Recommendations for RaspberryPI 4B case?

Hiya, so I have a spear RaspberryPI 4b, and want to selfhosted HomeassistantOS on it, heard there were some advantages of running the full OS and not just the docker container. However I currently don't have a casing for it.

So: Is there anything I should know before buying one? Does the rpi get very hot running HomeassistantOS? E.g. Do I need one of these cases with a fan built into it? Or is it OK without?

Appreciate any tips or suggestions! however I will not order anything from Amazon or Ali Express or any of those type of websites. Feel free to recommend via them though as I might find the same case elsewhere, perhaps.


possiblylinux127 , (edited ) avatar

I personally would go for a computer over a raspberry pi. You can pickup a minipc for $150 USD or less and it will perform better. You can go with new or used depending on pricing and what you want.

Edit: I missed the point where you had bought one (raspberry pi) already

halm , avatar

OP says they already have the spare Rpi so your advice would mean spending $150 on used gear rather than use what they already have. Performance comparisons aside, that's just wasteful.

VeganCheesecake ,

Perform better is pretty relative. My Pi 4 running home assistant is super responsive, while also using little power and being completely silent, but it only runs a network of zigbee lights and sensors, controlled by zigbee switches.

I agree that more power is necessary for any local voice applications, but depending on the use case, the pi probably isn't worse than the alternatives.

easeKItMAn , avatar

Some fancy case options depending on your needs: Shop Inux3d
Added passive cooling for PI running HA and never encountered any issues.

Decronym Bot , (edited )

Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

Fewer Letters More Letters
HA Home Assistant automation software
~ High Availability
RPi Raspberry Pi brand of SBC
SBC Single-Board Computer
SSD Solid State Drive mass storage

[Thread for this sub, first seen 3rd Apr 2024, 11:25]
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Lifebandit666 ,

Honestly I wouldn't worry too much, I mean yeah get one with a fan but it's not integral to getting it running.

Install Home Assistant Operating System on an SSD when you can, SD cards aren't made for the read/write you'll get from HAOS but again, it's not integral.

So yeah do those things, but boot it without a case and SSD for now and just play with it. Get the Google drive backup add-on for it. When you upgrade to an SSD just pull the backup from there and you're golden.

paf ,

Don't have particular case to recommend as the one I have has been printed but get one where you can add an SSD. SD card are not well suited for home assistant due to the amount of overwriting.

ShepherdPie ,


somerandomname ,

Using Argon NEO and quite like it. In my case it was important to have the ability to use a HAT (HiFiBerry).

solrize , and both sell flirc cases which are supposed to be very good. I decided to buy a pi 400 instead of a 4 a while back, since it already comes with case and a keyboard at lower cost than buying that stuff separately, plus at the time it was still hard to buy pi 4's. No idea about home assistant os which doesn't sound like something i'd want to run.

Sunny OP , avatar

thanks for the links!

Hammerjack , avatar

This Flirc case is fantastic. It uses passive cooling so you don't have to worry about the noise or air flow of a fan and it still does a great job cooling.

mbirth ,

I prefer the Geekworm and similar cases. They have ribs for better heat dissipation. Even under full load I get my Pis barely over 60℃.

Hammerjack , avatar

Cool! Can you share a link to one of those?

Sunny OP , avatar

Seems to be this one;

mbirth ,

Geekworm Pi 4 case

Geekworm Pi 3 case (also fits Pi 2)

I've also ordered some extra strips of cooling pads and added them to the bottom side of the CPU and the RAM chip beneath - so that heat gets sent to the case as well.

zer0 ,

Geekworm Pi 3 case (also fits Pi 2)

Exact, it fits to the Pi3 and Pi2 but there is a little inconvenience with the Pi2 because the power lights are on the left while the wholes on the case are on the right, so with the Pi2 you don't see the green/red light. The rest of the case fits well.
It's not a big deal but still one must be warned.

I’ve also ordered some extra strips of cooling pads and added them to the bottom side of the CPU and the RAM chip beneath - so that heat gets sent to the case as well.

Nice trick.

mbirth ,

the power lights are on the left while the wholes on the case are on the right, so with the Pi2 you don’t see the green/red light

That's not true. The case has holes on both sides as can be seen here:

zer0 ,

I've got them all, so I know what I am saying there is no reason for me to lie on such thing.
If I refer to the picture I would say they did some modifications after listening to the feedback and it's a good thing.
The only regret when I see that picture is to think that I may be bought them too early.

zer0 ,

Yep the Flirc case is good looking but it stops there, it's not as efficient as one would expect from passive cooling.
I tried few fanless cases, Flirc included and I was not impressed, the top of the case is not aluminum but plastic, strange choice.
Geekworm does a better job, at least the one I've got, never goes over 55°C in hot summer, the rest of the year is around 39°C to 43°C not more.
The case is heavy and sturdy, it doesn't feels cheap at all.

mbirth ,

Ha, you're correct. Mine also never went over 45 ℃.

GravitySpoiled , (edited )

No idea why the OS of someone should be better than your favorite distro. Sounds like bull shit.

But, the docker version is a second class citizen for home assistant. You have to manually install stuff yourself. Which is usually no problem but the how tos and tutorials etc. Aren't as easily visible and hence it's unneccessarily complicated in my opinion.

If you install it via docker and it's the first time, you won't know that the stuff is missing. Look for how to install HACS.

I'd always go the container route. You can just move the files to a new server, you can spin it up and down, install a second isntance, back it up, share it with friends. Containers are awesome.

Sunny OP , avatar
GravitySpoiled ,

That's wrong and missleading.

You have to install HACS yourself (which isn't difficult). That's why they can write that it has no addons. They are stupid for doing this

Managed restore? With a container you just backup the folder. No fancy weird backup stuff required. Idiots.

Managed os? No idea what that means. Probably bs as well. Your computer is yours, not theirs.

Sunny OP , avatar

I already have a server running Unraid, where everything else is containerized. I just simply wanted to find a use case for this RPI as it is just collecting dust atm.

GravitySpoiled ,

Do you have hyperhdr? If not, then use the pi for it :)

Sunny OP , (edited ) avatar

~~Nope, never heard of it either. Care to elaborate? ~~

Ohh, so its for building DIY TV backlighting, seems cool!

GravitySpoiled ,

Yes! And it's very good. If you already own a pi, the rest doesn't cost a lot. Look on aliexpress or whereever you can get cheap parts from china.

Sunny OP , avatar

Thanks, I'll see around where I can get lights to an OK price. I've never thought about having ambient lights around my TV before. I might make another lemmy post on that, ask lemmies if they have ambient lighting or not and what they think of it. I personally always thought it was one of these marketing points from TV companies, but looking around now and it does seem a little cool haha!

GravitySpoiled ,

Good idea, looking forward to that post.

I think it's great. The LEDs only cost a few bucks. They are mostly heavily overpriced unless you buy directly from china

Sunny OP , avatar

Yeah that's true, but am trying to fight against the "boy from cheap online shops" mentality. We're fortunate that amazon isn't a thing in my country, although they do ship here. But I'll look around to see where I can get some good ones, compatible with what I want to do.

GravitySpoiled ,

I understand the logic, yet you are just buying from a reseller. There is no need for the middleman in that case. It's not all bad.

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