Question NVME M.2 drive too hot; suggestions?

Clive Staples

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I have a pre-built MSI desktop that I recently purchased from CDW. It originally came with a SATA SSD as the primary drive, but I've replaced it with a Samsung 970 PLUS NVME drive in the M.2 slot. It works nicely, but according to the Samsung Magician app (and also HWMON) the temps on the M.2 drive are too high when it's under any kind of load.

At idle, it runs 43-46 degrees, which the Magician app says is "normal", but under load it can be anywhere from 52 up to 63 degrees Celsius. The Magician app calls this "Too High".

I've added an intake fan (a 120 mm Corsair maglev fan) pulling air in and blowing down onto the M.2 slot. Previously it was too warm even at idle as well as under load, but seemingly not as hot under load. Now with the extra fan, I get the temps described above. (I also swapped out two DIMMs for four at the same time, but I don't know if they generate a lot of heat.)

The MSI PC came with a heat sync ("M.2 FROZER" ) for the M.2 drive, which is, of course, installed.

Ambient temps in my home office are getting warmer in the afternoon as the weather warms up and the sun shines in, and I don't want to damage my M.2 drive by overheating it. So I have two questions:

  1. How hot is really too hot? Should I be concerned?
  2. What else should I do to try and improve cooling of the drive? I could replace the 120 mm fan with a 140 mm one, and I could add a second fan in the top of the case, but I'm not sure how best to proceed.
Background:

The RTX3080 graphics card (the reason I bought a pre-built system) has a fan/fans that speed up and slow down dynamically. When the system first loads from a cold boot, the GPU fan tends to click a bit, but it stops that once it warms up.

The system includes a liquid cooling solution for the CPU.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Phaaze88

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Operating temperature: 0-70C
The 40s should be the 'sweet spot' for NVMe drives; they can throttle if they run too warm or too cold.

Is there nowhere else on the motherboard to install the M.2 drive? The slot above the gpu is usually the worst place for these devices.

Depending on which 3080, the addition of top intakes would work against the exhaust, causing it to warm up; most models dump heat inside the chassis, and the top M.2 slot is right in the path of that...

If the heatsink isn't helping to manage thermals, that leads me to question the airflow in the chassis.
You didn't purchase a Gen 4 NVMe - that would've been much worse with thermals.

I also swapped out two DIMMs for four at the same time, but I don't know if they generate a lot of heat.)
Increases load on cpu Internal Memory Controller, so it makes the cpu run slightly warmer.
 
Apr 4, 2021
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Not too sure what the operating temperature range of the NVMe SSD's is, but you can get a heatsink for your SSD that may help it run a bit cooler. 63 degrees does sound pretty warm but not too outrageous. Cpu's and Gpu's usually have max operating temperature of 90-100 degrees or so. There are lots of different heatsinks, I'll just put a link to one example, not suggesting you get this one: COOLMOON CM-M7S M.2 ARGB SSD Heatsink Cooler

Actually heres another one .. Jonsbo M.2 SSD Sheet Aluminium Heatsink Cooler

Unfortunately I don't know which ones are good, and which are not, so you'll have to do some reading and see what people think of them.


{GoofyOne's 2c worth}
 

Clive Staples

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Depending on which 3080, the addition of top intakes would work against the exhaust, causing it to warm up; most models dump heat inside the chassis, and the top M.2 slot is right in the path of that...

If the heatsink isn't helping to manage thermals, that leads me to question the airflow in the chassis.
The 3080 is an MSI model. It doesn't appear to have any exhaust on top, but does have on the back-panel end and underneath it. Nevertheless, it's when the GPU is in heavy use that the NVME drive heats up too, so that might not be a coincidence, like you said.

Would adding an additional top intake fan forward of the current one help? Should I try flipping the current top intake (maglev) fan and using it for exhaust instead?

It looks like the motherboard does have an additional M.2 slot that I can't see right now because it's literally behind the graphics card, on the front end of the board. I guess the drive would be sticking out into empty space if I'm understanding it right. I guess it'd be further from the CPU and closer to the 3 front intake fans, though. Would that make sense?

Also, thanks GoofyOne for suggestions on heatsinks. The motherboard comes with a passive one (just like a plastic cover) called an M.2 SHIELD FROZR, which is installed, but maybe there's a better option available.
 

Phaaze88

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The 3080 is an MSI model.
I was hoping for something a little more specific, but I get it at this point.
It's either a Ventus, Gaming X, or Suprim.

Would adding an additional top intake fan forward of the current one help?
No. As I said earlier, having top intake is working against the gpu. You'll just make it harder for the heat from that to get out.
Stick to top and rear exhaust.

It looks like the motherboard does have an additional M.2 slot that I can't see right now because it's literally behind the graphics card, on the front end of the board.
If your motherboard has another slot you can install the device, please install it there. That would be the best move before you have to go and spend more money trying to resolve this.
 

Clive Staples

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Hi guys,

So it turns out that my second M.2 slot is actually directly below the graphics card, with 3 big ol' downward flowing fans on the card blowing hot air over it. Also, the default M.2 heat sync won't fit in that position. I'm thinking it's probably best to continue using the primary M.2 slot that's just above the graphics card, would you agree?



I've tried flipping the top maglev fan around to exhaust rather than intake air, but it doesn't seem to be helping or making any difference at all. I have not yet tried getting a custom heat sync for the M.2 drive, but that'll probably be next unless anyone has any other suggestions / advice?
 

Phaaze88

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3 big ol' downward flowing fans on the card blowing hot air over it.
You got that one backwards. The fans pull air in and push it up through the gpu heatsink, and heated air leaves from the sides - and top, if cutout is present - of the card.


I've tried flipping the top maglev fan around to exhaust rather than intake air, but it doesn't seem to be helping or making any difference at all.
Because it's just one fan. It's fighting against the rear exhaust fan(air gets sucked right out), as well as the heat from the gpu that makes its way up(delaying getting the heat out of the chassis).
 
Heat sinks do no good without airflow to dissipate heat.
Looks like you can install a single slot fan in the open slot that will draw heat across the m.2.
And, it might help airflow over the backplate of the graphics card.
Something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Expansion-Exhaust-Cooling-Connector/dp/B0000510SS/ref=asc_df_B0000510SS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=320228665853&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13318350561253113439&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011560&hvtargid=pla-435681265321&psc=1

I would not worry too much.
the samsung unit specs say 0 to 70c. operating temperature.
If a ssd gets too hot under continuous sequential operations, it will slow down a bit.
I might think of30 seconds before throttling.
 

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