There are several factors that contribute to a unit's case getting hot. Since most of our embedded systems have no internal fan, some heat is normal. Here are some factors to determine if the heat level of your unit is normal or too hot.
- Air Flow. Does the PC have good air flow? Since our PCs have no internal fan, it's important to place the unit where it can get good air flow. If it's in a cabinet or other area with no air flow, it's a good idea to add a small fan to give it some.
- High End Processors = High Heat. High end processors, such as an i5 or i7, use more electricity and produce a lot of heat. If you are using an advanced CPU, expect more heat.
- Small Form Factor. Smaller cases have a smaller heat sink to dissipate the heat. Systems such as the Nuvo-3100VTC and Nuvo-3120 will run quite a bit hotter than the larger Nuvo-3000.
- Environment. A computer's environment will also play a role. If the PC is enclosed in a metal cabinet sitting on asphalt in Arizona it will get much hotter than one indoors.