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[EXPERIMENT] Attaching an extra heat sink to an external NVME enclosure to to provide additional cooling to the drive
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 10, 2022 12:31PM
[EXPERIMENT] Attaching an extra heat sink to an external NVME enclosure to to provide additional cooling to the drive.


Hi everyone,

I read in a thread on a different forum that people found attaching an extra heat sink to an external NVME enclosure provided additional cooling to the stick within it. This intrigued me since both of my primary machines use a frankendrive built out of an NVME enclosure and an NVME stick as their boot drive.

One machine has an Adata SX 8200PNP 1TB NVME stick in a MyDigitalSSD M2X enclosure. The other has an Inland Performance 2tb NVME stick in an OWC Envoy Express Thunderbolt enclosure. They are both connected to identical 2019 iMac 27” 5K models.

For giggles, I decided to to attach a heat sink to the frankendrive with the Adata stick to see if the drive ran cooler as a result.

It works.

This is the stick:

[www.amazon.com]

This is the box:

[www.amazon.com]

I attached this heat sink to the top (fin side) of the M2X:

[www.amazon.com]

The operating temperature of the drive without the heat sink was between 104.1 to 104.6 degrees during normal day to day usage. This is primarily business tasks such as invoicing, email, web browsing, word processing, printing shipping labels, etc.

The top of the M2X enclosure, which has fins, runs a little cooler than the bottom of the drive which is flat, on my desk (which has plexiglass on it).

I checked the temp with two different infrared thermometers. One is a ThermoWorks Wand and the other is a cheap Hunan Honggao Electronic Technologic model. The temps registered within .1 to .3 degrees of each other. Although intended and configured for checking the temp of a person, for my purposes, the readings are sufficient to determine whether or not the heat sink made a difference.

Yesterday, I attached the heat sink to the top of the M2X. The drive now runs at 98.1 to 98.4 degrees during normal usage. The difference isn’t vast by any means but it is definitely noteworthy. I’m glad I decided to go with it. Besides, the box looks extra cool now. No pun intended - lol!

Makes me wonder how the temp compares to the clone backup which is an NVME stick in an enclosure that has a small fan built into it. I'll test it at some point.

I should point out that there was nothing wrong with the heat and performance of the frankendrive prior to the attachment of the heat sink. It's been the primary boot drive of this particular machine for since April 2019. No problems whatsoever. I figured, at worst, the heat sink wouldn't make a functional difference. It'd just make the box look cooler. Turns out, it actually works.

Thought you'd be intrigued by the results of the experiment.

Robert



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2022 08:52PM by Robert M.
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Re: [EXPERIMENT] Attaching an extra heat sink to an external NVME enclosure to to provide additional cooling to the drive.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 10, 2022 03:01PM
Robert,

I'd fully expect an external heat sink to lower the temperature by at least a few degrees.

My experience mirrors your albeit with different drives and heat syncs.

So maybe 'mirrors' isn't exactly appropriate.

I had a WD 4T spinner in an open 2.5"/3.5" dock, which ran quite warm

Experimenting with 8oz bowls of ice cream set directly on top of the bare drive, I found that Vanilla dropped the temperature much more than Black Raspberry Chip.

At first I couldn't account for the difference as they both came out of the freezer at the same temperature.

After some pondering, I concluded that because the Vanilla ice cream was far denser, it held its frozen consistency significantly longer than the Black Raspberry Chip.

Each experiment was terminated when approximately 30% of each flavor was melted.

While I have an AMZ special IR thermometer and Thermopen clone, I opted for a 1/8 tsp. spoon for supralingual analysis.

While not truly scientific in methodology, I feel this provides sufficient data points to form a working theory.

Next, the 4T HDD was replace by a 6T WD HDD.

This ran very very warm, a tick under 'hot', and may short work of both flavors that further experimentation was curtailed.

Now, I've purchase an inexpensive 3.5" enclosure for the 6T drive, and it's very, very warm to the touch.

So warm that while I still put both flavors on the box, there was no useful comparative data.

However, removing the dairy heat sinks from the enclosure allowed it to heat up very quickly.

Without more rigorous examination and testing, and more ice cream, I can't discern whether the box isn't transferring heat efficiently to the ice cream sink because of the air gap, or if the 6T's significantly greater temperature precludes any cooling at all from a traditional passive heat sink.

AMZ has a large, finned aluminum heat sink that covers about 80% of the box, at a slightly pricey $15.

I could put one on top of the box and one on the bottom, but I'm not sure the expense is worth the results.

Putting a sheet of silicone under the heat sink would improve the heat transfer from the box to the sink, but that still leaves an air gap between the box and the drive.

More research is needed.






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Re: [EXPERIMENT] Attaching an extra heat sink to an external NVME enclosure to to provide additional cooling to the drive.
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 10, 2022 04:18PM
Quote
RAMd®d
After some pondering, I concluded that because the Vanilla ice cream was far denser, it held its frozen consistency significantly longer than the Black Raspberry Chip.

Umm... ice cream should not be used as a heat sink testing subject, unless you ate the semi melted ice cream afterwards! Otherwise, that is a horrible waste of ice cream!

Quote
Robert M
The operating temperature of the drive without the heat sink was between 104.1 to 104.6 degrees during normal day to day usage.
...
Yesterday, I attached the heat sink to the top of the M2X. The drive now runs at 98.1 to 98.4 degrees during normal usage.

Although I'm not in a similar situation, I appreciate the data points. I stuffed 3 x M.2 cards in my Trash Can, but forgot to check the temperature when I had 1 in it before with a larger heatsink. With the 3x adapter, the heat sinks became smaller, but the temps seem to be 90 - 95 right now. I'm waiting for my package of heat sink options to arrive from China (been sitting 1 zip code over for a few days now) to try different options to see if I can get any reduction. But if not, it seems I'm in an ok range the way it is now.
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