SSD Overheating: What Does it Mean?

by Paul | Last Updated: September 13, 2021

When a hard disk drive heats up, it is usually an indication that the PC is executing too many tasks at a time or “heavy tasks” like gaming and designing. This heating of hard drives serves as a selling point for solid-state drives as they are designed with insulation resulting in less heat but when happens when an SSD is heating like an HDD?

SSD Overheating: What Does it Mean?

SSD overheating means the temperature is over 70⁰c. There are times your computing device might seem very hot, this does not necessarily mean it is overheating, to be sure, get the software to measure the temperature of the SSD. A few software that can check the health of SSDs:

  • Crystal Disk is free and is available for download here
  • Samsung Magician has been graciously provided by Samsung for only SSDs produced by said company at no charge at all.
  • Intel Solid-State drive is available for free on Techspot
  • Crystal Disk Mark is also free and available here
  • Crucial Storage Executive is another great tool for your SSD
  • Kingston SSD Manager just like the Samsung is for only Kingston drives and is free
  • SSD life like every software that has been listed above is free
  • SSD ready is free but unlike others has a paid version.

The software listed above are some of the best available, go through the sites and see the one you prefer but to save time, the Open Hardware Monitor works just fine. After doing your check, if your results show your SSD is really overheating, you can proceed to apply any of the solutions below.

SSD Overheating- SSD Design

SSD design is not necessarily referring to just the aesthetic of an SSD, a basic step will be to look at the component design of the SSD. Not all SSDs are designed equal, this design is beyond brand and package, at its core an SSD must have a cache component called DRAM.

The purpose of the SSD is the elimination of moving parts and replacing it with a flash memory that makes the read and write function of the disk faster and smoother. For this to function excellently, this storage drive needs a cache that stores certain tasks that are repeated regularly.

That is where the DRAM comes it, it essentially serves as the cache for your SSD. There are certain SSDs that do not have this crucial component. Although the price difference between SSD and HDD is gradually reducing and is certainly better than it was a few years ago, some users still consider it expensive.

Manufacturers in the bid to sell the SSD, removed this vital component of the SSD and sold it at a lower price. This removal comes at a cost and they do not really warn you about the consequences. The first red flag is the warranty and lifespan attached is shorter than the one given to an SSD with DRAM.

How does removing or not including a DRAM in an SSD result in overheating? The task for the DRAM is now assigned to a portion of the SSD, causing it to slow down in regular task like browsing and overworking the disk for heavier tasks like gaming or design resulting in overheating.

Solution: Purchase a new SSD with a DRAM

SSD Overheating- SSD Quality

An SSD that will be used for simple tasks like Microsoft office, watching movies and others cannot be comparing to one that will be used for heavier tasks. To know the SSD that best suits your needs, read the spec sheet of your desired SSD, check the official site.

Additionally, you can check sites that benchmark the performance of SSDs for various tasks, this will give you a more detailed knowledge of the SSD’s capacity and quality. If those precautions where not taken before you got your SSD, there is a high chance that the SSD you purchased does not match the tasks you carry out on your PC.

Solution: Reduce the tasks carried out on your SSD, using task manager to remove or stop unnecessary tasks can help too. However, if all being carried tasks are essential, purchase a new SSD with a good quality that matches your needs.

SSD Overheating- SSD Storage Size

If you love high-end gaming, you should not be caught with an SSD size less than 500GB. Normally, gaming requires a lot of hardware components like GPU and RAM to function well but if over 80% of the disk space is in use, there will be lags in activities resulting in an increase in the amount of heat that emanates from your PC.

Solution: Remove junk files and other unnecessary files from your SSD, uninstall some software and if you still want to have more games installed on that SSD or plan to use a design software then purchase a new SSD.

SSD Overheating- Virus

There really is no limit to the harm a virus can cause to a PC, yes, it cannot damage your disk, but it can cause it to malfunction. If you check the task manager on your PC and there are no tasks running, yet your RAM and disk capacity are in use or maybe maxed out, there is probably a virus or malware on that PC.

If you use windows, open the virus and threat protection setting and run a system check. If that is futile, use a trusted and efficient software like Bit Defender which is also available on the Mac platform.

SSD Overheating- Interface

Closely related to capacity is the interface or connectivity of your SSD. If your SSD does not have the PCIe, NVMe feature, it won’t be solid enough for heavy tasks and this will be noticeable in its speed. For the PCIe, newer generations and higher lanes (usually written as xn e.g., x4) give better performance.

Solution: If your SSD has smaller lanes, is an older generation or does not have the NVMe feature, reduce the tasks carried out on your SSD, using task manager to remove or stop unnecessary tasks can help too. However, if all being carried tasks are essential, purchase a new SSD.

SSD Overheating- Other Components

Sometimes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your SSD, it is only heating up because another component is failing or being overworked. For, instance, if your CPU is stretched thin during a task especially when it does not match the activity being carried out, the heat rubs off on your SSD.

Solution: If you are using a desktop, you can easily upgrade the CPU, this cannot be easily done on a laptop. Switch out the components that are failing if it can be done, if they are overworked, reduce the tasks and if you can do any of these, get a PC that matches the tasks you need it for.

Related Question

What happens if my SSD keeps overheating?

It will keep affecting the latency of your disk and over time the disk might fry, which happens once the temperature is over 120⁰c.