Having doing some I/O intensive stuff on my workstation, I was a bit surprised to see the temperatures on my Samsung 960 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD hitting 71C. I never experienced thermal throttling on my SSD, but it is a possibility and when it throttles performance will drop off a cliff as the SSD controller attempts to bring temperatures under control.
Even more confusing is there are two temperature sensors on the SSD – and the only one that is exposed to tools like CrystalDiskInfo is NOT the one that is used to determine when the drive will throttle. In fact, without access to the second temperature secret-squirrel temperature sensor that the drive controller uses to determine what the thermal throttling limits are, users are in the blind and can’t predict when it will happen during heavy write workloads.
I decided to pick up a EK M.2 heatsink for my 950 Pro on Amazon to help combat this potential problem. While I haven’t encountered thermal throttling yet on my workstation, I’d like to keep the SSD cool to prevent this from happening at all.
The kit comes with two clips, two different size strips of thermal pads, an instruction card, and the heatsink plates itself. Installation was very easy. Just cur the strips of thermal pads to fit, and clip the heatsink plates on; then install the M.2 SSD as normal.
Here’s a few pictures of how my 950 Pro looks with the heatsink installed: