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Which is worse, cold drives or lack of airflow?

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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
My NAS is finally happily running in the basement with OMV. 3x 3TB WD Reds in raid5. Thing is, it's winter, and the basement is chilly. 55-60 deg F chilly. The drives are in a Fractal Define R5 case, right behind the front fan, all stacked together. Even with the fan undervolted and spinning at 300 rpm though, the drives run at around 25 deg C.

I've read in the past that drives dislike being too cold almost as much as being too hot. They will, of course, get warmer if I just unplug the front fan entirely, but then my brain worries about possible hot spots on the drives causing issues.

So which do you think is worse for long term longevity: running cold or running without airflow?

The drives are currently installed right next to each other in the enclosure to keep them behind the fan, I could potentially space them out and install them with an empty tray between each drive if I wanted to unplug the fan.

I realize I'm probably overthinking this whole thing, but I'd appreciate any feedback.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Who knows... and frankly, I wouldn't worry about it, period. You are overthinking it.

That said, there was an article put out about HDD reliability by backblaze(?) which showed some information on temps, but, its splitting hairs.
 
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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
So that's one vote to keep the airflow and don't sweat the temps ... right?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
LOL, Yep. 25C is fine, so is 30C, so is 20C. The difference in life/reliability there is really likely too low to ever worry about.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
+2 for lack of airflow.
When they speak of cold drives, they're talking sub ambient temps. You'll never see temps that will hurt your drives as long as you're inside a normal livable dwelling.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Might be good to put it in the cool basement if you're using Quantum Fireball hard drives.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I always thought temperature fluctuation was more harmful than any consistent case temperature. Seems to me keeping them in the 20C - 30C range is way better than floating between 20C - 80C.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
80c is pretty extreme. Hottest drives I've seen or worked on in the last 20 years were in the 50c range. 20-30c is totally normal.
 

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I'm just providing an example of crappy work PCs with one fan to cool the CPU and case which no one did any maintenance. Some of these were running Win98 up until 3 years ago, I still have 2 Win2k boxes ($20k to update the BAS to get an updated PC). At least now the CPU heatsink & main fan has been cleaned out with canned air. lol

These are building automation HVAC front-end machines which have never been looked at until I showed up a couple years ago. All of the machines on the web (a few are stand alone) were infected with something. My co-workers like to keep me busy even though that's not my job. lol I just fix the heating and air.

Anyway, the point was fluctuation vs any consistent temperature.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I would think lack of airflow would be more of a danger.
I think spinners spin all the time so even around 0 degrees should not cause a lube problem unless you have a board, like mine that lets you turn hdds off.
 
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JeremyCT

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Location
CT
I could turn the spinners off while idling if I wanted, but I haven't enabled that. The power savings aren't compelling enough to justify the lag in Plex while they spin up and spinning them 24/7 tends to lead to longer life than spinning them up and down a few times a day from what I've read. Simpler in general.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
If there is no moisture and temps are not constantly above high 50 then all is fine. 20-30*C is perfect temp for drives.