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Fan Noise in Thermaltake 5.25" (x1) Bay to 2.5" (x6) Bay Mobile Rack HDD Canister

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this topic belongs in this SSD forum section or if it belongs in the silent computing forum section, so my apologies if I placed this topic in the wrong place...

Scope:
For my 6x Intel 530 Series 240GB SSDs that I have assembled in a RAID0 array as my OS drive I picked up the Thermaltake 5.25" (x1) Bay to 2.5" (x6) Bay Mobile Rack HDD Canister which you can see an image of here: http://www.overclock.net/products/thermaltake-rc1600101a-max-1562-5-25-x1-bay-to-2-5-x6-bay-mobile-rack-hdd-canister
Front Thermaltake 5.25Rear Thermaltake RC1600101A MAX-1562 5.25

Within the canister are 2x 20mm fans which are now the loudest part of my primary PC rig. By any chance does anyone know of a SUPER quiet 20mm fan that I can replace these two with? Here are the manufacturer's fans specs (which are usually BS or wrong anyways) pulled straight from NewEgg:

Cooling Fan: 40 x 20 mm (x2) / Speed: 2500±15% RPM / Noise Level: 18 dBA

The reason why I'm only now trying to quiet these fans down is that I recently picked up the cousin product to this one from Micro Center, the Thermaltake 5.25" (x1) Bay to 2.5" (x4) Bay Mobile Rack HDD Canister which I plan on installing shortly so the noise is only going to be louder with another 2x of these 20mm fans in there.
Front Thermaltake 5.25

The fans appear to be simply forcing air towards the rear of the SSDs and I definitely don't feel any exhaust air exiting from the front of the enclosure so the air must simply travel in and seep out the open areas on the sides of the enclosure itself.

My Question:
Is there a 40mm fan that anyone can recommend that has a far less amount of dBA than the 18 dBA that these enclosures give off?

Alternatively, do I even need these fans to spin given the fact that these are SSDs and not 2.5" laptop HDDs? They are part of a RAID so I can't get any of the individual SSD's S.M.A.R.T. status to tell me what their temps are, but I did stick a sensor from one of my fan controllers directly above one of the top SSDs and its only reading 24℃ (two degrees lower than my liquid coolant's temperature). Also the system has been running for days on end and I don't feel ANY heat to the touch when I quickly pulled one of the SSDs out from the canister's top row.

Edited by SpecialEdT - 4/2/14 at 2:35pm
post #2 of 10
I think you should see temps with AIDA64 or some software like that.SSDs can get hot if you write on them ,but just something like 20 or 30GB at once,so I really don't know what to suggest you.I am also fan addict.
here it is the best in class:
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=36_1127_123&products_id=35975
and here is others:
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=36_1127_123
Can you please tell us on which platform do you have RAID and are those six all in one raid field and can you please give us some AS-SSD score to see what you got.
Edited by Unit Igor - 4/2/14 at 10:38am
post #3 of 10
I have two similar 2.5" drive bay enclosures, made by Vantec which are basically just knock-offs of the Thermaltake models. They are four bay enclosures, and have one 40mm x 10mm fan. They were not loud IMO, but one of them just last week started making more noise than the other, so I took the enclosure out and took it apart.

I found that the fan was throwing oil from its bearing onto the blades, etc. The lucky part IMO was the fan had a two pin plug on it, so I managed to get it unplugged and removed the fan. My point is I expected the fan's wires to be soldered, so you may be lucky in that respect, or not. I did not replace the fan, more about that later.

I happened to be using some Samsung 830 SSDs in the enclosure, which have temperature sensors that I can check with the monitoring program HWiNFO64. It's still cool in the house now, and none of the SSDs were being used as OS drives, so their temps were fine, about 21C with the fan, and about 23C without the fan. My PC cases have two 140mm exhaust fans at the top of the case, so with the small vents on the drive trays, and now a 40mm empty fan exhaust port on the back, I'm guessing that at least some air is being drawn through the enclosure by those exhaust fans.

Regarding replacing the fans in your enclosure, and having them quieter than the stock fans, that will not be easy IMO. I have a good collection of small fans, 50mm or less, and they all have one thing in common, they are whiny-loud at full RPM, or even at half speed. Also, since small fans like that move hardly any air, they need to run at high RPM to move any air at all. The very few low RPM small fans I have, which I tested with an external wall wart PSU I found, move about a real world 1 CFM, yes one CFM. I actually used them as chipset coolers, and had to connect them to a small fan controller to keep the speed down so the noise was not a factor. Otherwise I consider any small fan that is 10mm or 15mm thick to be virtually worthless, I call them FFF fans (Flea Fart Fans).

The fans in these enclosures are IMO specially made low RPM fans so they are quiet. Does the enclosure have a resistor in series with the fan voltage to slow the fan down? I don't think my enclosure does, and I have no clue about yours.

Given how I use the SSDs in that enclosure, as data drives and my download and browser cache drive, I've never seen them hit 25C. The Intel 530 (I own one) has a temperature sensor that I have seen displayed in HWiNFO64 just fine. I'm sure all of yours would be displayed in HWiNFO64 too, being in a RAID array will not matter. If they hit 30C in that enclosure, I would be surprised, and 30C is far below their max operating temperature.

Of course the only way to know is to try, and I highly recommend HWiNFO64 to check ALL your system temps:

http://www.hwinfo.com/download.php
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unit Igor View Post

I think you should see temps with AIDA64 or some software like that.SSDs can get hot if you write on them ,but just something like 20 or 30GB at once,so I really don't know what to suggest you.I am also fan addict.
here it is the best in class:
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=36_1127_123&products_id=35975
and here is others:
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=36_1127_123
Can you please tell us on which platform do you have RAID and are those six all in one raid field and can you please give us some AS-SSD score to see what you got.

HWiNFO64 for the WIN! Thanks man, one SSD is at 27℃ and the rest are at 28℃.

In a little bit I'm going to temporary jam up one of the fans for a while and will monitor the temps to see if they spike up to any concerning levels, maybe the easiest way will be to just simply remove the fans altogether smile.gif

As far as the platform, its Intel Z87 Chipset thats on a MSI Z87 MPower Max. The Intel RAID controller has a max of 6 ports and I used em all up just for the OS.

I ran AS SSD Benchmark but I got an error which I suspect is related to my checking the temps by touch earlier when I quickly popped the drive out of the hotswap bay and put it back in (I haven't been able to reboot since then).


But anyways after clearing through that error here are the results from AS SSD


I'm pretty sure that once you get beyond 3 or 4 SSD's your really not getting any performance gain out of having them in RAID0. The only reason why I went all the way to 6 was to get 1.3TB worth of SSD RAID0 storage space. I also have ShadowProtect running to create image based backups of my OS drive that get saved over on one of my WD Red 4TB drives.

Fortunately I have a lot of career experience with ShadowProtect as I have been involved with literally hundreds of real life disaster recovery scenarios (mostly on Dell Servers with that worthless Perc RAID controller) so I do have my butt covered in the event that one of these SSDs fails on me:)
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec View Post

I have two similar 2.5" drive bay enclosures, made by Vantec which are basically just knock-offs of the Thermaltake models. They are four bay enclosures, and have one 40mm x 10mm fan. They were not loud IMO, but one of them just last week started making more noise than the other, so I took the enclosure out and took it apart.

I found that the fan was throwing oil from its bearing onto the blades, etc. The lucky part IMO was the fan had a two pin plug on it, so I managed to get it unplugged and removed the fan. My point is I expected the fan's wires to be soldered, so you may be lucky in that respect, or not. I did not replace the fan, more about that later.

I happened to be using some Samsung 830 SSDs in the enclosure, which have temperature sensors that I can check with the monitoring program HWiNFO64. It's still cool in the house now, and none of the SSDs were being used as OS drives, so their temps were fine, about 21C with the fan, and about 23C without the fan. My PC cases have two 140mm exhaust fans at the top of the case, so with the small vents on the drive trays, and now a 40mm empty fan exhaust port on the back, I'm guessing that at least some air is being drawn through the enclosure by those exhaust fans.

Regarding replacing the fans in your enclosure, and having them quieter than the stock fans, that will not be easy IMO. I have a good collection of small fans, 50mm or less, and they all have one thing in common, they are whiny-loud at full RPM, or even at half speed. Also, since small fans like that move hardly any air, they need to run at high RPM to move any air at all. The very few low RPM small fans I have, which I tested with an external wall wart PSU I found, move about a real world 1 CFM, yes one CFM. I actually used them as chipset coolers, and had to connect them to a small fan controller to keep the speed down so the noise was not a factor. Otherwise I consider any small fan that is 10mm or 15mm thick to be virtually worthless, I call them FFF fans (Flea Fart Fans).

The fans in these enclosures are IMO specially made low RPM fans so they are quiet. Does the enclosure have a resistor in series with the fan voltage to slow the fan down? I don't think my enclosure does, and I have no clue about yours.

Given how I use the SSDs in that enclosure, as data drives and my download and browser cache drive, I've never seen them hit 25C. The Intel 530 (I own one) has a temperature sensor that I have seen displayed in HWiNFO64 just fine. I'm sure all of yours would be displayed in HWiNFO64 too, being in a RAID array will not matter. If they hit 30C in that enclosure, I would be surprised, and 30C is far below their max operating temperature.

Of course the only way to know is to try, and I highly recommend HWiNFO64 to check ALL your system temps:

http://www.hwinfo.com/download.php

Thanks for the Performance-PCs link to the Noctua 40mm fan. I didn't even realize Noctua had a 40mm fan. I'm a nerd for Noctua with 15 of them in total for my main rig, 12 of which are 140mm mounted on my two external rads in push/pull and make little/no sound.

I'm going to do some testing with the fans disabled in a little bit, and if the temps spike up too high then I'll be ordering up 4x of those fnas from Perfformance-PCs smile.gif

Also, I just took apart one of the enclosures to look at the fan, here is what the stock fan is:
http://yltc.en.alibaba.com/product/511840132-213153144/30x30x10mm_Micro_DC_Cooling_Fan.html
Noise Level: 19.26 ~28.46dBA

The Noctua fan should be far less noise at 17,9 dB(A) and 12,9 dB(A) (with L.N.A.)
post #6 of 10
You seem to have quoted the wrong posts in your replies to me and Igor, no big deal.

That AS SSD error you saw is not your fault, I see it happening more and more lately, to myself and others. I'm beginning to think it is a problem with AS SSD itself, since earlier versions of AS SSD did not have this error, or had it rarely.

My Vantec 2.5" drive enclosure has the fan oriented to pull air through the enclosure from the front, and exhaust it out the back. I would be surprised if the Thermaltake model is different. That makes sense IMO, since air inside the PC case is much more likely to be warmer than the air in any room.

So your Thermaltake enclosure will accept a 40mm fan? My Vantec enclosure has a very specific location for the fan, and only the same size fan (30mm x 10mm) will fit. I was wrong in my earlier post when I wrote it is a 40mm fan, it is really 30mm x 10mm.

You're right about the lack of performance improvement beyond three or four SSDs on the new Intel six SATA III port chipsets. That seems to be a limitation of the DMI buss used for the SATA interface. Also in your case, since the 530 uses the SandForce 2281 controller with its data compression technique, when it is tested with all non-compressible data that AS SSD uses, you won't get as good write speeds and scoring. For example, this is three OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSDs in RAID 0 on my Z87 board:



The Vertex 4 is tuned to be a more write-centric SSD

It also looks like you don't have Write Back caching enabled for your RAID 0 volume, you can do that in the IRST Windows UI. The default setting is now Read Through, which enhances read speed at some cost of write speed. That actually may be optimal for an OS volume.

If you have the Intel Dynamic Storage Accelerator (DSA) enabled in your board's BIOS, you can adjust the performance level in the IRST UI, which might result in better performance.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
HWiNFO64 for the WIN! Thanks man, one SSD is at 27℃ and the rest are at 28℃.

In a little bit I'm going to temporary jam up one of the fans for a while and will monitor the temps to see if they spike up to any concerning levels, maybe the easiest way will be to just simply remove the fans altogether smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec View Post

You seem to have quoted the wrong posts in your replies to me and Igor, no big deal.

That AS SSD error you saw is not your fault, I see it happening more and more lately, to myself and others. I'm beginning to think it is a problem with AS SSD itself, since earlier versions of AS SSD did not have this error, or had it rarely.

My Vantec 2.5" drive enclosure has the fan oriented to pull air through the enclosure from the front, and exhaust it out the back. I would be surprised if the Thermaltake model is different. That makes sense IMO, since air inside the PC case is much more likely to be warmer than the air in any room.

So your Thermaltake enclosure will accept a 40mm fan? My Vantec enclosure has a very specific location for the fan, and only the same size fan (30mm x 10mm) will fit. I was wrong in my earlier post when I wrote it is a 40mm fan, it is really 30mm x 10mm.

You're right about the lack of performance improvement beyond three or four SSDs on the new Intel six SATA III port chipsets. That seems to be a limitation of the DMI buss used for the SATA interface. Also in your case, since the 530 uses the SandForce 2281 controller with its data compression technique, when it is tested with all non-compressible data that AS SSD uses, you won't get as good write speeds and scoring. For example, this is three OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSDs in RAID 0 on my Z87 board:



The Vertex 4 is tuned to be a more write-centric SSD

It also looks like you don't have Write Back caching enabled for your RAID 0 volume, you can do that in the IRST Windows UI. The default setting is now Read Through, which enhances read speed at some cost of write speed. That actually may be optimal for an OS volume.

If you have the Intel Dynamic Storage Accelerator (DSA) enabled in your board's BIOS, you can adjust the performance level in the IRST UI, which might result in better performance.

Good to know that we can blame that error on the software smile.gif

Yeah I'm 99% sure the fan orientation pushes air from inside the case towards the back of the SSD's which then exhausts out the left, right, top, and bottom of the canister itself as there are vent holes for it there. So the airflow direction doesn't really make too much sense.

I don't write that much to these drives. I have a horrible internet connection at home and I can't find a viable alternative to get more than 1.5Mbps down (I wish there was an unmetered wireless plan like Clearwire still....) The downloading that I do perform gets pulled down to a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black drive. So I guess the only writing happening to my OS drive would be the 50 or so emails a day, my web browsing cache, and various other temp files.

I'm not really too concerned about Disk I/O as I have another 4x SSD array that I use for VMs, plus a second Ubuntu based i7-4771 VirtualBox Host system with a couple 2TB WD Caviar Blacks. I also have 4 Haswell based dedicated servers in a data-center with a lease paid up for another 22 months which I run for my company (and for procuring media, wink wink). So given that I have a crap internet downlink I transcode my media files on the data-center servers to x264/libmp3lame which makes them much smaller, and once I download them they get pushed off to one of my various WD Red 4TB disks (one for TV Shows, another for Movies, etc etc) so that my Plex Media Server can categorize them and stream them around my home.

So yeah, disk I/O is not a constraint for me...

Since I posted on here earlier I actually disassembled my Thermaltake 4bay SSD canister and painted the red hotswap levers to blue to match my cases black and blue color scheme. Tomorrow I'm getting a shipment of some SATA cables with lateral right angle connectors so I plan on shutting down the rig for that at that time. When I bring it back up I'll do so with the 2 fans unplugged and I'll watch the temps on the SSDs, and if I'd be willing to bet that I'm simply going to discover that those 2x 40mm fans in there are doing nothing more than blowing hot air (literally) and generating noise pollution inside my case.

Ill post an update tomorrow on the temp/noise difference with the fans removed smile.gif
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialEdT View Post

HWiNFO64 for the WIN! Thanks man, one SSD is at 27℃ and the rest are at 28℃.
...

When I bring it back up I'll do so with the 2 fans unplugged and I'll watch the temps on the SSDs, and if I'd be willing to bet that I'm simply going to discover that those 2x 40mm fans in there are doing nothing more than blowing hot air (literally) and generating noise pollution inside my case.

Ill post an update tomorrow on the temp/noise difference with the fans removed smile.gif

That would be my bet too. I see the six drive enclosure uses metal trays for the drives, the four drive model has plastic trays I think, like my Vantec. I can only imagine what six 2.5" HDDs would be like in these enclosures. The four drive model clearly has the single fan as an exhaust fan, if you can see the label on the fan through the opening, it's an exhaust fan.

OMG, the fan specs for the six drive enclosure is 6200RPM, no wonder it is loud!
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well the reboot happened earlier then I had planned. So I jammed a straw into both the fans (because if I found that I needed the fans then I'd be replacing them with Noctua 40mm fans anyways) and did a couple hours of gaming.

The SSDs have been steadily at 32℃ to 33℃ and haven't risen at all since boot so I think I'm going to dismantle both of these ThermalTake SSD canisters and permanently remove the fans from them. I do suspect that the fans are really only intended for use with HDD as HDD can get quite hot very quickly.

So at this point the noisiest part of my system is my two Noctua 120mm PWM fans (only when I'm gaming), followed by my Koolance RP-1250 pump/reservoir/fan controller, and my 5x Western Digital HDDs (Mix of Red & Black). So the war to gain complete silence will continue on I guess..

In conclusion I guess what we've learned is that the Thermaltake 2.5" HDD/SSD canisters don't need their 2x 40mm fans for cooling when you have them filled up with SSDs that are part of a RAID0 array....

Thanks to both of you guys for your tips and suggestions which have led me to this simple conclusion smile.gif
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I just wanted to follow up with a two week update on this since I've all this time I have been running all 6x SSDs in the Thermaltake 5.25" (x1) Bay to 2.5" (x6) Bay Mobile Rack HDD Canister with both of the stock 40mm fans removed.

Here is the output of HWiNFO which shows the temps which don't appear to have changed a bit...


So the end result? If you have a Thermaltake 5.25" (x1) Bay to 2.5" (x6) Bay Mobile Rack HDD Canister that you're filling up with SSDs, feel safe to pull out both of the two 40mm noise makers inside smile.gif
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