May 14th 2014
By Mike Flaminio
Backblaze periodically shares their data on storage products. Being an online backup company, they buy a lot of hard drives. Not only that, but they buy a lot of different hard drives. Previously they've posted research on drive model failure rates. This week they shared information on how temperature may affect failure rates:
Overall, there is not a correlation between operating temperature and failure rates. The one exception is the Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB drives, which fail slightly more when they run warmer.
As long as you run drives well within their allowed range of operating temperatures, keeping them cooler doesn't matter.
This is contrary to my experience, although I never paid attention to actual drive temps. My observation is that generally drives stored in external enclosures with fans tend to live longer. than boxes without active cooling. This is purely antidotal, and I suppose it's possible those drives were running to hot, but probably not. Good food for thought.