View Full Version : Acceptable hard drive temperature?

02-04-05, 09:29 AM
Well, I've run into another snag with this Shuttle. I have two 120GB Western Digital SATA drives installed. One of them, my system drive, idles about 46-48C and loads up to 60(!)C though usually nearer to 52-53, while the other, my storage drive, idles about 35-38C and loads about 43-44C. They are identical drives. The system drive is mounted below the storage drive on the rack. On top of both of them is my optical drive. I have tried removing the storage drive, leaving only the system drive in place, which had little effect on the temperatures (1-2C at most). Moving the system drive to the slot which held the storage drive had no effect either.

The way the Shuttle case is designed, airflow is taken in from vents at certain locations on the case and blown out the back. It is extremely effective at cooling the major system components (at full blast the CPU never breaks 38C under load) but unfortunately very noisy. Even so, at a low speed, the system is generally at an acceptable temperature. The only thing that gets hotter than 50C in my system is my main hard drive, which I'm sure just ends up heating everything else up. The question I have is three-fold:

Is this an acceptable temperature for my main drive?
Does the fact that it is my system drive have anything to do with its consistently (>10C) higher temperature than my other, identical drive?
Are SATA drives hotter in operation than PATA drives?

I'm considering just buying a new Seagate 160gig Barracuda and partitioning it. I've heard decent things about those drives. But if the temperature is not a big issue, I may just leave the system as it is.

02-04-05, 10:05 AM
Go to your manufacturer's website and download the information/product specs on the drive. I don't know who makes your drive but I know Seagate has excellent information online about their drives and what they are designed to handle.

SATA/PATA should be the same temp all things elsewhere being equal (same RPM, etc.).

02-04-05, 10:16 AM
Well, it lists 55C as the high end for operating temperatures. The thing is, the drive never gets this hot unless I have it do something extremely taxing like defragging or copying many gigs of data. Most of the time it's below 55, even below 50. I'm not sure if this is really something I should actively pursue or not.

02-04-05, 10:19 AM
It may be some sort of low-level difference that came into play through a change in the manufacturing process. When were your hard drives built? Western Digital usually lists the dates of manufacture on them. If one is a few months older/newer than the other, that may account for some of the difference.

02-04-05, 10:19 AM
When in doubt... have a good backup solution. ;)

02-04-05, 10:34 AM
Heh, well luckily the second drive is well within acceptable temperatures, so even if the main drive goes, I'll have the second one with all my stuff backed up. I guess I'll just forget about it and buy a new one if it breaks, no big deal really.

And sat, I'm at work now so I can't check, but that's a good point.

02-04-05, 12:49 PM
You know, you're probably right. I haven't had any problems at all, and the drive with all my important stuff is in great shape. I'm just gonna forget about it.

02-04-05, 12:55 PM
It still doesn't hurt to have another backup though. Even off-site. I make a DVD burn of all my truly irreplaceable stuff and put it in a safe deposit. I update it once a year.

02-04-05, 01:23 PM
Yeah, this thing has actually got me interested in getting a DVD recorder. I've been putting it off for a while. :D

02-05-05, 05:01 AM
Thats one of the good things about the coolermaster Stacker, you can have a dedicated 120mm fan to your hard drives so they never run any hotter then 30C :)

Son Goku
02-06-05, 08:08 PM
Off the top of my head I couldn't say what temp limit would be in place for your drive. Though I will say that 60 degrees C is a bit warmer then I would tend to want to let any of my comp components run at, personally. I'd also say, that it'd probably be safest (when you get the mfg's indication) not to run it right at that limit, but have some margin in there...

BTW, what is the PRM on this drive? I know that Seagate for instance, with all their Cheetah's (aka 10k rpm drives, and now no doubt the 15k rpm too) recommend some cooling be placed on the drive last time I checked their website. As I've got Cheetahs in my comp, I've kept active cooling ever since getting them. Are these 10k rpm drives? 5400k rpm drives? Or what?

02-06-05, 09:02 PM
My thinking is that these high temperatures 50-60degs are acceptable even thought the manufactures spec sheet says 55deg operating temp. Perhaps that is the ambient temp, just like some other components say, for example > -20degC - +40degC and 90% non condensing humididty etc.
If this was not the case, then a) hard drive makers would have added cooling (heat sinks, fans, etc.) already and b) hard drive makers would be getting massive returns during warranty from places like where I live where room temperature can be 30-40degC. I have measured temperatures of 55degC from the casing of my own hard drive using a household digital thermometer.

02-08-05, 06:56 AM
Well, I just said screw it and put everything back into my Antec case. The problem was that everything I had was so close together in the Shuttle case and generated so much heat that unless I ran the fans at full blast (which was louder than a vacuum cleaner) they were just too hot. I took my liquid cooling system out since I wasn't OCing anyway and put the AMD stock cooler back in. Hard drives idle at 35, load at 41, CPU idles at 32 and loads about 51, video card idles about 50 and loads about 70. Case/mobo temp is 27-29, and it's very quiet. I think I'm gonna get a Winchester and some cheapo parts and turn the Shuttle into a HTPC, I've always wanted to do that. ;)

In addition I'd like to mention that AMD's Cool 'N' Quiet is very useful and extremely effective. In case you didn't already know. Of course, if you're overclocking it's worthless, but if not it's pretty neat.