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Hard drives...how hot do they really get?

By cigarman
Jan 12, 2007
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  1. I understand a computer needs adequate cooling and everything--especially the cpu. While browsing on an online hardware site for quieter case fans for either of my machines, I saw that hard drive cooling devices (brackets with fans on them that attach to the underside of hard drive) are also available.

    My internal drives are a couple of recently purchased, standard 80gig Western Digital IDE drives. How hot do hard drives really get? Are cooling fans for hard drives really necessary?
     
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,551   +301

    I think you may have opened a can of worms with that question :p

    Personally, I don't concern myself with providing cooling for hard drives. When possible I don't like to stack hard drives on top of each other in the case, but I've done it before and will do it again I'm sure.

    Hard drives are designed to be able to handle the heat they create, provided you aren't running them in a styrofoam box letting their heat build up. What I'm saying is the ambient air in your case should be at a level that the hard drive will cool adequetly without need for additional cooling.

    My main system has a 120mm fan at the bottom front of the case sucking in air, and it just so happens I have hard drive mounts there, so I put 3 hard drives there where the air blows across the top of the bottom one, then there is a gap, then the 2nd hard drive where air can flow over top and bottom of it, and a 3rd hard drive after another space where air can flow over the bottom.

    Smart drive placement and a decent case should eliminate any need for additional cooling IMO.
     
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,865   +165

    "My main system has a 120mm fan at the bottom front of the case sucking in air, and it just so happens I have hard drive mounts there, so I put 3 hard drives there where the air blows across the top of the bottom one, then there is a gap, then the 2nd hard drive where air can flow over top and bottom of it, and a 3rd hard drive after another space where air can flow over the bottom."

    My tower has this too. I have 4 hard drives mounted there... They have been this way for about a year. All Seagates: 80, 60, 40 and 40GB. If I was running 120's to 300GB I would have to configure some other way and maybe install aditional cooling
     
  4. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Posts: 203

    Good question. I have a 300G IDE 7200rpm drive mounted in a USB box, and it gets warmer than the ones in my system. There is no cooling system in the USB box. I get concerned about it, but the drive only runs when I am doing backup, so it shouldn't really be a problem. That said, I am going to stick a thermometer probe into the case and see what I get.

    My Antec P160W case also has the front chassis fan (120mm) next to the HDD's. A good situation I think.

    While on the subject of cooling, and quieter fans, did you find anything?
    I am also looking for some quieter case fans. I've got 3 120mm fans running. Only one of them is speed controlled. I am going to look into quieter fans, as well as controlling more of them. I don't think I need all that cooling most of the time.

    FW
     
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,865   +165

    The new Antec case fans are quiet... I'm sure you can find others by doing a Google search
     
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Not very hot. My hdds don't have any fans nearby:

    /dev/hda: SAMSUNG SP1614N: 29°C
    /dev/hdc: SAMSUNG SP2514N: 39°C
    /dev/hdd: SAMSUNG SP2514N: 39°C

    Checked with hddtemp.
     
  7. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Maniac Posts: 518

    Well HD's can go up to 55c and still work properly, However this will shorten its life,

    You want no more then 40's on load, and 30's on idle,, at least,
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    37c is hot hot hot. Try to keep them under 32c
     
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,551   +301

    Where did you pull that number from raybay? 37 isn't that hot, its less than 100F, 32C is less than 90F. Too many people are too concerned with temperatures. I'm pretty sure people are just pulling numbers out of their rear and not from any published study on longevity vs degrees C. I bet Mictlantecutli doesn't have any higher HD failure than people keeping theirs at 32.
     
  10. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 267

    I've never had a hard drive overheat, even in the worst situations, however I have had a CD overheat and explode inside my optical drive.

    Maybe a fan below your opticals is a better investment? :D
     
  11. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    My drive is 27C, never seen it a single degree past that. Mind you it does have 2 fans in front of it (front intake).
     
     
  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Under today's machine made electronics standards, I believe anything that has power going in, has the potential of overheating and causing severe damage... In our business we have seen some of everything fail.... This week we had a compact Flash memory module over heat, melt the media drive, and put the computer totally out of commission. Who woulda predicted that.
     
  13. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

    raybay, I must say that I always get a kick out of your posts. Though I am still wondering how 37*C is "hot hot hot" as you posted earlier.

    Raybay, can you please explain this to me??
     
  14. cigarman

    cigarman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    I bought three SilenX fans. One for the case, one for the processor (which I keep over-clocked 25%) and one for the hard drive fan mount thingy. In other words, I replaced all stock fans (except for the tiny fan in the swap drive bay and the power supply fan). The processor temp hoovers around 105F even with its fan turned down. Silence is bliss...
     
  15. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Were these changes expensive?
     
  16. cigarman

    cigarman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    SilenX fans cost a bit more than most other, but I can except that given that they don't create much noise. I believe I paid about $55 or so for just three fans. I think my case allows for good air flow, so that helps too. I remember an old computer I had that if I didn't take out all of the extra pci slot cover things that the temp inside would get quite hot. But after removing those pci things, it would still be somewhat hot, but not so as to shut the machine down. It was a cheap case.
     
  17. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Maniac Posts: 518

    They can go up to 60c and still work,, average for peep is 40c,,

    keeping it lower then that should help its life time,
     
  18. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    If your so concerned, just buy some 12$ copper heatsinks and just stick them on there, they are cheap and distribute heat well lol.

    Just taped my thermal sensor to my HD, my LCD is reading 96.4F/35.7C with an ambient of about 70F/21C. Idk why its so cold in my room lol.
     
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