[SOLVED] SSD and CPU fan in contact. Is it ok for SSD life?

Aug 23, 2019
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Hello! I have big Noctua CPU cooler with 2 fans on Asus motherboard. Also I have 3 M.2 SSD ports. 2 of them are busy. So I have one last M.2 port to install new SSD. Design of motherboard is that this new SSD should stands vertically in front of CPU cooler. The good thing is that it will be cooling perfectly, like my CPU. :) The bad thing is that metallic holder for new SSD is so close to big Noctua that they are in contact. Sure i don't bend it and don't give any force to fit in place.
My question is that. Fans of CPU coolers are about 1500 rpm max and have some vibration I think. After I install SSD to metallic holder SSD will have a part of this vibration. May be a small part. I can't see any vibration by eyes but can feel by hand when touch the metal. Yeah, I know that SSD's are a strong guys, but so fast rpm's for a long time.... What do you think? I'm creating a problem that don't exist? :)

P.S. Also I can use my free PCIe port for extra SSD. I can buy PCIe to U.2 adapter and install U.2 SSD. Do you think it's better then M.2 that I wrote before? Or just don't use any adapters if you have ability not to use them?
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If the SSD is in contact, ACTUAL contact, with the CPU cooler fan, then no, that isn't going to fly.

Also, it's probably going to affect longevity of the drive if there is direct vibration affecting it, plus, being right in front of the CPU fan, the NAND on the SSD is going to remain well below the recommended temperature of 40°C. You want the controller to stay cool but you want the NAND to stay warm. It's not going to, being directly in front of a tower cooler's airflow path.

I think I'd use an adapter and put that drive elsewhere.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If the SSD is in contact, ACTUAL contact, with the CPU cooler fan, then no, that isn't going to fly.

Also, it's probably going to affect longevity of the drive if there is direct vibration affecting it, plus, being right in front of the CPU fan, the NAND on the SSD is going to remain well below the recommended temperature of 40°C. You want the controller to stay cool but you want the NAND to stay warm. It's not going to, being directly in front of a tower cooler's airflow path.

I think I'd use an adapter and put that drive elsewhere.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator


I would not mount MY M.2 drive there, directly in front of the fan, for multiple reasons like I said. The vibration is likely to kill it from being in directly contact, sooner than later. And it is going to keep the NAND, TOO cool. It will be good for the controller, but not the NAND. Keep in mind, not EVERY idea that motherboard manufacturers have is a good one. Not every design they implement makes sense or works right.

Case in point:

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/2781-msi-m2-heat-shield-increases-temperatures

Their "cooler" actually INCREASES the temperature of the controller.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I posted references. You want more references, or you want to actually read the information at the link I posted? It is KNOWN that NAND performs better when warm and the controller performs better when cool. It's not a secret.


https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1024607-m2-nvme-drive-overheating/?do=findComment&comment=12220500


Cold Operation Flash memory is negatively affected by cold temperatures. While data retention is incredibly good at low temperatures, the ability of a flash cell to be charged accurately decreases rapidly as temperatures drop below 10 degrees Celsius. This means that data written while the flash cell is warm fit the data retention model discussed previously, but retention is reduced for data written while the cell is cold. This problem affects both types of flash, but it is more severe in MLC, making it less suitable than SLC in cold applications as well.
https://cdn.selinc.com/assets/Literature/Publications/White Papers/0015_NANDflash_IO_20141211.pdf?v=20170218-001047


So, while it's definitely true that you don't want the NAND getting TOO warm, it's equally true, unlike for the controller, that being TOO cool is also a problem. Something in the range of 40-70°C is what I've come up with as an optimal range for NAND temperatures, while for most NVME M.2 drives you want to keep the controller below 70°C to avoid throttling and below 60°C would be most preferred.

I have, for example, incorporated the 3D printed ASUS M.2 fan bracket into my system and under full speed testing with a variety of utilities it stays right at about 58°C on the controller during extended testing using a Noctua NF-A4x20 and right at about 40°C on the NAND temperature with my 970 EVO. Obviously not every motherboard will work with the ASUS M.2 fan mount seen below, and I can understand that there have been some rather....unusual, efforts to cool M.2 drives, but sticking on directly in front of a massive CPU cooler with no method of matching the amount of cooling to the actual temps on the M.2 drive, seems undesirable given the information I've been able to dig up regarding the effects of temperature on the NAND.

Note that the bracket places the fan directly above the controller, and with a fan that size you can avoid mostly all but residual airflow over the NAND, or at least airflow to a lesser degree than what is directly applied in the area of the controller. Understandably, most reviews and white papers show that ANY amount of airflow in the area of the M.2 drive are beneficial if throttling is an issue in your specific application, but there's clearly evidence that maybe there can be too much of a good thing.

 
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What is the cooler?
What is the motherboard?

Perhaps the fan could be relocated to a pull configuration.

Instead of using a m.2 device, why not use a simple 2.5" sata ssd.
Even of the m.2 slot were pcie capable, a sata connection will not be noticeably slower.
 

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