Alphacool Eisblock HDX-2 and HDX-3 help M.2 SSDs beat the heat

In our experience, modern desktop M.2 SSDs rarely throttle under even the most strenuous real-world conditions, but that hasn't stopped PC component manufacturers from coming up with countless products to cool off storage devices. From SSDs factory-equipped with big red heatsinks, to motherboards with integrated M.2 coolers, to slabs of aluminum designed to be strapped to the back of an M.2 gumstick, builders have plenty of options to banish M.2 throttling if it's a concern. Alphacool is adding two more M.2 cooling products to the market with the Eisblock HDX-2 passive cooling kit and the Eisblock HDX-3 M.2 waterblock.

The HDX-2 kit is a PCIe 4x card with a 2280 M.2 slot on it. A pair of finned aluminum heatsinks form a shell around the card and the drive on board, and thermal pads transfer heat from the M.2 device to the shell. The riser card form factor could put the storage device further away from the CPU and heat-generating graphics cards, as well.

Alphacool's HDX-3 is a nod to its traditional customers that want to plumb every part of their PC into a custom open-loop water cooling system. The HDX-3 also uses a PCIe riser card as its foundation, but it trades away the finned aluminum for a waterblock with standard G-1/4 fittings. We're not convinced that NVMe SSDs need liquid cooling in desktop systems, but the option is available for water-cooling fanatics.

Alphacool's HDX-2 passive cooler costs $41 on the company's e-shop, and the waterblock-equipped HDX-3 will set buyers back $85.

Comments closed
    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    This will go great with that liquid cooled power supply.

    • jihadjoe
    • 2 years ago

    Soon: Water-cooled Soundcard!

      • LocalCitizen
      • 2 years ago

      water-cooled RGB lights!

        • krazyredboy
        • 2 years ago

        I’m going to wait for the water-cooled fans.

    • cmrcmk
    • 2 years ago

    Wouldn’t the M.2 water block add resistance to your cooling loop? That would in turn reduce the coolant flow over your CPU and GPU making them run hotter.

    Additionally, if this was after your high TDP components in the flow, their heat might actually make your SSD hotter. None of this seems like a net gain for any part of the system.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      I’ve actually been thinking about this somewhat also, but not with liquid cooling. The heatsinks on the CPU VRMs are meant to use air from the CPU heatsink but the air from it is obviously warm already, although that warm air must still be cooler than the heatsinks themselves so It’s probably still better than nothing. Also, it’s a common setup to find heatpipes going between the VRM heatsinks to the northridge. Isn’t that kinda like just making them trade heat or heat going from the whichever is hotter to whichever is cooler?

      • Goty
      • 2 years ago

      Component order in a water cooling loop actually doesn’t matter once the loop reaches steady state, and I doubt that this water block is restrictive enough to have much of an affect on the flow of the full loop (unless they’ve done something very silly.)

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        This. I measured this back when I ran a crazy loop (overclocked Phenom II with quad GPUs, 3x360mm radiators). The largest delta I was able to measure was around 1 C with my pump set to the minimum speed while the GPUs were running Furmark and the CPU was running Linpack. That was from the outlet of the radiators (coolest point in the loop) to the outlet of the last GPU (after the CPU and all other GPUs).

        At medium+ speed (vario D5) the loop deltas were so little I couldn’t even measure them with the sensors I had on hand with any real confidence.

        Further – if your water temps are much more than 10 C over room temp, you’re doing it wrong unless you’re just going for silence. Even in a hot-running loop, 50 C water temps would still likely cool down your SSD if it was going full-tilt. Most flash controllers won’t throttle, at least in my experience, till you’re at almost 80 C.

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    TBH when I initially read the headline I thought the product name was [url=<]Eisbock[/url<]. 😉

    • Tom Yum
    • 2 years ago

    Water-cooling your SSD seems….excessive. Even the worst of them are struggling to pull more than 10W. They just need something to move the heat away from the underside, which a thin sheet of aluminium can do for <$5.

      • Firestarter
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]excessive[/quote<] isn't that the point?

      • ImSpartacus
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, I’m thinking the kind of person with an open loop probably isn’t doing it because it’s the most economical way to get excellent cooling. So maybe there’s a niche for this, ridiculous as it is.

      An AIO water cooler can almost always get the job done.

      • Mr Bill
      • 2 years ago

      [url=<]Ludicrous Speed[/url<] would be... excessive.

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