When it comes to building a gaming rig, today’s go-to storage solution is M.2 SSDs. However, when used intensively, these drives can emit heat, which is why you want to add a heatsink. To help you choose the best M.2 SSD heatsink, below we’ve got a couple of options that work admirably in a variety of scenarios. Whichever NVMe heatsink you choose, you can’t go wrong as we did our best to provide a variety of great options.
To add to this, once we take a look at the options we’ve chosen, we’ll also take a look at just how necessary heatsinks are for an M.2 SSD. This is a question that’s oftentimes asked when you’re building a rig, so let’s try and answer that as well. Now, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at the options.
Factors to consider before buying an M.2 SSD heatsink
Before you choose a heatsink for your M.2 SSD, you first need to determine the size you need. M.2 SSDs come in three different sizes and the heatsink has to match otherwise you won’t be able to install it.
To tell the dimensions, look at the name of the SSD. It’s followed by one of these three numbers: 2242, 2260, and 2280. The first two (22) is the width measured in millimeters. The last two digits (42, 60, and 80) represent the length.
Cooling type (active or passive) and effectiveness
Is an active heatsink better or will a passive one suffice? This is a question on everyone’s mind and the truth is active cooling isn’t necessarily better.
Passive cooling refers to heatsinks made out of various alloys designed to absorb and conduct heat. The active heatsinks also include a small, usually 20mm or 30mm, fan to improve cooling. The fan is too small to help with much beyond a couple of degrees. The materials and the quality of the heatsink matter more. A good passive cooling system will often outperform a cheap active one.
There are hundreds of M.2 SSD heatsinks to choose from, so make sure you pay plenty of attention to their dimensions and clearance in particular. After all, you have limited space on your motherboard and you don’t want the M.2 heatsink to poke into the GPU.
Single or double sided
M.2 SSDs are either single-sided or double-sided. When you buy a heatsink, you need to make sure it matches. Some of them can only be installed on single or double-sided M.2 SSDs while others are compatible with both types.
Best M.2 SSD Heatsinks
1Thermalright M.2 Heatsink Cooler
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy with silver plating | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 1.38 x 3.54 x 1.18 inches | Weight: 1.44 ounces
- Cools your SSD by up to 20 degrees
- Increased durability due to anodic oxidation surface treatment
- Won’t fit an ITX motherboard
The Thermalright M.2 Heatsink Cooler is, no way around it, a chunky one. It’s a rather large option that’s been specifically designed for use in desktop PCs, and with motherboards that don’t have an integrated heatsink solution.
The design not only looks nice but is very effective, too. You’re looking at a 10 to a 20-degree difference in temperatures, which depends on what type of SSD it is, what kind of airflow you have in your case, and how you use it, as well as a couple of other factors. But in any case, the difference is quite obvious and not one to scoff at.
Moving on, this is a very well-made heatsink. The material of choice is aluminum alloy, and you also have silver plating which helps eliminate static electricity. The surface has been coated to improve resistance to corrosion, and to improve hardness and wear resistance.
Overall, if you want a high-quality product that does the job great, this might be the best M.2 SSD heatsink. The only downside is that it doesn’t fit ITX motherboards due to the layout of components.
2Sabrent M.2 Rocket Heatsink SB-HTSS
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single/double sided) | Material: Copper and aluminum | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 3.13 x 0.95 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 5 ounces
- Copper heat coils that improve heat dissipation
- Great design and construction
- Short mounting screw can be inconvenient
- Pricier than most passive heatsinks
You might know about Sabrent as a brand because they are the makers of one of the best-selling PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market nowadays. But they also make one of the most heavy-duty NVMe heatsink models, which carries the same name – Rocket.
This is, there’s no going around it, a massive heatsink. It’s compatible with single and double-sided M.2 2280 SSDs and comes with multiple components that are all optimized to dissipate heat as much as possible. Inside, you place the SSD itself, and on top of it goes an aluminum heat sink. That is then connected with copper heat coils to the topmost heat spreader, which has a fin design to maximize heat dissipation.
As a system, it works admirably, and the difference in temperatures is noticeable. The build quality and overall craftsmanship are also excellent. And they should be – this is the priciest NVMe heatsink on our list.
However, if you’ve got a large SSD that you’re accessing often, and want to keep temperatures at bay, the Sabrent SB-HTSS Rocket Heatsink is the best M.2 SSD heatsink to achieve that with, bar none.
3ineo Aluminum M.2 2280
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single/double sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy with silver plating | Cooling Method: Active | Fan Size & Connector: 20mm Fan (3 pin connector) | Dimensions: 0.94 x 2.95 x 0.24 inches | Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Thermal pads designed for uneven surfaces
- Low-noise fan
- Anodic oxidation surface treatment
- Fan speed is not adjustable
If you’re looking for an M.2 heatsink with an extra cooling oomph, then this might be it. This heatsink from ineo comes with a 20mm fan to dissipate heat a little quicker. However, that’s not the whole reason why this product is a good choice.
This heatsink is built from aluminum alloy coated with silver plating to prevent any static charge from building up. Additionally, it comes with an actual copper heat pipe to further boost its heat dissipating capabilities. The active fan is just the icing on the cake.
As for its design, we can’t really call it low-profile but it doesn’t take up much space. You’ll be able to install it on most motherboards, including some of the smaller ones. Installation is straightforward as it comes with everything you need and it uses a standard 3-pin connector to power up the fan.
Overall, this M.2 heatsink from ineo is a great choice for anyone looking to cool their SSD while gaming or performing demanding tasks. It’s also fairly cheap when compared to other heatsinks with active cooling.
4MHQJRH M.2 2280 SSD Heatsink
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (double sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy with silver plating | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 0.98 ounces
- Low-profile heatsink that should fit most setups
- Thermal pads design for uneven surfaces
- Clip design for easy installation
- The surface finish feels cheap
When you first take a look at this NVMe heatsink, you’ll immediately notice what the main design goal was – to maximize the heat dissipation surface. And they succeeded, with a fin design that helps bring down the temperatures of your NVMe drive by quite a bit. Depending on the environment, you could notice as much as a 30-degree difference, which is, honestly, a lot.
The all-black design is subtle enough to blend in just about any build, which is another nice addition – no need to color coordinate anything here. While we’re at the design, it’s worth mentioning that this is a double-sided heat sink, so you can have just about any M.2 SSD inside here.
The adjustable height screws and the double-sided clip design mean that installing an SSD is remarkably easy. To add to this, the overall height and dimensions make this an NVMe heatsink that fits in just about any build. The materials of choice ensure excellent heat dissipation, and the price is as reasonable as it gets. If you’re after the best M.2 SSD heatsink on a budget, this is one to take a closer look at.
5ineo M.2 2280 SSD Rocket Heatsink
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single/double sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cooling Method: Active | Fan Size & Connector: 30mm Fan (3 pin connector) | Dimensions: N/A | Weight: N/A
- Quality aluminum alloy build with 4 copper pipes
- Impressive cooling performance
- 30mm fan with controllable speed
- It’s very tall compared to most M.2 heatsinks
- Noisy fan when set to maximum speed
The Rocket heatsink from ineo resembles the heatsink of a CPU. It even comes with a 30mm fan in the middle. That’s actually a good thing because there’s plenty of aluminum and copper material to distribute and dissipate all that heat your M.2 SSD is generating.
That said, this heatsink is on the pricier side and it’s large. If you’re going for a low-profile build it might not be the ideal choice. It’s quite tall and it might interfere with other components if you don’t have enough clearance.
Overall, the Rocket heatsink is a premium cooling system designed to prevent thermal throttling and give you the most performance out of any SSD. Additionally, it can be installed on both single and double-sided M.2 SSDs. With such performance, compatibility, and build quality, it’s worth checking out.
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single/double sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 2.76 x 0.94 x 0.97 inches | Weight: 1.76 ounces
- Up to 25 degrees temperature difference
- Fixed base design to prevent SSD deformation
- Beautiful modern design
- Might be too bulky for certain setups
If you want a versatile NVMe heatsink that works with just about any SSD, the Archgon HS-1110 is probably one of your best options. It might be a bit pricier than the competition, but it comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from such a heatsink.
First things first, the difference in temperatures can be up to 25 degrees. This, of course, depends on a few factors, but the potential to make a significant difference is there. You also get a design with a fixed base, which helps stabilize the SSD and remove any stress off it.
It’s made of aluminum alloy, and the surface has been treated to help with heat dissipation and durability. One of the main things about the HS-1110 is the versatility – the design and way it works means that it’s compatible with both single and double-sided SSDs.
The design itself means that if you have room for an M.2 SSD and no heatsink for it, this one will almost certainly fit without any issue. Considering the performance, and the asking price, if you’re noticing issues with your NVMe drive’s temperatures, by all means, get it, it makes a significant difference.
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 3.94 x 3.94 x 0.79 inches | Weight: 1.06 ounces
- Low-profile heatsink that can fit most motherboards
- Easy to install
- Temperature difference up to 30 degrees
- Compatible only with single sided SSDs
EKWB is a well-established brand in the cooling industry, which is why their EK-M.2 heatsink is one of the best M.2 SSD heatsink options out there. It comes at a reasonable price, and with a subtle design that looks right at home in just about any build.
To begin with, the fins design maximizes the heat dissipation area, which is why this is one of the most effective M.2 heatsinks out there. Depending on the specific situation, you’ll notice a decrease in temperatures, anywhere from 7 to 30 degrees, which is no small feat.
The downside about it is that it’s only compatible with single-sided M.2 2280 SSDs, which excludes some double-sided models. However, if you have a single-sided SSD, this is one to consider. It also comes with included thermal pads, which means you just set up the SSD and you’re good to go.
Take everything we just said, and add to that the host of color options available, all of which look nice, and you’ve got yourself what is probably the best M.2 SSD heatsink out there for single-sided SSDs. And the price is great, too, which is just one more reason to go for it.
8EZDIY-FAB M.2 SSD
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (double sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: N/A | Weight: N/A
- Sleek design that fits any build
- Up to 30 degrees cooling effect
- Available in a variety of colors
- The thermal pads are very fragile
If you’re dealing with thermal throttling but you don’t want to spend too much on an M.2 heatsink, the EZDIY-FAB is a great option.
Its design is simple and fits any setup, whether you’re a fan of RGB or not. It’s available in multiple colors and it’s low profile, so you have plenty of choices.
Build-wise, it doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, but it’s made out of a heat-dissipating aluminum alloy that does the job. It can cool an M.2 SSD by anywhere between 10 and 30 degrees, depending on your build.
Overall, this EZDIY heatsink is an affordable option that prevents thermal throttling and keeps your SSD operating at peak parameters. Just be careful with the thermal pads because they’re quite easy to damage or even break.
9be quiet! BZ003 MC1 Pro
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single/double sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 4 inches | Weight: 1.76 ounces
- Integrated copper heatpipe for extra heat dissipation
- Elegant design with modern black finish
- Doesn’t take much space despite the added heatpipe
- The mounting screws are small and hard to handle
MC1 Pro offers a lot of value for the price, especially thanks to the high-quality heat pipe. Be quiet! is renowned for its designs and well-built products, and this M.2 SSD heatsink doesn’t disappoint. If you want an affordable NVMe cooling system from a reputable brand, this is it.
The design of the MC1 Pro is simple but elegant. With the sleek black finish, you can fit it into any build, particularly black ones. It becomes invisible once installed on the motherboard.
As for its performance, the MC1 Pro will make a significant difference in temperature, but it depends on the airflow inside your case. The heat pipe will dissipate the heat quickly and reduce up to 20 degrees if your PC is also properly cooled.
Overall, the MC1 Pro is a great choice, especially for those who are already fans of the be quiet! brand. It’s built using high-end components and it does a great job despite not having any luxury features.
10Micro Connectors M.2 2280 SSD Low-Profile Heatsink
SpecificationsSize Compatibility: M.2 2280 (single sided) | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cooling Method: Passive | Dimensions: 2.76 x 0.2 x 0.87 inches | Weight: 0.64 ounces
- Compact design and extremely light
- Easy to install
- Excellent thermal dissipation considering its size
- The mounting screws don’t fit the holes of certain motherboards
Not all builds have room for massive heatsinks, and oftentimes you’re limited to one that’s as compact and low profile as possible. If this is the case, and you also want to save a bit by going for a budget model, this NVMe heatsink by Micro Connectors is the right choice for you.
To begin with, it works with single-sided SSDs to keep a low profile. It’s also made in a way that allows you to use it with motherboards that limit the room around the SSD itself because it’s extremely compact.
Installation is easy with the silicone rings and thermal pads included, and you can use the heatsink on both your motherboard and an M.2 adapter. This adds a bit of versatility, which is nice, especially at this price point.
Overall, while this might not be the best option out there when you’re limited in terms of room and don’t want to spend too much, it’s a great choice. The fin design dissipates a lot of heat and gets you a noticeable difference in temperatures, and the all-black colorway makes sure it blends in with your build, regardless of your color choices.
Are M.2 SSD heatsinks necessary?
Yes, M.2 SSD heatsinks are necessary if you want to considerably reduce the temperatures of your M.2 SSD. The effects of high temperatures on your PC components including the M.2 SSD can cause the drive to slow down or even fail over time. So if you are experiencing high M.2 SDD temperatures, an M.2 SSD heat sink is indeed necessary to improve the performance and longevity of your drive.
Let’s take a deeper dive into this question that has been asked quite a bit. M.2 SSDs have no moving parts, no friction, and nothing that would cause them to heat up, right? Well, yes, but they do have chips on one side or both, and those chips do get hot especially when there isn’t enough airflow going to them.
Now, depending on your case, motherboard, and how everything is set up, you may have enough airflow going to your drive. But many motherboard designs don’t plan this out too well.
The answer to the question depends on how you’ll be using your M.2 SSD. There are two possible ways to go about this. The first one is if you’re using that SSD as a boot drive. If that’s the case, there are no long periods where you’re pushing the SSD hard, and if your case has good airflow, you won’t need an M.2 heatsink.
However, if you’re using your M.2 drive for game storage, or as a scratch drive for video editing, or just about anything else that puts a lot of stress on it for extended periods of time, you should consider getting one. Not only are you reducing the life expectancy by running your NVMe SSD at temperatures that are higher than usual, but in some cases, you may even notice things like thermal throttling which directly impact performance.
There are some situations where an NVMe heatsink will make a difference in day-to-day performance, as well as durability. And if you think you’re in one of those situations, by all means, choose the best M.2 SSD heatsink from the list above – you can’t go wrong with any of them. It’s all a matter of picking one that works well for your use case and your specific build, and one that will fit your budget.