General Question

manuel_alarcon's avatar

Old notebook, new hdd: the bigger the hotter?

Asked by manuel_alarcon (299points) September 23rd, 2014

Hi, I have an old notebook, a presario v3218la, and I upgraded it with a hard drive from an external drive that failed; turns out the circuitry failed, but the hard drive was ok. It’s only 160 gigabytes, and my original hard drive was 120 gigabytes, but it runs smoothly and generates nearly no heat (compared to the old one). So, I’m planning to keep using my notebook for a while, and I will buy a new drive so it runs better.
But being an old notebook, I’m thinking I better buy a 320 gigabytes drive. Does a bigger hard drive generates more heat? my old hard drive generated enough heat to burn your hand after one hour of use, so, if I install a 500 gigabytes drive would it heat equally as the 320 gigabytes drive?
Besides, when the notebook checks out (and after a ceremony with all the honors) I can place the drive in a case and continue using it.

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3 Answers

jerv's avatar

Newer drives often are more efficient than older, more primitive drives. As heat is the result of waste/inefficiency, newer drives generally run cooler, all else being equal.

manuel_alarcon's avatar

thanks @jerv , I agree; so, the difference between 320GB / 500GB / 1TB should be meaningless? Im worried that the processing from the notebook may create a bottleneck between the drive and data flowing, thus heating up the drive again… Or, maybe, the new, faster drive may optimice the processor use, improving general performance…

jerv's avatar

I’d worry more about cleaning the heat sinks. Laptops have small heat sinks anyway, so even a little fuzz or cat hair in there can lead to overheating; they’re less forgiving than desktops because of their size. Even if it doesn’t truly overheat, higher temperatures will cause things to throttle down in order to reduce heat generation.

Just keep it all clean and you should be fine. Besides, the biggest heat generators are the CPU, GPU, and battery; hard drives run quite cool compared to those. In my system, the hard drive is 20–60 degrees cooler than those three.

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