New SSDs are melting down, learn how to protect yours.

New SSDs are melting down, learn how to protect yours.

Overheating Issues Plague PCIe 5.0 SSDs: The Need for Proper Cooling

Jacob Roach / ENBLE

Is your high-performance SSD giving you the chills? Well, it seems that a range of new PCIe 5.0 SSDs are experiencing a different kind of heat. These cutting-edge storage devices, equipped with the powerful Phison PS5026-E26 controller, are prone to overheating when pushed to their limits, resulting in thermal shutdowns.

The issue first came to light in May, when tech enthusiasts from Phoronix and TechPowerUp encountered problems with the Corsair MP700 SSD. Within minutes of usage, the operating system began generating file system errors for Phoronix, while TechPowerUp faced a thermal shutdown in under two minutes. Interestingly, Corsair initially planned to include a heatsink with the MP700 but ended up removing it from the final product.

Recent reports indicate that the problem extends beyond the Corsair MP700. The German news portal Computerbase suggests that other PCIe 5.0 SSDs, such as the Seagate FireCuda 540, Gigabyte Aorus Gen5 10000, and Adata Legend 970, which also utilize the Phison E26 controller, may be susceptible to the shutdown issue.

Compared to their PCIe 4.0 counterparts, the latest-gen PCIe 5.0 drives run hotter without active or passive cooling solutions. Due to their higher performance capabilities, these drives consume more power, making proper cooling an absolute necessity.

Corsair MP700

In response to these heat-induced troubles, Phison has issued a statement via Tom’s Hardware, emphasizing that all Phison E26-based SSDs should be used with a heatsink, even if they are shipped without one. Additionally, most motherboards that support PCIe 5.0 include cooling mechanisms specifically designed for Gen5 SSDs.

To mitigate the overheating concerns, Phison has released a new firmware (v22.1) that addresses the issue. This firmware introduces link-state thermal throttling, which reduces the PCIe interface speed from PCIe 5.0 to PCIe 4.0 to keep the physical layer temperature at a safer level. While the lowered interface speed may impact the SSD’s read and write speeds, this firmware update ensures more stable performance during high-temperature operations.

If you own any of the aforementioned SSDs or any SSD with the Phison E26 controller, it is highly recommended to use it with a heatsink. Additionally, updating to the latest firmware will help ensure the safe and reliable operation of your SSD.

The overheating issues experienced by these cutting-edge PCIe 5.0 SSDs serve as a reminder that even the fastest storage solutions can encounter thermal challenges. By acknowledging the importance of proper cooling and utilizing available solutions, users can fully harness the performance potential of these powerful SSDs without the fear of untimely shutdowns.

So, stay cool and game on with the latest storage innovations!