If you are considering using an Orange Pi 5 for Mining VerusCoin (VRSC) one thing you should have for sure is an additional cooling solution like the GeeekPi Orange Pi 5/5B Cooling Fan with Heatsink (Ad), however although good and working well this solution is far from optimal and can benefit from some additional tweaking. The main thing that you can improve is the heat transfer efficiency since the default thermal transfer material that sits in between the CPU and the cooler is a pretty thick thermal pad. Thicker thermal pads are not that efficient, however with a big gap you cannot replace a pad with just thermal paste so you need another solution here…
What you need is a solid copper thermal pad to replace the pink thermal interface that the cooler kit comes with. There are a lot of different copper pads available both in terms of size and in terms of thickness. The ideal width and height would be 18 by 18 millimetres, though there are harder to find and you can go with 15 mm or 20 mm just fine as you can see on the photo above, we went for the bigger one as it covers a larger area. The more important thing here is the thickness and what worked out very well for us is a 1.2 mm thick copper pad, though you could probably use 1 mm or 1.5 mm as well and compensate with more or less thermal compound. Good thermal compound that we like to use is ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Compound (8 g), though you can use anything else that has good capabilities and you may have lying around already.
The average temperature with the active cooler installed with the default flexible thermal interface pad we have observed was around 65-67 degrees Celsius while mining VerusCoin (VRSC) or around 40 without 100% load. Without the active cooler installed the temperature quickly hits 85 degrees Celsius when the miner is started, so the cooler is doing quite a good job in reducing that operating temperature, however it is still higher than we would like to be for a device running 24/7 mining crypto currencies.
As for the hashrate, a little below 6.6 MH/s average hashrate with a power consumption of about 9 Watts measured at the wall. This is again the result with the active cooler installed with the default flexible thermal interface pad, but as we’ve mentioned things can be improved by replacing the flexible thermal interface pad with a solid copper pad and good thermal compound… the question is how much of an improvement will that bring.
In terms of…