Mini XL+ high drive temperatures, BIOS tunables/upgrade?

I purchased an iXsystems Mini XL+ and 8x WD Red Pro “14 TB” 7200 RPM Drives WD142KFGX (new, on the approved list for the XL+) from Amazon in April. It shipped with Core, and I migrated it to Scale 24.04. All 8 drives are in a single RAIDZ2 vdev. It gets light use, maybe 2-4 hours a day.

Some of the drive temperatures would remain in the high 50s even hours after most usage has stopped, and I’ve seen two drives peak at 60 degrees during a scrub. This is within the 0-65 degrees operating temperature spec https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-red-pro-hdd/product-brief-western-digital-wd-red-pro-hdd.pdf but is concerning. After enabling the HDD Standby feature (drive goes into standby after a 5 minute period of inactivity) and disabling k3s (even without k3s managed apps, k3s itself wrote logs to disk every 5s), temperatures now stabilize below 40 degrees. Would rather keep the drives on all the time, but this felt the lesser of two evils.

I’m looking for advice on how to better cool the drives and otherwise tune the system. I’m considering:

  1. Trying to control the fan that cools the HDDs using GitHub - desbma/hddfancontrol: Regulate fan speed according to hard drive temperature or something like it.
  2. Replacing the single case fan. Wish I could put a second fan in, but the case is only drilled for one.
  3. Upgrading BIOS. iXsystems documentation https://www.truenas.com/docs/files/MiniFamily3.6.pdf suggests not updating the BIOS, though. The system shipped with BIOS 1.3 V1 (2020-06-08). Firmware Resources | Support lists a 2.14.0 BIOS.
  4. Changing BIOS settings. Perhaps the fan can be set to run at higher speed here? Does anyone have suggested tweaks?

I see the old forum has some threads about the same problem and need to go through them. Is there anything else I should do or look into?

Thanks in advance.

Try this post first?
https://www.truenas.com/community/threads/new-freenas-mini-xl-heat-problem-do-this-right-away.84713/

The old miniXL was also a an excellent HDD sous-vide toaster. I replaced it with a Lian Li q26 once the futility of dealing with the airflow inside the old case became apparent. (I upgraded to an industrial Noctua fan, toggled the IPMI settings, etc).

Good luck. Small cases that can hold 8 HDDs (aside the q26) frequently prioritize compactness for cooling performance. Works ok with SSDs since those tend to be more heat tolerant and allow better airflow (less bulky).

Ixsystems has allegedly told another customer that 50+C is in spec. as long as drives stay below 60C. That’s nuts to me but my pools are tiny, sample size is small.

Thank you both for the suggestions.

I’m willing to get a new case if I thought it would do significantly better. I do have a preference for smaller cases (apartment living, no rack to mount a big case in) and am not aware of a good option here. I’ll have to do some research and see what I can find. Suggestions welcome.

The post SmallBarky linked suggests tuning fan speeds via IPMI. I’ll definitely give that a shot. I plan on running a series of “experiments” and will share my findings here. For now, I expect to test 1.a baseline/control configuration, 2.my current configuration (HDD Standby enabled), 3.fans running at higher speed tuned via IPMI and 4.fans controlled by hddfancontrol. Possibly more if I come across other ideas. For each test I’ll use rsync to generate enough writes to reach a high temperature and will collect various measurements (starting HDD temperatures, peak temperatures, amount of time to reach peak, amount of time until temperatures cool off to a stable level once load terminates, what that lower stable temperature is, etc.).