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Bat's mini reviews part 1

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batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Hey, welcome to Bat's mini reviews on mundane accessories, or basically, much ado about nothing.

Since everyone and their mother are doing reviews nowadays, I figured, why not? Maybe I will too?

Overview:

Let's look to see what got delivered today. All "storage section" related items too I might add. Upper left part of the photo contains two black boxes: 2X Asus Hyper M.2 X4 Mini. You connect and secure a m.2 NVMe SSD onto this expansion card and pop it into a PCI-e 3.0 slot. I only have two m.2 sockets on my motherboard. With these expansion cards, I can add more NVNe drives (i.e. in case I wanted to do some sort of RAID configuration). These cards also works with something called Asus Hyper Kit that is apparently supported by some Asus motherboards. I have no clue what that is at the moment, but we'll learn all about it in a later mini review.

Moving on to the topic of Bat's mini review part 1. The item in the lower left part of the photo is a bracket to mount a 2.5" drive into a 3.5" HDD drive cage or 3.5" floppy drive bay. This one has a 60mm cooling fan and is made by Rosewill (model no. RDRD-11003 in stock at newegg for $5.99). I figure the fan is a cheap wimpy thing. But, wait a minute! Whoa! Looks like I've already introduced bias into my review. Ok, fair enough, I will now assume the fan is innocent until proven guilty (yeah right). I'll give it a fair test and see it actually drops temps.

The item in the lower middle part of the photo is a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5" SATA SSD. This drive will also be part of this mini review part 1. Here's what I hope to accomplish. I intend to mount the SSD onto the bracket and test temps of the drive with the fan and without the fan running to see if this thing even works. It also appears to me the fan could be removed and a second 2.5" SSD would mount right in. I will do that to see if my theory is correct. I also have a couple other more powerful 60mm fans that I can try to see how they stack up to the fan that was provided.

Before we move on to mini review #1, the last things in the pic are: upper right, a 10 pack of Blu-Ray BD-R DL media. That will be another mini review in a couple days. I will test out my new Blu-Ray burner and see if the average overclocker can figure out how use these new Dual Layer discs to store 50 GB of data files (and whether it really works as advertised). The last items in the photo are 25mm fans that I plan to try mounting onto the heatsink that I installed onto my m.2 NVMe drive. Yes, that will be yet another Batty mini review. So, one delivery box turns into 4 mini reviews.

strorage 01 Sept 1 delivery.jpg

Bat's mini review part 1.

The Rosewill 3.5" to 2.5" HDD/SSD bracket is extremely light weight, but feels sturdy. No label on the fan to give us a clue what it is and what it'll do. Taking into account the low price of the bracket, it seems logical the fan is a cheap generic, but that said, we'll test it and see. Personally, I don't see why they didn't sleeve the fan wires. I did my usual old school electrical tape wrap. Probably a waste of time and tape, because if I were a betting man, I'd bet real money that I'll end up either using no fan or a different fan.

The Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SSD fits perfectly onto the bracket. There are little guides on the bracket the position the drive exactly where it needs to go. A small pack of screws were enclosed in the package to mount the drive to the bracket and to mount the bracket to the case drive cage. Even with the SSD mounted, the unit is super light. Even if the fan is a flop, the bracket itself is fine for what it does, which is mount 2.5" drives.

strorage 02 ssd mounted in bracket.jpg

Bat's mini review part 1 will continue. Stay tuned. Up next, Sammy drive and Rosey adapter are installed.

Note: If the fan is removed, you can mount a second 2.5" SSD onto the bracket. I didn't have a second drive at hand, but I trial fitted the one I had in both positions and there is even a small gap in between the two drives if you doubled up. Of course, the fan can't be used... or can it? I have a drive cage where the bottom is open in the middle, so if the bracket is mounted in the lowest cage bay, I could mount the fan onto the underside of the bracket (after you slide the bracket into the bay/cage first).

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me show you an end view and a bottom view of the drive and bracket to give you a better idea how the fan fits in.

strorage 03 ssd and bracket end view.jpg

Here 's the bottom view.

strorage 04 ssd and bracket bottom view.jpg

Folks, this is a live review, give me a few minutes to shut down and pull the drive cage out of the case and then install this bracket/SSD drive.

***time passes***

EDIT #1: I'm having technical problems. The new SSD SATA drive is not showing up.

EDIT #2: Ok, I found the instructions that came with the drive and I will now follow them.

Continued...

Well, I learned something new today, how to set up a SSD that is not the boot drive.

Being a charge ahead kind of guy, I stuck the new SSD into my tower case, plugged it in, and booted up. The drive was not recognized. Samsung SATA SSD has a CD with software and drivers you are supposed to install first. Yes, I actually did eventually stop and read the instruction (almost worse than stopping to ask directions when you're driving). So, I found out the Samsung Magician program that is provided on the installation disc is supposed to walk you through the process. It got to the point where it said to reboot and the magician would finish initializing the drive after Windows restarted. I rebooted, no magician to help (lazy azz wizards). Tried reinstalling the program and a bunch of other stuff. At least the drive was now showing up in the BIOS.

I finally googled how to do this manually in Windows 10 and watched a youtube video that showed me how. It's not hard once you know where to go and what to do. Ok, the new Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SATA SSD is now installed in the tower and working (initialized, partitioned, and formatted). Here's a photo, although there isn't much to see. The new SSD is the bottom drive and above it is an old fashion 1TB Seagate HDD.

strorage 05 ssd mounted in case.jpg

Up next, I will attempt to benchmark the new SATA SSD while monitoring and recording drive temp. I hope to test whether the provided fan works at lowering temps or not.

Continued...
 
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batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
The live review continues and I have preliminary results.

First, I ran CrystalDiskMark on the Samsung 850 EVO with the cooling fan off. Max temp was 46 C and average temp was 37 C.

850 EVO without fan resized.jpg

Next, I ran CrystalDiskMark on the Samsung 850 EVO with the cooling fan on. Max temp was 43 C and average temp was 37 C.

That's all I'm doing tonight. I'll finish up the review tomorrow. I plan to run the same test once more for with and without fan. I also want to try one other higher performance fan.

What, if anything, can we conclude so far? (1) These reviews are harder and way more time consuming than I first thought. (2) I posted real life drive benchmarks for the Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SATA SSD in case you wanted to compare the results with another drive. (3) The fan mounted onto the SSD mounting bracket is a great idea, but the results so far are a bit lackluster. While anyone would welcome a drop in max temp, 3 degrees C is not really anything to write home about. Especially, when the average temp remained the same.

Continued tomorrow...
 

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  • 850 EVO with fan resized.jpg
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batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Bat's mini review part 1 - conclusions.

I got up early and did some more testing. The Crystal benchmarks stayed consistent, so I won't post anymore of them.

I ran three pairs of additional temperature trials (without the 60mm fan and with the fan). I will summarize the data including what we did last night.

Maximum / average temperature (degrees C.) were reported by SMART sensor and collected with HWinfo64 during the CrystalDiskMark benchmark (default settings).

Summarized Results:

Without fan: (1) max 46 / average 37, (2) max 44 / average 37, (3) max 43 / average 37, (4) max 45 / average 39, mean max temp 44.5 / mean average temp 37.5

With fan on: (1) max 43 / average 37, (2) max 42 / average 35, (3) max 42 / average 36, (4) max 42 / average 36, mean max temp 42.25 / mean average temp 36.0

Conclusion:

The Rosewill 3.5" to 2.5" drive mounting bracket with cooling fan included does indeed keep a Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SATA SSD a little cooler. According to my limited amount of data collected, the maximum temperature during the CrystalDiskMark benchmark test was about 2 degrees C. cooler with the fan running. The average temperature was 1.5 degrees C. cooler with the fan running.

Honestly, I wasn't looking for a drive cooling fan. I needed a mounting bracket for a SSD drive, so I took a chance and impulse bought this one, even though I figured there was a 66% chance the fan would be worthless. Can you get by without the fan? Of course, absolutely. All you need with a SATA SSD is decent case ventilation. But, since I have one in my possession and it's installed and it helps cool the SSD drive down by a couple of degrees--heck yeah, I'll leave the fan on. It's not noisy, I can't hear it over the case and radiator fans. I also have the option of removing the fan and installing another SATA 2.5" solid state drive (I have one SATA channel left).

Above and beyond the call of duty additional testing:

As promised, I tried a more powerful fan. I removed the no-name fan from the Rosewill bracket and installed a 4,000 rpm 60mm fan that definitely moves more air than the stock fan. Results were disappointing: max 42 / average 36 (which is no better than the generic fan that I had unfairly scorned).

One final test, with the 60mm bracket fan removed, I zip tied a 120mm Panaflow fan to the front of the drive cage to force air in between the drives. Results were even more disappointing: max 44 / average 38.

Conclusion of the additional testing: I found nothing better than the fan that originally came installed with the drive mounting bracket. I know I bad mouthed this little fan, sorry little dude.

What the heck does all this mean? Not much, I saw a product and wondered if it worked. So, I tested it to see. You're welcome to look at my results and decide for yourself if this item is worth it to you. Some might say, awesome--it cools 2 degrees--I'm buying one. Others will say, meh--insignificant. In reality, it's in between a yawn and one thumb up (half a thumb?).

End of Bat's mini review part 1
 
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batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Bat's mini review part 2

This will be a short mini review. Seriously, as in basically no review at all. This was supposed to be a review of my Blu-Ray burner and BD-R DL (new media that holds up to 50 GB of files). The new media requires a Blu-Ray burner (optical drive that supports writing to the BD-R DL. I have the new media (see photo), but my burner (Asus BC-12B1ST 12X SATA Blu-ray Combo Internal DVD+/-RW Drive) can't write to this media. It can read it, but can't burn to it. They got me because I didn't read the fine print. I saw BD-R DL (DL means dual layer) and foolishly thought if it can read it, it can write it. It does burn to DVD+R DL which is regular DVD dual layer that can hold up to 8.5 GB.

Summary: I do not have hardware that can utilize this new BD-R DL media. While this concludes Bat's mini review part 2, I hope me being a dumb-azz will keep you from making the same mistake. I will look into getting a new drive or getting the 8.5 GB DL discs that this optical drive will support. I probably will forget about the 50 gig media. My personal opinion it's too late for disc media when I can buy a 256 GB flash drive for $50.

strorage 06 BD-R DL media.jpg

Bat's mini review part 2 is aborted.
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
Batz, thanks for all your hard work, time and effort in the mini reviews for the Samsung drive/mounting bracket and fan. These normal SSD's don't generate enough heat to justify a fan. Tho cooler temps are always better, it all amounts to options. If you want to add a fan, then by all means go for it, but it really isn't needed.

Now for the M2 NVMe drive, that's a whole different animal. Depending on which M2 drive, some run hotter than others. The PNY that Stereo555 and I have are real heaters, so they benefit a ton with active cooling. Once these drives reach their max operational temps, without any cooling, they start to throttle and performance suffers greatly.

Maybe you should do a review on your M2 NVMe drive using the fans you purchased to see if this theory is correct? Stereo555 and I did a quick review with our PNY drives with and without active cooling which I'm sure you already checked out. One thing is for certain: The PNY NVMe drives NEED active cooling. Some other NVMe drives don't. Unsure why the PNY's are heaters, but my take is the Phision controller chipset.
 
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batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Indeed I will, I have already done a bunch of testing and the heat sink I'm using (same as you) works good if you have active cooling on it (fan attached to the sink). Those 25mm fans in the first photo (post #1) are slated to be installed onto the heat sink if they test okay. No worries, that will be a mini review probably on Monday. Stay tuned.

P.S. Hey Neb, I agree the SATA SSDs don't "need" extra cooling. In the review I said: "All you need with a SATA SSD is decent case ventilation."

LOL... I also said in the first post this would be much ado about nothing.
 
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batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
The funny thing is we both came up with and used the same Thermaltake RAM sink independently. I freely admit I copied your idea to zip tie it onto the drive module, although folks here on the forum have zip tied fans onto heatsinks for years.

I see two of the four 25mm fans that I bought will not be used, they are 5v quiet low speed fans that don't move much air. I threw them into a Tupperware container full of other small fans and power adapters (shhh, don't tell my wife I stole her Tupperware).
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Merged a bunch of posts together.

Tha ms for the testing...though, you dont even need a case with good airflow to cool an ssd either. These things just exist without any help. :)
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
one thing about the cooling done on the 2.5in drive, was their any benifit from keeping the drive cooler then without? as in like some of the M.2 drives when the controller gets hot BW takes a nose dive vs being able to keep it cool.
 
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batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Don't know specifically, although with electronics in general, you tend to extend longevity if you keep things cooler. SSDs have a finite lifespan. I just have the mother hen urge to keep things in my computer case as cool as possible.

One thing I noticed--there was only one temp sensor on my SATA 2.5" SSD, compared to the m.2 NVMe SSDs that have 2 sensors. The one closest to the controller tends to be the one we worry about the most (for good reason). While the SATA SSD can get away without special cooling, not so with the faster cousins riding the PCIe bus.

Remember, RAM sticks went through a point where they started getting warm and we overclockers began putting heatsinks on them. Next thing I know, it's hard to find naked RAM modules. The manufacturers will have to address cooling sooner or later.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
no i get ya, i just figured with 2.5in consumer drives not the m.2 or something like the intel 750 line. that the controller on the 850 evo and pro, would be some how getting cooled by the alu. case the ssd was in. yea i have a 400gb intel 750 with a massive Heatsink case in 2.5in FF, it is just used for games. no where near what it was designed for usaged wise...