Poorly ventilated system cases can shorten the life of the hard drive

Discusses how excessive heat can minimize hard drive lifespan.

Ambient air temperatures of 95°F (35°C) or greater and poor ventilation from the smaller case designs of Shuttle boxes, LAN party boxes, racks, cabinets, and drawers, can shorten the life of your hard disk.

All Maxtor ATA, SATA, and SCSI drives can operate with or without a fan, providing the hard disk temperature does not exceed 131°F (55°C) as measured from the top cover of the drive. Reliability will be compromised when the drive is exposed to temperatures above 55°C or 131°F. When in doubt of your system's ventilation capabilities, or ambient environment of your hard disk, add an extra cooling fan to the drive bay or system case to force air across the drive.
Guidelines for airflow in system cases and airflow produced by drive bay fans:
  1. The minimum specified airflow for all Maxtor hard disks is 150 LFM (Linear Feet per Minute). Most case designs and drive bay fans produce more than 150 LFM of airflow.
  2. A 2,500 RPM, 80mm case fan moves about 482 LFM of air.
  3. Fan flow ratings apply to ideal conditions. After mounting, typical fan flow is usually 20-30% less than the specified CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute).
  4. Air cooling is not affected dramatically by elevation and the air density changes associated with increased elevation.
  5. Air cooling is directly affected by the temperature of the incoming air.
  6. Obstructions near a fan can decrease flow rate significantly.
  7. It's better to over-pressurize rather than under-pressurize your system case
  8. Airflow overkill is your safest bet, since dust buildup over time reduces the systems cooling capabilities.
  9. There is no benefit to stacking fans.
  10. Choose the shortest path between air intake or exhaust, minimizing travel length of heated air from the hard disk, and other system components.
  11. Don’t mount your fans to push air against each other, cross flow through the case is best. (Fans pushing air in from the rear, and pulling air out the front or, vice versa) Newer case designs have provisions for mounting fans at the top of the case. This design allows the front and rear fans to pull air in, and the upper fan to push the heated air out through the roof.
  12. Airflow for fans are usually rated in CFM and airflow for drives are usually rated in LFM.
CFM to LFM Conversion Table
05 CFM = 73.0 LFM
10 CFM = 146 LFM
15 CFM = 219 LFM
20 CFM = 292 LFM
25 CFM = 365 LFM
30 CFM = 438 LFM
35 CFM = 511 LFM
40 CFM = 584 LFM
45 CFM = 657 LFM
50 CFM = 730 LFM



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