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Question Heatsinks on Dual Sided M.2 cards

Dr.StrangeSpock

Junior Member
Dec 11, 2018
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I have a Inland Platinum 4TB M.2 card with dual sided memory and controller chip on outside. I mounted it on the rear slot of my Asus ROG Maximus Formula XII MB on new build because it shares bandwidth with 3rd PCI-E x4 slot which I will not use. I was concerned there was no heatsink so I removed the sticker with a hairdryer and put it on the bottom side, (voiding warranty I now read!). I attached a thin ICEPC 2mm copper heatsink to exposed side with thermal paste and thin bands as seen in picture. It will probably be up against back plate of case to pull off more heat. It is covering controller chip. I am concerned that cooling one side only may be harmful as was posted in Amazon forum: "If it's a dual side you'll only be keeping one side cool. You'll end up burning out the other side if the system thinks it can go faster because one side's being cool. More likely you wouldn't be getting it that hot unless you do constant data transfer."
There is only room for one side cooling.
SO..is it true or will cooling spread thru card to other side?
I realize now that the MBs have their stock heatsinks touching only the label side where the controller chip is, so they allow one side cooling only as the norm meaning it should be ok I think.
 

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Billy Tallis

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Aug 4, 2015
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SSDs usually have temperature sensors for the controller and the NAND flash, and sometimes a few others. Cooling just the controller side of the drive is not going to cause it to overheat the NAND on the back. You might end up with the temperature of the NAND on the back side being the limiting factor for sustained write speed, but this is unlikely. Adding thermal pads between the SSD and the motherboard should only have minimal performance impact, and only on contrived tests.

Please do not stress yourself over concerns raised by ill-informed Amazon reviews.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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This is all very interesting, although I have nothing much to add. I didn't know you could get an NVME M.2 that had 4TB capacity. Inland and Sabrent both offer them, and the colors on the drive exteriors are one-for-one identical, so you might wonder if they have a common origin. The Sabrent costs about $200 more.
 
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Dr.StrangeSpock

Junior Member
Dec 11, 2018
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SSDs usually have temperature sensors for the controller and the NAND flash, and sometimes a few others. Cooling just the controller side of the drive is not going to cause it to overheat the NAND on the back. You might end up with the temperature of the NAND on the back side being the limiting factor for sustained write speed, but this is unlikely. Adding thermal pads between the SSD and the motherboard should only have minimal performance impact, and only on contrived tests.

Please do not stress yourself over concerns raised by ill-informed Amazon reviews.
Thx..are you saying I could put the silicone thermal pad on the side with no heatsink facing back of MB to draw heat from M.2 to MB rear? I used thermal paste & clear vinyl bands to attach copper as pad would be thicker.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Thx..are you saying I could put the silicone thermal pad on the side with no heatsink facing back of MB to draw heat from M.2 to MB rear? I used thermal paste & clear vinyl bands to attach copper as pad would be thicker.
He said:
Adding thermal pads between the SSD and the motherboard should only have minimal performance impact, and only on contrived tests.
In other words it's not needed (and wouldn't help much anyways). Don't worry about it (or go ahead and do it if you are determined to believe that Amazon user review).
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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controller no like heat... it will throttle if its subjected to it too much.
Nand, no like it when its too cold. Can lead to memory corruption, it is recommended actually to run nand a little warm.

So a Heatsink on top sort of plays a balancing act with the NAND and Controller, keeping the NAND's warm, while the controller in acceptable temps so it does not throttle.

This was always to my knowledge unless its changed?
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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He said:

In other words it's not needed (and wouldn't help much anyways). Don't worry about it (or go ahead and do it if you are determined to believe that Amazon user review).
I remember (only about four years ago), when the Samsung 960-Pro's/EVO's were introduced. I was sort of in a hurry, and the instructions for using the M.2 motherboard slot(s) for NVME drives seemed obtuse to me, so I arranged to assure full functionality to the bottom PCIE x4 slot of my motherboard, and bought a $30(?) Cryorig_M.2 PCIE expansion card. The Cryorig product came with a heatsink. There seemed to be general consensus in web-forums that the Samsungs would throttle because they ran hot, and that it was a good idea to sink them.

PCIE version 4.0 is only featured in some of the latest AMD motherboards -- maybe others for INtel's latest offering (what is it? Rocket Lake? Who can keep up with all the new stuff?). I'm fine with PCIE version 3.0 generation NVME drives. At 3,500 MB/sec sequential-read throughput (or close), I can cache an NVME to RAM and get a bench-test result with Anvil of about 11,000 GB/s. No human would probably notice the difference, and I'm not a collector of games that push the edge of the hardware envelope.

So I stumbled across the SK HYNIX Gold P31 NVME drives. They're high performers for PCIE version 3.0. Everybody knows the reputation of the South Korean company. They lack the encryption feature of the Samsungs, but I'm not trying to secure hardware in the CIA or NSA. More to the point -- they are touted as being some of the most power-efficient NVMEs, and users argue that they run cool.

It would have been my rule-of-thumb to sink them. I think I'm going to break my rule-of-thumb. Consequent reports from monitoring software could change my mind, I suppose . . .
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
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The SSD's PCB itself has copper in it and will conduct some heat.
I wouldn't worry too much about it as long as you have airflow and aren't getting throttling or excessive temps.

I put heatsinks on half my memory dimms and left the other 2 unsinked. Temps are about 2C different between them (they have onboard sensors). I suspect the SSD sides could see something similar.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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I'm hoping the following indicator, reported in a recent Anandtech review, gives a solid basis to ignore sinking the SK HYNIX GOLD P31's I bought:
SK HYNIX power efficiency.jpg
More than four times more power-efficient than Samsung 970 EVO?

I sink all my Samsungs. What's the point of sinking these GOLD P31's?

There is a trade-off between the product's power-efficiency and its performance in certain tests. But it's not a deal-breaker.
 

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