Storage

Liquid-cooled hard drives on the way


That's one up for water-cooling fanatics fans, it appears that NEC and Hitachi have just announced a partnership focused on the development of a liquid-based cooling system for hard drives.

In case the more level-headed among you folks are shaking your head, it is not so much liquid-cooling for its sake that is the focus of the collaboration here. The objective appears to be to create a much quieter hard drive by wrapping the entire drive in a noise-absorbing material as well as a vibration insulation.

According to Ars Technica, the liquid-cooled hard drive is geared to reduce noise levels to 25 decibels, which is 5 decibels quieter than a whisper.

Obviously, this has the unavoidable side-effect of heating the drive more. It might appear that liquid-cooling might be the only viable option for cooling left. And since water-cooling technology has been around for some time now, extending that to use liquid cooling for the hard drive seems a logical extension.

According to Hitachi and NEC, the cooling plate that they will be using to radiate away the heat collected by the liquid coolant will be the most efficient plate yet.

Just how important is a quieter hard drive to you?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

20 comments
scottjarvis
scottjarvis

Yes! Liquid cooled hard drives sound cool! I???m a tech nut so this is huge news for me. I regularly shop with Computer Giants since I???m always looking to expand my list of devices for media storage. I???m sure they???ll carry this drive too at some point since they carry everything else in the world, well as far as media storage goes like SCSI http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/SCSI, ATA, server, Hard Drives, Enclosures and even Memory. I would really like the cooled hard drive to be quiet as well. Nothing annoys me more than noisy drives, they???re just distracting. Right now I have to really good external enclosures that surprisingly run very softly. Check out Computer Giants website, http://www.computergiants.com if you want some good drives and other storage, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_storage mediums.

paulmah
paulmah

Just how important is a quieter hard drive to you?

bookkeeper
bookkeeper

As far as being quiet this noise is not so much the issue for me. If a HD physically go bad you can usually hear it. If the Liquid cooled HD has less moving parts and it makes them more efficient then i say go for it.

poopka4
poopka4

Edited Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

It may be interesting to discuss. Will SSD drives need to be cooled in the future? Has anybody out there come across any that have a higher than normal temperature? Thankyou for any replys.

paulmah
paulmah

I missed out mentioning in the original article, but how do you guys think such a hard disk will fare compared against SSD drives, which is starting to appear on the market. Would such a niche (liquid cooled drives) be viable even given that SSD gives out zero noise emission.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

But noise it just a small thing and not that important to me I am interested in reading what other people have to type/say about water/liquid cooling Edit to add this Thankyou to everyone who replys to my posts I will read them all But may not reply DM

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

"Solid-state hard drive." As opposed to the vacuum-tube ones we're using now? That's what you get when marketers know nothing about the product they sell.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

1 How many times SSD drives can be written to on average before failing. 2 How the power use of these new hard drives compare to the old or SSD drives 3 The ease of data recovery of both 3 The size of these new drives and the space they need to cool Just some of the things I will look at when I buy them or SSD drives Some links to makers of SSD drives http://www.stec-inc.com/ http://www.pqimemory.com/

Absolutely
Absolutely

My processor is currently the loudest component on my system. Until that gets a lot quieter I won't be interested in reducing sound output from components, like hard drives, which are already effectively silenced by the CPU's wind.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I like it to be pretty quiet. Unless I am trying to hear to see if it is spinning. Aside from that, quieter is better. Also, being cool is great too. It should add life to the HDD's and be less prone to fail. Especially with a decrease in vibrarion. However, these would probably be quite expensive, so few would be willing to purchase it depending on price. But over a few years, the price should start to fall off a bit causing more to purchase it. It should be an interesting drive when released.

Absolutely
Absolutely

"Solid state is intended to refer to the difference between transistors and vacuum tubes." Or I did, but forgot it. I posted while thinking that "solid state" refers to semiconductors generally, without the specific meaning you explained. I retract it all, except the part about "drive" being also the wrong word.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

I agree that the word "drive" isn't entirely appropriate for these devices, but the platter is still "solid state", and always has been. Call me crazy, but "Flash-based hard drive" would have been a better name if they wanted to keep the hard drive term for historical reasons. Again, the name reveals how marketing majors aren't required to take physics--even the watered-down "Physics for non-science majors" version. This means that they know jack about engineering, yet they name the products the engineers create. Solid state is intended to refer to the difference between transistors and vacuum tubes. It has been an obsolete term for decades, and reappropriating it here is just plain ignorant. Let's say GM just invented its overhyped, underwhelming hemi engine today. If their marketers took the same approach, they'd be marketing their new "internal combustion" engine. It sounds cool and high-tech, but external combustion died with the steamboat. That would show the same lack of clue as calling chip-based storage "solid state".

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

Silicon storage That was popular for a time Non-volatile ram/memory Bubble memory Eproms EEproms My memory may be wrong on this The name flash comes from the final act that writes the data In the old chips you wrote to the ram in the flash chip Then strobed a pin and it was copied to the slow nv ram in a flash When the chip powered up the ram was reloaded from the slow nv ram Not sure may be wrong I may need a memory upgrade

Absolutely
Absolutely

There are solid state chips in "old-fashioned" hard drives, for example in the buffer & drive control circuitry, but the data storage medium is a conductor, not a semiconductor, so the appellation "solid state" does actually connote a relevant difference. If I were to criticize any part of the description "solid state hard drive", it would be the "drive" portion, based on my vague impression that the word "drive" was originally chosen in reference to the physical movement of the storage medium. I'm not sure that impression is even historically accurate, but since a semiconductor storage medium can access different locations without "driving" any macroscopic object anywhere, I'd call these new devices "solid state data storage".

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

I have seen some that are 512 GigaBytes That are or will be offered by some manufacturers Thats a lot of storage Especially for a laptop or notebook Price will be the main thing to think about

Absolutely
Absolutely

SSD offers higher access rates, but with lower capacity & at a much higher cost. So, where higher access rates are extremely important, SSD is likely to be implemented. In other words, it's unlikely to be more than a niche market until industrial advances lower the price -- a lot.

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

in my full system and the cpu cooling fan on my laptop are the loudest things As long as the speakers are muted I am usally the loudest thing in the house But the boys & girls at the office are allways louder then me or any computer I am using Thanks for your reply Edit to fix stuiped typos

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

sorry. I had a friend one time that water cooled, but his case was always open, so it was a bit noisier

Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing

of water or liquid cooled pc devices? I am most interested in how they are to use (noise or not, possible failures). I would like to read about any experience had by you or other people you know. Thanks for your reply DM