DIY Hard Drive Cooler

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I’m sure many of you visiting are sitting next to a case which has been, lovingly or otherwise, modded to achieve better case temperatures. The reason being, of course, to try and achieve a better overclock or just to cool things down a bit!

My case is no exception and I have, with the aid of my trusty jigsaw, added a 2 x 92 mm blowhole in the top of the case, a side 80 mm for the PCI/AGP slots, and removed a whole bunch of restrictive grills. So, you would think I would be pretty happy with that.

However, there is always something that can be done – I am a firm believer in the “if it ain’t broke, take it apart and try to make it better” principle. I am also a believer in the “keep it cheap” philosophy (still a student).

My problem was that while my case was now wonderfully cool, the hard drives weren’t – my (inexpensive) case isn’t one of those that has a nice 80 mm fan in front of the hard drive cage, and by this time I had decided more fans weren’t always the answer.


The solution was easy – I had the P4 mounts for my Zalman CNPS-7000 lying around. These are aluminium bars about 8 cm long and conveniently have a screw hole in them. I screwed them into the back part of the drive (one each side) and immediately got about a 5ºC reduction in my HDD temperature.

“Great”, I thought, but noticing that the upper drive was always warmer than the lower, “What else can I attach to these things?”

I had an old, dead PSU around – with a couple of heatsinks inside. I ripped that apart and conveniently, they also had screw holes, so on they went. These helped even more than the Zalman mounts (they are a lot bigger – the one in the photo is only about half as big as the one on the other side of the drive) and helped more like 10ºC (your mileage may vary).

They do work better with the side panel on – I assume this is because it helps duct the air from the front intake up past the drives to the rear PSU and top blowhole exhausts, rather than mainly convection with the side panel off.

A quick, easy and reversible mod that should help cool down those drives a bit.

Dave Burns – Australia


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