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I'm always focused on keeping my two Western Digital hard drives as cool as possible by using the best possible,and hopefully quietest 120 MM fan I can buy, but I'm finding there's a fine line between how much noise you can take and how cool you want to run your hard drives.

Currently I have a Zalman ZM-F3 that pushes out around 72 CFM, but it is a little noisier than I would like. Still, Hard Drive Inspector shows one drive usually running at around 91 to 93 degrees and the other 95 to 97 degrees and they never get much hotter than than.

I found a nice Silverstone fan that's quieter but it pushes out a little less air, around 56 CFM, so the hard drives will run slightly hotter if I put it in.

So what is an optimal running temperature for a hard drive? I realize that figures depend on what hard drive monitoring software that your running.
 

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My hard drives are running hotter than my CPU! :eek: Of course I have switched to your silly Farenheit scale only for the purposes of comparison. :D

 

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Like pyritechips, my hard drive runs hotter than my CPU. Varies between 111°F and 114°F. This is on a Laptop if that matters.

Having said that, I can tell you with some authority, that the higher the temperature of any mechanical or electronic device, the faster it degrades. It's a principle used in my profession during testing of space hardware we refer to as accelerated aging or life testing. One can simulate quite accurately 5 years of operation at room temperature by operation the equipment for a much shorter period of time at an elevated temperature. Usually 125°C (257°F). Thats pretty hot and it's not a linear effect, but you get the idea.

Raybro
 
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