Do I need a heatsink for PCIe 5.0 SSDs?

PCIe 5.0 SSDs require a heatsink to work properly, but if you need to buy a heatsink in addition to a PCIe 5.0 drive etc.

You’ve probably heard of how hot PCIe 5.0 SSDs get, so whether you’re getting a cheap PCIe 5.0 drive or the best one you can buy, you’ll need a heatsink. The real question, however, is whether you should buy a PCIe 5.0 SSD that comes with a heatsink, as most PCIe 5.0 drives offer a model that does not come with a heatsink. However, you probably don’t need to buy a PCIe 5.0 SSD that comes with a heatsink.


Why should PCIe 5.0 SSDs be run under a heatsink?

To be clear, you should use a heatsink on PCIe 5.0 SSDs because they consume a lot of power, which turns into heat. This is very different from PCIe 4.0 SSDs, which can also get very hot or come with heatsinks, so that the heat sink is not needed to maintain the temperature. The main difference with PCIe 5.0 drives, at least the ones available so far, is that they consume a lot of power and heat up so much that normal operation is not possible without a heatsink. Yes, all this power and heat is necessary to make these drives the best in the world.

So, what would happen if you ran a PCIe 5.0 SSD without a heatsink? Monitors that try to immediately encounter fatal software errors or thermal shutdowns, which is the last resort for SSDs and other electronic devices to prevent heat from causing permanent damage. Running a PCIe 5.0 drive without a heatsink will limit your computer’s performance and can seriously damage it.

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Should you buy a PCIe 5.0 SSD that comes with a heatsink?

This is an important question because, for several years now, M.2 SSD heatsinks have not been available exclusively through SSD manufacturers. In fact, most computer motherboards that you can buy commercially come with SSD heatsinks that are built into the motherboard and come with thermal pads that connect to the SSD to transfer heat. Most motherboards also include large heatsinks that are much larger than those that come with PCIe 5.0 SSDs.

Although every PCIe 5.0 SSD should offer a heatsink as an optional accessory, it is not necessary if your motherboard already has a heatsink. Any motherboard that supports PCIe 5.0 SSDs includes a heatsink for its PCIe 5.0 slots, so it’s not like SSDs without heatsinks like Corsair’s MP700 are heavy-duty boards because Corsair doesn’t provide a heatsink.

Of course, there are devices that don’t include an onboard M.2 heatsink, such as OEM laptops and desktops. At the time of writing, no laptops support PCIe 5.0, but you may have an OEM desktop that supports PCIe 5.0 drives but doesn’t have a heatsink anywhere on the motherboard. In this case, you’ll want to buy a PCIe 5.0 SSD that comes with a heatsink.

MSI Spatium M570 PCIe 5.0 NVMe $290 $350 Save $60

The MSI Spatium M570 is a PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD with an eye-catching heatsink.

$290 at Amazon $290 at Newegg

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