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  #1  
Old 01-31-2018, 01:51 PM
dcx4610 dcx4610 is offline
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Default Corsair Air 740 - Hard Drive Cooling Options?

Hello,

I just built a new system in the Corsair 740. I love the 2 chamber design and the motherboard area looks super clean and is cooling well.

One area of concern I have though is the 2nd chamber with the power supply and hard drives. I installed the Corsair Link software and noticed that my hard drive temperatures seem really high.

Unfortunately, I don't remember what their temperature was in my previous build so perhaps they have always been this hot and I just didn't know.

That said, I have 2 HGST Deskstar/NAS drives at 4TB and 6TB. The 4TB at idle is running at around 45C. The 6TB is around 52C. Since there is no air flow in the 2nd chamber, I'm worried that this is way too hot and those aren't even load temps.

I checked the spec sheet and it says the drive operating temps are from -40-70C. So it looks like it is within spec but still seems high to me.

Does anyone else have trouble with high temps on their hard drives with this case or do my NAS drives just run hotter than most?

Would it be beneficial to add a cooling fan blowing on them in the 2nd chamber and if so, what size would fit?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2018, 06:32 AM
Nathan Shepard Nathan Shepard is offline
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I'm glad you have made this post as I have been noticing the same thing. My 6 TB HDD in my Air 740 has also been idling at ~52 C, depending on ambient temp. I suspect the amount of heat the HDD produces is related to the capacity of the HDD along with some other details (such as the number of platters in the drive?), so with 6 TB being relatively large today for a consumer drive perhaps the high temp is something that goes with the territory. My old 2 TB HDD idles at less than 40 C in another case, although it sits in a case where the intake fans are directly blowing at it.

For myself I'm currently on a hold and see pattern on the situation, as the drive is technically still with specs. They do rise in temp somewhat when it's under continuous load, but I think currently it's within the 5 degrees range so will *probably* still not be too bad. It's definitely on the upper side of the scale.

While the 2-chamber design is definitely very nice, the HDD situation is still a slight concern for me. You can see the HDD/PSU chamber has ventilation openings towards the back, and with the intake filter for the PSU sitting on the side panel, one can only assume those ventilation openings specifically exist to cater for the HDD/SSD's.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:40 AM
dcx4610 dcx4610 is offline
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Thanks for the reply.

I'm guessing the 6TB drives just run hotter due to the platters. It looks like mine has been holding steady at a max of 52C like yours. Hot but still within operating specs according to HGST (up to 70C). My 4TB looks like it maxed out at 45C.

I found a review that mentions the 2nd chamber can fit a 80mm fan so I'm going to mount one in there blowing on the drives to see if that makes any difference. I'm thinking that the power supply will be able to act as an exhaust with the increased airflow.

I guess the temps are safe but I'd still feel better with them lower and some air getting to them. I'll post results after I get the fan.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:32 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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To have and effect on HDD temps, the fan will need to be close to the drives on the other end. A fan on the back likely won’t be what you’re looking for. Two drives together will add to the idle temp. The PSU should not have an impact either. You need direct cooling to be worth the effort.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:15 PM
Nathan Shepard Nathan Shepard is offline
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I agree with @c-attack, that the most efficient way of cooling HDD's is to have the fans in close proximity to them. With respect to the specific case of Air 740, while it's possible to mount an extra fan towards the back of the case in the HDD/PSU chamber, my feeling is it is probably not going to be very efficient. I think it'll help definitely, but the improvement may not be that great.

The PSU/HDD chamber for the Air 740 has the peculiar issue that it only has ventilation opening on one end of the chamber, unlike the typical situation where openings exist on opposite sides of the chamber. So if we place say an intake fan on the back of the PSU/HDD chamber, the fan may mostly just build up pressure inside the chamber as the air has nowhere else to go. The opposite is true if the additional fan is placed as an exhaust, since the chamber doesn't have an effective opening for fresh air to enter, only in this case (forgive the pun) there is the added concern of gradual dust build-up since the pressure is now negative.

Looking at the placement of the PSU in the Air 740, I doubt the PSU fan would have much impact to the ventilation of the chamber if the fan is facing outwards from the side panel. In this situation the PSU fan would just suck air from the outside blowing on the internal PSU components before exiting through the back of the PSU. The air movement would therefore have never interacted with the chamber-at-large. If the PSU fan is place facing inside there may be a difference but the effectiveness would still probably be not that great.

I guess if we are placing like 3 HDDs and a few SSDs in that chamber then one may install the additional fan on that chamber to get as much cooling as possible, but otherwise my guess is the effectiveness of the additional fan may be limited.

My observation, for a single 6 TB HDD in the Air 740, is that the rise in temp for the HDD tends to be within 5 degrees when under continuous load of the "real-world" kind. I note that since my previous post, I remember I've come across a SFF mini-itx case (not from Corsair) where a 4 TB HDD would generally idle at around ~47 C (depending on ambient).

So not ideal, but perhaps it's still OK - unless we start to really fill up that chamber in the hope of using it as a media server or something like that.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:50 PM
dcx4610 dcx4610 is offline
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I doubt the fan is going to help much but it was a $9 investment. I should have it this weekend to see if it makes any difference at all.

Is there any possible way to mount hard drives at the bottom of the first chamber? That would at least put them in line with a fan blowing on them but also might heat up that chamber more.

I think I'm just going to stop worry about it but it does concern me that these are the temps in the winter time. Who knows how bad it will be in the Summer.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2018, 07:03 AM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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Drives in the bottom of chamber 1? Hmm.. I seem to remember a case like that. Oh yes, the prior Carbide 540 and everyone hated it. We have come full circle. LOL. More seriously, it probably could be done with some kind of platform you can screw the drive down on. That is then secured to the mesh at the expense of the lower fans. However, you would likely be prone to vibration and this probably is more trouble than its worth.

If it becomes a serious issue, your best bet might be a 3rd party enclosure (Icy Dock, etc) that you can bolt to the rear or possibly remove the existing HDD bracket and mount there. Some of them have fans built into the enclosure. I still think you are fine as you are. Any kind of large HDD rack would have all the drives at this temp and somewhere I have a white paper talking about optimum HDD temp as in the 38-42C range. Colder was not better and you are not looking for 10 years out of your HDD anymore.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2018, 11:35 AM
dcx4610 dcx4610 is offline
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No luck with the fan.

I ended up sticking the drives back in my old case which had fans blowing over the top of them and the temp is a full 13C cooler.

I really like the Air 740 and the idea of a 2nd chamber is great but they really needed a cooling solution for the hard drives. When the drive specs are 60C and you are at 52C at idle, that just isn't acceptable.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2018, 11:09 PM
Nathan Shepard Nathan Shepard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcx4610 View Post
No luck with the fan.

I ended up sticking the drives back in my old case which had fans blowing over the top of them and the temp is a full 13C cooler.

I really like the Air 740 and the idea of a 2nd chamber is great but they really needed a cooling solution for the hard drives. When the drive specs are 60C and you are at 52C at idle, that just isn't acceptable.
Thanks for posting back. It helps to get confirmation about whatever assumptions one has made.

I'm sorry to hear you have decided to move the HDD's. I understand the concern, as I share it as well. I think as an alternative workaround, if one really wants to stretch it, one could use 2.5" drives instead and put those on the back of the case. I don't really know what capacity these come in these days, and their performance in terms of pure bandwidth will take a hit when compared to their 3.5" counterparts. However, by putting those drives in the back, you may be able to get much better cooling if you put the 80 cm fan there.

Bear in mind that, as I said, some SFF cases don't have good airflow over HDDs, so the HDD temp situation isn't exactly "unique" to Air 740.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2018, 09:13 AM
will_s will_s is offline
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have a West Digital 2TB hard drive and at the moment its 40C, the 2 SSD's are 34C and 35C and the M.2 ( 960 evo )in the front is 33C

love the case and a good modder good put a fan at the top on the back panel
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2018, 05:52 PM
Pwnstix Pwnstix is offline
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I built my most recent PC in January (2018), and used the Air 740, because I liked the idea of separating the case into chambers, so that the hottest components would get all the air they would need. So far, it hasn't let me down on the airflow side of the case, and I've got it stacked full of 140mm fans in the front and bottom intake, and top and rear exhaust.

My only concern before I bought it was the same concern you've all got, regarding HDD temperatures. I went ahead and got it all together, though, and I did notice my hard drive temperature was higher than I'm used to (coming from a more traditional/older style case with the drive bay mounted in the front/bottom of the case, behind the front intake fan). My drive temperature was reaching 47°C (I'm used to it hovering around 35°C), which that freaked me out, and this was during the winter time, and the room I keep my PC in is usually very cool, even without air conditioning on in the spring and summer. I'd also considered putting some kind of 80mm fan in the rear of the drive compartment, but came to the same conclusions--that it probably wouldn't do much good.

What I ended up doing was buying the Scythe Ita Kaze HDD Cooler (SC​IT-1000), which is a very slim heatsink with a 100mm 3-pin fan. The cooler screws onto the bottom (circuit board) part of the hard drive, and it's a blower-style fan, meaning it draws air into the heatsink, like most video card fans do.

I did have to do a bit of...modifying...to the Air 740's drive bay components. For those of us with this case, if you're using an HDD, you'll remember that the hard drive fits into the tool-less caddy thing, which is comprised of a piece of black plastic that holds the two side pieces up, with two strips of rubber on the sides where they snap into the drive's mounting holes. This is all to reduce vibration and noise, and to secure it into the Air 740's drive bay. Well, unfortunately, the Scythe HDD cooler needs to mount on the side of the drive where the Air 740's caddy has its plastic bracing part, or whatever you want to call it--the part that connects the two sides to the sides of the hard drive.

Basically, in order to attach the Scythe cooler to the drive, I had to cut away the connecting piece on that side of the Air 740's drive caddy, and used a Dremel rotary tool to grind away as much of the plastic as I could from the sides of the caddy. This way, I was able to attach the cooler to the drive, and then attach the sides of the caddy (with the vibration damping rubber intact) to the drive. I can't remember exactly, but I think I was able to use a few screws to help keep the caddy sides in place, just enough so that I could slide the whole thing into the 740's drive bay. I put it near the middle of the bay, so that there would be enough room around it for at least some air to reach the heatsink, and so that air on the left side of it wouldn't get too trapped on the right side of the case.

When I turned my PC back on, my HDD temperature stayed at around 35°C at the lowest, on idle, and never rose much above 40°C under load. It stayed like that until recently (May 2018, entering summertime here), when the idle temperature is hanging around 38~40°C, so, it's still affected by ambient room temperature. I'm *hoping* it stays at or under 40°C while idle. I've seen it get up to 42°C so far while under load, which isn't that often, since it's not my OS drive.

There's not really any fresh outside air hitting the heatsink, but I'm thinking (because it's not a perfectly airtight chamber) that there's at least some air from my upper front intake fan that's getting sucked or drawn towards it. There is one of those rubber cable grommets on that side of the HDD bay, of course, but the bay is solid metal over there, so it's not getting a direct air current. I suppose one could drill some holes into the drive bay...maybe I'll leave that for some other time.

For now, I think it's doing a fairly good job of keeping it cooler than it was without the fansink attached to the drive, and the fan itself is very quiet. I run it at around 800 RPM, but its max seems to be around 1000 RPM, and even at max speed, I don't think I can hear it at all, even with my other case fans turned to a very low RPM. I do keep my intake fans at higher speeds, though, most of the time, so those are the fans I hear the most.

Granted, this is the only HDD I'm using in this case. Like I said, it's my storage drive, and my OS drive is a SSD. I'm sure that if I had other drives in this case, I wouldn't be able to do this, unless I were only using two HDDs, and then I'd have to space them apart a little--but wouldn't be able to fill up the entire drive bay. So, my solution definitely won't work for everyone. Also, I did have to modify (mutilate) the 740's drive caddy, so that might not be for everyone, either. But if you're using primarily a SSD with a HDD for extra storage capacity, then this might work for you.

Sorry for the long post; I tend to be long winded. But I hope this helps.
Here's my build on PCPartPicker, just in case: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/mBGG3C
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2018, 02:46 PM
AyeYerMa AyeYerMa is offline
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I had this exact problem when I first built my rig, my HDD was sitting at around 55 degrees and it was a little bit of a worry, but that was because there was no air circulation in the side of the case. Since there are in fact fan mounts in the side, I had no fans that fit so I just put a 140mm fan in there on top of the SSD bracket and my temps actually dropped by around 10 degrees. I don't understand why people are saying that it wouldn't help. It obviously helped me and the fan is not directly next to the HDD either, it's at the back where the vent is. Obviously the fan is pointing towards the front so it's drawing air in from the back, either way it worked and it should for you too.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2018, 06:28 PM
slaveconstruct slaveconstruct is offline
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Finished my build a few weeks ago.

In my situation I have 3xWD 4TB Black drives for raid 5 game storage in the cage. Sitting idle I was getting around 55c average, and 66c under load (and sometimes higher depending on ambient).

With the 3x drives sandwiched together, the heat build up is fairly significant unfortunately.

Managed to fit 2x80mm fans near the top just have the SSD cage. Set them up blowing in, and my idle temps dropped to 37c average - a considerable improvement.

Here's some pictures of the fan setup:



The fan cables can be run down and under the SSD tray keeping them out of the way. Ended up adding black zip ties to the bottom left hand corner of the top fan, and top right corner of the bottom fan as well, but that was after the pictures were taken.

Cheers.
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