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Is a passive heatsink for HD the answer???

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by bbq, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. bbq

    bbq
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    Hi
    I have a situation where ambient temperature of my MCE based system is quite warm - not helped by the fact that the harddisk is in a poor air flow area

    the HD runs at around 40 degC and I'd love to have this way cooler... but ideally without adding fans, since at the moment it is acting like a radiator in the case.

    At one point I was thinking of adding some heatsinks (like the type you can get for the northward bridge) but since there is little air flow I don't think this will help. Likewise I am not sure the heatpipe solution around the disk will work either ... but I have no experience of this.

    Any suggestions?

    Cheers
     
  2. Maff et1

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    If there's no airflow nothing will cool it. If the rest of your case has good airflow try fashioning something to guide air to the drive. A curved piece of card directing some of the air from a case fan for example.

    Also, if the case is flat (home entertainment style) adding some holes above the drive will let warm air out and create some air flow.
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude
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    one of these may be worth a look if modifying isn't an option.. haven't tried them myself, but for the price it'd be worth a try at least?

    They mount into a 5.25" bay, so you may end up moving the drive to a better location as part of the job?
     
  4. northernmunki

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    I had a similar problem, the hard disk wa rated at 13W at full power so it was going to get hot in there! Ive changed my disk for a 2.5" SATA and is so so so quiet and cool. Very impressed. Also added a SilentX 80mm case fan from Kustompcs.co.uk. Needed a jigsaw on the lid and a chrome finger guard and it looks great. Controlled by the BIOS and case/psu is now very cool.
     
  5. The Dude

    The Dude
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    slightly off topic, but which 2.5" drive did you go for?

    I'm about to make the same switch myself.....
     
  6. northernmunki

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    100Gb Hitachi travelstar SATA, only SATA I could find. Apple MAC's seem to use them (only have one IDE and thats for my CD). I got mine with a pricing mistake from Here so it was cheaper than they are now.

    Try ITX Warehouse too http://www.itx-warehouse.co.uk/productlist.aspx?Cid=50 bt onlyp to 80Gb

    Span specialise in disks of various flavours too but more expensive http://www.span.com
     
  7. rdhir

    rdhir
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    you realise that 40C is very good for (3.5") hard drive temperature? What are your other readings that make you think system is too hot. 42-43C system temperature is quite normal, and processors can go much higher depending on type and cooling although obviously less is more.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  8. watchinthewheel

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    im stuck with the same problem, my pc has a lot of data on it and so a lot of hdds iv got 4 on top oif each other with no airflow, i thought it was my chip making my pc hot but no, i bought a great cooler for it and theres no difference but the hdds get so hot after a while that you cant actualy touch em without getting burnt! i have no idea how to fix that tbh, i suppose i could put some of the drives on a networked pc but i dont wanna lose prerformance, any suggestions what to do?
     
  9. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I went for external FW drives to get around the space/heat issue... Maxtor 'one-touch' 300Gb units @ <50p per Gig :smashin:

    Just need to get rid of my remaining 3.5" drive now to get things a bit quieter.
    I like the external drives for this reason too, as i just turn off the ones I'm not reading from....
     
  10. northernmunki

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    Have you thought of going down the bootable flash route?
     
  11. The Dude

    The Dude
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    strange you should say that mate.... I'm heavily involved with checkpoint fireboxes, which all use exactly this method....

    Tell me more mate... I'm familiar with the concept, but know next to nothing currently of the HW/methods/prices involved .... :thumbsup:
     
  12. bbq

    bbq
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    I am pleased to be enlightened by this - though while playing around at the weekend integrating itunes and mce, I noticed that the harddisk temperature got to 51 deg C. At this point, while it is within the disk operating guides it is positively heating the case up considerably. Which has a knock on effect since my graphics cards is fanless, and relies on a temperature differential for cooling.

    I think the external harddisk approach might be the way to go.
    Are there any fanless external cases? how noisy are they when they do contain a fan?

    Cheers
     
  13. bbq

    bbq
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    I have played with using flash for Linux but not with Windows - any gotchas?

    Might be fun to try going down this route

    Cheers
     
  14. bbq

    bbq
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    My HD is bolted to a reasonably thick piece of aluminium - as a heatsink - and this is then bolted to the case.

    I am guessing the cheaper options (than external cases etc) will be passive heatsinks and some directed airflow (using guides/baffles over a fan) I am going to start here since I have fan that could be redirected.

    Other ideas I have thought of include using water cooling, using it to cool the cpu AND the VPU and the HD. of course this then requires a stronger pump for the increased distance.

    Cheers
     
  15. bbq

    bbq
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    Rather than being turned off - can they be set to spin down automatically?

    Cheers
     
  16. rdhir

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    OK replies to multiple people.

    The basic rules for cooling are the bigger fans the slower they need to run for the volume of air. So 12cm is best. 12cm fans generally run so slowly they don't make appreciable noise.

    You can also buy cases with slots for fans next to your hard disks. So if a new case is a possibility then try this. If that is not possiblem then you can always try cutting and dremeling the case yourself.

    Otherwise try www.quietpc.com for help advice and fans and hard disk coolers.

    It is possible to watercool hardrives, so if you watercool the whole thing that's an option. You can choose something like the Zalman Reserator for a silent option as the REServoir/RAdiatOR is big enough to dissapate the heat. But there are height placement issues to be aware of. Alternatively with more conventional fan/radiator combinations get one with a 12cm fan.

    Normal temperatures for a hard disk should be 40-48C idle depending on the type. The good ones can be at just below 40C sometimes. When really being stressed then I found my WD drives which idle at 38-40C got to 51-53C. This was when they were reading and writing 30-40GB simultaneously from different areas of the disk. (I was processing Video - so running DIVX, LAME and a network filecopy simultaneously.) If I had only a single process running then a more typical non-idle temperature was 48C.

    I tend to find that system temperature does not unduly affect CPU temperature or HD temperature, it more processor load or HD load. A modern Athlon eg 64 will run very cool if Cool and Quiet is enabled (<40) as it starts to behave like a laptop CPU and clocks down.


    Windows in Flash. It is possible to even run Windows XP in Flash. You typically need a 1GB Flash but you may get away with less. The secret is to build the system on a hard disk first. Do the install, then get XPLite which is a package which allows you to strip away all the extras. If you don't need to run Windows Update and everything then you can rip out IE and a whole bunch of stuff. XPLite is easy to use and has all thedependencies. It can also be applied to Win2K.

    Don't forget that you want to minimize writing to the flash as they will fail after a certain number of writes. So move your temp file to a real hard disk. Having built your system, you then need to transfer it to the flash drive. Remember that swapping drives like this is not trivial with Windows XP. Look up the MS knowledge base as there is a sequence of steps you need to follow by editing the registry to make it all work.

    Hope this helps.


    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  17. The Dude

    The Dude
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