What is the ideal SSD setup in the Dan A4?

nightshift

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
53
16
So it's a sandwitch-style case and frankly, my build is only missing this component and I still can't make up my mind.
Most ITX motherboards feature two M.2 slots and in case of a B550 board, the frontal slot is 4.0 while we have 3.0 at the back. Latter can supposedly be harder to cool as there's no heatsink, although 4.0 drives usually get hotter under load. With this in mind - along with their difference in read speed, which is better suitable to function as the boot drive? I figured since the price for having one M.2 SSD of 1TB to hold everything costs as much as buying two piece of the same kind with 500GB each, I might as well actually use two drives instead of one. Might even go for a 250GB for the boot drive so I'll come out even cheaper.

I'm a total noob in this area, don't have any experience with M.2 drives and I'm not sure if a boot drive is constantly reading data from the OS or just boots upon system start and then idles. Without any proper knowledge to back up my guess, what I have in mind is using a 250GB 3.0 at the back for boot drive and get my games to load from the 4.0 slot with the motherboard heatsink on. Hope that won't heat up that area too much. Btw, my mobo of choice is an Asus b550-i, so no fan or heatpipe in the M.2 area.

Alternatively (especially if having two M.2 is too toasty for this case) I can just use one of the M.2 slots for the boot drive and put the games on a SATA SSD mounted on the front of the case. Which one you recommend, which setup you're using? Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

TunnelVision

Cable Smoosher
Apr 29, 2016
11
8
A thermal pad (this is the one I bought) between the rear M.2 SSD and the internal aluminium panel seems like a good idea, especially if you add it at the beginning rather than having to take everything apart.
 
Last edited:

nightshift

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 23, 2020
53
16
A thermal pad (this is the one I bought) between the rear M.2 SSD and the internal aluminium panel seems like a good idea, especially if you add it at the beginning rather than having to take everything apart.
The problem with this is that between the backplate and the motherboard with the M.2, there are the riser cables.
 

Gilles3000

Trash Compacter
Oct 6, 2018
44
22
Don't worry about it, for normal usage SSD's don't need as much cooling as most people think they do.

Its only for specific workloads that put heavy sustained load on the that the controller needs a heatsink. The nand flash generally doesn't need a heatsink at all, it can even shorten its lifespan if you over cool it, usually around 50c during writes is recommended.

I'd say try it as is, and if you encounter any throttling, you can fix it. Even just putting a thermal pad between the ssd and the motherboard is often enough.