German cooling specialist Alphacool has launched a new solution to keeping even the best M.2 NVMe SSD from overheating. The firm’s new HDX Pro Water adds the aforementioned storage device (2280 form factor only) to your PC’s liquid cooling loop. Most users will find air or liquid cooling solutions to be overkill for SSDs in 2022, but as more PCIe Gen5 M.2 NVMe drives appear, active cooling may be soon recommended for sustained performance.
Considering the new Alphacool offering, it is designed to perform a task and as such it eschews RGB and bling in favor of a practical aesthetic. The nickel-plated brass Alphacool design shouldn’t look out of place in most DIY PCs. In the photo below, you can see it deployed in an MSI Z690-based system, as part of an existing liquid cooling loop.
Alphacool’s HDX Pro Water M.2 cooling block is compatible with any existing M.2 SSD in the 2280 form factor – so you could use it on a PCIe Gen 3.0 or 4.0 drive, for example. SSDs with single sided components or NAND chips on both sides are also compatible. For fitting, it comes with three 2280 thermal pads, with the thicker (3mm) one being used for the underside of SSDs with components only on the top side.
To add it to your liquid loop, Alphacool provides an inlet and outlet which are compatible with 5/3mm hose (3mm PVC hose provided). Alphacool recommends that users only deploy this SSD cooler in systems with clear transparent water cooling fluids, as pastel fluids are prone to clogging or otherwise damaging water cooling products such as radiators, pumps, coolers etc.
In its promotional and user documentation Alphacool makes no specific claims about the cooling ability of the HDX Pro Water. No example before and after temperatures are provided, but it clearly states the product is designed to hold back thermal throttling for “a significantly longer period of time,” when the device is under load.
M.2 SSDs that connect via a PCIe Gen 5.0 interface have been catching plenty of headlines this year, as have beefy heatsinks, air coolers, and even liquid coolers that are designed for this task. Though these next gen SSDs are advertised with phenomenal data transfer rates, under sustained loads they can get too hot and users will then experience thermal throttling. It is widely understood that it is the M.2 PCIe Gen 5.0 SSD controller, rather than the memory chips, that heats up most rapidly.
The Alphacool HDX Pro Water is available now at $49.98, with local sales tax and shipping costs to add.