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Build Advice Using a universal nvme heatsink

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by numanoid, 12 Feb 2022.

  1. numanoid

    numanoid Modder

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  2. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Do nvmes really need a heatsink?

    I'd check the sabrent website to be honest, AFAIK the stickers are often actually designed to dissipate heat themselves.

    But yeah, my gut says if you are putting a heatsink on leave the nvme as it is - those stickers help spread the heat.
     
  3. numanoid

    numanoid Modder

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    Thank you buddy, appretiate your help
     
  4. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    No worries mate, it may be worth seeing what somebody who has used a heatsink on an nvme says as well though.
     
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  5. numanoid

    numanoid Modder

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    Ok buddy, thanks again
     
  6. VictorianBloke

    VictorianBloke Man in a box

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    From what I can gather the sticker is designed to help dissipate heat.

    I left mine on, it's under a huge heatsink built into the mobo in my sig rather than a universal one, but temps don't generally go over 55 degrees. So the sticker isn't causing problems.
     
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  7. numanoid

    numanoid Modder

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    Thanks matey, im using the NZXT B550 N7 motherboard and the m.2 covers are plastic so can't be used as heatsinks hence the universal ones buddy
     
  8. BeauchN

    BeauchN Multimodder

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    Leave it on. On the Sabrent drives I’ve had, the label is bonded to a thin piece of copper (I think) so it should aid heat dissipation through to the heat sink.

    But it’s a fair point that unless you’re really hitting them with sustained high read/write they don’t generally get that hot
     
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  9. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Not sure if it's still the case, when I last looked the NAND seems to run better hot and it's only the controller that may need cooling.
     
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  10. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat.

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    I have run a simple non-scientific test on my 2 nvme drives, one a Samsung 970 Pro (main system drive) under the motherboard's heatsink, the other a Kioxia Exceria with no heatsink and mostly idle. Both have the sticker in place.

    All I did was run the benchmark in Samsung Magician, noting before and after temps. The Kioxia started at 33C and rose to 57C, the Samsung started at 31C and rose to just 38C. It does at least seem to indicate, that using a heatsink with the sticker in place, does work.
     
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  11. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Kloxia vs Samsung probably isn't a like for like comparison though eh?

    But, yeah, as @Arboreal said I was under the impression it's only the controller that may need any cooling, the NAND performs better warm.
     
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  12. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    I’ve had many heat sinks and use it on all my drives, with their stickers in place. The motherboard provided metal heat sinks are probably okay though, but I already have my beefier ones so I’m using them.

    The Sabrent heat sink is a large thermal mass, it doesn’t dissipate heat well, but very good for drives that get used in a burst manner.

    I’ve also got a tall heat sink with large fins. This one keeps the drive between CPU and GPU under 55c when everything is going full blast.

    But best way to cool drives if you are concerned is to use a riser and relocate the drive next to a case fan. I use a thin generic heat sink on this and consistent 30-35c no matter the workload.


    Yes, only put thermal pad on the controller. The flash memory doesn’t generate a lot of heat.
     
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  13. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat.

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    In performance terms, the Kioxia is left in the Samsung's dust but, it does, I think, show that a heatsink works well with the sticker in place.

    As for NAND working better when hot, I can't really comment beyond, being kept cool doesn't seem to hold the Samsung back, although I'm not really bothered about benchmarking, beyond making sure everything works as expected.
     
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  14. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    True enough, I must admit I'm not sure if there would be a major difference in temperatures between nvme drives unless some manufacturers manage to have better performing stickers/minimal heatsink slapped on them by default.

    To be fair maybe I should just look into it more. I mean I'm currently RMA'ing my MP510 :lol:

    Mind you I never saw hot temperatures on that drive.
     
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  15. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It doesn't work better as in faster, it works better as in retains data for longer. If the type of flash used in NVMe drives is too cold when a write takes place, the data can be lost within hours. The controller knows this, of course, and to prevent it from happening pushes current through the flash in order to heat it up to an accepted minimum temperature. There's a JEDEC standard and everything.

    Cool the flash too much, and the controller's just going to heat it - and itself - up again, while drawing more power and reducing its operational lifespan. No bueno.

    Personally, I wouldn't ever put a heatsink on an NVMe drive unless I knew it was hitting its throttle point, and even then I'd take great pains to ensure that the heatsink only contacted the controller and not the flash module - easier said than done, 'cos I don't think I've ever seen an off-the-shelf NVMe-specific heatsink that doesn't sit on both.

    EDIT:
    Aha - I knew there was a chart somewhere:

    Alvin_Cox [Compatibility Mode]_0.jpg

    Data retention is affected by active and inactive (storage) temperatures. The higher the active temperature at the time of writing, the longer the data is retained; likewise the lower the inactive temperature when the drive's not being used.

    Cooling an NVMe SSD from its target 40°C active temperature to 25°C, and assuming a 30°C power-off temperature at both times, cuts the data retention period from 52 weeks to 28 weeks.

    (The enterprise figures look screwy 'cos it's about the detrapping retention mechanism, which is deliberately configured to trigger way earlier in enterprise drives than in client drives 'cos you really, really don't want your enterprise drives losing data - and client drives are rated for operation eight hours a day while enterprise drives are rated for 24-hour use.)
     
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2022
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  16. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat.

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    Thanks for the clarification, what sort of temperature are we looking at?
     
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  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    See my edit: I've pulled up Intel's chart that forms the actual JEDEC model. In short: you want to be writing at around 40°C.
     
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  18. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat.

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    Is that date retention period, when the SSD is left powered off? If so, won't powering it up stop the data loss happening?
     
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  19. VictorianBloke

    VictorianBloke Man in a box

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    Does that mean it's healthier for a drive to be kept powered on and above 30/35degrees then to power down the PC regularly and the drive reach room temp?
     
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  20. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yes, but not in the way you're thinking. NVMe is a non-volatile memory (express!), meaning that it doesn't need to be constantly powered to retain data - and, unlike dynamic RAM (DRAM), it doesn't need to be constantly refreshed either. It does need to be refreshed, though, whether it's powered on or powered off - and that's what the detrapping retention mechanism does. It figures out which bits of data are getting stale and rewrites 'em to freshen 'em up.

    Obviously that can only happen when the drive's powered on, so effectively having your drive powered on means the data will be retained indefinitely - but you'll also be burning up the drive's operational lifespan. Remember that consumer drives are built to an eight-hour-a-day standard - that's actually the slide before that one:

    Alvin_Cox [Compatibility Mode]_1.jpg

    Run the drive longer than eight hours a day and the drive's lifespan is cut accordingly.

    Yes, but also no: see above - and remember that you get longer write longevity when the drive's hotter while writing, but when it's colder in storage.
     
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