- May 29, 2011
The LSI cards are typically intended to be run in a server with substantial forced airflow. If you do not have airflow past them, they typically go thermonuclear. The typical LSI chipset is dissipating something around 10 watts, so it does not really take a huge amount of airflow to cool them, but if you create a zone without airflow, they do suffer and can even do bad things.I got a LSI 9217 card and without even any drives plugged in, the heatsink is so hot I almost burned my finger.
Is this normal? Are the chips supposed to be this hot?
Many, but not all, LSI cards come with vented slot covers which hopefully your card has. If you are not building inside a regular server chassis, you may need to arrange cards to create airflow. Some people advise to add a chipset fan to the LSI card, but in general I think this is a bad idea, as the fan will eventually cook, and then the LSI will cook worse, and this can potentially spew spurious write errors into your pool.
I keep intending to order some custom double-height LSI heatsinks but there's some variety in the shapes and the cost is nearly unjustifiable. Plus I generally deploy these things in real server chassis.