View Full Version : G4 internal drive cooling?

07-12-2001, 03:37 PM
What soulution would you suggest to provide extra cooling in a G4 Gigabit Ethernet (DP450) machine which contains four internally mounted hard drives? I visited your cooling page, but it seems that most of those solutions are for external encclosures (please correct me if I'm wrong on this).

The only temperature monitoring utility I have on the machine is the old Gague Pro utility, which I know can be fairly inaccurate. Before installing all these drives, it reported 86F when the machine was "idle." Now it reports about 96F when idle and around 100F when running intensive apps. IF these temps are accurate, would this indicate that I NEED extra cooling, or not?


07-19-2001, 05:13 PM
How are the four drives mounted?

07-21-2001, 04:15 PM
boot drive in original (back) bay, with a second ATA drive mounted on top of it.
Cheetah in middle bay.
Additional ATA drive in front bay.
So they are all mounted at the bottom of the chasis.

07-23-2001, 01:39 PM
I should mention that the machine is normally mounted on its side, so that the drives along the bottom of the chassis are physically oriented vertically rather than flat, if that makes any difference in their cooling (?).

07-23-2001, 08:24 PM
just make sure the PCI slot fan is free of obstructions. The case is well built and air flow is great.


07-24-2001, 05:13 AM
Great. Thanks for the comments. I guess I'll just continue on and assume everything is cool enough, unless I start to have problems. I was just a bit concerned since I have the four drives inside, as well as all the PCI slots filled (Initio Miles2, MOTU PCI-324, and now the Sonnet Tempo RAID66 controller). Thanks.

07-28-2001, 01:49 PM
If you feel uncomfortable about the heat, go by Radio Shack and pick up an indoor/outdoor Thermometer cat#63-1023.

I bought one when I installed my raid internally in a 9600.


07-29-2001, 04:08 PM
Great. But, what surface temp ON THE DRIVE would be high enough to indicate that I need additional cooling. I have looked through the Maxtor web site, and submitted a tech support inquiry to ask this question. The only info that Maxtor would give me had to do with "environmental" temp in which the drive is operated - absolutely nothing giving the upper limit of the temp of the actual drive in operation. I don't know what would be acceptable and what would be too high for continued safe operation. Are there any general guidelines? How about for my Cheetah 9GB 10K internal?

07-29-2001, 07:13 PM
Cheetah 9GB 10k ST39205LW and ST39204LW max temp 55C. Some of my older drives max temp 50C. The hot side of a drive is the top smooth side with the label. This is where the heat is dissipated as well as where the drive connects to the metal case of the bay. The bottom of the drive, where the drive's logic board lives, also has the same temp limits. So if you have a drive below, it can cook the logic board of a drive above.

I looked at some of the Seagate current model ATA drives and they are 55C also.

I would not want to operate a drive near its max temp. You could use the probe to check the temp on the center of the top and center of the bottom. My drives, with cooling systems, operate about 5-10F above room temperature, or at about 80-90F, nowhere close to 50-55C. k

[This message has been edited by kaye (edited 29 July 2001).]

07-30-2001, 02:09 AM
Thanks Kaye! I'm on my way to Radio Shack in the next couple of days to get one of those thermometers, and I'll see where I stand. Now why couldn't Maxtor have told me that??

07-30-2001, 09:59 AM
You might want to see if changing the position of the case will affect the temp. If the CPU and cards are on the top (when the case is horizontal) then they will be in the highest and hottest area of the case.

I've been tempted to use one of those HD bays for cooling - it looks like a very good place to mount an extra fan. I think this could even be done while a hard drive was mounted above it. Or you could put the 4th HD above the CD/DVD drive.

I have 3 PCI cards and 3 drives in my B&WG3 - 500Mhz and it runs from 30 to 36C.

08-07-2001, 05:06 PM
Well, I got a thermometer at Radio Shack, and my drives seem to be running at a cool 34.5 degrees Celsius. That's while running constantly after several hours and while reading audio files from the drives that whole time, running the computer on its side. So, it would appear that I'm good to go, without additional cooling. I guess Apple did a better job than I would have thought, when they designed this box's air flow. Good to know.

Thanks for all your input on this!