Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Post by belkincp » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:28 pm

Im looking for a heatsink type cooler to attach to my harddrives.....they run from 40 to 50 celsius which I imagine is too hot, Im aiming towards maybe 30-35 C at the least.
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Post by Natronomonas » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:57 pm

Basic but effective...

I'm sure you'll find something commercially, but if you're like a lot of us and have spares boxes, there's usually something that can be put to good use : )

BTW, 40C is fine, 50 is pushing it, but most drives are rated to 55C at least.

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Post by Bories36 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:04 pm

the zalman one, check it on there site

my hd runs at 64c (its a damn dell)

I think the motor is broken to, my whole desk vibrates when i open something

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Post by DanW » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:54 am

Bories36 wrote:the zalman one, check it on there site

my hd runs at 64c (its a damn dell)

I think the motor is broken to, my whole desk vibrates when i open something
so it's not just my dell machine's HDD at work that runs hot (I haven't tested the other... 50 or so new Dells we just got in for obvious reasons).

Is there something with Dell that say, screw cooling, we'll make a good crack at it but not finish it off completly? (I think my USFF pc could be a lot quieter but it's me just being pedantic and the room fairly quiet :D)
[size=75]Main Rig - mobo: AV8-X cpu:4600+ psu:Phantom hsf:fanless scythe ninja case:P180 gpu: 7800gs (7900 chip) (almost silent except for the HDD)
Server Rig - cpu:2000+ psu BeQuiet ATX1.3 450w hsf: AeroCool HT-101 gpu:GeForxe MX440 (now near silent). Too many hard-drives that make it loud, and an immense amount of ducting that brought temperatures down by 20 degrees.


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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:08 pm

I can say that a zalman HD cooler works really well. It looks mad gimicky, but it works. If you suspend that in a 5 1/4 bay, you have the best of all worlds in my opinion.

The zalman allows heat to radiate away from the drive. Apparently, hd's dont heat up that fast so such a device helps a lot. I have used them in 5 of my builds. Most of the time I dont bother suspending them. the rubber thingies do a half decent job isolating the hd's. I am more concerned about idle noise than seeks so really suspending is no use to me.

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My DIY solution

Post by iamweasel » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:23 am

I made myself a few heatsinks from just bent .8mm copper plates. First I cut a sheet of copper to appropriate pieces of about 5.75x6", then bent a side 1.75" from the edge to a 90 degree angle. I also drilled holes for screws matching the position of the HDD screws.

The measurements are about what they should be. The dimensions of a normal 3.5" HDD are 4" x 5.75" x 1" (width x depth x height).

A piece looks something like this:

Code: Select all

    |  4"  |
    _______  _
  /       /| 1.75" height
/       / o| _
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯|o / \
       |/ 6"
        \  depth

With holes for screws around where the o:s are
(there are 3 of course, but my ASCII art skillz aren't good enough to draw them all)
You need 2 of those pieces per HDD. Just screw them on the HDD using the holes in the middle of each side so that the setup looks something like this: (use thermal paste if you deem it necessary)

Code: Select all

                              "top" plate bent here
     /                  /|
   /   "top" plate    /  |
 /__________________/   o|
|/________________/|  x  |
|¯##### HDD ######¯|o   /
|__________________|  /
|/ "bottom" plate  |/
     "bottom" plate bent here
Since this is SPCR, I glued some soft foam-like fabric onto the plates so that the top and the bottom of the drives are covered by it reducing airborne noise significantly. With a setup like this, I was able to keep the drive noise down while making the surface area of the drives actually larger (the drive temps remained about the same than without the plates/dampening).

Do note however, that with the plates on, the drive will be almost 2" high (instead of 1") and 2 times the wider than the strength of the plates used. The depth is more easily manageable. (Be sure to check you can fit the new dimensions where you are mounting the drives.) Of course the increased dimensions do not matter in most soft-mount configurations.

I made plates for 5 drives and that ended up costing me < 40€ (the price of the copper sheet).

If you don't use the foam to dampen sound then this way the drive will have around 3 times the surface area than without the plates meaning significantly better cooling if the plates contact the drive well enough.

(Edited to make the height a little smaller. I will maybe add some pictures if the ASCII art is not clear enough...)

There are a few advantages to this approach when compared to some of the commercial products I've seen.

1. There is direct contact between the metal on the drive and the plates which helps heat transfer. (The drive is not completely isolated with foam etc.)

2. This takes up less space than most of the products I've seen, therefore giving more options where to mount the drive. Those 5.25" slots with no airflow can be used for other purposes. (I have 2 in the bottom part of an Antec P180 chassis with no modifications to the case, even mounted with the silicone grommets that came with the case. The 1.6mm increase in the drive width didn't make a difference.)

Overall the airborne noise can be reduced quite a bit. Since my experience is that most of the airborne noise comes from the top of the drive, rather than the sides, because the material on the top of the drive is usually the thinnest. Therefore you can "foam" the top and the bottom of the drives and use the sides for heat transfer. All of the products I've seen either do nothing for the airborne noise or isolate the drive too well, "letting it cook in a box."

All this makes for a quiet(er) drive with multiple mounting options and even the drive temperatures are easily kept in check. I can't help but wonder why no one makes such a simple product like this. After all not everyone can do metalwork at home...

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Post by McBanjo » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:11 pm

(Edited to make the height a little smaller. I will maybe add some pictures if the ASCII art is not clear enough...)
Please do :)
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