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View Full Version : Aluminium or fan the best for cooling external enclosure ?



Misty
14-07-2006, 08:38 PM
If you had to make a choice would an aluminium enclosure keep an external drive cooler than a fan please ? Obviously if you had both it may be better (or maybe not !).

On another thread a member pointed me to a particular aluminium enclosure and I contacted the sellers and asked whether it has a fan. I got the reply that no fan with it "but aluminium cools much better than a fan".

Also today I was talking to my local PC shop people and was told that fans in external enclosures increase the amount of dust which can get to the enclosed hard drive which is not good for them.

What do you think please ? :confused:
Misty

tweak'e
14-07-2006, 08:45 PM
depends a lot on the case. if the case has good suface aera then a fan is proberly not required.

got any links to the products?

pctek
14-07-2006, 09:13 PM
It doesn't matter much but if you are really worried about cooling you culd always use a USB to IDE (or USB to sata) adapter instead of an enclosure.

Misty
14-07-2006, 09:29 PM
depends a lot on the case. if the case has good suface aera then a fan is proberly not required.

got any links to the products?
Hi tweak'e ---here is the link I was given by The_End_Of_Reality
http://www.ascent.co.nz/ProductSpecification.aspx?ItemID=337997

Having said that I looked today at something similar by brand "laser" which is being sold by "Advanced Computers". It is in an aluminium case too, no fan too, and costs $69.
Misty :stare:

Misty
14-07-2006, 09:32 PM
It doesn't matter much but if you are really worried about cooling you culd always use a USB to IDE (or USB to sata) adapter instead of an enclosure.
Sorry, pctek - don't really follow -- where does the hard disc sit then !!??
Misty :confused: :horrified: :confused:

The_End_Of_Reality
14-07-2006, 09:50 PM
Hi tweak'e ---here is the link I was given by The_End_Of_Reality
http://www.ascent.co.nz/ProductSpecification.aspx?ItemID=337997 I might just say that the link was the first one I found, and is not necessarily the best, I believe aluminum will be quieter, and no dust will get in. but the fan will extract the hot lingering air, at the expense of a little dust, which is fixable by opening it up and brushing it off.

tweak'e
14-07-2006, 10:04 PM
sorry havn't had a chance to look through them yet.

first thing to check..is your hardrive. see if the manafacture supports external encloses or any restrictions on type.

Greven
14-07-2006, 10:04 PM
An external enclosure will usually give better cooling than just sticking a fan in front of an internal hard drive.

godfather
14-07-2006, 10:19 PM
Have just had an external 3.5" USB drive running here for several hours, in an aluminium enclosure. The case is barely warm, it does have a fan but I disconnected that when I fitted the drive, as I don't want the extra noise.

In my experience, the HDD does not seem to generate enough heat to cause me concern, but perhaps you are planning on operating it in a very hot environment?

My 2 "internal" HDD's are mounted in removeable trays which each have dual fans (also permanently disconnected to reduce the whining noise) and these only get "slightly warm" after a full day, mostly from the PC case temperature I believe.

As an external drive is not in the (possibly) hot environment inside the PC case, I can only assume you have a locally very warm environment to worry about the heat in the external enclosure? The aluminium enclosure would act as a heatsink though.

pctek
15-07-2006, 09:06 AM
Sorry, pctek - don't really follow -- where does the hard disc sit then !!??
Misty :confused: :horrified: :confused:
It doesn't. Its out in the world naked.

Heres an example picture:

http://www.computerstore.co.nz/store/web/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=107&idproduct=3234

Although mine is a bit nicer than that and it comes with a power cord too.

personthingy
15-07-2006, 10:51 AM
I have an exteranal HDD that i use all the time. It's where i keep my /home files which for the benefit of those not knowing the ways of *nix, these are the files that make the user distinct, all customizations and personal stuff live on this drive. Its fair to say that it works rather hard.

The "2.5 HDD exteranal closure" that makes a laptop HDD into a USB external came with a soft case that i hope is designed to give token protection against shock if dropped. Looking like a dolls sleeping bag, i should imagine it helps to keep the HDD snug and warm too!

I plonk it on a desk and forget about it. It gets covered in paper, and various other things to help it keep it's heat, just in case its built in sleeping bag isn't enough. I have had no trouble with it overheating.

If you have your HDD naked in a exposed place where air can flow freely, i suspect you will be fine too.

FoxyMX
15-07-2006, 11:47 AM
It doesn't. Its out in the world naked.
That's rude! Get some clothes for yours, Misty. :p

Misty
15-07-2006, 12:11 PM
That's rude! Get some clothes for yours, Misty. :p
Well, all answers much appreciated. I am not going to worry about a fan at all.
Not going to use a naked one either -- to scary -- especially as I don't yet understand how it spins. Will follow that up though and learn how as most intriguing. The link
http://www.dansdata.com/usbadapt.htm
I will print out and peruse thoroughly --- will be easier to understand in hard copy -- I must be slow !!
Misty :)

FoxyMX
15-07-2006, 12:20 PM
Not going to use a naked one either -- to scary -- especially as I don't yet understand how it spins.
Er.... it's not that naked. :D

You've seen the hard drive in your case, haven't you? It's a metal case on three sides with the bottom a kind of circuit board similar to this (http://www.hddtech.co.uk/fujitsuMPGunderside-sml.jpg). Well that's what pctek means by being "naked", not completely undressed with the insides all hanging out. :p

The adaptor is really handy for connecting hard drives temporarily to transfer data from one PC or drive to another but personally I think it is better to use an enclosure for a drive that is going to be sitting on a desk a lot rather just once in a blue moon. It offers far better protection for those exposed electronics because they are easily damaged if one is careless.

Graham L
15-07-2006, 03:30 PM
The cover of the disk cavity is just very thin aluminium. It would be easy to accidentally crush it. Enclosures are good things.

pctek
15-07-2006, 06:12 PM
Well mine has a shield on the bottom. I also have one of those rubber antistatic things they used to use on them lying about.....

It gets dragged around all over the place, has been dropped, still going fine.
I broke off a piece of the plastic surrounding the IDE connector on the drive once, still fine. You have to be pretty violent to kill a Seagate.

On the cover it says" Warranty Void if Shock Exceeds 350g".

Misty
16-07-2006, 12:38 PM
Er.... it's not that naked. :D
You've seen the hard drive in your case, haven't you? It's a metal case on three sides with the bottom a kind of circuit board similar to this (http://www.hddtech.co.uk/fujitsuMPGunderside-sml.jpg). Well that's what pctek means by being "naked", not completely undressed with the insides all hanging out. :p
Thanks to you and the others I think I understand :D




personally I think it is better to use an enclosure for a drive that is going to be sitting on a desk a lot rather just once in a blue moon. It offers far better protection
Plus I don't intend to keep it next to the PC in case that ever gets stolen or there is a fire at that spot --otherwise everything may disappear in which case you lose that protection !

Yesterday I bought
Seagate 250GB HDD 7200rpm Pata EDIE
plus
Laser 3.5" USB2.0 aluminium surface External Enclosure
for the combined price of $235.20
Combined with the Acronis True Image v9 that I bought on Friday they should do the trick !!

Thanks again everyone for your help !!!!!
Misty :thumbs:

The_End_Of_Reality
16-07-2006, 02:20 PM
You have to be pretty violent to kill a Seagate.

On the cover it says" Warranty Void if Shock Exceeds 350g". Yep, I can agree with that :D

Hmm 350G :rolleyes: so strong :D Good old Seagate :D

Nice one Misty, a link to the items and where you got them? I am considering a bigger external HDD now :rolleyes:

Graham L
16-07-2006, 02:38 PM
350G is not hard to achieve.

... In shock testing, disk drives are dropped from a height of 1 inch on to a solid surface. The G forces seen at the recording head might reach 100 to 200 g and last for 10 milliseconds. The resulting motion induced in the recording heads can be large enough to cause the heads to 'slap' the disk surface and generate a defect.
Digital Equipment Corporation had a test rig for the PDP8s. It was built from Dexion, and held a working computer. Pulling a lever let it drop 3 feet down the floor. If it didn't keep working without errors, it had failed.

Misty
16-07-2006, 05:34 PM
Nice one Misty, a link to the items and where you got them? I am considering a bigger external HDD now :rolleyes:
Hi The_End_Of_ Reality (what can we call you for short ?? :D )

Here is the link
http://www.advancedcomputers.co.nz/
Cannot see the particular enclosure that I bought on the website.
however I don't think it will do you much good as you seem to be in Wellington !
Misty ;)

The_End_Of_Reality
16-07-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi The_End_Of_ Reality (what can we call you for short ?? :D )

Here is the link
http://www.advancedcomputers.co.nz/
Cannot see the particular enclosure that I bought on the website.
however I don't think it will do you much good as you seem to be in Wellington !
Misty ;) He he he :D :p, some say EOR, but my real name is David, I might put that in my sig or other text thingy...

Sweet, I will see what Ascent have :)

Misty
16-07-2006, 08:42 PM
In my experience, the HDD does not seem to generate enough heat to cause me concern, but perhaps you are planning on operating it in a very hot environment?

Not a hot environment at all thanks g/f. Just that a member in a different thread than this said I should get one with a fan. Was very re-assured by your comment as I know how very knowledgeable you are particularly on very technical issues especially those where measurements or specifications of some type are involved. Very grateful for your input.
Misty :thumbs: