MSI's M.2 "Heat Shield" Claimed To Increase SSD Temperature

Megalith

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Gaming Nexus is strongly suggesting that MSI’s M.2 Shield feature is a gimmick that does the opposite of what its marketing materials claim: While the “heat shield” is supposed to lower the temperature, it actually does the exact opposite. The author insists that thermal performance is worse overall, and that the shield would only be effective if it wrapped around an SSD entirely. You may find our review on the MSI Z270 here, where we found different results.

The idea that the “shield” can perform two opposing functions—shielding an SSD from external heat while somehow simultaneously sinking heat from within—seems like it’s written by marketing, not by engineering. …MSI thought that adding this “shield” to the M.2 slot would solve the issue of hot M.2 SSDs, but it’s got a few problems that don’t even require testing to understand: (1) the “shield” (or sink, whatever) doesn’t enshroud the underside of the M.2 device, where SMDs will likely be present; (2) the cover is designed more like a shield than a sink (despite MSI’s marketing language), and that means we’ve got limited surface area with zero dissipation potential.
 
I've always seen these "heat shields" whether they've been on RAM or SSD's as little more than gimmicks.

They've been great ESD shields though. RMA's in the industry have plummeted since they started using them.

I just wish motherboard makers would get a little more creative about where they put the M.2 slots so that we could fit a small heatsink on top of them. THAT would be more effective at raising the surface area and keeping it cooler. A heat spreader is just there to look cool and protect against ESD.
 
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For RAM I like small profile heat spreaders simply because it is easier to install and remove. I don't like the tall ones because they get in the way. As long as the temps are well within safety levels, I will feel the same about M.2 SSDs.
 
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Simple physics really, anything you put over something causing heat is going to trap the heat, unless you have something between the chip and the heatplate or spreader to draw the heat away. I see it has a Thermal Pad, but it doesn't have any fins to draw the heat out, which seems silly.
 
Throw some frag-harder lights on it and "extreme performance dudes" everywhere will eat it up.

Worrying about heat is for casual users.
 
Where were the results in the review?

Yeah, I couldn't find temperature results related to the use of shield either. The first page mentions covering it a bit later, but there's nothing mentioned anywhere else in the review.
 
I am running a 960 Pro in an x99 Sabertooth. With the MB cover off at idle, I am at 33C. As I recall with the cover on it was a few degrees higher. Corsair Link display the temp.
 
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You noobs need to get on my level! Full ceramic coated motherboard, heat shields on everything, full stainless hot air piping with VHT inside and out. I have shielding between every major component and a full dry sump water pump system, oil to water heat shields and the rest. Hectic!!
 
simple overzealous marketing resulting in gimmickry bs. When I first saw this I was like, bare-anything has got to be cooler than covering it up.


On a side note about M.2 you can buy an Intel 600p NVMe 512gb M.2 SSD for $159. It's speed is 1,800 to 2,000 read / 575 - 600 write.

Microcenter has it for $160, Newegg $170

Fantastic price.
 
On a sidenote, I've been having trouble finding dedicated m.2 reviews.

I'm not really understanding the technology. Originally I was under the impression m.2s were slower SSDs but the Formfactor gives them a niche market. I saw Newegg had a deal for a crucial mx300 525GB m.2 for $100 which seems ridiculously cheap so I took the plunge on my new build.

While my only complaint is that on the Asus Strix-e at least it eats up a Sata slot so I'm stuck on 6 drives, I've been using it as a gaming folder "RE7" is on it ATM and it's blisteringly fast and has been great.

Anyone know a good site for M.2 reviews and explaination its function?
 
I think with the med range to high end Asus motherboards, the new x270 chipset there are 2 x M.2 slots. You cannot run both as SATA. Only the top one as Sata or PCIe and the bottom one as PCIe. So you can run raid PCIe but not Sata Raid on the M.2 slots
 
I think with the med range to high end Asus motherboards, the new x270 chipset there are 2 x M.2 slots. You cannot run both as SATA. Only the top one as Sata or PCIe and the bottom one as PCIe. So you can run raid PCIe but not Sata Raid on the M.2 slots


On the Strix x270 top slot is PCIe bottom slot is Sata and it takes up your first Sata slot if you use it so even though you have 6 Sata 6Gb ports the first ones dead if you use M.2.
 
Hey, I'm loving my Asus IV Hero. The DAC is what I'm really loving. Not super impressed with the RGB Led as it's not super brite. It's just ... there. I was looking at the Strix Mobo to match my Asus Strive 1080 but it didn't have the DAC on the audio side
 
simple overzealous marketing resulting in gimmickry bs. When I first saw this I was like, bare-anything has got to be cooler than covering it up.

I don't follow. Heat spreaders conduct heat across more area, allowing better convection of the heat away from the part as a whole since the average difference in temperature to the air increases overall. It's how passive heat sinks work. The issue with that review is that their thermocouples space the spreader away from the controller (heat source), making it into a heat shield/insulator (yes, I know they called it heat shield, but that's marketing's fault). With a poor thermal interface (due to the thermocouple), what should be a spreader only acts to block air flow to the part. The only way to properly test this is to use methods that don't interfere with the thermal interface, like thermal imaging. Same applies to testing the 'heat spreader label' on the Samsung 960 series. Of all the M.2 parts I've tested, the 960 EVO and PRO are the only two I have not removed the label from, as that would disrupt the thermal properties (label can likely not be reapplied as well as it was from the factory).
 
Or you could use a ridiculous overkill heatsink like I did
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Never goes above 42C even when I benchmark it over and over
 
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