Today we're looking at cooling hard drives with an Antec HD Cooler. Antec offers large aluminum heatsinks, which have two 40mm fans that direct outside air across the fins to cool the drive from its side. The HD Cooler also offers temperature sensors to monitor drive temps as well as a second probe to monitor chassis temperatures, but just exactly how well does it perform its job? Let's find out.
The hard drive is actually one of the most underappreciated components in a system. A hard drive is constantly in use since it holds all data for operating systems and programs. When any of these are loaded, the hard drive bears the load. Not only is it relied upon for loading programs, it’s also relied upon for all your personal storage files. Hard drives save all data a user puts on their computer, whether it be pictures, music files, home videos, Internet files -- all data placed on the PC goes to the hard drive.
Hard drives tend to run pretty warm; most high performance drives have a spindle speed of at least 7200 RPM (revolutions per minute), and with most users saving hundreds of gigabytes of data on their drives there is plenty of movement of the read/write heads seeking out the data on the platter. They certainly can work up a sweat and run fairly warm. Although heat may not be a direct problem for most hard drives, the heat created could certainly reduce the lifetime of the drive and cause eventual data corruption.
The HD cooler comes packaged with all cables and hardware inside. It has a sticker where the drive would be installed. It says, “Your data is priceless, why let heat destroy it?” Exactly right.
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