SSD Heat

SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD… 1 being used for cloning (formatted APFS) and 1 for Time Machine backups (formatted HFS+).

When connected to my MacBook Pro, using either a TB3 or SanDisk’s provided USB-C cables, the SSDs heat up, in the lower half of the SSD where cable connects, more than I would expect, regardless whether actively working or simply connected but dismounted. [The SSDs are laying flat with the top (perforated) side face-up; so, heat easily escapes.]

It seems logical the SSDs would heat up when actively reading/writing, but I would expect the SSD, when not actively working, to cool down from the heat level it reaches when actively read/writing. The SSD (even when connected, but dismounted) maintains the same heat level rather than the heal level lowering.

The amount of heat is notably warm - almost hot, but certainly less than really, really hot; so, somewhere between really warm and a lower threshhold of hot. …If I disconnect the SSD, the heat level completely drops off.

Long term & reliable SSD usage seems will be best by disconnecting it after principal tasks have been completed, in order to control the SSD from long periods of being overly warm.

I had intended to actively use these SSDs and then, dismount them (keeping them connected), as I’d like to avoid continual, cable disconnecting / reconnecting that might cause deteriorating wear of the USB-C port. …Am I correct these SSDs are not designed for continual, cable connection to the computer source

Just bought Sandisk Extreme Portable 500G and mine became hot too while plugged in my laptop. Is this normal?

[Look to the 5th paragraph in my 9/2019 post.]

Yes, these Extreme Portable SSDs will heat up (and get hot) when connected for extended periods (hours +).

I use 2 of these SSDs, one for backing up using, macOS Time Machine ™ & one for Carbon Copy Clone 5 (CCC) clones.

TM SSD is usually mounted for up to an hour; when I feel it getting too warm, I dismount it (& physically disconnect the SSD from its connecting, TB3 cable) to let the SSD cool.
CCC SSD is auto-dismounted by CCC5 when cloning completed (& then, I disconnect the SSD); so, this SSD is only mounted for weekly clones.
When I’ve completed initial (1st time) backups, either for TM or a clone, the SSD will get hot since the time to complete can approach an hour. And when these drives are worked hard for an intensive task, they get hot, but I disconnect it once the task completes.

  • Experience has also shown me these SSD drives should be dismounted by using the macOS Finder; and if remounted, only doing so after waiting several minutes (lets macOS Finder complete what it does when a drive has been dismounted).

While I don’t precisely know the potential (damage) issues of long-period mounting (say, all day or overnight), which would let the SSD get and remain hot for an extended time, I can verify my methodology has been working without any hardware consequences.

And while my method is really a work-around which minimizes extended heating, it’s been a small price for using these SSDs in the way I do. And, I’ve had these SSDs in service for a year now, and they’ve been very reliable.