Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

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Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:28 pm

Hello... This is my first post.

I've been reading The Tech Report for a while but decided to make an account :D

So I have a question because people here seem very knowledgeable, I recently built an HTPC using a Silverstone ML05B, but the location of the 3.5" drive puts it directly over the CPU cooler. After my build, I set Prime95 going to see how hot the machine would get (since it's going in a telly cabinet downstairs) and the CPU (Pentium G3440) was happy in the high seventies, which is OK for me, since its intended users won't put that much load on it. However, I was concerned by the HDD temperature which seems to be getting the warm air from the CPU. It is a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB, and reported temperatures up to 51C, but mainly around 48-50C during operation.

I know WD specify up to 60C, but I have heard that HDD failure rates are higher beyond 45C. So here is my question, is 51C an OK temperature for an HDD for 24/7? Can I expect to get 3+ years of this drive at these temperatures?

Thanks!

Wren
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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:20 pm

The answer to this is "your mileage may vary". Yes, higher temperatures can lead to premature failure.

However, a Google study suggested that there was not a strong correlation.

Personally, I'd be happier with 30-35C. Don't worry though; there are many more things than temperature that could kill your disk.

Anyhow; you're keeping backups, right? :P

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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:14 pm

You should expect the HDD to work stable for the length of its warranty period (regardless of operating temperatures, as long as they don't force the HDD to shut down due to the overheating protection). Beyond that - it may work longer at lower temperatures... Or it may not (it may stop working for dozens of other reasons) :wink: Like a previous person said - just make sure to do backup in time and don't worry about such silly things as "temperature" :wink:
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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:51 pm

What JohnC said. It also matters where the drive is reporting the temperature from. To get a good idea, run it outside the case in ambient air, if possible, and see what it reports. Depending on where the temperature sensor is, it may be higher than you expect, even in open air. It is the difference between ambient and buried in the case that will tell you how bad the cooling is.

If it doesn't have any critical data on it, don't worry too much. If it fails in two years instead of three, the replacement won't cost enough to matter much unless you are on an exceptionally tight budget.

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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:17 pm

So long as you're within the manufacturer's specification.

Going above the manufacturer's specification is generally a bad idea. Note that the Google study (and indeed, most other studies) usually only have drive temps in their sample that are all within manufacturer's spec, as well as other limitations to their data.
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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:29 am

Thank you for your replies :)

It will have things like photos and music on it, which can be backed up onto my external drive regularly.

Okay, so I will run it as it is, since I don't think it will get any hotter (51C was reported during Prime95, as the drive is literally right over the CPU cooler). Thank you very much for answering my question so quickly I really appreciate it!! :)

Wren
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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:45 am

As long as there's sufficient airflow I don't think it will be an issue. The temperature is a little high for my tastes, but as long as it doesn't spike under load it should be fine. As a secondary test I would check the temperature while doing a seek-heavy benchmark, as that is the worst-case scenario for hard drive power consumption.
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Re: Question: Safe temperature for HDD 24/7

Postposted on Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:50 am

SuperSpy wrote:As long as there's sufficient airflow I don't think it will be an issue. The temperature is a little high for my tastes, but as long as it doesn't spike under load it should be fine. As a secondary test I would check the temperature while doing a seek-heavy benchmark, as that is the worst-case scenario for hard drive power consumption.


Um, not sure if there is sufficient airflow, the only fan (aside from the PSU fan) is the CPU cooler fan and it is literally maybe half or less of an inch from the bottom of the Hard Drive. Though I can add two small 80mm fans on the side, which I was considering adding for intake.

What is a good benchmark to run to test worst possible temps for the drive?

Thank you

Wren
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