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For m.2 NVMe - Motherboard's active cooling or included heatsink?

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For m.2 NVMe - Motherboard's active cooling or included heatsink?

The motherboard has this active cooling piece for NVMe:
https://www.gigabyte.com/FileUpload/Glo ... design.jpg

The NVMe drive has its own built-in heatsink that appears to be copper:
https://assets.rockpapershotgun.com/ima ... -angle.jpg

Which would you use? I already asked Gigabyte support but I'll hold their answer so it doesn't sway anyone, I'd like to hear some RFD'er opinions.
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id just use the heat sync having a fan blowing on it seems overkill and tiny fans like that always seem to fail and then u will have to put up with some annoying whining sound.
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aaron158 wrote: id just use the heat sync having a fan blowing on it seems overkill and tiny fans like that always seem to fail and then u will have to put up with some annoying whining sound.
I was kinda thinking that too, the fan will eventually get screwy.

Another point to consider, it looks like they only put the active m.2 cooler on the ITX board, makes me wonder if it's maybe kinda necessary.
https://www.gigabyte.com/ca/Motherboard/AMD-X570
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hystavito wrote: The motherboard has this active cooling piece for NVMe:
https://www.gigabyte.com/FileUpload/Glo ... design.jpg

The NVMe drive has its own built-in heatsink that appears to be copper:
https://assets.rockpapershotgun.com/ima ... -angle.jpg

Which would you use? I already asked Gigabyte support but I'll hold their answer so it doesn't sway anyone, I'd like to hear some RFD'er opinions.
I have a 960 Evo which is about 2 years old (meaning it kicks out more heat than current drives), and is installed directly under a 1070 (worst spot for it), in a case whose ambient temp reads as 42°C (aka: a pretty warm case); it NEVER throttles, but I admittedly don't have another NVMe to transfer files to, so it's never really working too hard. According to reviews, it takes transferring about 250GB of data for my NVMe to throttle ... not too bad. The 970 EVO is like 800GB.

Outside of server-like uses, you should never bump into a scenario where heat dissipation will ever matter. And, if it does, the speeds are already insane; going from 2000MB/s to 1,000MB/s the 5 times / year you transfer 250GB+ of data at a time ?

Regardless, if you REALLY want one of those options, the heatsink is way better; it will act like a heat capacitor ... your drive will take a lot longer to warm up, but also a lot longer to cool off. But, honestly, the enormity of the surface area would probably make it so it would be impossible to ever throttle the NVMe. They put it only on the ITX boards PROBABLY because ITX cases notoriously run very hot, making the spreader a good idea.
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Interesting that people are saying don't use the active cooler. Gigabyte tech support, oh I should mention they are the manufacturer of both products, said the opposite. They told me to remove the heatsink from the NVMe drive and use the motherboards active cooling solution.

Physically both can be used, it will fit, but then the ridges on the NVMe heatsink means there won't be much contact between the 2 pieces, it would probably result in higher temperatures then using either alone.
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when not try copying some large files back and forth and see how the temperature does. if its bad then maybe see if u can mod it with a noctua fan noctua now makes some supper small 60 and 40mm fans least then u know it will be super quite and noctua provides a 6 year warranty on there fans so u know they will last.
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@ChubChub I have a 960 EVO in another machine in a small case without any active cooler on it or anything just correct fan air flow on it and it never really gets hot. Specs seem normal on the drive. I am impressed with them. I have 3 970 PRO's in my main rig. Those heat spreader are a waste of money unless the case is really tight and you get no proper air flow, or force the drive to run under heavy loads.

Image

hystavito wrote: Interesting that people are saying don't use the active cooler. Gigabyte tech support, oh I should mention they are the manufacturer of both products, said the opposite. They told me to remove the heatsink from the NVMe drive and use the motherboards active cooling solution.

Physically both can be used, it will fit, but then the ridges on the NVMe heatsink means there won't be much contact between the 2 pieces, it would probably result in higher temperatures then using either alone.
Yes, this is correct. The active shield cooling on the motherboard is better then buying an aftermarket one an adding it to an existing NVMe drive that doesn't have one, unless like I mentioned above airflow is an issue. Also do not buy a drive with a heatsink and combine it with the motherboards cooler. That will just increase the temperature of the NVMe and restrict airflow, making it run even hotter.

Also, stay away from GEN4 NVMe drives for the time being. If you watch some videos where the new PCIe 4.0 NVMe's have been tested, if you don't give them ample cooling under heavy loads they'll thermal throttle. Stay with GEN3 (PCIE-3.0) NVMe drives. The jump from 3000MB/s to (PCIE-4.0) 5000MB/s drives is not worth it yet. They are too expensive. GEN3 is cheaper and not worth the performance difference. Also they need ample cooling as well. Keep that in mind when buying as well.

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Active cooling will almost certainly be better than passive, unless the passive cooler is very large and the active cooler has a comparatively very small heatsink. That is certainly not the case here so active cooling is preferred unless you don't want the noise.

Put it this way, if you took two equal sized/shaped heatsinks, both relatively small/shallow, and one was copper and the other aluminium... If the alum one has a fan and the copper one does not, the copper will still lose and lose badly. As long as the active solution is not too noisy for you (I'd imagine it's inaudible over other fans/noises) then go with it.
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Regarding Gen4 I already have one, from that price error, so I feel like it's worth keeping but I'm not committed yet. Maybe the Gen4 with the active cooler will avoid any throttling issues? I know the speed is overkill for what will probably end up being my gaming PC but the RFD'er in me wants to keep a price error deal :). RFD mind vs practical reasonable mind, it's a battle :).
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I got the Gigabyte Aorus Z390 itx board.... no active cooling on the nvme heatsink there :( On a side note, does it matter if I install a two sided chipped NVME drives on a heatsink such as the gigabyte mobo ones? One side its got built in thermal pad but the bottom side is bare metal.
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Hope you realize that that heat sink is not actually for a NVME drive, but is actually the chipset cooler. The fact that it might help cool a NVME drive is a bonus and I would highly recommend NOT running the board without it.
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hystavito wrote: Regarding Gen4 I already have one, from that price error, so I feel like it's worth keeping but I'm not committed yet. Maybe the Gen4 with the active cooler will avoid any throttling issues? I know the speed is overkill for what will probably end up being my gaming PC but the RFD'er in me wants to keep a price error deal :). RFD mind vs practical reasonable mind, it's a battle :).
You're over-estimating the impact of throttling; you will only be able to theoretically trigger it benchmarking, and by ensuring your case's flow is as crappy as possible. As for the review above about overheating stopping the drive (assuming you have that drive), that will almost definitely be fixed with firmware, but he triggered it running benchmark software like 30x in a row.
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stormy13 wrote: Hope you realize that that heat sink is not actually for a NVME drive, but is actually the chipset cooler. The fact that it might help cool a NVME drive is a bonus and I would highly recommend NOT running the board without it.
Heh omg yeah, I didn't realize that, on the ITX board that's the only cooler, that explains why the full size boards don't have a cooler over the m.2 slot, because they already have their chipset coolers. In addition I never actually read the text, it says right on the image PCH cooler :).

Well that settles it then, thanks a lot. I probably would have gone with Gigabyte's answer anyway but I did want to hear what RFD'ers thought. Thanks to everyone, regardless of the outcome it was a still an interesting discussion.
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I got this for my 970 Pro
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B073RHHYCM/

It reviews well, and looks better than the bare drive as well.
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heyyahblah wrote: Are you seeing a noticeable temperature difference?
TBH, I didn't bother with before and after testing, since my normal usage doesn't actually require this. It's more a case of cheap insurance.
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