? Re: Hard Drive Cooling

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Hello. New to the forums. I tried the search function, and only found one post close to my topic:


Here is my question.

I am in the build stage of a new computer. I have four new 7.2k drives ranging in size from 80 to 200 to 250gb. (A total of 730gb). I have not powered on my system because I am waiting for some other parts to arrive. I have a new Dell 400SC case, motherboard, and power supply to put this in. But I have now some concerns about my plans.

While waiting to build this new computer, I put new hard drives in an older Dell with a P-3 733. I removed the 7.5 gb drive, and put in a 120gb and a 80gb, both 7.2k drives from Western Digital. I plan to use this older computer as a music server and general game machine for the kids, and email for my wife.

** What really concerns me is the heat generated by the 120gb WD drive. When it is not doing much of anything, it is so hot that I cannot touch it. I actually tried to leave my finger on the drive to see if I could take the heat, but I could not. I'm very new to the latest in hard drive technology, so I don't know what is normal. But it seems like it is so hot that it will fail prematurely.

Is my drive bad, or do I need some active cooling? This older computer only has a small fan on the CPU, and a fan in the power supply.

I'm trying to extrapolate from the little P-3 733 computer to the big P-4 3.2Ghz Dell 400SC with 730GB. Do I need a hard drive cooler for every drive? I will run out of 5.5" drive space.

If coolers are required, why do case manufacturers not build tons of 5.5" space instead of the smaller 3.5" space?

I'm not sure what to do. Any comments are appreciated.


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Active cooling is rarely required for IDE drives, but if you have a drive getting that hot, it would be a good idea to cool it. There was an earlier post that had a graph showing that, within certain limits, drive life was inversely proportional to temperature, all else being equal.

Most of Antec's Performance cases have a slot to fit a single 80mm fan which can cool 3 hard drives. The cooling does not require more than the standard 3.5".

If a drive does produce excessive heat, it is unlikely that it is due to the drive being bad. If it is crammed tightly with other drives, it may just need some extra space.

www.1coolpc.com sells hard drive coolers, both 3.5" and larger, but they are usually overkill for most drives.

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The "hot" drive is right next to a CD-ROM drive, and has air on the other side. So it is not packed tight with things on both sides. There was nothing extraordinary going on. Even when just idling for hours, it seemed awfully hot.

Thanks for the link. I will check out what they have.

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btw, mounting is also important because conduction is one of the main ways for a HDD to disapate heat. Having good metal to metal contact is important. I prefer 3.5" slots for HDDs for this reason.

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