CPU Heatsink Decorated with a Raspberry Pi Zero-Driven LCD Display

Knifa wanted to dress up their PC without using cheesy LEDs, so they built a Raspberry Pi-driven LCD that mounts onto their CPU heatsink.

Cameron Coward
24 days agoDisplays / 3D Printing / Gaming

A high-end gaming PC can easily cost thousands of dollars once you factor in the cost of the processor, GPU, RAM, hard drives, case, and everything else that goes into a build. When a gamer puts that much money into their computer, they want it to look the part. That’s why it is so common to see gaming PCs decked out in RGB LED lighting. But that can frankly end up looking pretty darn tacky. Redditor Knifa wanted to dress up their PC without resorting to cheesy LEDs, and so they built this Raspberry Pi-driven LCD that mounts directly onto their CPU heatsink.

Knifa’s PC is built into a nice Cooler Master Masterbox MR200 case, which is a minimalist mini-ITX case with a window panel on the side so you can see all of those components that cost so much money. Knifa doesn’t go into much detail about what parts are in the PC, but we can see that there is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card so we can assume that they’re probably doing some gaming. Their CPU is passively cooled with a heatsink and Knifa wanted to make that look a bit snazzier. They achieved that with a display that covers the top of the heatsink and that loops animation videos. The resulting effect looks really cool and sets this PC apart from the crowd.

The display in this case is a knockoff version of Waveshare’s 3.5” SPI LCD resistive touchscreen. It’s connected to a Raspberry Pi Zero W, which simply plays the desired video on a loop. The touchscreen capability wasn’t needed, so Knifa removed the resistive digitizer and the pin header to slim the display down. Connections to the Raspberry Pi were soldered directly and power comes from the PC’s PSU. Those components were then fit onto a 3D-printed mount that attaches directly to the heat sink fins. It isn’t clear if that has a noticeable effect on cooling or not, but Knifa didn’t say that they’ve experienced any issues. They did, however, say that this particular screen has a poor viewing angle, which washes out the screen if you’re not looking directly at it. That can be solved easily by using a screen with a better viewing angle. Even as it is, this screen does a great job of adding visual interest to the guts of the computer.

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