We will neither be the first nor the last to have temperature problems with a M.2 SSD, but the alarms go off when we open our favorite monitoring software and see temperatures above the 60 degree, even above 70 degree. If this is your case, here are some possible solutions to this problem.
How to troubleshoot a hot SSD at idle?
First of all, we have to understand that an SSD in idle, that is, at rest, without load, should not reach temperatures above 60 degrees and normally not even that figure. The why has to do with the useful life of the NAND Flash and above all with the ability to store data. This 3D cell technology suffers a lot with high or very low temperatures, causing failures in the SSD that even in some cases can have an impact on total capacity loss, which is normally compensated by the over provisioning.
Therefore and with this clear, the first thing to check is that there is no background process giving work to the SSD. For this we can simply open the Windows task manager and see the disk load. Opening it is very simple, since we will only have to right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager”
Normally, our SSD is between 1% and 2% in the worst case. Looking at the specific process that consumes the resources, we can know what program, virus or service is giving work to our device and increasing its temperature progressively.
Improper installation can exacerbate problems
In the second case we start from the assumption of a motherboard with a heatsink for M.2 SSDs. There are not a few users who, installing their disk, do not correctly place the thermal pad of the heatsink and either, or leave the controller uncovered or create a distance between the pad and the heatsink due to an incorrect mounting, allowing the SSD to take temperature little by little. little.
Therefore, it is advisable to check that the installation is correct, that the thermal pad has been correctly placed and that it makes contact with the heatsink on duty.
The third case is an incorrect placement of the SSD. To clarify this we must start from the case that the motherboard has several M.2 x4s available for use or choice. Many users think that an SSD installed in the M.2 slot under the graphics card is the right choice because it directly influences the flow.
But the reality is that, if the card consumes a lot of watts, the air that is projected to the SSD heatsink is much hotter than it should be, increasing the temperature of the SSD. On very high-end GPUs this can be a real problem, leading to thermalthottling and thereby significantly reduce performance.
Finally, and being the rarest case given the current manufacturing quality of SSDs, sometimes a unit is defective in its controller, which promotes constant and permanent wear of the cells in a job of loading and unloading the cache that makes the SSD running at a high level internally.
There is no way to check this if it is not with a special controller from the manufacturer, so the simplest thing is to send the unit to RMA and have another one provided if it is under warranty. If not, soon we will have a nice take papers on the table.