heatsink

Google Chromecast Ultra was, until recently, the flagship product in the range, thanks in no small part to its 4K capabilities and its ethernet connection which makes it a natural partner to the company’s Stadia gaming service. The problem is, that kind of resource-heavy rendering can make the Chromecast Ultra run a bit hot. Well, ok, a LOT hot. In fact, after about four hours or so, it becomes so overheated it shuts down, and there’s no tangible warning — not ideal if you’re about to beat a Level Boss. In some cases, you’ll get a clue when your controller starts randomly glitching and losing connection, but it’s still not ideal. Luckily, there is a solution.

Chromecast Ultra with Heatsink

Credits: Redditor JamesStrang1

A Redditor, Jamesstrang1, has posted details of how he used a simple heatsink available online for a few bucks, attached with thermal conductor tape (usually included) to draw some of the excess temperatures away from the device. Then, with a cheap USB fan (again, a few bucks worth) plugged into a USB port on the back of the TV, the drawn-away heat is dissipated. As the designer points out, by powering the fan from the TV’s USB, it only operates when it needs to — when the TV is switched on. Given that the Marvell Armada SoC is supposed to be able to handle operating temperatures over 100c, it’s not surprising that the built-in mitigations haven’t coped since the arrival of Stadia. To prove it’s not a fluke or a software fix, the poster’s other two Chromecast Ultra units which haven’t been treated to a custom heatsink are still failing – this one isn’t.

YouTuber Spawn Wave also undertook some testing on this end with Raspberry Pi heat sinks, and even simply sticking on a small heatsink starts making a difference in temperatures within the Chromecast Ultra module.

Although it’s frustrating that Google’s most expensive Chromecast variant and the one recommended for Stadia has such an obvious design flaw, it’s comforting to know that the solution is simple and inexpensive.

Featured image credits: Redditor JamesStrang1

About author

Chris Merriman
Chris Merriman

I am the UK News Editor at XDA Developers. I’ve been writing about technology for over a decade for the likes of The Inquirer, where I was Associate Editor, Computer Shopper UK, and IT Pro. I’ve also appeared on Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera and recently left a long-running weekly tech news spot on TalkRadio UK. My love of technology comes from my family who hail from the pioneering days of Silicon Valley - in fact my Grandfather worked on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I’ve been using smartphones (and reading XDA) since the HTC Canary in 2003. I’m also a smart home obsessive. You can find me tweeting as @ChrisTheDJ or email me at [email protected]