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Question about IDE/SATA converter and HDD fan

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September 5, 2011 11:23:26 PM

Hello everyone. I'm building a new system and I don't really feel like spending money on new optical drive (SATA) because I have 2 older ones (IDE) that still work just fine. Also, I almost never use the optic drive anyway, but it's handy to have one just in case (for installing Windows).

So, my question is... How reliable are IDE/SATA converters? They're available on eBay for as low as $2.

I would use it for optical drive, but out of curiosity, how reliable are they for hard drives?
Also, would there be any problems booting and installing Windows from a drive that connected via converter?

Example: link

Second question... How useful is HDD fan? It's also available on eBay for as low as $2, so I might as well get one.

Example: link

Reason why I'm interested in one is because I have Seagate Barracuda that is 38-39 months old. It recently started overheating. Warranty is 36 months, go figure.
I'm hoping to extend its remaining lifetime using a devoted fan. Is that a good idea?

Thanks for help.

Cheers.
September 5, 2011 11:54:44 PM

Look, optical drives are so cheap these days there's really no point in saving an old IDE one. Regardless of the fact that they're old, they're bottlenecked by the IDE interface. Newer SATA drives have far more bandwidth. The IDE/SATA converters are quite reliable, though I wouldn't buy one that's only $2. I'd go on Newegg.com and look for one that has the best reviews.

As for your second question, if your hard drive is overheating, go ahead and buy a fan to keep it alive. There's really not much else you can do :D 
September 5, 2011 11:57:25 PM

Well the thing is, I'm already $100 over the planned budget for my new PC so every dollar matters. The cheapest optical drive is around $25, not something I really need. I'd rather spend that kind of money on better PSU or something.

Also, those adapters are 8-10 times more expensive when bough in stores.
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September 5, 2011 11:58:30 PM

Forgot to say, I don't care about the speed of optical drive because I barely ever use it. Hard drives are so big nowadays there's no need to burn anything and flash memory is taking care of data mobility.
a c 82 G Storage
September 6, 2011 2:11:12 AM

You lose nothing getting that IDE to SATA converter. It only costs $3 and you'll know if it works or not in a month. You won't know until you try it. Even more expensive adapters often don't work.

Don't expect a $2 cooler to be great; you can read the reviews at newegg for what looks like the same cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... You can get a yellow cooler for $3 in a month or a blue one for $7 within the next couple days.
a b G Storage
September 6, 2011 2:30:05 AM

Quote:
Regardless of the fact that they're old, they're bottlenecked by the IDE interface.


No, they aren't. You can use an ancient ATA/33 cable on them they move data so slow. We have SATA optical drives now not because they need the speed, but because the cable is smaller/everything more universal. You are correct that drives are cheap so he might as well get one if the budget allows. Seeing as it doesn't he's fine to use the IDE one.

As for the cooler, I doubt it will help/change much. Drives are hot. Backup the data in case it does go, but I wouldn't worry at this point about getting a cooler.

Edit: Here is a link on DVD speeds.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/plextor-announces-18x-...

Notice that a 16x DVD drive can burn at only 21MB/s. This is well within what an ATA/33 cable can handle. It's also no where near the IDE limit of 100/133MB/s. IDE is fine.
September 6, 2011 10:29:00 AM

GhislainG said:
You lose nothing getting that IDE to SATA converter. It only costs $3 and you'll know if it works or not in a month. You won't know until you try it. Even more expensive adapters often don't work.

Don't expect a $2 cooler to be great; you can read the reviews at newegg for what looks like the same cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... You can get a yellow cooler for $3 in a month or a blue one for $7 within the next couple days.

NewEgg doesn't ship to Europe. Stuff from China usually arrives in 2-3 weeks and I'm not in a hurry. :) 

Thanks for the link, though, I read the reviews. As expected, some customers are satisfied and some are not, but it seems like it does what it's supposed to, even if it dies or becomes too loud after a while. For $2.50, I don't really care so I'll try it out.

4745454b said:
Quote:
Regardless of the fact that they're old, they're bottlenecked by the IDE interface.


No, they aren't. You can use an ancient ATA/33 cable on them they move data so slow. We have SATA optical drives now not because they need the speed, but because the cable is smaller/everything more universal. You are correct that drives are cheap so he might as well get one if the budget allows. Seeing as it doesn't he's fine to use the IDE one.

As for the cooler, I doubt it will help/change much. Drives are hot. Backup the data in case it does go, but I wouldn't worry at this point about getting a cooler.

Edit: Here is a link on DVD speeds.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/plextor-announces-18x-...

Notice that a 16x DVD drive can burn at only 21MB/s. This is well within what an ATA/33 cable can handle. It's also no where near the IDE limit of 100/133MB/s. IDE is fine.

Informative post, thanks. So there should be no problems with speed, that's good to know.

And the cooler... Some guy on NewEgg wrote that it reduced the temperature of his old HDD from 50 something °C to low 30s °C, so maybe it works after all?
a c 82 G Storage
September 6, 2011 11:31:47 AM

I highly doubt that a 20°C disk temperature reduction is possible with 2 very small 9 CFM fans. The 5°C reduction observed by another reviewer probably is closer to reality.
a b G Storage
September 6, 2011 2:49:59 PM

And I ffel it don't mater. Tmeps meena leetle in the gread scnem of things.
September 6, 2011 6:20:59 PM

GhislainG said:
I highly doubt that a 20°C disk temperature reduction is possible with 2 very small 9 CFM fans. The 5°C reduction observed by another reviewer probably is closer to reality.

5 °C lower temperature in the long run sounds good to me for only $2.50.

4745454b said:
And I ffel it don't mater. Tmeps meena leetle in the gread scnem of things.

Actually, lower temperature increases not only HDD's, but any electronic component's life. I thought that's common knowledge.
a b G Storage
September 6, 2011 6:56:14 PM

sublime2k said:

Actually, lower temperature increases not only HDD's, but any electronic component's life. I thought that's common knowledge.

Actually it doesn't http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/un...
Drive age is a much bigger factor considering the moving parts inside modern HDDs. I certainly would not reuse a 3+ year old HDD with a new build. Data /archieve with copies maybe but certainly not as a primary drive to boot from.

Depending on your case design, I would just use a standard 12cm fan to suck in fresh air from the front of the case and have it blow over your HDD. This way it will not only cool you HDD, but also create a nice airflow within your case for your other components.
September 6, 2011 8:28:38 PM

I guess you learn as you live. :) 

I have this case: Front Back

How would you place the fans? Also, would a fan in the front help much since there's not much space to circulate?
September 6, 2011 9:06:51 PM

After some research, I figured front fan should take the air in (for hard drives), side fan should take the air in as well (mainly for CPU) and back fan should take it out.
a c 82 G Storage
September 6, 2011 9:14:45 PM

sublime2k said:
5 °C lower temperature in the long run sounds good to me for only $2.50.


Actually, lower temperature increases not only HDD's, but any electronic component's life. I thought that's common knowledge.
It's a common misconception: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive "A common misconception is that a colder hard drive will last longer than a hotter hard drive. The Google study seems to imply the reverse—"lower temperatures are associated with higher failure rates". Hard drives with S.M.A.R.T.-reported average temperatures below 27 °C (80.6 °F) had higher failure rates than hard drives with the highest reported average temperature of 50 °C (122 °F), failure rates at least twice as high as the optimum S.M.A.R.T.-reported temperature range of 36 °C (96.8 °F) to 47 °C (116.6 °F)."
September 6, 2011 10:46:01 PM

Oh wow, who would've thought... Well, I guess I'll just skip the HDD cooler and get a third fan (already have two) for the whole case.

92 mm in the front, 92 mm in the back and 80 mm on the side.
a c 82 G Storage
September 6, 2011 11:23:52 PM

If the hard disk is cooled by the front fan, then it shouldn't overheat.
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