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Should I use the M.2 Heatsink that came with my mobo?

ROBOCRIPPLE
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I've been having issues with my gaming PC after I cloned my Windows installation from my SSHD to an SSD with the same capacity. Sometimes, YouTube videos and music files would refuse to play so I've had to restart my system twice just to get them to work, again. Sometimes, one of my displays refuse to output video from my PC, so I've had to unplug the monitor that wasn't working and plug it back in just to receive the output, again. Also, every time I try to run (EA) Origin on my system, it comes up with an error that says "Well, that didn't go as planned". Everything else works, but I don't want to deal with these issues, any more. I searched online for how to fix these issues and even asked on this forum, and I got no answer, AT ALL, and so I searched for fixes on issues after a cloned Windows installation, and one of the answers said that it's better to do a fresh install. So, that's what I've decided to do.

 

I did the cloning process onto a SATA SSD, because the motherboard I was using before didn't have NVMe slots. My new motherboard does have a couple of NVME slots, one of which is covered by an "M.2 heatsink". When I've decided to do a fresh installation of Windows 10, I've decided to get an NVMe SSD. I could have saved my money and just do a fresh install in my SATA SSD, instead, but I'd like the extra boot speed as well as a free SATA port. 

 

I managed to remove the M.2 heatsink from the motherboard and I've found a thermal pad with a plastic cover on the back of it. I'd like to use the M.2 heatsink, but the instruction manual that came with the mobo doesn't show anything regarding the thermal pad. I looked online for these kinds of heatsinks, only to read that they don't make a big difference in thermals (at least for the one that came with a different mobo) and you'd need to remove one of the stickers on the NVMe SSD, which will void your warranty. So, the obvious choice would be to not use the M.2 heatsink, keep the sticker on the NVMe SSD and install it in the other NVMe slot underneath it, right? 

 

Additional info:

Motherboard: ASUS Prime X-470 PRO

NVMe SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 1TB

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I have that same MB quite nice choice. Just remove the plastic cover from the thermal pad on the heatsink and stick the whole piece in place on top of your drive. No need to remove the sticker from the m.2 it'll be fine.

It isn't necessary to install a heatsink on an m.2 but the board looks a lot cleaner with that piece in place.

I suppose if you wanted you could just remove the thermal pad and put the cover in place but why not keep it there? M.2 drives run about 70° and that does not require any sort of heat disapation device. But it doesn't stop marketing teams from selling stuff.

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Use it if it already comes with the MOBO, heat sinks and thermal pads for M.2 SSDs offer little difference in comparisons with those systems without them, but if it helps you sleep better at night do it, It will do more good than bad.

Seagate Technology | Official Forums Team

IronWolf Drives for NAS Applications - SkyHawk Drives for Surveillance Applications - BarraCuda Drives for PC & Gaming

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/12/2018 at 9:07 AM, airborne spoon said:

I have that same MB quite nice choice. Just remove the plastic cover from the thermal pad on the heatsink and stick the whole piece in place on top of your drive. No need to remove the sticker from the m.2 it'll be fine.

It isn't necessary to install a heatsink on an m.2 but the board looks a lot cleaner with that piece in place.

I suppose if you wanted you could just remove the thermal pad and put the cover in place but why not keep it there? M.2 drives run about 70° and that does not require any sort of heat disapation device. But it doesn't stop marketing teams from selling stuff.

I installed the M.2 SSD in the top NVMe slot with the M.2 heatsink and thermal pad on top of it. No sticker is removed from the NVMe SSD. It's been working fine; in fact, my PC boots even faster than before! Thanks for you help, everyone.

 

Even Kyle recommended that you do it this way in his tiny PC build. He used an ASUS mini-ITX motherboard with a similar M.2 heatsink.

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On 12/22/2018 at 10:19 PM, ROBOCRIPPLE said:

in fact, my PC boots even faster than before! Thanks for you help, everyone.

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WAO! Really? It is the first time I hear that, most of the people I've seen using thermal pads or heatsinks for M.2 drives post only about small temperature changes but not about better boot rates. Good, and enjoy it a lot! 

Seagate Technology | Official Forums Team

IronWolf Drives for NAS Applications - SkyHawk Drives for Surveillance Applications - BarraCuda Drives for PC & Gaming

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On 12/28/2018 at 11:01 AM, seagate_surfer said:

WAO! Really? It is the first time I hear that, most of the people I've seen using thermal pads or heatsinks for M.2 drives post only about small temperature changes but not about better boot rates. Good, and enjoy it a lot! 

I was comparing the boot speeds of my SATA SSD and M.2 SSD, not the M.2 with/out the thermal pad.

 

I've been installing games mostly in my 4TB HDD, because there's no online multiplayer game that I'm playing regularly like Warframe (I play it on PS4, because I didn't even have a gaming PC by the time I started playing it). I have installed some apps on the M.2, and they boot as quickly as they did on my SATA SSD.

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Oh! ? Gotcha! Yes it makes sense, an operating system seems to load just as fast on M.2 drives as they do on a regular SSD even when the SSD is PCIe NVMe, the difference is only milliseconds in many occasions.  

Seagate Technology | Official Forums Team

IronWolf Drives for NAS Applications - SkyHawk Drives for Surveillance Applications - BarraCuda Drives for PC & Gaming

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