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Do SSDs Get Hot? Safe Temp for Idle and Full-load States

The internal components of any computer are interconnected to provide basic functionality. As a result of the regular operation, they are bound to dissipate some heat to the environment. The same is also the case with Solid State Drive (SSDs).

Now you would be wondering that how would SSDs get heated up when they do not have any moving components? Well, the answer lies in the fact that they are also made out of semiconductor materials that have the inherent properties of heat generation.

On average, the temperature varies between 0-70 ºC. The manufacturers tweak with multiple values, like model and form factor, to bring variation in these working temperatures. As a well-informed user, you should understand the cases when it gets excessively hot, and how could it be controlled.

Therefore, read on to know more and unearth answers to the general question- Do SSDs get hot?


Does the SSD Get Hot? Temperature Limit Basics

The SSDs are rated to run within the temperature range of 0 ºC to 70 ºC and holds for nearly all of the popular models available in the market. And when it comes to reliable running temperatures, the same lies between 30-50 ºC when put under the read/write load.

Now, you would be interested to know that why should you even give a fuss about the temperature range of any SSD? It is because the data retention capacity is dependent on this factor:

  • Every SSD has four gates- A floating gate, control gate, drain, and power source.
  • By design, there is an oxide layer on the floating gate that prevents the outflux of electrons.
  • With time, this layer gets weakened and causes the electrons to leak, eventually causing system error.

Therefore, it is very crucial to ensure that the working temperature does not exceed the limit mentioned above. The following are some of the crucial factors that regulate this parameter:

  • Climatic and weather conditions of the location.
  • Location of the SSD in the system.
  • Room and external ambient temperatures.
  • Mechanical structure devised for the SSD.
  • Hours of operation for the system.

What Temperature Does an SSD Usually Hit?

At Idle State

SSD BrandMin Temp at Idle State (ºC)Max Temp at Idle State (ºC)
Western Digital3040
Silicon Power3035

At Full-load State

SSD BrandMin Temp at Full-load StateMax Temp at Full-load State
Western Digital4270
Silicon Power4045

‘Hot’ vs ‘Hot Enough to Be a Problem’- What’s The Difference?

As you would have got by now, the temperature of SSDs keeps varying as per their state- either complete idle or fully loaded. Following the manufacturer’s specification sheet, it is very normal to witness a temperature higher by 15-20 degrees while comparing idle and loaded states.

You would witness the maximum temperature during heavy data transfer, and once the process is completed it would come back to normal. This is what is called normal hot for the device.

But, if you see that the SSD is showing consistently high temperature even in the idle state, then there lie some issues. Even if your external temperature is cooler or there is no obstruction on the casing of the device, and yet the SSD is running at the higher end of the idle state, there is a certain ventilation problem that needs to be cracked before it’s too late! This is called hot enough to be a problem, i.e. SSD temp. is too high.

To summarize, the difference between the two terminologies is the ability of the device to switch the values during idle and loaded states. 

Why Can SSD Temperature Go Unusually High?

The following are some of the crucial reasons that show why to do the SSDs generally get unusually hot:

SSD Being Located in A Low-airflow Spot

Maintaining good ventilation around the drive is highly crucial for regulating the working temperatures. There would be cases when you have kept it in positions that obstruct the normal flow, like over a cloth surface or under some other accessories of the laptop/PC table. Or even there would have been a thick layer of dust at corners to which you would not have given any thought for days.  

Under such circumstances, you would see the variation in the readings of the SSD temperature sensor and external sensor. A major difference hints towards a probable cause of being in a low airflow spot.

Other Parts Might Be Heating SSD up (in Laptop)

It is another plausible point that the other components on your laptop/PC might be challenging the normal SSD temperature. The reasons for this include the following:

  • Overheating of the motherboard is either due to non-stop operation without any break or voltage fluctuations within the internal components.
  • The external temperature is too cold, as a result of which the components behave oddly with a sudden increase in the heat and may cause the chain of components to behave oddly.
  • Excessive humidity leading to a build-up of static charges in other parts, that might cause malfunctioning.

Therefore, even the external and internal factors contribute towards unwanted heating of the SSD in some way or the other.

It Might Have PCIe Gen4 x4 controllers

For the gamers out there, we understand the importance of upgrades in-stock components to enhance the frame rates, and eventually performance. So you may prefer upgrading to PCIe Gen x4 controllers. But there is a catch to it that majority of you forget to observe.

With high performance, it is imperative that you would observe overheating phenomenon in the SSD. If your motherboard does not have its standard M2 heatsink, and also the SSD lacks a heatsink, then it is a must for the drive to throttle and hamper the current performance.

So keeping an eye on the heatsink combination is equally crucial. 

Some SSDs Might Run Hotter by Default

Now let’s delve a little deeper into the basics of SSD. If your device has an M2 heatsink instead of an M2.5 or SATA type, then it is obvious that the heating mechanism would be higher in the former. It is because the chips are exposed in such components and the stock thermal pads might not be sufficient seeing their existing performance.

So, if you see your SSD having a temperature continuously greater than 60 degrees, then try exploring this factor.

5 Ways to Keep SSD Cool

Now let’s focus on the solutions for keeping your SSD from getting overheated frequently. The following are some of the well-established ones:

Mount Some Fans

If you are witnessing that the stock heatsink is not able to meet your high-performance requirements, then consider going for additional fans. For example, it has been a common observation that M2 NVMe SSD heatsinks often face issues in fixing SSD overheating. In such cases, mounting extra fans below the GPU can help the cause.

The moving air accelerates the venting process rather than the stagnant air, and you finally get the desired cooling effect.

Relocating It to A Better Place

You can consider shifting the position of your SSD to a better location, where the airflow issue can be solved naturally. For example, graphics cards have a significant contribution in cooling the SSD and are hence fitted near to it. So, if it functions on active cooling, then consider relocating your SSD below it.

It is because the axial fans contribute towards better airflow when kept above the heated SSD, and help in easy monitoring of SSD temperature by the sensors. This can be correlated with another discussion like ‘is realtemp safe?’ 

Try Changing The SSD Enclosure

Another technique under the sleeve is to try changing the stock SSD enclosure and upgrading to an integrated one with smart cooling. Some features under it include automatic thermal control once the SSD temperature reaches 50 degrees, the use of high-density aluminum fins for enhancing the cooling rate, lightweight structure, and many more.

Just read the manufacturer’s manual and go for the one that can help with your requirements. 

Get an SSD with Heatsink

While buying an SSD, ensure that it has one of the advanced heatsinks. It helps in cooling the drive while it is performing high-density data storage activity, and preventing unnecessary lags at the peak performance. It’s analogous to providing an exhaust system in your cars.

Alternatively, you can also arrange a mechanism for connecting the SSD with your GPU’s heatsink.

Proper SSD Health Maintenance

There are many ways of ensuring proper SSD health maintenance, and keeping a check on the overheating symptoms:

  • Setting up the system power plan to high performance, so that the power supply does not cut off permanently and simply goes to sleep in an inactive stage.
  • Upgrading the firmware regularly as per the manufacturer’s discretion.
  • Defragmenting the SSD as a health-check tool.
  • Timely cleanup of the cache data for freeing the storage.
  • Enabling TRIM to extend the life of the SSD.  

When You’d Understand If Your SSD Has Gone Bad

The following warning shows display that your SSD has gone bad, and requires immediate attention:

  • The temperature showing to be excessively high even in the idle state (Similar to the steps of ‘How to check PSU temp.?’
  • The system running excessively slow, or lagging when you are trying to transfer large data at a time.
  • Files are not getting read or written on the drive.
  • Frequent display of errors on the screen.
  • Outdated SSD firmware or Motherboard BIOS.

Doing further troubleshooting on hardware, software, the file system can provide enhanced knowledge on these failure modes, and the appropriate damage control plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does SSD get hotter than HDD?

Answer: Though SSD gets hot at situations mentioned above, it does not go to the limits shown in HDD. It is because of two main reasons- no moving components in SSD as compared to HDD, and lesser power consumption in the former.

2. How can you check SSD temperature?

There are two popular ways of checking SSD temperature- using any open source system resource monitor that gets directly connected to the temperature sensors of the device, or via storage settings on the OS, where you can see major stats on the drive health.

3. Why does my SSD laptop get hot?

Various reasons are contributing towards this effect- external conditions, the position of the SSD in the system, maintenance style of the user, airflow condition around the drive, usage pattern, and many more.  

4. Do SSDs need cooling fans?

Yes, SSDs also need cooling fans to cool the basic properties of semiconductors after the operation. If you are using high-performance types for gaming, design softwares, etc. then go for using additional fans. The moving air improves the flow in an enhanced way than the stagnant air and prevents the SSD from reaching the extreme condition. 

Final Words

On an ending note, we would like to bring your focus on the part that SSDs also get hot even if they do not have any moving components. If they reach beyond the specified temperature limits, then you will witness malfunctions that might eventually damage the drive.

There are natural and man-made factors that affect performance. As a responsible user, you can play your part in controlling the latter, and practicing the best techniques to prevent failure. In extreme cases, you can also escalate the issue to your SSD manufacturer.

Keep reading our blog for more such articles, like ‘Is it bad to run your GPU fan at 100 all the time?’. Till then, happy reading and stay safe.