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DeskMini 110 + 2x 7200rpm drives

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    Posted: 25 May 2017 at 10:44pm
Hello...

I'm considering to buy a DeskMini 110 and want to populate the two 2.5 drive slots with two WD Black 1TB 7200rpm (WD10JPLX) drives.

Looking at the pictures, the Deskmini does not seem to have cooling holes on the back side with the drives, so my concern is that they will get too hot when under load - that's not acceptable, obviously.

Does anyone have practical experience with two high performance drives in the DeskMini?
Unfortunately, SSDs still cost too much and SMR drives are too slow.... :-/

Thank you!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2017 at 12:36pm
Originally posted by aforumuser aforumuser wrote:

Hello...

I'm considering to buy a DeskMini 110 and want to populate the two 2.5 drive slots with two WD Black 1TB 7200rpm (WD10JPLX) drives.

Looking at the pictures, the Deskmini does not seem to have cooling holes on the back side with the drives, so my concern is that they will get too hot when under load - that's not acceptable, obviously.

Does anyone have practical experience with two high performance drives in the DeskMini?
Unfortunately, SSDs still cost too much and SMR drives are too slow.... :-/

Thank you!



I have a DeskMini 110, but use two SSDs in it. The SSDs report their temperatures, and they are only a few degrees warmer than SSDs mounted in well ventilated desktop cases.

I have never seen anyone complain about high HDD temperatures in the forum with the DeskMini PCs.

The mounting of the drives in the DeskMini is under the mother board tray, which is a relatively thick piece of metal. I'm sure that some heat from HDDs that are thicker than SSDs would be transferred to the mother board tray.

I've heard of studies that found HDDs actually last longer when they operate at temperatures 10 - 20簞 C above ambient temperature, instead of being cooler.

2.5" HDDs are designed to work in laptop and tablet PCs that have less ventilation than the DeskMini PC does. The HDD manufactures know they will be used in temperature extremes that mobile PCs experience and are designed to work in higher temperature environments. The DeskMini PC case is a more stable and cooler environment than may be experienced by mobile PCs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aforumuser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2017 at 2:18pm
I'm thinking of assembling a backpack-size server: DeskMini 110 + 32GB + i7-7700T + 2x WD Black 1TB - for portable demonstrations and independence of the locally provided network.
The CPU is the highest speed for 35W - with 35W there is enough cooling headroom and never throttling, but whether the disks can handle a constant read/write load I'm not so sure. In summer ambient room temperature goes up to 35簞C and I feel mechanical disks should stay below 50簞C, so there is not much temperature headroom left.

Also from other reviews: 7mm disks fit well, 9,5mm fit very tightly; two mechanical disks produce vibration and so close to each without dampers the whole case may amplify the noise; and one review said in the standard package only one 2.5 connector is included, the second must be bought separately?

At this point I'm reconsidering, the DeskMini is already quite some time on the market, maybe they'll publish a revised version for the upcoming 3xx chipsets that improves upon the first generation?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aforumuser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 1:39am
I run now 2 disks, each 500GB single platter, 5400rpm, so low power drives, in RAID 0.
Idle they run at about 35-37簞C
Under load they reach up to 51簞C, then their performance noticeably drops -> I guess the drives slow themselves to prevent overheating.

So as a result, nope, I dare not even try 7200rpm drives when the 5400rpm already get that hot.

As a customer feedback to ASRock, this is clearly in need for improvement for newer models. Better airflow to the drives and the mounting solution is also quite fiddly.
I would also wish 15mm drives (4-5 TB...) would fit in there, and if you put in smaller drives they simply have more room for proper airflow.



Edited by aforumuser - 15 Jul 2017 at 1:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aforumuser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 1:51am
PS: Not to sound too critical, other than the drives mounting/heat issue I think the DeskMini 110 is an awesome box, I'm really really impressed (<10W idle power!) and hope it will work for a long time to come. Can't wait for a Ryzen model...


Edited by aforumuser - 15 Jul 2017 at 1:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2017 at 12:07pm
There are two SATA drive connections that come with the DeskMini 110, I have no idea why that article said otherwise, if it did.

Again, all the laptop and tablet PCs that exist today have far less ventilation for 2.5" HDDs then the DeskMini 110 does. If HDDs are throttling in the DeskMini 110, then they are also throttling in laptops and tablets, to an even greater degree.

I'm not clear about your two 5400RPM HDDs in RAID 0, are they in a DeskMini 110 now?

If so, it is surprising that they would over heat, particularly in RAID 0. Since the data is being written to two drives in RAID 0, each drive is only writing half the data a single drive would write. Write speed varies depending upon the size of the file, and type of data being written. Of course since HDDs are quite slow to begin with compared to any SSD, they will take longer to write or read data and create more heat for a longer period of time. Actually, a 7200RPM HDD will take a short time to write data than a 5400 RPM model, since the disks are spinning faster.

If the usage of this PC causes constant writing and reading from the drives, and you use HDDs, I would suggest using higher quality HDDs that won't throttle their performance when they get somewhat warm.

Have you configure Link Power management to your drives, and set the Windows Power Plan to spin down the drives quickly, if heat is an issue?

PC size and cooling ability are two compromises that we are still stuck with somewhat today. The smaller the size of the PC, the less cooling ability it has. If you need high capacity storage, I would still use an SSD for the OS and programs, and store large files on an HDD. Heat is not an issue for SSDs, and in this configuration the HDD would be under less continuous stress.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aforumuser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2017 at 7:16pm
Yes, I have now a DeskMini 110.

I choose a 35W CPU, as reviews suggested with a 65W CPU the DeskMini gets really hot. Under full load testing my CPU reaches ~65簞C max. without the fan even running a full speed. It is still very silent and much better/cooler than I expected.

For storage, as SSDs are still much more expensive than mechanical disks I choose two and run them as RAID0 to get >200Mb/s. It is summer now, so ambient room temperature is almost 30簞C (no AC here - so any additional heating from PCs is a problem). If one uses the DeskMini for common office work all is fine.

But I sometimes have larger jobs, e.g. compiling a large program or converting 10000 of photos from one format to the other that causes full CPU load and constant read/write to storage. So my evaluation question was, can I leave the DeskMini alone for hours (e.g. overnight) while it runs a full-load job or do I have to fear that it runs against thermal limits while no one is looking?

My observation is under constant load the disks get rather warm. Yes, ~50簞C should be fine for some time as they are Laptop disks. 7200rpm access speed would be better of course, but they would run even hotter

From the design point of view, why doesn't the case have a line of extra holes on top on the side of the disks so warm air can leave more easily? Plus a row of holes on the bottom would allow fresh air to come in and together we would have a chimney cooling effect?

I must stress again that I'm very happy with my DeskMini, I think it is better than a ZBox or NUC and I look forward to newer models - just maybe add a few more air holes for us poor people with mechanical disks... :-)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jabbermacy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2017 at 12:02am
dude, just get an m.2 NVME SSD (512G) off ebay for ~130 bucks, I just built mine with this and it's quite fast, you really need to get an SSD of some form otherwise it will lag like crazy I feel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jabbermacy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2017 at 12:03am
Originally posted by aforumuser aforumuser wrote:


From the design point of view, why doesn't the case have a line of extra holes on top on the side of the disks so warm air can leave more easily? Plus a row of holes on the bottom would allow fresh air to come in and together we would have a chimney cooling effect?

it will if you have it upright as design intent, laying on the bottom is not the correct orientation
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