SSD's Overheating?

Discussion in 'PC/Mac Builders, Mods, Peripherals - New' started by Prockamanisc, May 19, 2019.

  1. Prockamanisc

    Prockamanisc Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    New Orleans
    I've got 4 SSDs running in an external enclosure. The enclosure has the option to turn the fan off, which, I'm reading, is fine as long as it doesn't undertake large workloads, such as copying hundreds of gigs of data over a sustained amount of time, like an hour or two. Where does our workflow fall? If we're using samples for something like 10 straight hours, would that be taxing our SSDs the whole time? I'm thinking it would just run for a second while it loads the samples into RAM, then goes back to neutral. Should I be worried about overheating? I'd love to turn the fan off because it's really the only source of noise in my whole studio.
  2. Anthony

    Anthony Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    I just disabled the fan (by pulling the connector off) in my 5-bay external enclosure for the same reason. All five drives are Samsung SSDs (2x1TB, 2x500GB, and 1x128GB).

    Like you I'm concerned about overheating (especially since it's starting to get hot here), so I monitor their temps via the SMART utility in Samsung's Magician software. One of the readouts is the current drive/airflow temp. I compare how that changes as I use the drive.

    I also disconnected each drive (via Windows) and phyically removed the sleds to verify that the temps remained low (they were just warm).

    Thus far, all this has worked very well; but YMMV. Cheers...
  3. Manuel Stumpf

    Manuel Stumpf Active Member

    Sep 30, 2018
    No. Most of the time not the complete samples are loaded into RAM, but only the start of it. Then each time a note is played back, the first portion is used from RAM while the rest of the sample is loaded from the SSD. -> During playback the SSD keeps reading regularly.
    At least this is how most sample streaming works today.

    Nevertheless reading from an SSD normally does not overheat it. So if you are not continuously writing big amounts of data to it, this can work fine.

    You can use a tool called "CrystalDiskInfo" to show the SSD temperature.
    Just try it out. Probability is high that you can disable the fan.
  4. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    You like to live dangerously! I am way too much of a chicken to disable a fan.
  5. Anthony

    Anthony Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    Well, I can put the connector back on in a few seconds, if necessary. :)

    Also, I only did this because I'm running all SSD drives. And I should mention that the fan I disconnected is quite small, runs at a very low rpm, and produces very little airflow.

    I would not have even considered this if I were still spinning rust -- those drives can, and often do, run quite hot and require ample airflow to keep them cool. In fact, I use a (small, quiet) tabletop 'personal' fan to keep bare internal drives cool when mounted in an external USB dock (as part of a Plex server). That works really well.

  6. ironbut

    ironbut Active Member

    Jun 9, 2015
    eugene or
    I'm going to need an external bay for my drives. Being a diy guy I wonder how tough it would be to replace the cheap fans with a low noise product. From the looks of enclosures like Aikidos, it looks like a piece of cake.
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  7. James H

    James H 01001000 01101001

    Dec 20, 2018
    What enclosures are you guys using?
    Mine are just in an external docking bay with no fans. No issues though
  8. OP

    Prockamanisc Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    New Orleans
    The Akitio ThunderQuad.
    James H likes this.
  9. Meetyhtan

    Meetyhtan Noise Maker

    Well, let's reask the question:

    Did anybody actually already had the case of an overheating SSD? Like with fire and boom and broken afterwards? Just kiddin ofc.
    Or is it just speculation?
  10. kitekrazy

    kitekrazy Senior Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    I'm getting too lazy to open the case. I have a couple of cases made for gaming. Lots of holes, lots of noise. Lucky I don't do external recording.
  11. ironbut

    ironbut Active Member

    Jun 9, 2015
    eugene or
    Not that long ago I used to have a 7200 rpm HD that was in an enclosure that contained my "audio drive". It was connected to my desktop at home and I'd carry it to studios or venues for tracking or collaborative work. The enclosure doesn't have a fan and the drive would get pretty warm during all day sessions. At the time, it was pretty common practice for engineers.
    Of course, it's apples and oranges but I would think that a spinning drive would be way more sensitive to temp extremes.
    I had the same WD Caviar Black 500G drive for 6 years before I replaced it with a SSD.
  12. gpax

    gpax Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    I can only offer experiential observation, based on using three different types of enclosures the past couple of years: single USB 3.0 enclosures, a Blackmagic dock enclosure, and an OWC Thunderbay 4 enclosure with the fan removed.

    You might also do a search for user Babylonwaves, as he ran two OWC enclosures with the fans disconnected for a while.

    As the Blackmagic dock is fan-less, and my $15 USB enclosures are what they are (though to dissipate heat, you can leave the clam shell cover off if you don’t jostle the drive), regular sample use seems to hover between upper 80 degrees to lower 90s, Fahrenheit. The real test was to see how much hotter the OWC Thunderbay ran, comparatively, under normal use, without the fan (yes, I had eleven SDDs in various use scenarios at one point).

    Using a laser thermometer some months ago, the difference I noted was that the Thunderbay components generate a lot of heat after hours of use (cresting over 100 degrees), even while leaving the front grill off. As such, those SSDs temps were pushing upper 90s after hours of use. Or, 5-8 degrees warmer than the BM dock and USB enclosures when streaming samples all day. I’m guessing heat accumulated within the OWC enclosure as well from the way the SSDs are spaced in that device.

    So this was enough to compel me to reattach they fan after a couple of months, just in case, though these days I only use that for tertiary backup I initiate manually every few days. As it also predated my blackmagic dock, I had to put the unit in a small metal locker with vents, padded with acoustic foam and absorbers, in attempt to minimize fan noise.

    I still use four USB 3.0 enclosures, one for sample libraries in addition to the BM dock as my main streaming objection. The others are for my main project drive, and backups. But I seldom even think about the heat anymore.
  13. Anthony

    Anthony Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    I'm using an Oyen Digital Mobius 5-Bay Thunderbolt 2 External Drive Array.
    James H likes this.
  14. babylonwaves

    babylonwaves Senior Member

    May 9, 2015
    i still do and so far there are no issues.
    i've recently build another RAID and this time i didn't use samsung SSDs. surprisingly, this enclosure gets hotter, about 15 degrees (celsius) and i might need to switch on the fans for this one in case we'll have a summer this year in germany ... ;)
    gpax likes this.

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