Silencing a NUC: The Akasa Plato X7 Fanless Case

For a while now, I’ve had an Intel NUC (NUC7I5BNK) running our home TV.  It’s actually more fair to call the TV a monitor for the NUC, as that’s the only signal, of any variety, feeding into the TV (by design).  But, in any case, the NUC runs the TV, runs Plex, runs streaming content (yes, you can stream stuff in rural Idaho) - and also runs a cooling fan.  Quite a bit, actually, and a NUC fan, if you’re not familiar, is loud enough to be annoying in the evening when you’re watching a movie that gets quiet.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Comments from Blogger)

2018-10-15 by zeroair

This post contains content I will never use, but I know putting together these type articles is a bunch of work. So, nice work! I love your teardowns and poking around in these type electronics.

2018-10-15 by Russell Graves

Thanks! This blog has certainly ranged into a wider set of topics than I originally expected, but, hey - it’s my project blog! This was a project.

In many ways, I write my blog both as a protest against the “rush to video” in everything (I find video an awful way to convey most information), and to counter the hyper-focus of a lot of people trying to be “professional bloggers.” I’m not a professional. I write this for fun. I write this because I’ve discovered that if I need to show a finished project for a blog post, I’m far, far more likely to finish a project instead of leaving it at the “90% done, good enough…” state I left things in before.

Some of my posts are deep research posts, some are just fun little builds. This whole series is nothing but having documented some interesting assembly for making our TV install a bit tidier - and, demonstrating that this case does work as advertised for cooling.

2018-11-20 by Andrew

Just wanted to note that this post contains content I definitely WILL use. :slight_smile: So a big thanks for taking the time. I have a 7th generation NUC, and it’s noisy and tends to shut down from overheating unless I point a fan at it. So the Plato is my solution. I will definitely be looking closely at this post when I move the board over…

2019-03-02 by Jacob

Where do you buy the MHF4 antennas? I’m looking on Ebay/AliExpress but there are so many listings including both words U.FL and MHF4 that it’s impossible to tell which type they’re selling. Any tips would be appreciated.

2019-03-06 by Russell Graves

Find some that are listing MHF4 only. Just search for MHF4 on eBay and you should find a selection of pigtails and antennas.

2019-04-03 by uglycoyote

Thanks so much for taking the time to put this blog together. I recently got a similar case for my NUC5i7ryh. The comments and pictures gave me a bit more confidence, because as you say the instruction sheet that comes with the thing is a little short on words – not too different from following IKEA instructions, but it’s kind of annoying when there are like 6 different box-shaped things that all just look like a non-descript cube in the manual. Also annoying that the manual showed thermal paste as one of the things that was supposed to be included, and then I get set up to do the deed, take apart my system, and realize I actually have no thermal paste.

It is strange that they did not mention the wifi antennas in the instructions, but the ones in the old case seem to work fine, just a little tricky to get un-stuck from the old case, and then I just kind of haphazardly used the same silver sticky tape to paste them into some of the empty void of the new case.

One thing that was different on my system was that the HDMI port had a weird flappy sponge thing attached to it that didnt seem to fit in the new box very gracefully. I guess it is another thermal pad of some kind. I just kind of squashed it in there but it conflicts a bit with the space taken up by the big thermal block that sits on top of the M.2 SSD.

Your pictures clued me in to a fun fact about the RAM – for years I had always had them just pushed in but sitting at a funny angle, it was not until I looked at your pictures that I realized they would sit down flush with the unit and clip into place. It’s actually really satisfying to click them down, I can’t believe I never knew that.

2019-05-02 by nlz

Intel NUC8i7BEH in native box 32 GB.
linux FC29 mprime 15 torture test, thread 8, profile 3
Freq 2.56-2.80 GHz CPU T 81-83.
I have idea to move it in akasa plato 8 or some other fanless box.
Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0: +83.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0: +82.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1: +82.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2: +81.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3: +83.0°C (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: ACPI interface
temp1: -263.2°C
temp2: +27.8°C (crit = +119.0°C)

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1: +53.0°C

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1: +72.0°C

2019-07-19 by Unknown

Hi, thank you SO much for this blog! I guess it is the only piece of information you get on the whole web about the bluetooth and wifi antennas!
But I have a question: How hot or warm does the Asaka case get on the outside? You probably can’t place it between a wall and a TV unit, can you?

2019-07-19 by Russell Graves

Mine is mounted between the wall and a TV.

It’s barely warmer than ambient when idle, and not much hotter when running video. I don’t run F@H or anything like that on it, but it’s a massive amount of heatsink for a fairly small thermal load.

2019-11-22 by Dev AS

I have 2 diffent sets of MHF4 antennas. But really haven’t been able to plug any of them. I salvaged the antennas from my NUC and could plug them instantly. when looking with my eyes, I can’t see the difference between the MHF4 antennas and the ones from the NUC but still. The NUC antennas plug without any problem, the others I even got a magnifier to ensure I was right in front but they won’t plug.
The NUC antennas work well for the bluetooth but wifi is really unstable (I made sure to avoid the USB3 ports).

2020-12-17 by Unknown

I mounted a 3 year old nuc 7i5bnh in the akasa Plato case. I had problems with the air flow in the conventional case, after two years of use, the air channel of the heatpipe was blocked by dirt. Also, the CMOS battery failed.
The construction of the nuc is not very user friendly, to reach CMOS battery and the cooling device you will have to dissasemble the main board, unplugging the very tiny MHF4 connectors of the antennas. This is a work you will not have to do often, they are very prone to damage.
So I mounted the board in a akasa Plato Case. I replaced the CR2032 CMOS battery by a CR123 Lithium battery in a suitable battery holder. So, the battery will last much longer than the original now and is easy to replace. You can mount the holder by using one of the screws of the 2,5" mounting rails (which will hold in place with the 3 remaining ones) an a piece of two side adhesive tape in the hole which is shown on the left bottom, left to the ribbon cable in the picture before the WLAN antennas.

The Plato case is not cheap, but it is worth the price. Even with CPU stressing programs, the temperature of the cpu will not exceed 75°C, whis is lower than using the original case.

2020-12-18 by Russell Graves

I had some thermal issues a few years after this post, and had to rework things a bit - new thermal compound and some pressure behind the board with bubble wrap. Apparently the board starts to warp away from the heatsink over time.