This is the question that came up in Ralf Hutter's review of the Antec SLK3700BQE.
His displeasure at seeing a max temp of 43C for a 2-platter Barracuda IV in the BQE prompted me to post a POINT * COUNTERPOINT addendum at the end of the review
. (Please read that before posting further comments here.)
It also prompted me to review a lot of the documentation from HDD manufacturers about safe temperatures. It made me realize that they are pretty cagey on the topic in many ways.
For one, they most commonly talk about "operational temperature
" not for the drives themselves (by which I mean the readout from the S.M.A.R.T internal temp diode) but for "ambient
." The one exception I've found so far is Seagate:
Seagate specifies in their spec doc 100129212b.pdf for the Barracuda IV -- "Ambient temperature: 0° to 60°C (op.), –40° to 70°C (nonop.)"
And: "Ambient temperature is defined as the temperature of the environment immediately surrounding the drive. Actual drive case temperature should not exceed 69°C
(156°F) within the operating ambient conditions."
These are exactly the same as specified for the 7200.7 drives.
The recommended position for the measuring the "Actual drive case temperature" is at the bottom center edge of the front edge (see p23 of the pdf -- p.31 as read by Acrobat)
The implication of all the above is that there is a ~10C difference between drive temp and ambient temp.
WD's thermal specs are harder to find, but this document on Thermal Monitoring for Advanced Data Protection
refers to S.M.A.R.T. default warning temp as 60C and shutdown as 65C. This would suggest that WD's maximum ambient temp recommendation would be ~55C...
No temp refs found thus far at Maxtor, but operating ambient temps are 55C max.
So the questions are:
1) what do you think the max long term safe S.M.A.R.T drive temp should be (for most/any modern 7200 rpm drives)?
2) What experience / evidence do you have to support this?
3) can you point to any definitive info regarding max long term safe S.M.A.R.T drive temp?
Or should we simply say anything over 55C is unsafe and how much below that you want to go is a matter of personal comfort -- much like max CPU temp? (The argument is that except for burnouts caused by catastrophic failures like a HS fall off, there is little or no evidence of CPUs actually getting damaged
by running them close -- say -10% -- to the max die temp for extended periods.) Or do we discriminate between the all-electronic CPU vs. the electro-mechanical hard drive?