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External Hard Drives - Ambient Air Temperature?
Old 4th July 2016
  #1
Gear Addict
 

External Hard Drives - Ambient Air Temperature?

I'm using 3 OWC Mercury external hard drives in my studio. I just got a Argosy desk and put the drives inside the desk. Although the desk has an open design for air-flow, I have noticed the temperature gets to 80 degrees F in the space where the drives are, when they are turned on. I'm concerned about the lifespan of the drives since they are being used in a warm place. Should I be worried?
Old 4th July 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
No, you should not be worried.

Overall, the watts consumed and the surface area of the device determine its operating temperature. For perspective, your skin temperature is about 85-F. It'll be uncomfortable to hold a metal surface that's at 99-F, your internal body temperature. Oddly, these ranges work out to be good guidelines for semiconductor longevity too. At 85-F or less, it's a 'work forever', no intervention required range. At 98-F or more, active cooling is implemented to maintain longevity. That's one of the many reasons there's a fan on the computer CPU, but not on the motherboard chipset/controller.

Where are the materials science PhD Gearslutz folks?
Old 4th July 2016
  #3
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cprompt's Avatar
 

Well, I had two external seagate drives that came in large plastic cases with air vents on the bottom; each failed within a year and got replaced under warranty. I then read that turning the drive upside down so that the vents pointed up not down would help. Having done so, the current drive has been running fine for 3 years now. Coincidence? Old wives tale? Who knows, I'm just saying.
Old 4th July 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
I have an interest in this subject because I was a computer data center disk specialist for a while, back when we called it DASD. It's important to avoid anecdotal evidence, and better to go with statistical info from large populations of disks. Here are some links to a reliability info that's worth reading, (if you care that much) and an article that summarizes some findings in a friendly way.

Interestingly, the 6th page of the PDF file shows a falling trend of disk drive failures as temperature rises toward 30-C (86-F), just the opposite of what we'd expect. Thereafter, things flatten out.

Google's Study of 100,000+ Hard Drives Shows That Disk Failure is Nearly Impossible to Predict - Web Host Industry Review
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-...ility-q3-2015/
http://static.googleusercontent.com/...k_failures.pdf

HTH

Last edited by MediaGary; 4th July 2016 at 04:41 PM.. Reason: added commentary
Old 5th July 2016
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the info!
Old 5th July 2016
  #6
I guess you could create some kind of ventilation in that desk space, just in case if worried about it. Or keep the externals more out in an open area.
Old 5th July 2016
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Fogal View Post
I guess you could create some kind of ventilation in that desk space, just in case if worried about it. Or keep the externals more out in an open area.
A fan would be noisy, so I'm just going to leave it alone. It gets to about 78F near the drives.
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