OverPi: Overpowered Raspberry Pi Media Center

An absolutely excessive, pointless but incredibly fun project & a valuable learning experience

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I'm building a Pi media center (your typical OSMC + RetroPie) with a difference: I'm tossing in the biggest heatsink I could find, a massive fan and a custom-built case. I'm also looking into adding real SEGA Genesis controller ports because I love them.
Is this project necessary? Heck no.
Is it excessive to cool a pi like this? Heck yes?

Then why am I doing it? Ask George Mallory.


  • All ports, including HDMI and the Micro-SD card must be routed to the back of the unit, above or below the USB and Ethernet ports
  • The unit must have both passive and active cooling to an extreme degree just because
  • The unit must power up and down with a single button, with an LED indicator (built-in to the button is ideal)
  • The Raspberry Pi must be easily-removable from the case (Currently considering a slide-out drawer-like solution). This is one of the most important factors in the project
  • The case must be weighted with rubber feet, so that it is stable and not pulled around by cables


  • Can the Pi power the fan effectively on its own, or will I need more power?
    • Answer: The pi should be able to power a 5v fan via GPIO.
  • Should I integrate a fan controller?
    • Answer: Nah.

Materials list (ongoing):

Raspberry Pi 3 model B$35Yes
Sandisk 8GB MicroSD card$9Yes
Noctua NF-A6x25 5V (60x25mm fan)$15Yes
Custom low-profile 90-degree HDMI cable$20Yes
JacobsParts Stainless Momentary Button w/ blue LED$6No
Micro USB Board$2Yes
3mm thickness Copper Sheet$7Yes
25CM MicroSD extension cable
Massive heatsink from old desktop
3D-Printed enclosure

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi 3 model B
  • 1 × Sandisk 8GB MicroSD card
  • 1 × Noctua NF-A6x25 5V (60x25mm fan)
  • 1 × Custom low-profile 90-degree HDMI cable Thanks to Permanent Industry on Amazon!
  • 1 × JacobsParts Stainless Momentary Button w/ blue LED

View all 10 components

  • ​New case design pictures

    shin01/04/2018 at 13:48 0 comments

    The case I've designed provides ample room for the fan, Pi, ventilation and possible expansions. It has a clean, simple design with some aesthetic curves. The pi and all attached hardware (except the fan jumpers) will slide out on a small shelf for easy access. A few things to implement into the design:

    • I'm considering adding an LED underneath the unit for a simple glow/status indicator
    • Megadrive DP9 ports are still on the cards
    • My insanity is telling me to add an X820 or X850 with a massive drive but I'm not sure yet. Doing so would change the case design substantially (which is fine)
    • A push button will be added either to the top or front for power up/down
    • Small rubber feet to the bottom.

  • Noctua A6x24 5v: It's alive!

    shin12/20/2017 at 15:12 0 comments

    Check out my first boot on Instagram here:

    The fan works perfectly on the 5v GPIO. It blows incredible cold and a ton of air for its size. I've no doubt that it'll keep the OverPi frigidly cold! This fan actually has PWM too, but I don't think I'll bother with it.

  • Video, Power and SD ports

    shin12/18/2017 at 14:32 0 comments

    I love the Raspberry Pi, and while the it's for the best that they are, the HDMI, Audio and Power ports being on the side make them difficult to work with and integrate into a case. A lot of the time, projects can become a bit like spaghetti with cables coming out both sides which is something I absolutely want to avoid in the OverPi.
    To solve this, I'm rerouting the HDMI and USB connector to the back of the case. Additionally, I will be redirecting the SD card there too.

    For the HDMI, I purchased this interesting HDMI cable (I contacted them for a custom A-3 to A-Female cable). I'm excited to try it as it seems like an ideal, low-profile solution, way better than soldering a new connection or something.

    For the USB connector, I purchased this Micro-USB breakout board. It will be very simple and cheap to connect to the Pi's GPIO 5v and ground ports. I am investigating adding some spike to this solution though, as it can be somewhat risky to power via the GPIO without it.
    Finally, I purchased this interesting gadget on eBay for rerouting the SD card slot. I chose a 25cm cable, which is way too long, but I should be able to shorted it. Alternatively, I think there will be enough room in the case to tuck the excess away. I am planning to lose the plastic casing and just mount the slot itself in the case myself.
    That's it for this update. I'm currently working on my case design, which I should be able to share soon.

  • Fan Woes: RESOLVED

    shin12/14/2017 at 21:00 0 comments

    This just in: I've found a 5v version of the Noctua fan I was going to use! Sure, lower voltage means lower RPM but this will be more than enough, and it's the one I wanted which is the most important thing in a dumb project like this, right?

    Thanks to Quiet PC USA for being the only place I could find this item and for reducing the shipping cost by half for me!

  • Fan woes

    shin12/14/2017 at 17:04 0 comments

    I'm pretty set on that Noctua fan because of its great size, power and reviews (especially when it comes to silence). Unfortunately, it's a 12v fan, and the pi only supplies 5v. I'm considering either using a different fan (boo) or coming up with a solution to power the media center on a 12v power supply. More on this story as it develops.

View all 5 project logs

Enjoy this project?



cs wrote 09/11/2018 at 00:24 point

hi, looking forward to progress on your project. thinking about a tall case for rpi 3b+ with retrotink-- a hat with legacy av outputs (ypbpr, s-video, composite) for gaming on crt. looks like this one would do nicely, if there's sufficient clearances to stick in panel mount extensions around all sides of the board. I like the slide out tray idea. Hope you can share the plans at some point for 3d printing!

  Are you sure? yes | no

rafununu wrote 12/19/2017 at 13:18 point

GPIO won't deliver enough power for the fan, a transistor must be necessary. Regarding 12V, step up converters aren't expensive and some can deliver several amps with a good ratio.

  Are you sure? yes | no

shin wrote 12/19/2017 at 13:45 point

Will the Pi be able to power the 5v fan through GPIO alone? Any resources you know about connecting fans to a Pi would be appreciated! Thanks for your comment :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

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