Why you probably don't need to keep your hard drive as cool as possible

Data from 34,000 hard drives suggest little correlation between temperature and drive failure rates

Most of us know that extreme temperatures (whether hot or cold) can kill our electronics. But how much do you actually have to worry about temperature, when it comes to your hard drive--and all the precious data you store on it? The folks at Backblaze offer some insights, based on an analysis of over 34,000 drives.

Tl;dr: They find no significant correlation between temperature and failure rate, overall. So if you keep the temperature within the recommended manufacturer range, you don't have to worry about keeping the drive extra cool.

This comes with the caveat that their consumer- and enterprise-grade drives are running in pods in a data center, which provide airflow over the drives so they don't get too hot. Still, some drives get hotter than others depending on their locations, and different drive models run at different temperature ranges. 

Here's a geeky chart:

Backblaze hard drive temperatures

Backblaze says "all of the drives run well within the 0˚C (or 5˚C) to 60˚C that the manufacturers specify for the drives." 

The drive the Backblaze did find had a significant failure rate correlation with higher temperature is the Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB. Unless your drives are that model, your drives are probably cool enough. (Assuming you're not working in high heat environments and your computer isn't getting too hot, that is.)

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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