HARD DISK OPERATING TEMPERATURES

There have been a lot of posts in the topic of what is a good operating temperature for a hard disk. Having used front fans for hard disks has done more towards overall system stability as high air flow matters.

The old Carbide 300R has a single hard disk cage that has one 140mm front intake fan. The Obsidian 750D has a pair of 140mm front intake fans, In both machines the hard disks are all under 35°C with the cooler intake air. Invariably rear and top exhaust fans are standard.

Long ago with a Pentium IV 2.8 machine that had four Seagate 200GB SATA hard disks in a RAID array. There was no fan to cool the disks but none of the hard disks every was a problem. The PCI to 4-port SATA allowed the disks to all be used in a hardware RAID5 setup.

  • WD Red: 0°C to 70°C operating, -40°C to 70°C non-operating
  • WD Purple: 0°C to 65°C operating, -40°C to 70°C non-operating
  • WD Green: 0°C to 60°C operating, -40°C to 70°C non-operating
  • WD Blue: 0°C to 60°C operating, -40°C to 70°C non-operating
  • WD Black: 5°C to 55°C operating, -40°C to 70°C non-operating
  • Seagate hard drives is 5°C to 50°C. With our newer model drives the maximum temperature is now at 60°C.

Failures can happen for anyone of a number of reasons:

  • Higher than average workload on the HDD (continuous reads & writes)
  • Inappropriate cooling of the computer case and the drive (dust, failed ventilation, high ambient temperature, drive operating in narrow enclosed space, drive gets heated by another hot component)
  • Failing hard drive (bad sectors and mechanical issues)

Most hard drive manufacturers specify a normal operating temperature between 0°C to 60°C (32°F to 140°F). This is however not the optimal temperature range for safe and reliable operation. If you exposed for prolonged operation at temperatures under 20°C (68°F) or above 50°C (122°F), the drive’s useful life will be affected.

Back in 2007, Google reported that they found colder hard disks tended to be less reliable. Unheated data centers in the winter can be near freezing which is why hard disks operating temperatures are now lower. One servers are powered up the heat from them needs to be exhausted. Cold servers are now more common where hard disks are powered down.

More recently Backblaze reported that above some threshold that some Seagate ST3000DM001 had atrocious failure rates. The failure rate of the ST31500541AS does go up at higher temperature. Keeping hard disks cool seems to be a popular theme in the modern age.

The real problems here were with 320GB, 500GB and 750GB hard disks when RoHS solders came to the market. It took some time to perfect the new solders and now hard disks are able to achieve lower failure rates. 1 TB, 1.5 TB nd 2TB disks seem to be much more durable with some disks exceeding 30,000 operating hours.

Modern desktop machines have usually got 4 hard disk bays. Some very recent models have only 2 bays favoring the M.2 SSD usage which have not been in use long enough to estimate service life. Most chassis today more or less focus on airflow which is needed in gaming rigs. High capacity hard disks can handle an overflow of games as well as music and movies.

Har disks in private homes tend to have it good. Temperatures of 15°C to 45°C about as hot as it gets in the world.

%d bloggers like this: