How many NVME users have heatsinks for them?

Over the winter season and into the covid season, I built three new systems. Hey, I had to have something to do. :nerd_face: I put NVME storage devices into all three builds. Every 2.5 inch SSD I ever had always ran so cool with absolutely no heat problems that I never even gave it a thought about heat problems with NVME. Well, Doh on me.

I was doing some research on the web when I ran across some posts about heat sinks on NVME ram. This was a gaming site, so I thought well that’s because they run everything 100% for an hour at a time or more. That’s not me, I’m OK. Now that it is summer in the northern hemisphere, maybe not. So I did some more research on NVME cooling. Found out I’m not OK. On my wife’s Windows 10 computer, Samsung Magician read 56 degrees C and said Too hot.
So I bought three of these heat sinks.
On the windows machine Samsung magician now says Normal. Here is my NVME temps on my EndeavourOS Gnome machine with the heatsink.


As I understand it, nvme/temp1 and temp2 are the Nand memory chips, and nvme/temp3 is the controller chip. The controller chip usually runs hotter than the Nand chips, which it was.
Now with the heat sink, the controller chip is cooler than the Nand chips by a couple of degrees.

Pudge

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It just happens that I slapped a heat-sink (if it can be called that: a double-sided tape with a 0.5mm metallic sheet on it, that came with the drive and that I have initially ignored when I’ve installed the drive) on one of my nvme drives yesterday.

I did it because I’m not very happy with the drive’s performance, maybe this will help. But since I opened the machine for upgrades anyway I used the occasion to add the heat-sink, as it was just sitting around in a drawer anyway.

Here’s how my temps look:

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I run a nvme drive (Samsung 970 evo plus) without any heat sink, and I don’t have any difficulties as yet. Temps (from nvme -smart-log) are 35, 35, and 36. I guess it depends on the rest of the environment too, to some extent. I do love speed, though… :grin:

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What sensor app is that? Also whats the best tool to use for benching NVMe, I think windows users generally use Crystal Mark

For windows, I just tried openhardwaremonitor for win10 and it didn’t show a temp for the nvme drive I have, but it did for the SSD in the system. I’ll see if I can grab crystal mark and get a number. I never knew these temps could be an issue, thanks for the heads up.

NVME is 45c according to crystal mark (thank you @the_riddick for the recommendation), while the SSD in the same box is 24c. It might make sense to look at lowering it some, but I don’t know that 45c is “too high”.

It is hardinfo and it’s in the community repo.

Was that 45c at idle or while running something memory intensive? If that is 45c at idle, I’m not sure what to tell you. According to what I have read, 70 degrees C is the max operating temperature, and it starts throttling at about 65 degrees? Not sure about the throttling.

With the heat sinks, mine are running at about half the limit of 70 degrees C. I have been a proponent of the cooler the better since I started building computers in the early nineties. I’ve also seen it in my career at AT&T, heat is the enemy and shortens the life span of electronic equipment. The two essentials for longevity are very clean power and good cooling. My 2 cents.

Pudge

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I have a single NVMe drive that has a “heatsink” (SX8200 pro) and one laptop that has a heatsink cover. Other than that, all my systems are just the drive, but most of my systems are ALSO laptops…

My new MSI board has a heat sink for one of the m.2

Mine hits 65 degrees when it’s being used a lot.

There’s no heatsink and it’s underneath the graphics card which compounds the problem as it’s where I store my games.

The fact that mine seems not to need any heatsink could well be because I don’t run a separate graphics card - so it’s a nice cool environment, with nothing blowing excess heat at it…

When running a ‘heavy’ compile on it, I managed to get it all the way to 47 degrees :grin: I don’t expect that to be typical though.

My 500GB NVMe SSD is 31-32’C mostly idle, its quite cold here in Australia atm (winter) so ambient is probably 20-22’C max.

I have a new 2TB NVMe coming in (has no heatspreader) so it will be interesting to see how that performs, thinking of using EXT4 for linux AND windows (paragon) because NTFS under Linux is pretty crap performance wise. (even with all the mount flags)

@the_riddick I totally agree to the abysmal experience of using NTFS in Linux, but I had bad experience with the paragon driver also. Did you use it a lot?

I took advantage of their 30 days trial with the intent of buying it if it works, but I had data corruption problems when writing to the EXT4 partitions. Also problems with file access rights. In the end I dumped the solution as not trustworthy to handle my data and reverted to using the Windows partition as a boot drive for my VM (so i can use the same install from linux via QEMMU or directly by booting into it). When I launch Windows from a VM, I can access my Linux drives via ssh from the guest OS, and even mount them as network drives. I rarely need to boot into Windows directly and manage to do all my work via VM.

I have the same drive (XPG 8200 PRO 1TB) and was unhappy with its performance. But due to this thread here I went on and investigated the matter a bit more thoroughly. It seems the sub-spec performance comes from the limitation of having the nvme drives attached to a PCI bus with only 2 reserved lanes (PCIe 3.0x2). This limits the theoretical speed to 2GB/s, in practice closer to 1.8GB/s. This configuration is typical for laptops I guess, there’s nothing to be done to fix this, as the number of PCI lanes allocated to the storage bus is set from factory, so I expect anything other than professional workstations or high-end gaming PCs to run into the same limitation with drives specced for >2000MB/s (like 3500MB/s for example) transfer speeds.

This also means cooling will not be a problem for these drives as they’ll always be running below their spec speeds so they won’t benefit from having a heatsink.

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For me it’s over 45c at idle, 55-56c under load (compilation). I guess I need a heatsink? Didn’t even think about it tbh before reading this topic.

Screenshots


A very handy utility, thanks for it too :slight_smile:

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My desktop has four PCIe lanes, and it does have a heat problem. To compound the problem, all three of the builds referred to above are Mini ITX. So the NVME connector is on the bottom of the motherboard. Not much air flow between the bottom of the case and the underside of MotherBoard. Ah, a spiral notebook and a pencil was so much easier. :persevere:

Pudge

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“Upon further review”…

I actually got out a flashlight, and had a good look at my 970 Evo Plus as installed. I guess I misstated it’s equipment! Apparently it has a ‘heat spreader’ as standard from the factory, so the good thermal performance is less surprising. I still think it helps that it is not blocked. obscured or in close proximity to other heat sources (nothing in the PCI slots).

I have the same drive (XPG 8200 PRO 1TB) and was unhappy with its performance. But due to this thread here I went on and investigated the matter a bit more thoroughly. It seems the sub-spec performance comes from the limitation of having the nvme drives attached to a PCI bus with only 2 reserved lanes (PCIe 3.0x2). This limits the theoretical speed to 2GB/s, in practice closer to 1.8GB/s. This configuration is typical for laptops I guess, there’s nothing to be done to fix this, as the number of PCI lanes allocated to the storage bus is set from factory, so I expect anything other than professional workstations or high-end gaming PCs to run into the same limitation with drives specced for >2000MB/s (like 3500MB/s for example) transfer speeds.

This also means cooling will not be a problem for these drives as they’ll always be running below their spec speeds so they won’t benefit from having a heatsink.

Oh yeah, like the Latitude 7480. Luckily that’s become fairly rare on most laptops now, and everything I have has a full 3.0x4 NVMe slots.

I may be wrong, but I don’t think what you are seeing has much heat transfer capabilities. It’s main purpose is being the Warranty label. Remove it and you void the warranty. The heat sink instructions mentioned “Unique Nano Silicone Thermal Pad: soft and good ductility, compatible with uneven surfaces. Low viscosity, no damage to the M.2 SSD warranty label”

With computer gear, I have voided more warranties than honored them. I am not one to let a silly warranty stand in the way of a good modification. :nerd_face
Replacing the warranty label and Thermal pad with a layer of Arctic Silver 5 seems logical. :scream:

Pudge

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No heatsink. Samsung 970 EVO 250Gib. It has ample cooling.

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You are probably correct about the best going forward - if it was required, It is mantaining satisfactory temps for me now as is. Samsung’s own ‘bumpf’ claims a heat spreader though…

Achieve a new level of drive confidence. Samsung’s 
advanced nickel-coated controller and heat spreader 
on the 970 EVO Plus enable superior heat dissipation. 
The Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically monitors and 
maintains optimal operating temperatures to minimize 
performance drops.

I don’t know how many grains to take it with - but they should know :grin:

Very happy with it, although I would have done some things differently had I known then what I know now - the usual! The m.2 drives would be even more enjoyable I’m sure - but they weren’t quite out when I built this system…

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