I have a Intel NUC-Kit i7-6770HQ 2.6GHz Iris Pro Graphics 580 NUC6I7KYK that I bought in September 2016.
The machine has been running perfect for 1.5 years, but since 2 months I am having overheating issues.
In bios the settings were balanced, but the machine started crashing frequently and on reboot it would show me "thermal trap".
I checked cpu load, and I am at 5% cpu load, so this should not be the issue.
I now have changed the bios, so that the fan runs at full speed all the time, which helps the situation, but now the machine
is very loud, and even with full fan speed, it crashes once a day, and then has to cool of for 30 minutes.
I have updated the bios to the latest version; this did not help.
I am running Manjaro Linux (which is based on ARCH) and which installed all intel drivers correctly.
I am really not doing any gaming, or other cpu intensive tasks, and I have not changed anything in the past 2 years.
What can I do?
I had this same exact problem with my NUC 6i5SYH that left me stumped for weeks troubleshooting and scouring the internet and online forums trying to get some advice not one chatrooms and tons of online forums no one seemed to have the solution or had any positive effect. But after weeks of troubleshooting I decided to tear the then apart and came across the solution myself. I'd be willing to bet considering I started having issues right along the same timeline as you (about 2 years after purchase) I can almost assure you're probably facing the same exact problem I was.
The first 18 months I owned the thing I didn't recall hear the fan a single time, but as soon as the problem started the fan was running loud and often all the time. I installed some freeware that monitors the temperature of the processor and memory and it was constantly averaging 85º Celsius. It was running so hot the casing was incredibly hot to the touch. Obviously having a cooling issue my 1st attempt was to open up the case to see if any vents were clogged and to my amazement it looked nearly brand new inside with a very minimal amount of dust, so at that point I wrote off dust being an issue and immediately started to monitor the work load on my processor and memory thinking a rouge virus may have slid by my security software and may be responsible, because I'm not a PC gamer and I don't use any software that would be considered demanding, nothing I run should cause the NUC to overheat let alone even break a sweat at that. It got so bad that after being used continuously for an hour and it started hitting temperatures of 90º I went into the bios and dropped the performance down to nearly the bare minimum, turned off hyper threading, and made recommended adjustments to the fan settings that kept it running a majority of the time even upon a cool start up hoping to derail the problem before hand. When these adjustments made a minimal difference I decided to take the entire thing apart, once I hot the memory out I unscrewed the small little screws that hold the motherboard down and once I got the board out my problem was starring me right in the face!!!! The fan has a plastic guide that directs the air directly into a heatsink and the vents in the heatsink were completely clogged, and believe me it doesn't take much. There was more dust blocking the little openings of the heatsink then there was in the whole entire NUC, like I mentioned the rest was completely spotless. The heatsink itself is so small it didn't take me more than a couple minutes to clean it, but I did take the time to clean each individual fan blade with a q-tip and used compressed air.
Since I've done fixed the problem the NUC runs at an average temperature of 55º and I haven't heard the fan one time since! I do think it's somewhat of a design flaw because the heatsink works like a dust trap kicked out by the fan. I'll also say despite everything jammed into that little box it, when the cooling mechanism is running correctly the NUC stays incredibly cool. During my overheating issue I checked the core temperature on every family and friends laptop I could get my hands on and I'm yet to find a laptop that runs anywhere near as cool as the NUC.
Sorry, I got a little wordy here but I hope this helps so of you out there. I wish I had gotten this information here earlier, it would have saved me a lot of time, frustration.
Hey Thank you for your advice regarding the overheating NUC. I have had my NUC7i5BNH for around 6 months and have noticed the overheating warnings the last month or so. I run Fedora on it and decided to monitor the temperature... temps were getting up to 100 degrees C. Like you I played around with cooling settings in the bios and the like but it was cleaning out the very fine dust that was blocking the cooling fan (everything looked clean so I was surprised to fine the blockage). Today is the first time I've seen the unit with readings in its 30s! I will pick up some compressed air and clean the fan fins properly but already your tip has improved my NUC's performance! Thank you again for such a simple and effective fix. The cooling system really works well when in good working order so it would be great to see a design improvement regarding this issue (like a user accessible filter to clean every now and then).
Brilliant advice! Thanks!
STOKANATOR: Thankyou, this fix worked perfectly for my NUC7i5BNH as well.
Was exactly as you described:
1) Inside the NUC looked clean and perfect.
2) Removed the motherboard, to view the other side, fan and cooling fins also looked clean.
3) Removed the fan, there was a bunch of dust trapped between the fan and the cooling fins, exactly as you described.
4) Cleaned it out, compressed air.
My operating temperature has dropped from 95deg to 37deg (!!)
I have a NUC6i7KYB (the Skull Canyon version), and thought your idea sounded great! But when I got the mobo out the heat sink is a copper shim with big copper tubes going directly into the fan, which is running beautifully. Not a spec of dust anywhere. At any rate, I made sure everything was clean and spotless, turned the cooling down a notch in the UEFI (set it to "cool"), and it's still overheating. When I'm just doing nothing but looking at the bios settings the temps are running around 60-70, but as soon as I boot into Windows, up it goes. When running a burn-in test, it runs over 90. Not sure what else I can do. May have to try replacing the SSD or RAM in case that's what's getting too hot.
Still love your post and gave it Kudos. I'm just posting this for anyone else with my situation or particular model.