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The Importance Of Fans In External Hard Drives

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#1 Tatterdemalion


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Posted 24 July 2006 - 11:21 AM

I have been considering the Western Digital "My Book" series of external hard drives. However, I wonder if they might be a bit "gimmicky". Like a number of other recent designs, they are fanless and I've read that fanless drives should be avoided.

I have an Iomega 120GB with no fan (or at least no AUDIBLE fan) that has so far retained data and functionality for more years than I remember and another 250GB unit from the same company that does have a fan and is pretty noisy ALL the time it is on.

Did fans become necessary when hard drives exceeded a certain size ?

If the "My Book" switches itself off when it's not being accessed - will this help prolong its life and trustworthiness by keeping it cool - or is it just something else to go wrong - a "feature" that could become a "vulnerability" where simple functionality might be preferable ?

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#2 Albert Frankenstein

Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 04:14 PM

Did fans become necessary when hard drives exceeded a certain size ?

No. Not really related to size. More related to the drive's RPM speed. A 10,000 rpm drive is going to produce a LOT of heat when compared to a 7,200 rpm drive.

I, too, would be concerned about noise. Fan noise drives me nuts. Look into the decible rating of the fan, and be sure it is a double bearing fan, that might help keep the noise down.

In general heat is the enemy of good electronics, but fans are usually not needed for external hard drives, or at least for most of them.

Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!

#3 JPHarvey


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Posted 24 July 2006 - 05:21 PM

I am putting together my own 60GB external (from my spare IDE drive) with one of those aftermarket cases that provide all the connections. Do you think I'll be right without a fan? Its only 7200rpm...
[CPU]Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo @ 3.19GHz
[MoBo]ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium (nForce590)
[RAM]4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 CL4 @ 710MHz
[GPU]XFX 8800 GTX 768MB [SLI] @ Stock
[PSU]CoolerMaster 1kW
[Audio]ASUS Xonar D2
[Case]Antec Nine Hundred
[OS]Windows Vista Ultimate 64
[Other]WC'd CPU & SLI

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