[SOLVED] Recommended heatsink for M.2 SSD ?

maxim45001

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Hi...I just got my Samsung 980 500GB m2 NVME ssd (not pro) and Im very skeptical on the heatsink to buy for it . Ive heard its crucial for the rising temperatures . Any recommendations ?
Note:The width can't exceed 0.87 inch as my motherboard wont allow it .
 

geofelt

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I would not bother.
A m.2 ssd will heat up under continuous sequential processing.
It takes perhaps a minute or so.
We do that rarely. Likely for a virus scan or a synthetic benchmark.
90% of activity will be small random I/O

In the event that a m.2 ssd does become too hot, it will slow down until the issue is resolved.

Just keep a decent airflow over your motherboard, and you will be ok.
 

Aeacus

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Ive heard its crucial for the rising temperatures
Is it? Since 980 will do fine without heatsink; 40C on idle, max 70C under load,
TH review: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-980-m2-nvme-ssd-review

What you could get with heatsink, if poor one or poorly installed, is that you trap the heat inside the SSD, making it worse. Sure, it may look fancier with heatsink on but if you remove the sticker on it, to install thermal pad (paste) and heatsink, say goodbye to your SSD warranty. Latter happened with this bloke here,
topic: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/dont-make-my-mistake-warranty-denied-cause-i-took-off-the-sticker-from-my-m2-drive-samsung-980-pro.3735106/
 

maxim45001

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Is it? Since 980 will do fine without heatsink; 40C on idle, max 70C under load,
TH review: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-980-m2-nvme-ssd-review

What you could get with heatsink, if poor one or poorly installed, is that you trap the heat inside the SSD, making it worse. Sure, it may look fancier with heatsink on but if you remove the sticker on it, to install thermal pad (paste) and heatsink, say goodbye to your SSD warranty. Latter happened with this bloke here,
topic: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/dont-make-my-mistake-warranty-denied-cause-i-took-off-the-sticker-from-my-m2-drive-samsung-980-pro.3735106/
These temps are different for each person...as everyone has different fan configuration , air flow , size of PC case . Now that I think about it maybe the people that always use heatsinks are those on leptops /PS5
 

Aeacus

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Now that I think about it maybe the people that always use heatsinks are those on leptops /PS5
Are you using the leptop (laptop actually) or PS5, that you need heatsink on there?

How would a the thermal pad be placed on it anyways as the sticker is not evenly placed on the ssds surface ?
Same way as thermal pads are used inside laptops. Thermal pads are quite a ways thicker and can effectively cover uneven surfaces for heat transfer.
An image to illustrate:

Despite the uneven surface below, thermal pad can even the surface for the heatsink.
 

geofelt

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I would not bother.
A m.2 ssd will heat up under continuous sequential processing.
It takes perhaps a minute or so.
We do that rarely. Likely for a virus scan or a synthetic benchmark.
90% of activity will be small random I/O

In the event that a m.2 ssd does become too hot, it will slow down until the issue is resolved.

Just keep a decent airflow over your motherboard, and you will be ok.
 

Lafong

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Ive heard its crucial for the rising temperatures .
Research Samsung documents for the critical temperature.

I have an Intel NVMe with a critical temp of 80. No heatsink.

The day I got it, I tortured it with the Intel Toolbox's "full diagnostic scan" which wrote over 3 TB in 6 hours. Max temp reached was 73. It rarely exceeds 60 in actual use.
 

maxim45001

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I would not bother.
A m.2 ssd will heat up under continuous sequential processing.
It takes perhaps a minute or so.
We do that rarely. Likely for a virus scan or a synthetic benchmark.
90% of activity will be small random I/O

In the event that a m.2 ssd does become too hot, it will slow down until the issue is resolved.

Just keep a decent airflow over your motherboard, and you will be ok.
Well...what If I plan to play video games over the m2 ssd...wont that pressure the drive and raise temps? Also regarding airflow the ssd sits right below the CPU's fan and the "back door" of the pc case is open
 

Aeacus

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Well...what If I plan to play video games over the m2 ssd...
Playing games means that most what is done with SSD, is data reading from it. Only data that is written during gameplay, is either game (auto)save or screenshots. And read has far less performance hit on the drive than write. Also, far less heat production.

Also regarding airflow the ssd sits right below the CPU's fan
Mine sits there too. There's no thermal issue with M.2 SSD being there.

Pic:


and the "back door" of the pc case is open
Why would you have it open? Too big of a ratsnest of cables back there, that you can't close the back side panel?
Btw, in terms of airflow, keeping the back panel off does little, if any, for PC thermals (but that depends on PC case used as well).

Edit:
As your initial question goes, which heatsink to buy, and for your peace of mind, here's further reading,
link: https://techedged.com/best-m2-ssd-heatsinks/

In the end;
Do i find heatsink on M.2 SSD crucial? No.
Can you buy and mount one, for your peace of mind? Sure. Go ahead.
 
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maxim45001

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Playing games means that most what is done with SSD, is data reading from it. Only data that is written during gameplay, is either game (auto)save or screenshots. And read has far less performance hit on the drive than write. Also, far less heat production.



Mine sits there too. There's no thermal issue with M.2 SSD being there.

Pic:




Why would you have it open? Too big of a ratsnest of cables back there, that you can't close the back side panel?
Btw, in terms of airflow, keeping the back panel off does little, if any, for PC thermals (but that depends on PC case used as well).

Edit:
As your initial question goes, which heatsink to buy, and for your peace of mind, here's further reading,
link: https://techedged.com/best-m2-ssd-heatsinks/

In the end;
Do i find heatsink on M.2 SSD crucial? No.
Can you buy and mount one, for your peace of mind? Sure. Go ahead.
By back side I meant the side with a window through you can see the parts. I leave it exposed /open because I too frequently open up the pc to check parts/clean dust . I have no real reason of putting on the cover .Still doesnt help temps ?
 

Aeacus

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Still doesnt help temps ?
If you keep the (windowed) side panel off, with open PC, there is no airflow path inside your PC to speak of. Sure, you can have fans, but without closed PC case, there is no "tunnel" for air to travel, creating airflow path. And if you have either poor PC case (loads of restrictions) and/or less fans (or poor fans), opening the side panel wouldn't give any positive result either way.

Sure, there are open-air PC cases out there (like Thermaltake Core P5, which looks really neat) but those cases are mostly for shows and doesn't hinder natural convection either.


Also this video below gave me the impression that a heatsink/thermal pad are mandatory for an m2 nvme ssd

What are your two cents about it?
For one, that video is about laptop, while you have desktop PC. Regarding thermals, these two are completely different things.

Secondly, he does state in the video that "under heavy load, controller chip can reach 94C, which isn't healthy". Thing is, there is a big difference between "can reach" and "will reach". For the bulk of the time, unless you put sustained heavy write on SSD, it won't reach 94C. It may reach it, when it is inside the laptop, without 0 airflow, except the heatsink on it, but for desktop PC, not going to happen.

In similar aspect, CPU "can reach" 100C but does it? Only if you have very little, if any cooling on it. For the most of the times, CPUs idle between 20-40C and under load, reach between 60-80C. At 90C comes thermal throttle and before reaching 100C, PC will automatically turn off, to keep the CPU burning up.

And thirdly, what he did there, was replacing single thermal pad with two different thickness ones, to gain 4C on NAND flash and 14C on controller.

Unless you have that very same Dell laptop and you want to get lower temps on your Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD, that video doesn't concern you.
 

maxim45001

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If you keep the (windowed) side panel off, with open PC, there is no airflow path inside your PC to speak of. Sure, you can have fans, but without closed PC case, there is no "tunnel" for air to travel, creating airflow path. And if you have either poor PC case (loads of restrictions) and/or less fans (or poor fans), opening the side panel wouldn't give any positive result either way.

Sure, there are open-air PC cases out there (like Thermaltake Core P5, which looks really neat) but those cases are mostly for shows and doesn't hinder natural convection either.




For one, that video is about laptop, while you have desktop PC. Regarding thermals, these two are completely different things.

Secondly, he does state in the video that "under heavy load, controller chip can reach 94C, which isn't healthy". Thing is, there is a big difference between "can reach" and "will reach". For the bulk of the time, unless you put sustained heavy write on SSD, it won't reach 94C. It may reach it, when it is inside the laptop, without 0 airflow, except the heatsink on it, but for desktop PC, not going to happen.

In similar aspect, CPU "can reach" 100C but does it? Only if you have very little, if any cooling on it. For the most of the times, CPUs idle between 20-40C and under load, reach between 60-80C. At 90C comes thermal throttle and before reaching 100C, PC will automatically turn off, to keep the CPU burning up.

And thirdly, what he did there, was replacing single thermal pad with two different thickness ones, to gain 4C on NAND flash and 14C on controller.

Unless you have that very same Dell laptop and you want to get lower temps on your Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD, that video doesn't concern you.
ooohhhh so you mean closing the pc case gives airflow rather than limiting it ...I always thought by leaving it open the pc can 'breath' better rather than being constrained in a close space . Thanks
Also thanks for the detailed explanation ....I spent way too much time thinking on what cooling option to buy without checking my ssd first in action . I will see in time If i need to add something or not . Cheers !
 
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Aeacus

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ooohhhh so you mean closing the pc case gives airflow rather than limiting it ...I always thought by leaving it open the pc can 'breath' better rather than being constrained in a close space .
If your PC case doesn't have any fans what-so-ever, then yes, keeping the side panel open helps a bit regarding thermals. But if you have at least 2 fans, one at front as intake and another at rear as exhaust, then with closed side panels, there is an airflow tunnel inside the PC, that fans create and help to cool components inside the PC.

Here's a good video to showcase airflow paths inside the PC;
(Btw, i have the very same PC case with my Skylake build, albeit in black color)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh6F2eccMec
 

maxim45001

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If your PC case doesn't have any fans what-so-ever, then yes, keeping the side panel open helps a bit regarding thermals. But if you have at least 2 fans, one at front as intake and another at rear as exhaust, then with closed side panels, there is an airflow tunnel inside the PC, that fans create and help to cool components inside the PC.

Here's a good video to showcase airflow paths inside the PC;
(Btw, i have the very same PC case with my Skylake build, albeit in black color)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh6F2eccMec
Thats the thing....my front lower fan has been broken for a very long time . I only have a fan underneath the CPU cooler , a fan in the upper rear side (where the inputs for cables are ) and ofc 3 fans of the GPU . I havent noticed any unusual behaviour regarding temps/freezes and whatnot ...what should I do with the airflow to help my m2 ssd ?
 

Lafong

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what should I do with the airflow to help my m2 ssd ?
You should experiment with whatever working fans you have or are willing to buy.

Each situation is unique. If you have to choose between the two, you may find that a working intake is better than a working exhaust. You are the only one that can find out the best idea for your hardware.

Likewise, it may make more sense to buy another fan or two rather than an M.2 heatsink. There's no way to know for sure without trying both.

Ultimately, you have to decide what temps you are willing to tolerate. Some people would have a stroke if they saw 65 degree M.2 drive temps. Others would yawn.
 

maxim45001

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You should experiment with whatever working fans you have or are willing to buy.

Each situation is unique. If you have to choose between the two, you may find that a working intake is better than a working exhaust. You are the only one that can find out the best idea for your hardware.

Likewise, it may make more sense to buy another fan or two rather than an M.2 heatsink. There's no way to know for sure without trying both.

Ultimately, you have to decide what temps you are willing to tolerate. Some people would have a stroke if they saw 65 degree M.2 drive temps. Others would yawn.
Yeah makes sense. But im not a pc expert....im not sure what im supposed to do with the pc case ? Based on my fan configuration should I leave the case open or close ? Untill I buy a new fan
 

Lafong

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Based on my fan configuration should I leave the case open or close ? Untill I buy a new fan
If you are operating with a side panel off, your case fans may not be helping at all.

All you can do is experiment.

Normally, you'd want the side panel on, with at least one working intake and one working exhaust. I guess you don't have that, so it's anybody's guess......

Except yours. You don't have to guess. You can find out by experimentation.

I'd certainly get one good exhaust and one good intake and evaluate with the side panel on BEFORE I made a decision on an M.2 heatsink.
 

Lafong

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isn't wide open side panel much better than having fans in closed case?
I'd imagine you could come up with a situation where it might be.

No one is suggesting "fans in closed case". That would just blow hot air from point A to point B inside the case.

You want air movement.....wind......in a path, with entrance and exit points.

A case with the side panel off would not have appreciable airflow front to rear. No tunnel or ducting effect.
 

Aeacus

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I get ~45C idle
Mine idles at 35C, with ambient at 25C.

isn't wide open side panel much better than having fans in closed case?
Like i said earlier, it depends on a PC case used. Open-air PC cases doesn't need any case fans at all, instead rely on natural convection. Conventional PC cases are like a closed box, where it is preferred that you have intake and exhaust points, so that the air passes through the PC, removing heated air and bringing in cooler air. But with conventional cases, and keeping side panel off, you can create hotspots in the PC, where hot air has hard time escaping, creating hotspots, since there isn't nothing moving the air.
 

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