Question Aftermarket NVMe coolers

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
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This is a spinoff of another thread... a point was made that NVMe drives can benefit from a cooler even in general use, and the little bit of reading I've done seems to reinforce this idea. For those of us who bought NVMe drives without a cooler... I would think the aftermarket would quickly fill that niche. To that end, trying to come up with an idea for a quality aftermarket cooler has left me scratching my head.

Newegg, for example, lists no aftermarket coolers sold directly by them. Only one of their listed items has a review... and that product only a single review.

Amazon has more products listed... and more reviews, but the reviews range from 'greatest evarrrr!' to 'junk.' Much of it has to do with how the cooler attaches to the drive itself, and further... the lack of any heat dissipation in any event. I don't care about bling (read: RGB) or style (no one can see it, anyway...) but I'm curious if anyone here has tried any of the aftermarket coolers, and had any luck.

I also have a question... would direct airflow across the drive be better than an attached heatsink? Seems like a side-mounted case fan directing air to the drive would work pretty well, but I'm not that savvy on that sort of thing.

2nd Question: Was heat and throttling a problem on 2.5" SATA SSD's? ...and why is heat buildup such an issue on NVMe drives?
 

UsandThem

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NewMaxx

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Aug 11, 2007
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If your case has sufficient cooling and you're not doing heavy workloads, a heatsink should in general be unnecessary. It's mostly about aesthetics with consumer usage except in certain cases where additional cooling is needed, although you need airflow to benefit from a heatsink anyway and cooling the flash can be detrimental in some cases. Currently I make my own heatsinks for just the controller, usually using copper RAMsinks and the like - anything that would cool a Raspberry Pi, for example, would work, as they're both ARM microcontrollers. Keep in mind there are cases where cooling the controller can detrimental as well, namely when it's designed to throttle somewhat aggressively in the interest of other components.

There were/are some 2.5" drives that overheat(ed). An example would be Kingston's HyperX RGB with LEDs.
 

Charlie98

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Nov 6, 2011
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The controller.
Sorry, my search-fu is weak... I never saw your thread. Very interesting... That thread was almost a year ago, where are you today... general opinion? Did the other rubber band break, or did the black tape melt? (I've not had good luck with electrical tape long-term in higher temp environments, even using the high dollar Scotch.

Currently I make my own heatsinks for just the controller, usually using copper RAMsinks and the like - anything that would cool a Raspberry Pi, for example, would work, as they're both ARM microcontrollers.
Got any pics of that? That seems to make more sense than covering everything, given the primary issue is controller heat, although the trade-off would be the actual size of a controller-only heatsink, and the effectiveness of it.
 

UsandThem

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Sorry, my search-fu is weak... I never saw your thread. Very interesting... That thread was almost a year ago, where are you today... general opinion? Did the other rubber band break, or did the black tape melt? (I've not had good luck with electrical tape long-term in higher temp environments, even using the high dollar Scotch.
It's still going strong with no issues. :D It's now in my wife's computer.

My current motherboard has a built-in M.2 heatsink as part of the motherboard design, so I use it for my current drive. It keeps my drive idling at 35-38c, and tops out in the mid 50s when doing a lot of writes.
 
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NewMaxx

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Got any pics of that? That seems to make more sense than covering everything, given the primary issue is controller heat, although the trade-off would be the actual size of a controller-only heatsink, and the effectiveness of it.
I do, I took a picture at the time before I trimmed the thermal tape, you can see it here. My Samsung SM951 came out cleaner but it's in a server right now, I also use them on my RPis, I just get a set of eight and keep'm around. Effective - the EX920 has been my primary drive since May 2018 and its lifetime maximum temperature reads as 40C. The SM951, which is the primary caching drive for my server, reads a maximum of 53C for the controller.
 
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