NVMe heatsink really necessary?

RavenX

Limp Gawd
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Oct 27, 2006
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I recently aquired my first ever NVMe drive (Samsung 980 pro) and I'm not sure if its required to have a heatsink installed. I will have my OS and games installed on it and not sure how hot these things will get. I read some sites that say you need one and other sites that say you don't so I'm a bit confused, hopefully you guys can clear it up for me. Thanks.

 
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Not needed.

Reports of NVMe SSDs overheating come from reviews of very early devices being pushed well beyond typical usage for benchmarks. Your real-world usage will not cause a modern unit any problems.

SSDs are sold with heatsinks to appeal to the those looking to bling out their build, and to squeeze extra profit out of them.
 

x509

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Sep 20, 2009
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Not needed.

Reports of NVMe SSDs overheating come from reviews of very early devices being pushed well beyond typical usage for benchmarks. Your real-world usage will not cause a modern unit any problems.

SSDs are sold with heatsinks to appeal to the those looking to bling out their build, and to squeeze extra profit out of them.
My Sabrent Rocket 1 TB PCIE-4 has the following temps according to HWInfo

Lowest reading - 27 C
Highest reading - 52 C
Current temp - 45 C

So far I haven't run anything like Prime95 yet. Asus ROG X570 Strix-E motherboard with AMD 3900X CPU.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
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Where is the M.2 slot located on your board?

On many boards the M.2 slots are located either right underneath the GPU, or other locations that are less than ideal in terms of temperature. So it's hard to make vague generalizations.

Also, are you talking about buying a M.2 heatsink or using one that you already have? My X570 Aorus Ultra came with M.2 heatsinks for all 3 M.2 slots, so I use them because they are there.
 

sinisterDei

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As someone who actually reviews SSDs professionally, for 98% of users the answer is no heatsink necessary. Some drives can still be pushed to uncomfortable temperatures, but the load necessary to generate that temperature is very atypical for a home user. Additionally, even minor airflow will easily compensate. If your SSD is under massive load and installed beneath your GPU and entirely starved for airflow, then maybe measure and see. If you stay below 70C you are fine.
 

x509

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It doesn't appear that most users need one. I bought a basic cheaper heatsink for peace of mind.
So replying to several posts here, on my motherboard the primary M.2 slot is right next to the first x16 slot, where I have the video card plugged in. The way ASUS did heatsinks for both M.2 slots was a removable flat piece of metal, with thermal tape underneath. I was thinking I could just get one of those elaborate heatsinks with cooling fins extended up, like what Sabrent sells, but ASUS also has a big "plate" that covers the entire area around both M.2 slots and a lot of the space between. And this big plate can't be re-installed if I get one of those elaborate Sabrent heatsinks. So if I want a Sabrent heatsink, I need to hacksaw off some of that big plate. Or I could get a simple copper heatsink with cooling fans, and mount that on top of the M.2 slot heatsink.

Or I could just forget about this. ;)

For a typical NMVe drive when does thermal throttling kick in?
 

RavenX

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
249
Where is the M.2 slot located on your board?

On many boards the M.2 slots are located either right underneath the GPU, or other locations that are less than ideal in terms of temperature. So it's hard to make vague generalizations.

Also, are you talking about buying a M.2 heatsink or using one that you already have? My X570 Aorus Ultra came with M.2 heatsinks for all 3 M.2 slots, so I use them because they are there.
its basically located under my graphics card. I don't have a heatsink currently and was thinking of getting one as some sites were saying I would need one but wanted to ask here first.
 

drescherjm

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My WDC Black G1 512GB NVMe drive overheats and shuts completely off pretty easily in my laptop however I think it's more of a poor fan control problem.
 

TheSlySyl

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I know my older SX8000 got SUPER hot without a heatsink, i'm talking 80C+. Throwing on one of those dirt cheap $2 ebay heatsinks shaved off almost 15C.

However newer model SSDs, including my PCI-E 4.0 SSDs, tend to only hit 50c max with those same $2 heatsinks.

Especially if its directly under your videocard and your videocard has a fan design that it radiates heat onto the SSD, its worth the $5 or whatever it costs. I know that my SSD when it was placed there got hotter during game load just due to all the heat blasting directly onto it than actual use.

(My current motherboard has a built in heatspreader and its done more than fine.)

I know this is only two weeks worth of data, but this is my PCIE 4.0 MP600 that happens to be placed closest to my videocard. It also happens to be where my games read and write from; that huge spike yesterday was due to a ridiculous 10+ hour gaming session which involved lots of reads combined with my videocard being at near full load the entire time.
Max Temp was still only 52C. (GPU max temp was 75C).
Clipboard01.jpg
 
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TheSlySyl

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This is my SX8200, same timeline - Same heatsink as the MP600, however this one is positioned in the M.2 slot ABOVE the videocard.

I have data on the temperature of this going back to when I was using it on my older motherboard (where it was also above the videocard.) using that $2 aluminum m.2 heatsink and the temperature difference between that and my huge integrated heatsink is basically margin of error considering the lack of overall temperature control in my room.
Clipboard02.jpg
 

Mosie100

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Jan 4, 2010
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The new motherboard I just purchased (Asus Z390-A) claims to come with an ultra-efficient m.2 heatsink to reduce temps by up to 20C. Not sure how that even works.
 

vegeta535

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The new motherboard I just purchased (Asus Z390-A) claims to come with an ultra-efficient m.2 heatsink to reduce temps by up to 20C. Not sure how that even works.
Marketing. Under some unicorn situation it will drop temps by 20c.
 

sinisterDei

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Marketing. Under some unicorn situation it will drop temps by 20c.
Depends on the heatsink, and whether the drive actually needs it. When I benched a Sabrent NVMe 4.0 drive a while back, the heatsink had a dramatic effect on temperatures.

1603399878461.png


With that said, the Sabrent heatsink is a beefy design and is not the "flat against the motherboard" kind that is popular with the integrated designs. Also that was under benchmarking situations and not real world loads, and I didn't run actual benchmarks without the heatsink so I don't know the actual impact on performance if any.
 

Dan_D

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Feb 9, 2002
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Generally, heat sinks aren't necessary. There are special cases where they can help.
 

Aegir

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Apr 15, 2020
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I think the important aspect to a heatsink in the case of NVMe is simply the protection of having a heat absorber. Like a shock absorber.

Good for denying heat during a speed burst operation. Without it, the heat would be stuck in the SSD itself and have nowhere to go except the air.

Having even the smallest piece of heat absorbing material on it will give it somewhere to go. The right price for this in 2020 is probably as cheap as possible. There's no point in going overboard on this.
 
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