Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 2, 2020
Espoo, Finland
I have a Samsung X5 connected to my M1 mini and I use it as the main drive since the internal SSD is small. I noticed inconsistent performance, sometimes super fast sometimes ridiculously slow, until I noticed that the case of the drive was getting very hot. I put it on a laptop stand as a big heatsink so the plastic case would touch this heatsink and the performance seems more stable now in comparison.

Is there a better way to cool this drive down? And does anyone else have the same issue?



macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
NVME USB drives run hot.
NVME drives in a thunderbolt enclosure can run HOTTER (due to higher transfer speeds).
If you boot from it, it's probably going to run hotter much of the time, due to things like VM disk swapping, etc.

I've come to the conclusion that there's something about the nvme design that generates a lot of heat. Even CompactFlash cards for digital cameras can get hot under heavy usage.

I read a post here only a few days ago that said Samsung had discontinued the X5. I'm guessing that "heat" had something to do with it.

I believe when an nvme drive gets overheated, it will "throttle back" the speeds, sometimes drastically.

Your best course of action would to be to GO BACK TO BOOTING FROM THE INTERNAL SSD.
Yes, it's small.
You must keep larger items (libraries of movies, music, pics, etc.) on the external drive if necessary.

Do this, and things will still run fast, AND, the X5 will run much cooler.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.