For most people, SATA SSDs are a major upgrade over a traditional hard drive. When you’ve been using a hard drive for a couple of years, the jump from that to an SSD is jaw-dropping. This is especially true if you get a reliable SSD with a decent DRAM cache. However, the jump from a good SSD to a blazing fast NVMe one doesn’t feel that different. At least for the average consumer.
However, if you’re reading this guide, chances are high that you’re not the average consumer. Maybe you are someone who is transferring large files all day, or maybe you’re a video editor. Whatever the case may be, you are someone who’ll benefit from NVMe speeds. Especially since PCIe Gen 4 SSDs are setting new records in random read/write speeds. As we move into the world of next-gen gaming, games will benefit from these speeds as well.
However, turns out there’s a bit of a problem here. Having a fast NVMe SSD is great and all, but they can run quite hot. This is natural, as you likely have a lot of components inside of the case. Heat can eventually ruin performance and shorten the lifespan of the drive. Because of this, getting a heatsink for your drive is a good idea. So, here are five of the best NVMe SSD Heatsinks in 2021.
Sabrent was one of the first manufacturers to quickly adopt PCIe Gen 4. Their Rocket lineup of next-gen SSDs is quite remarkable. This remains true both in performance, efficiency, and reliability. However, if you want to keep that expensive SSD of yours around for longer, the Rocket heatsink is a good investment.
The Sabrent M.2 2280 SSD Rocket Heatsink is designed for desktop computers. As the name implies, this SSD works with the 2280 form factor. While it’s intended to be used with the Rocket SSDs, it will work with most other brands out there. It uses a combination of copper heat pipes and aluminum construction to dissipate heat. This does the job surprisingly well.
The Rocket Heatsink is compatible with single and double-sided M.2 SSDs. Some SSDs have memory controllers on both sides, so it’s good to see wide compatibility here. The packaging includes thermal tape, screws, and even a screwdriver. It is relatively easy to install. Overall, the engineering here is incredible, and the heatsink feels premium.
The copper and aluminum materials do a great job of reducing the temperature. You’ll notice a difference, that’s for sure. There is one small issue, as some reported that the mounting screw is a bit short. However, some motherboards have foam pads in the way to reduce rattling. Installation is easier if you remove this.
Next up, our second heatsink on our list is from Micro Connectors. This is a relatively small brand that provides smaller things like standoffs, screws, thermal pads, and heatsinks. Their M.2 2280 SSD Heat Sink Kit is one of the best out there. It’s also incredibly good value for money.
This heatsink is available in a variety of colors. These include red, blue, silver, and plain old black. It’s surprising to see a manufacturer offer this sort of variety in a heatsink. If you are someone who is color-conscious of their build, this might interest you. The heatsink works with standard 2280 length M.2 SSDs.
It uses a mixture of aluminum and silicone construction. The entire top part is constructed out of aluminum. These aluminum fins do a great job of dissipating heat efficiently. It works with most motherboards of even M.2 adapter. Silicone rings are included to secure the heatsink properly.
Performance-wise, it does get the job done. Thermals were more consistent and controlled with this heatsink applied. The installation can feel a bit involved. This is only because the actual fins are a bit taller. If you can remove the motherboard from the case, the installation will feel easier.
NVMe SSDs are made with enthusiasts and professionals in mind. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that a heatsink is out there made just for enthusiasts. The Ineo Aluminum M.2 SSD Heatsink is one of the most powerful cooling solutions out there. It is the perfect companion for your new next-gen SSD.
But you might be wondering what makes this heatsink so different? Well, it’s all about the integrated 20mm fan. These are definitely interesting times we live in. Don’t get us wrong, as unconventional as it sounds, it works surprisingly well. The 20×20 fan can spin at up to a 1000-RPM. It performs well, both in acoustics and thermals. It’s compatible with a wide variety of 2280 SSDs.
The heat conductive material consists of nano silicone thermal pads and an aluminum heatsink. The heatsink has that classic groove design, which increases heat dissipation, at least in theory. Apart from that, it looks great in terms of design as well. A lot of people may love an RGB version of this. Still, the design already looks great.
It’s not ridiculously expensive either. If you just bought a PCIe Gen 4 SSD, this is a drop in the bucket compared to that. Just remember that the fan noise may bother some, but only if you’re the extra sensitive kind. All-in-all, this is an excellent NVMe SSD Heatsink.
So, you spent all your budget on a blazing fast NVMe SSD. However, it’s running a bit hot and you’re worried about it degrading gradually. Well if you want a cheap cooling solution, the Glotrends Universal M.2 Heatsink is a good option. Granted, it’s not going to make a drastic change, but you’ll appreciate it in the long run.
Let’s get this out of the way first. Most motherboards come with an M.2 Heatsink already. If yours does not include one, then sure, this is a decent option. However, just note that it’s not going to be a major step up from those factory-included heatsinks. It does provide a minor decrease in temperature in both idle and under load.
As usual, this SSD Heatsink is of the standard 2280 size. This means that it can easily work with a wide variety of drives, even with the higher end Samsung SSDs. The heatsink’s fins use aluminum for the construction, and the thermal pads use a silicone material. Apart from that, the design isn’t obtrusive, so it should fit right into your rig without drawing attention to itself.
Overall, this is a good replacement heatsink if you don’t want to use the stock one from your motherboard. It is an entry-level option, so just be aware of what you’re getting. Installation can feel a bit involved as well.
Last but not least, we have an M.2 SSD Cooler from Thermal Grizzly. Thermal Grizzly provides high-performance cooling solutions. They are always held to a high standard among the hardware enthusiast community. Fortunately, their SSD Heatsink lives up to the name. But there are a few issues some should be aware of.
This M.2 passive cooling solution is one of the more discreet ones out there. It’s not big and bulky like other heatsinks, and it doesn’t use a fan either. It works with most M.2 2280 SSDs out there. Note that it does not support double-sided SSDs. The assembly is uncomplicated and it comes in a simple black color.
The performance is quite decent overall. You might notice a drastic difference immediately. However, even a slight drop in temperature will make a world of difference in the long run. This is an enthusiast product after all, and at some point, these heat sinks reach a point of diminishing returns.
We would have liked to see better performance, as there are a few options out there that perform better for a lower price. However, you get the reliability and sleek design that you may not get elsewhere.