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Crosshair VIII Dark Hero M.2 SSD's get really hot?

Godofmosquitoes
Level 7
So, I have two M.2 SSD's on my Dark Hero board. And they both get super hot during gaming.

In the upper slot above the graphics card, I have my old Samsung 960 Pro installed, and below the graphics card in the second slot, there's my Samsung 980 Pro installed.

My graphics card is an RTX 3090 MSI Gaming Trio X, my CPU is an AMD 5950X, I'm using an NZXT X63 cooler with 4x140mm Noctua fans in push/pull in the top of my Fractal Design Define 7 XL case, 3x140mm Noctua fans as intake in the front, and 1x140mm Noctua fan as outtake in the back.

Both SSD's are installed using the motherboard's built in heatsinks. However, during gaming, I'm guessing due to all the hot air from the 3090, my top 960 Pro gets up to 68 degrees C, and my bottom 980 Pro reaches 58 degrees C. So it appears to me, that the built-in SSD heatsinks aren't very good.

I've tried replacing the heatsinks with those from Sabrent. But when installed, the shape of the bottom part of the Sabrent heatsink seems to be incompatible with the M.2 standoffs ASUS supplies for the motherboard. Resulting in the SSD not being detected when turning on the PC.

So I was wondering if anyone knows if replacing the the heatsinks on this motherboard even helps, as it would appear at least the top SSD slot will receive a lot of passive heat from the graphics card during gaming in any event.

Any thoughts?
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14 REPLIES 14

dzo888
Level 8
When I first installed the board, there was a protective film on the front of the heatsink and a film on the back of the heatsink protecting the thermal pads. These should be peeled off.

Possible options are you can try changing out the thermal pads for something with higher thermal conductivity, but this won't solve the hot air from the video card.

If you don't mind mounting your video card off the board, you can try buying a PCI-E riser cable from Thermaltake and try mounting the card slightly away from the motherboard or standing it up in your case. (Won't be safe in an earthquake though)

Nicholas_Steel
Level 8
68c sounds fine. SSD's like being around 60-80 degrees. Do some benchmarks/stress tests to test if the SSD's are thermal throttling.
Computer specifications:
Windows 10 Pro x64|AMD Ryzen 3700X|ASUS Crosshair Hero VIII WiFi Motherboard|16GB DDR4 3600Mhz RAM|Integrated Audio|MSI Geforce 1070Ti|Corsair AX760 Platinum Power Supply|Fractal Define Design R5 Computer Case|Samsung P2350 Monitor

Nicholas Steel wrote:
68c sounds fine. SSD's like being around 60-80 degrees. Do some benchmarks/stress tests to test if the SSD's are thermal throttling.


This. With passive cooling anything under 70c is acceptable. With heavy data writes these drives can get fairly warm.
13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Your problem is the proximity of your GPU to the heatsink of the M.2. *Simple thermo dynamics he says*.

That card dumps a load of transformed energy into the box. The small distance between the fan vent on the card and the aluminium heatsink on the M.2's will result in heatsoak on the heatsink eventually as the heated air blasts against it constantly. Maybe 3 options here:

1) Watercool the card to shift the expelled energy to outward facing radiators. Costly, pain in the backend in terms of maintenance, but super effective.

2) Use a riser and Vertical GPU stand to change the orientation of the card so that the hot air isn't blasted directly onto your M.2 heatsinks. Cheaper option. Case limitations may apply.

3) Increase ventilation in your case with more fans or better orientation in an attempt to shift the hot air out quicker. (this could buy you some time, but ultimately for long sessions you'll get heatsoak anyways)

Hope you come right!

Legolas
Level 9
If you have inlet fan close to the M.2 side (front of the case?), please increase fan to turbo or higher to cool down the motherboard. You can even try installing M.2 fan.
Sincerely,
Legolas

Godofmosquitoes
Level 7
So, I played around with it some. With my 3090 spilling 350W inside my case, and also radiating heat, the upper M.2 slot temperatures get too high during stress to my liking.

In my case, during gaming, even when dropping my Samsung 960 Pro in it, which doesn't get as hot as the 980 Pro, the 960 Pro would get up towards 70 degrees C. This seemed to cause thermal throttling. I use the Fractal Design Define 7 XL with six Noctua fans in it (eight if you count the push/pull on my AIO), so airflow should be fine. It's just, damn, that 3090 generates a lot of heat.

Even the bottom M.2 slot got too hot with a Samsung 980 Pro in it, which in itself also gets really hot. I tried the Sabrent M.2 heatsink, but actually found that the stock ASUS heatsink did a better job. This wasn't due to a lack of heat-transfer to the Sabrent heatsink, as it got burning hot during operation.

The only way I've managed to keep my 980 Pro at least down in the high 50's during stress load and heavy gaming, is to install it in the PCI-E Sabrent M.2 card with a big heatsink on it (not to be confused with the Sabrent M.2 heatsink), and putting it in my bottommost PCI-E 16x slot. Now it doesn't get hotter than 58 degrees, and my 960 Pro also stays around 55 degrees, when installed in the bottom M.2 slot.

Godofmosquitoes wrote:
So, I played around with it some. With my 3090 spilling 350W inside my case, and also radiating heat, the upper M.2 slot temperatures get too high during stress to my liking.

In my case, during gaming, even when dropping my Samsung 960 Pro in it, which doesn't get as hot as the 980 Pro, the 960 Pro would get up towards 70 degrees C. This seemed to cause thermal throttling. I use the Fractal Design Define S2 XL with six Noctua fans in it (eight if you count the push/pull on my AIO), so airflow should be fine. It's just, damn, that 3090 generates a lot of heat.

Even the bottom M.2 slot got too hot with a Samsung 980 Pro in it, which in itself also gets really hot. I tried the Sabrent M.2 heatsink, but actually found that the stock ASUS heatsink did a better job. This wasn't due to a lack of heat-transfer to the Sabrent heatsink, as it got burning hot during operation.

The only way I've managed to keep my 980 Pro at least down in the high 50's during stress load and heavy gaming, is to install it in the PCI-E Sabrent M.2 card with a big heatsink on it (not to be confused with the Sabrent M.2 heatsink), and putting it in my bottommost PCI-E 16x slot. Now it doesn't get hotter than 58 degrees, and my 960 Pro also stays around 55 degrees, when installed in the bottom M.2 slot.


it might be interesting to see what happens if you were to use another GPU (if you have one or can borrow one for testing)
in this case A blower style or low power GPU would show you if your 3090 is heating up the M.2 heatsinks
You might also want to keep an eye on the chipset temps since the ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero has passive cooling on that
and the chipset heatsink is directly placed underneath the primary x16 Slot

I am A bit confused about the case you are using
is it a Fractal Design Define 7 XL or a Fractal Design Define S2 XL ???
ASUS Maximus 13 Extreme
Intel i9 11900K
Corsair Dominater Platinum RGB
Phanteks Enthoo Primo
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
2 X Samsung 980 Pro 2TB
Corsair AX1200I
EK-Velocity D-RGB - Nickel + Plexi
EK-XTOP Revo Dual D5 PWM Serial - (incl. 2x pump)
XSPC RX480 + XSPC RS280
4 X Corsair SP120 PWM OEM Fans
2 X Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-2000 IP67 PWM
2 X Noctua NF-A14 PWM chromax.black.swap
2 X Noctua NF-S12A PWM chromax.black.swap
1 X Noctua NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

DjRavix wrote:
it might be interesting to see what happens if you were to use another GPU (if you have one or can borrow one for testing)
in this case A blower style or low power GPU would show you if your 3090 is heating up the M.2 heatsinks
You might also want to keep an eye on the chipset temps since the ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero has passive cooling on that
and the chipset heatsink is directly placed underneath the primary x16 Slot

I am A bit confused about the case you are using
is it a Fractal Design Define 7 XL or a Fractal Design Define S2 XL ???


I tried changing the BIOS on my card to the Low Temperature version, found on MSI's website. This dramatically reduced the heat of my M.2 drives while gaming. The 980 Pro, installed in the lowest 16X PCI-E slot in the Sabrent PCI-E heatsink/card they have for sale, now reaches 45 degrees maximum, and the 960 Pro, situated in the lower of the two M.2 slots on the motherbard, reaches 51 degrees maximum.

Lol, my bad. It's the Define 7 XL

Godofmosquitoes wrote:
I tried changing the BIOS on my card to the Low Temperature version, found on MSI's website. This dramatically reduced the heat of my M.2 drives while gaming. The 980 Pro, installed in the lowest 16X PCI-E slot in the Sabrent PCI-E heatsink/card they have for sale, now reaches 45 degrees maximum, and the 960 Pro, situated in the lower of the two M.2 slots on the motherbard, reaches 51 degrees maximum.

Lol, my bad. It's the Define 7 XL


What you could do ... since the problem is that your GPU heats up your M.2 Drives (And probably also the chip-set)
is take the heat away from your GPU with an alternative cooling Method
I do not know if your comfortable with doing this but my suggestion would be to do a custom Loop with both CPU & GPU
Since this is the easiest way to get the heat away from the M.2 Slots and the Chip-set
There is a Guy on YouTube (Optimum Tech if I recall correctly) that actually did a AMD 5950X and 3080 in a single loop on A XSPC EX280 Rad
I actually have one of those and there is actually a 420 variant of that radiator (Unfortunately XSPC doesn't produce those anymore)
from looking at the specs of the case you should be able to get a 420 (3 X 140) or 480 (4 X 120) in the top of your case
in theory that should be enough to handle both the CPU and GPU
You also have the option to add a 120/140 in the back if you want
I would not recommend using the Front 420/480 or Bottom 240/280 Radiator locations since these are best used as intakes for to get some airflow into the case

I can understand that you might not be wiling to go this route
but in my opinion it's the best option that I can think off to not loose any GPU performance while still and having your M.2 Drives Running Cooler (even when using the onboard slots)
ASUS Maximus 13 Extreme
Intel i9 11900K
Corsair Dominater Platinum RGB
Phanteks Enthoo Primo
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
2 X Samsung 980 Pro 2TB
Corsair AX1200I
EK-Velocity D-RGB - Nickel + Plexi
EK-XTOP Revo Dual D5 PWM Serial - (incl. 2x pump)
XSPC RX480 + XSPC RS280
4 X Corsair SP120 PWM OEM Fans
2 X Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-2000 IP67 PWM
2 X Noctua NF-A14 PWM chromax.black.swap
2 X Noctua NF-S12A PWM chromax.black.swap
1 X Noctua NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap