Samsung Magician's Hot SSDs Aren't Actually All That HotWritten on July 23, 2021 by Chad Warmenhoven
Why you need this article
Despite the lack of moving parts, hence the name solid state drives, SSDs can get very warm. If you aren't minding the temperatures the drives may experience premature degradation or even failure.
A number of our users have pointed out an issue with Samsung Magician. The software seems to be incorrectly reporting nominal temperatures as 'too high' when in reality they are well within acceptable ranges. Let’s look at the error:
As you can see in the image above, Samsung Magician is reporting 61*C as a temperature 'too high' for safe operation even though (as the color grade indicates) 61*C is a perfectly acceptable temperature for normal operation.
So, what is a 'Safe Operating Temperature'
Most SSDs are rated for running within a temperature range of 0ºC up to a max temp of 70ºC (32ºF to 158ºF). This range is about the same for every consumer SSD currently on the market but will sometimes vary based on the model and form factor of the SSD (2.5” SATA, M.2 or mSATA) – a drive under 70ºC is generally within the operating parameters provided by SSD manufacturers.
Typical SSD temperatures
For reliability, most of the time your SSD temperature should range between 30ºC and 50ºC (86ºF to 122ºF) for SSDs under load.
This varies based on a bunch of things like: how hot it is outside and your current room temperature, what type of enclosure the SSD is located in or where your SSD is located inside your system, as well as how much work your SSD is currently doing (reads/writes).
Idle vs Full Load
SSD temperatures vary depending on the current operations they are performing. It’s quite normal for an SSD to jump 5, 10, 15 or more degrees Celsius when going from idle (completely inactive) to a full workload of heavy reads & writes. If your SSD gets hot when you’re copying big files or using I/O intensive programs, but cools right back down once a transfer is complete or you close the disk intensive program – this is completely normal. During heavy work, short bursts of high temperatures are completely normal and expected.
Most SSD manufacturers have implemented thermal throttling as a safety feature when a drive gets too hot. The closer the device gets to the predetermined temperature limit, the more likely it is that the drive will start slowing down to prevent itself from failing. The drive will slow down drastically until the temperatures come back to a reasonable range, at which point you should get your speeds back.
If your SSD is hitting 70ºC or higher you are in the danger zone and will notice your machine grind to a halt as it waits for the drive to cool down.
M.2 and mSATA SSDs frequently run hotter than 2.5” SATA SSDs. This is due to the exposed chips in the M.2 models, lacking thermal pads or a casing that can conduct heat away from the chips. If you have an M.2 inside of your system, you want to make sure there’s air flowing over the drive. If your Puget System came with an M.2 device, we have already accounted for the increase in temperature and have adjusted air-flow and often even added thermal pads and heatsinks.
Recently, Samsung Magician has been incorrectly reporting overheating drives. We aren't yet sure if they will resolve this but if you see the warning yet your drive is within normal operating temperatures then there is nothing to worry about. If your drives are actually running hot you should look into applying thermal pads to help dissipate heat if not already installed. You can snag thermal conductive silicone pads on Amazon for less than $10 which you stick to the device to help draw heat away from the hot controller and NAND chips. Contact Puget Systems Support for details on which products are compatible with your system.
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