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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:11 AM   #1
Studio K
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Mac Pro Hard drive temperatures

I noticed the Mac Pro (2009) does not have any fans blowing directly onto the hard drives. How are the temperatures managed, I wonder?

I have 3 drives installed. According to iStat, they are 104, 102, and 95 much of the time. The one at 104 runs hotter as it's an old Apple Maxtor from 2005. The 102 is the Apple WD drive that came with the Pro.

What kind of temps are some of you seeing on your drives? What would be considered 'average' or 'healthy'?
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 08:20 AM   #2
Tesselator
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I noticed the Mac Pro (2009) does not have any fans blowing directly onto the hard drives. How are the temperatures managed, I wonder?
Airflow. If you could put on a glass side panel and run smoke trails through the system you would see than the drive bay get airflow across them - even bay 1.


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I have 3 drives installed. According to iStat, they are 104, 102, and 95 much of the time. The one at 104 runs hotter as it's an old Apple Maxtor from 2005. The 102 is the Apple WD drive that came with the Pro.

What kind of temps are some of you seeing on your drives? What would be considered 'average' or 'healthy'?
Classically engineers involved with their manufacture say between 35˚C and 40˚C for desktop grade internal 3.5"s. That's when you can get one to commit to anything at all and there's no official recommendation from any drive manufacturer that I've ever seen - and I have looked. It would make sense to me from common sense alone to keep it under 40˚ as much as possible and that's even when they're working hard.

It's an interesting statistic that shows the vast majority of HDD's die at 26˚ and under though. I want to speculate that this is because (I think it's true) that most drives die shortly after being turned on one day. Rrrrrreeeee....POP! But I have little evidence to support this. Mine look like this:
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 10:25 AM   #3
Studio K
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Thank you Tessalator. I knew you'd have some advices.

My drives hover between 36 and 39 most of the time. I will likely pull the Maxtor since it's so old and I don't really need it.

Western Digital claims that their drives can operate safely up to 60 Degrees Celcius.
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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I use smcFanControl and have all fans set at 1026RPM (or as close as I could) and this it what my temps are.

Two 320G drives in Raid0 (bay 1 and 2) and two 1TB drives in Raid1 (bay 3 and 4).
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 01:14 PM   #5
Tesselator
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Thank you Tessalator. I knew you'd have some advices.

My drives hover between 36 and 39 most of the time. I will likely pull the Maxtor since it's so old and I don't really need it.

Western Digital claims that their drives can operate safely up to 60 Degrees Celcius.
Yeah, 60˚ and 65˚ is written on most manufacturer's data-sheets for Desktop grade drives. Keep in mind however that's "max operating temperature" or in other words the temperature just before it might break or lose calibration and spew data where it wasn't intended.

In an experiment with a larger system I had a case of drives that seemed all to die around the 6-month mark when used in a VOD system I maintain. I usually limited the temp to 40˚ so the system wouldn't be to noisy. The experiment was to install a fresh set and lower the limit to 28˚ as the target to maintain. The drives lasted longer (not double) but the system started collecting a lot of dust.

I'm convinced there is a direct correlation between operating temperature and lifespan - including data integrity, which most other engineers seem to agree with. How the curve is fitted, how it's shaped, and whether or not maintaining a low temperature is worth it to the user (because of dust and noise) do remain questions.
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