keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case - Storage

This is a discussion on keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case - Storage ; Hi All, I have recently added a second SATA HDD to my Linux workstation, which is housed in a very standard microATX case. The processor is a low-power Athlon X2 and stays at a reasonable 35-37°C with stock heatsink and ...

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  1. keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Hi All,
    I have recently added a second SATA HDD to my Linux workstation, which is
    housed in a very standard microATX case. The processor is a low-power
    Athlon X2 and stays at a reasonable 35-37°C with stock heatsink and fan.

    I noticed that the HDDs are pretty hot, 44 for the older one (root
    partition) and 42°C for the newer one (/home partition) under very low
    usage (the computer is a small-scale web server too).

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to keep these drives cooler. I have
    read that HDDs should stay under 40°C for maximum reliability. I've tried
    software tricks, such as enabling spin-down after 1 minute, enabling
    advanced drive power management for the newer drive...

    Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some physical
    cooling in there. I already have an empty bay in between the drives, on
    the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat a little better
    (maybe?). What is a cheap way to cool a couple of SATA drives *quietly*?
    Should I put a case fan in between the drives and the front of the case,
    blowing air towards the back? Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    top of the drives? Any other tricks to try?

    Thanks for any advice or pointers to reliable information!

    Dan

  2. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Previously Dan Lenski wrote:
    > Hi All,
    > I have recently added a second SATA HDD to my Linux workstation, which is
    > housed in a very standard microATX case. The processor is a low-power
    > Athlon X2 and stays at a reasonable 35-37°C with stock heatsink and fan.


    > I noticed that the HDDs are pretty hot, 44 for the older one (root
    > partition) and 42°C for the newer one (/home partition) under very low
    > usage (the computer is a small-scale web server too).


    > I'm trying to figure out the best way to keep these drives cooler. I have
    > read that HDDs should stay under 40°C for maximum reliability. I've tried
    > software tricks, such as enabling spin-down after 1 minute, enabling
    > advanced drive power management for the newer drive...


    Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    you can kill your disk in a few months.

    Come to think of it, one way would be to move to low-power
    laptop drives.

    > Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some physical
    > cooling in there. I already have an empty bay in between the drives, on
    > the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat a little better
    > (maybe?). What is a cheap way to cool a couple of SATA drives *quietly*?
    > Should I put a case fan in between the drives and the front of the case,
    > blowing air towards the back?


    That would be the best option.

    > Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    > top of the drives?


    This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow
    in your case.

    > Any other tricks to try?


    Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e.
    outside) air.

    Arno

  3. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    On Sep 23, 5:44*pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    > Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    > only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    > you can kill your disk in a few months.


    Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the
    spindown.

    > > Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some physical
    > > cooling in there. *I already have an empty bay in between the drives,on
    > > the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat a little better
    > > (maybe?). *What is a cheap way to cool a couple of SATA drives *quietly*? *
    > > Should I put a case fan in between the drives and the front of the case,
    > > blowing air towards the back? *

    >
    > That would be the best option.
    >
    > > Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    > > top of the drives? *

    >
    > This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow
    > in your case.
    >
    > > Any other tricks to try?

    >
    > Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e.
    > outside) air.


    Cool, I got an 80mm case fan for free, I think I'll try that out.

    Do my temperatures seem unusually high? It is strange to me that the
    HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU. Whereas at work I have a
    very similar computer (except it's a slightly larger ATX case with a
    single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.

    Dan

  4. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Dan Lenski wrote:
    > On Sep 23, 5:44 pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    >> Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    >> only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    >> you can kill your disk in a few months.

    >
    > Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the
    > spindown.
    >
    >>> Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some
    >>> physical cooling in there. I already have an empty bay in between
    >>> the drives, on the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat
    >>> a little better (maybe?). What is a cheap way to cool a couple of
    >>> SATA drives *quietly*? Should I put a case fan in between the
    >>> drives and the front of the case, blowing air towards the back?

    >>
    >> That would be the best option.
    >>
    >>> Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    >>> top of the drives?

    >>
    >> This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow
    >> in your case.
    >>
    >>> Any other tricks to try?

    >>
    >> Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e.
    >> outside) air.

    >
    > Cool, I got an 80mm case fan for free, I think I'll try that out.


    > Do my temperatures seem unusually high?


    Not really, but you dont say which drives they are model wise, or what the room temp is either.

    > It is strange to me that the HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU.


    It is a bit unusual, but the cpu temp is lower than often seen too.

    > Whereas at work I have a very similar computer (except it's a slightly larger ATX
    > case with a single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.


    Clearly you arent getting much airflow over the drives in the home system.



  5. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Previously Dan Lenski wrote:
    > On Sep 23, 5:44*pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    >> Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    >> only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    >> you can kill your disk in a few months.


    > Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the
    > spindown.


    >> > Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some physical
    >> > cooling in there. *I already have an empty bay in between the drives, on
    >> > the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat a little better
    >> > (maybe?). *What is a cheap way to cool a couple of SATA drives *quietly*? *
    >> > Should I put a case fan in between the drives and the front of the case,
    >> > blowing air towards the back? *

    >>
    >> That would be the best option.
    >>
    >> > Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    >> > top of the drives? *

    >>
    >> This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow
    >> in your case.
    >>
    >> > Any other tricks to try?

    >>
    >> Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e.
    >> outside) air.


    > Cool, I got an 80mm case fan for free, I think I'll try that out.


    > Do my temperatures seem unusually high?


    Depends on the disks. For modern disks, I would say yes.
    For older ones, not really. The surface coatings have gotten
    better. The rule of thumb would be that on a hot day, the
    disks should not go over 50-55C under load, that being the
    typical maximum temperature for most HDDs.

    > It is strange to me that the
    > HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU.


    CPUs are much, much better cooled.

    > Whereas at work I have a
    > very similar computer (except it's a slightly larger ATX case with a
    > single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.


    Lower room temperature? Better airflow? Newer disks?

    Arno

  6. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 08:16:46 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:

    >> Do my temperatures seem unusually high?

    >
    > Not really, but you dont say which drives they are model wise, or what
    > the room temp is either.


    They are:
    * Seagate ST3200826AS (200gb SATA 7200rpm, 2005-ish)
    * Hitachi HDP725050GLA360 (500gb SATA 7200rpm, brand new)

    And the room temp I would estimate at 21°C (it's my air-conditioned
    ground-floor bedroom :-P).

    >> It is strange to me that the HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU.

    >
    > It is a bit unusual, but the cpu temp is lower than often seen too.


    Yeah, this is a low-power Athlon X2 CPU (45W TDP) and I am using onboard
    video and a fairly wimpy power supply, so nothing is putting out much
    heat.

    >> Whereas at work I have a very similar computer (except it's a slightly
    >> larger ATX case with a single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both
    >> at 36-37°C.

    >
    > Clearly you arent getting much airflow over the drives in the home
    > system.


    Right.

    I tried a random case fan that I scrounged up, which seems awfully weak,
    and I put it in front of the HDDs. It seems to do the job adequately:
    both drives are running at 38°C now, even though there's no vent in the
    front for air intake. So I hope that is good enough for me.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Dan


  7. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Daniel Lenski wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote


    >>> Do my temperatures seem unusually high?


    >> Not really, but you dont say which drives they
    >> are model wise, or what the room temp is either.


    > They are:
    > * Seagate ST3200826AS (200gb SATA 7200rpm, 2005-ish)
    > * Hitachi HDP725050GLA360 (500gb SATA 7200rpm, brand new)


    > And the room temp I would estimate at 21C
    > (it's my air-conditioned ground-floor bedroom :-P).


    OK, thats a bit high with that room temp, essentially
    because there is bugger all airflow over the drives.

    >>> It is strange to me that the HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU.


    >> It is a bit unusual, but the cpu temp is lower than often seen too.


    > Yeah, this is a low-power Athlon X2 CPU (45W TDP) and I am using onboard
    > video and a fairly wimpy power supply, so nothing is putting out much heat.


    >>> Whereas at work I have a very similar computer (except
    >>> it's a slightly larger ATX case with a single SATA drive)
    >>> and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.


    >> Clearly you arent getting much airflow over the drives in the home system.


    > Right.


    > I tried a random case fan that I scrounged up, which seems awfully
    > weak, and I put it in front of the HDDs. It seems to do the job adequately:


    Yeah, you dont need much.

    > both drives are running at 38C now, even though there's no vent
    > in the front for air intake. So I hope that is good enough for me.


    > Thanks for the advice!


    Thanks for the washup, too rare in my opinion.



  8. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 17:58:49 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >> both drives are running at 38°C now, even though there's no vent in the
    >> front for air intake. So I hope that is good enough for me.

    >
    >> Thanks for the advice!

    >
    > Thanks for the washup, too rare in my opinion.


    Amusingly enough (or maybe tragically?), just a day after this post...

    My coworker had a problem with his laptop hard drive which had developed
    some bad blocks and would not boot. I strongly suspect thermal issues.
    SMART shows a maximum lifetime temperature of 65 C (gaaah!!!!) and it was
    running at 47 C while I was recovering data off of it. It's a kind of
    ugly Toshiba laptop with a mobile P4 processor that sits right next to
    the HD, which seems like terrible placement. And he's regularly left it
    running overnight with no ventilation in our lab with lots of temperature
    fluctuation and heavy equipment running nearby. There doesn't appear to
    be any problem with the drive /per se/... it runs in the low 30s outside
    of his laptop.

    Thanks to GNU ddrescue, I was able to image pretty much the whole drive
    and get his data off.

    Dan


  9. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 17:58:49 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >> both drives are running at 38°C now, even though there's no vent in the
    >> front for air intake. So I hope that is good enough for me.

    >
    >> Thanks for the advice!

    >
    > Thanks for the washup, too rare in my opinion.


    Amusingly enough (or maybe tragically?), just a day after this post...

    My coworker had a problem with his laptop hard drive which had developed
    some bad blocks and would not boot. I strongly suspect thermal issues.
    SMART shows a maximum lifetime temperature of 65 C (gaaah!!!!) and it was
    running at 47 C while I was recovering data off of it. It's a kind of
    ugly Toshiba laptop with a mobile P4 processor that sits right next to
    the HD, which seems like terrible placement. And he's regularly left it
    running overnight with no ventilation in our lab with lots of temperature
    fluctuation and heavy equipment running nearby. There doesn't appear to
    be any problem with the drive /per se/... it runs in the low 30s outside
    of his laptop.

    Thanks to GNU ddrescue, I was able to image pretty much the whole drive
    and get his data off.

    Dan


  10. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Dan Lenski wrote in news:7fd5c914-431a-4e18-a231-79e4db406f20@s50g2000hsb.googlegroups.com
    > On Sep 23, 5:44 pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    > > Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    > > only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    > > you can kill your disk in a few months.


    > Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the spindown.


    Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and the drive
    will spinup every minute, again and again.

    >
    > > > Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some physical
    > > > cooling in there. I already have an empty bay in between the drives, on
    > > > the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat a little better
    > > > (maybe?). What is a cheap way to cool a couple of SATA drives *quietly*?
    > > > Should I put a case fan in between the drives and the front of the case,
    > > > blowing air towards the back?

    > >
    > > That would be the best option.
    > >
    > > > Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    > > > top of the drives?

    > >
    > > This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow in your case.
    > >
    > > > Any other tricks to try?

    > >
    > > Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e. outside) air.

    >
    > Cool, I got an 80mm case fan for free, I think I'll try that out.
    >
    > Do my temperatures seem unusually high? It is strange to me that the
    > HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU. Whereas at work I have a
    > very similar computer (except it's a slightly larger ATX case with a
    > single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.
    >
    > Dan



  11. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    In article <48deb228$0$22190$8f2e0ebb@news.shared-secrets.com>, "Squeeze" wrote:
    >Dan Lenski wrote in
    > news:7fd5c914-431a-4e18-a231-79e4db406f20@s50g2000hsb.googlegroups.com
    >> On Sep 23, 5:44 pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    >> > Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    >> > only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    >> > you can kill your disk in a few months.

    >
    >> Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the spindown.

    >
    >Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and the drive
    >will spinup every minute, again and again.


    Huh? When i set my SATA Seagate drives(a pair of 320 GB and a 750 GB drive) to
    spindown they stay that way till either a system even occurs or i access them.




    >
    >>
    >> > > Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some physical
    >> > > cooling in there. I already have an empty bay in between the drives, on
    >> > > the theory that this will allow them to radiate heat a little better
    >> > > (maybe?). What is a cheap way to cool a couple of SATA drives *quietly*?
    >> > > Should I put a case fan in between the drives and the front of the case,
    >> > > blowing air towards the back?
    >> >
    >> > That would be the best option.
    >> >
    >> > > Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    >> > > top of the drives?
    >> >
    >> > This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow in your case.
    >> >
    >> > > Any other tricks to try?
    >> >
    >> > Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e. outside) air.

    >>
    >> Cool, I got an 80mm case fan for free, I think I'll try that out.
    >>
    >> Do my temperatures seem unusually high? It is strange to me that the
    >> HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU. Whereas at work I have a
    >> very similar computer (except it's a slightly larger ATX case with a
    >> single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.
    >>
    >> Dan

    >


  12. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Drives aren't all the same but universally it's better to keep them
    cool. Most drives have a max temperature of 55C. Doesn't mean they will
    fail if there is some short term problem and they go higher than 55 but
    running then for an extended period beyond 40 isn't a good idea.

    Generally, more airflow is better. But be careful about the fan(s). If
    you run case fans at a full 12V you get maximum performance but minimum
    [fan] life. I prefer bigger fans turning slower. Fans running high speed
    provide more air but also vibration and hard drives are *very* sensitive
    to vibration (some drives more than others).

    I generally mount a larger fan in front of the drive cage and spin it at
    some slower speed to get good airflow across the surface of the drive.

    Some chassis designers provide a rubber isolation gasket for the fan.
    That's really important to minimize vibration being transmitted to the
    drive thru the chassis.

    Also FWIW, newer drives consume less power. Much less. And if power
    consumption is really important to you WD has a 'green' drive that cuts
    way down on power (and performance) by turning 5400 RPM and slowing the
    seek rate.


    Tom S.

    Daniel Lenski wrote:
    > On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 17:58:49 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >>> both drives are running at 38°C now, even though there's no vent in the
    >>> front for air intake. So I hope that is good enough for me.
    >>> Thanks for the advice!

    >> Thanks for the washup, too rare in my opinion.

    >
    > Amusingly enough (or maybe tragically?), just a day after this post...
    >
    > My coworker had a problem with his laptop hard drive which had developed
    > some bad blocks and would not boot. I strongly suspect thermal issues.
    > SMART shows a maximum lifetime temperature of 65 C (gaaah!!!!) and it was
    > running at 47 C while I was recovering data off of it. It's a kind of
    > ugly Toshiba laptop with a mobile P4 processor that sits right next to
    > the HD, which seems like terrible placement. And he's regularly left it
    > running overnight with no ventilation in our lab with lots of temperature
    > fluctuation and heavy equipment running nearby. There doesn't appear to
    > be any problem with the drive /per se/... it runs in the low 30s outside
    > of his laptop.
    >
    > Thanks to GNU ddrescue, I was able to image pretty much the whole drive
    > and get his data off.
    >
    > Dan
    >


  13. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 07:50:06 -0700, Tom Stephenson wrote:

    > Drives aren't all the same but universally it's better to keep them
    > cool. Most drives have a max temperature of 55C. Doesn't mean they will
    > fail if there is some short term problem and they go higher than 55 but
    > running then for an extended period beyond 40 isn't a good idea.
    >
    > Generally, more airflow is better. But be careful about the fan(s). If
    > you run case fans at a full 12V you get maximum performance but minimum
    > [fan] life. I prefer bigger fans turning slower. Fans running high speed
    > provide more air but also vibration and hard drives are *very* sensitive
    > to vibration (some drives more than others).
    >
    > I generally mount a larger fan in front of the drive cage and spin it at
    > some slower speed to get good airflow across the surface of the drive.
    >
    > Some chassis designers provide a rubber isolation gasket for the fan.
    > That's really important to minimize vibration being transmitted to the
    > drive thru the chassis.
    >
    > Also FWIW, newer drives consume less power. Much less. And if power
    > consumption is really important to you WD has a 'green' drive that cuts
    > way down on power (and performance) by turning 5400 RPM and slowing the
    > seek rate.


    Thanks, Tom. I am not too worried about the fan since it was just
    something random I found lying around at my work, but will keep an eye on
    it. I had heard about vibration issues, and am not sure what to do about
    that. What model of lower-speed fan do you use or recommend?

    The newer drive that I have is supposed to be quite good in terms of power
    consumption, while the 3-yr-old drive not as good. I hadn't realized how
    the WD green drives lower the power consumption... that's a pretty cool
    strategy. I actually spent the summer working for Seagate (ducks) but
    still have a lot to learn about how HDDs work in the real world...

    Dan

  14. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    On Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:21:12 +0100, Squeeze wrote:

    > Dan Lenski wrote in
    >> Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the
    >> spindown.

    >
    > Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and the
    > drive will spinup every minute, again and again.


    Yeah, I thought that sounded kind of funny, but then I tried it and found
    that my drives keep spinning back up... at least they report that they are
    in the "Active" rather than "Standby" state.

    If I set spindown to 1 minute... they always spin back up within a few
    seconds. This is under Ubuntu Linux and I'm not sure what the cause is.
    Haven't had time to track it down yet :-(

    Dan

  15. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Tom Stephenson wrote:
    > Drives aren't all the same but universally it's better to keep them
    > cool. Most drives have a max temperature of 55C. Doesn't mean they
    > will fail if there is some short term problem and they go higher than
    > 55 but running then for an extended period beyond 40 isn't a good
    > idea.
    > Generally, more airflow is better. But be careful about the fan(s). If
    > you run case fans at a full 12V you get maximum performance but
    > minimum [fan] life. I prefer bigger fans turning slower. Fans running
    > high speed provide more air but also vibration and hard drives are
    > *very* sensitive to vibration (some drives more than others).
    >
    > I generally mount a larger fan in front of the drive cage and spin it
    > at some slower speed to get good airflow across the surface of the
    > drive.
    > Some chassis designers provide a rubber isolation gasket for the fan.
    > That's really important to minimize vibration being transmitted to the
    > drive thru the chassis.
    >
    > Also FWIW, newer drives consume less power. Much less. And if power
    > consumption is really important to you WD has a 'green' drive that
    > cuts way down on power (and performance) by turning 5400 RPM and
    > slowing the seek rate.


    So does Samsung and they dont slow down the seek rate.

    >
    > Tom S.
    >
    > Daniel Lenski wrote:
    >> On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 17:58:49 +1000, Rod Speed wrote:
    >>>> both drives are running at 38C now, even though there's no vent
    >>>> in the front for air intake. So I hope that is good enough for me.
    >>>> Thanks for the advice!
    >>> Thanks for the washup, too rare in my opinion.

    >>
    >> Amusingly enough (or maybe tragically?), just a day after this
    >> post... My coworker had a problem with his laptop hard drive which had
    >> developed some bad blocks and would not boot. I strongly suspect
    >> thermal issues. SMART shows a maximum lifetime temperature of 65 C
    >> (gaaah!!!!) and it was running at 47 C while I was recovering data
    >> off of it. It's a kind of ugly Toshiba laptop with a mobile P4
    >> processor that sits right next to the HD, which seems like terrible
    >> placement. And he's regularly left it running overnight with no
    >> ventilation in our lab with lots of temperature fluctuation and
    >> heavy equipment running nearby. There doesn't appear to be any
    >> problem with the drive /per se/... it runs in the low 30s outside of
    >> his laptop. Thanks to GNU ddrescue, I was able to image pretty much the whole
    >> drive and get his data off.
    >>
    >> Dan




  16. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    GMAN wrote:
    > In article <48deb228$0$22190$8f2e0ebb@news.shared-secrets.com>,
    > "Squeeze" wrote:
    >> Dan Lenski wrote in
    >> news:7fd5c914-431a-4e18-a231-79e4db406f20@s50g2000hsb.googlegroups.com
    >>> On Sep 23, 5:44 pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    >>>> Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    >>>> only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    >>>> you can kill your disk in a few months.

    >>
    >>> Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the
    >>> spindown.

    >>
    >> Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and
    >> the drive will spinup every minute, again and again.

    >
    > Huh? When i set my SATA Seagate drives(a pair of 320 GB and a 750 GB drive) to
    > spindown they stay that way till either a system even occurs or i access them.


    His was a sarcastic comment.

    >>>>> Those don't seem to make a difference, so I think I need some
    >>>>> physical cooling in there. I already have an empty bay in between
    >>>>> the drives, on the theory that this will allow them to radiate
    >>>>> heat a little better (maybe?). What is a cheap way to cool a
    >>>>> couple of SATA drives *quietly*? Should I put a case fan in
    >>>>> between the drives and the front of the case, blowing air towards
    >>>>> the back?
    >>>>
    >>>> That would be the best option.
    >>>>
    >>>>> Should I get one of those fans that sits on
    >>>>> top of the drives?
    >>>>
    >>>> This may or may not be enough, depending on the airflow in your
    >>>> case.
    >>>>
    >>>>> Any other tricks to try?
    >>>>
    >>>> Not really. Airflow is what you want, preferrably cool (i.e.
    >>>> outside) air.
    >>>
    >>> Cool, I got an 80mm case fan for free, I think I'll try that out.
    >>>
    >>> Do my temperatures seem unusually high? It is strange to me that
    >>> the HDDs are 6-8 degrees hotter than the CPU. Whereas at work I
    >>> have a
    >>> very similar computer (except it's a slightly larger ATX case with a
    >>> single SATA drive) and the CPU and HDD are both at 36-37C.
    >>>
    >>> Dan




  17. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    GMAN wrote in news:gbqohk$ljr$2@news.xmission.com
    > In article <48deb228$0$22190$8f2e0ebb@news.shared-secrets.com>, "Squeeze" wrote:
    > > Dan Lenski wrote in news:7fd5c914-431a-4e18-a231-79e4db406f20@s50g2000hsb.googlegroups.com
    > > > On Sep 23, 5:44 pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    > > > > Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    > > > > only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    > > > > you can kill your disk in a few months.

    > >
    > > > Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the spindown.

    > >
    > > Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and the drive
    > > will spinup every minute, again and again.


    > Huh? When i set my SATA Seagate drives (a pair of 320 GB and a 750 GB drive) to
    > spindown they stay that way till either a system even occurs or i access them.


    No, Really? Babblebot wrong again?
    "Wit 1 minute spin-downs, you can kill your disk in a few months"

    [snip]

  18. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Rod Speed wrote in news:6kcdktF77qvpU1@mid.individual.net
    > GMAN wrote:
    > > In article <48deb228$0$22190$8f2e0ebb@news.shared-secrets.com>,
    > > "Squeeze" wrote:
    > > > Dan Lenski wrote in news:7fd5c914-431a-4e18-a231-79e4db406f20@s50g2000hsb.googlegroups.com
    > > > > On Sep 23, 5:44 pm, Arno Wagner wrote:
    > > > > > Spin-down is not a good idea, as non-Laprop HDDs are typically
    > > > > > only rated for 40'000 or so spin-downs. Wit 1 minute spin-downs,
    > > > > > you can kill your disk in a few months.
    > > >
    > > > > Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the spindown.
    > > >
    > > > Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and
    > > > the drive will spinup every minute, again and again.

    > >
    > > Huh? When i set my SATA Seagate drives(a pair of 320 GB and a 750 GB drive) to
    > > spindown they stay that way till either a system even occurs or i access them.

    >
    > His was a sarcastic comment.


    You sure?



  19. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Previously Tom Stephenson wrote:
    > Drives aren't all the same but universally it's better to keep them
    > cool. Most drives have a max temperature of 55C. Doesn't mean they will
    > fail if there is some short term problem and they go higher than 55 but
    > running then for an extended period beyond 40 isn't a good idea.


    I have seen immediate failures in the temperature
    range 70-75C. The drives worked again after cooled down.
    I agree that <= 40C in normal operation is a good
    rule of thumb.

    > Generally, more airflow is better. But be careful about the fan(s). If
    > you run case fans at a full 12V you get maximum performance but minimum
    > [fan] life.


    refer to the fan datasheet for that. there are fans out there
    that get >100.000 h lifetime under full speed, e.g. by SmattCooler
    and Enermax. They are a bit more expensive though.

    > I prefer bigger fans turning slower. Fans running high speed
    > provide more air but also vibration and hard drives are *very* sensitive
    > to vibration (some drives more than others).


    I have never had trouible with a HDD from fan vibration. Should
    mot be an issue today, unless you have a very flimsy case.

    > I generally mount a larger fan in front of the drive cage and spin it at
    > some slower speed to get good airflow across the surface of the drive.


    > Some chassis designers provide a rubber isolation gasket for the fan.
    > That's really important to minimize vibration being transmitted to the
    > drive thru the chassis.


    > Also FWIW, newer drives consume less power. Much less. And if power
    > consumption is really important to you WD has a 'green' drive that cuts
    > way down on power (and performance) by turning 5400 RPM and slowing the
    > seek rate.


    Hitachi also has a low power line and normal Samsungs asre also
    pretty close to low power. In addition, if performance is less
    of an issue, 2.5" notebook drives are an option. Most are at <2W
    under load, whioch puts them at about 20-30% power of even the
    low-power 3.5" drives.

    Arno

  20. Re: keeping drives cool in a MicroATX case

    Previously Dan Lenski wrote:
    > On Sat, 27 Sep 2008 23:21:12 +0100, Squeeze wrote:


    >> Dan Lenski wrote in
    >>> Thanks, Arno. I didn't think of that. Yikes, I'll disable the
    >>> spindown.

    >>
    >> Yeah, obviously spindown can only be set at 1 minute interval and the
    >> drive will spinup every minute, again and again.


    > Yeah, I thought that sounded kind of funny, but then I tried it and found
    > that my drives keep spinning back up... at least they report that they are
    > in the "Active" rather than "Standby" state.


    > If I set spindown to 1 minute... they always spin back up within a few
    > seconds. This is under Ubuntu Linux and I'm not sure what the cause is.
    > Haven't had time to track it down yet :-(


    Ah, for Linux, you may want a laptop distribution or maybe
    embedded distribution that minimizes disk access. There may
    also be a setting in Ubuntu that allows it. One thing
    is running swapless or with swap in RAM. Another is not
    updating last access time-stamps on disk. The buffer flush
    time can also be modified.

    There are additional tricks to keep disks accesses that actually
    involve the disk (and not just the buffer-cache) to a minimum.

    Arno

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