September 19th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Cooling your computer on a budget - DEMYSTIFIED!
Ok, I promised someone I would write this. From experimentation I have found out a hell of a lot about keeping your computer safe from heat AND from dust.
In my time, I have had one cpu go up in flames because there was so much dust in it that it overheated. It caused the motherboard to burn, and so both were ruined.
Of course, if you can get a brand new case with all that built in liquid crap, or a massive amount of fans - you MIGHT be safe from heating, but not dust. And most people want to work with their current case.
Here is the absolute best way I have found to protect your PC from these, and it's cheap as hell. These are the steps
1. Eliminate excess entry points, to control air/dust access.
The first step is to take notice of all of the entry points. To do this you need to remove both side walls in your PC, as well as the front-face of the case.
On one side of the case, the side-wall is the only wall there. Take a notice at this removal wall - does it have holes in it? even little ones matter.
On the otherside (where the mobo is) the removable wall reveals a steel wall. Look at the number of holes in it! Believe me, dust will get in there easily.
Thirdly, take a look at the enormous amount of holes in the front, there could be as many as one dozen.
The best method to block these holes is with duct tape. Take little pieces and seal off each little hole. Be sure to take notice that some of the holes are where the hooks from the walls hook on, so don't block these.
Also, you need all of your PCI/AGP slots covered, either with blanks or devices. You will need to go to the store, ask the tech people if they have any spares in the back, if they do they'll give 'em to you no problem.
Now you've sealed off the PC, and you can control the entry/exit
2. Take notice of your exit points.
The only place you want air to exit is in your power supply fan, and your other case fans. That's it! It is a myth that you need many fans to get it cooler. More fans will NOT make it any cooler, because one can get it well below room temperature (as long as you follow these methods).
If you have more slots than you do fans don't bother buying more fans, unless you want to. Just take some more duct tape and seal off the open ones from dust.
When you have a choice as to which fans to use, you should ALWAYS use the ones on side-walls, and not the ones on the top or bottom; when the fans are off these will collect dust must easier. Also, it's best to use one near your processor, or at least higher up on the case - since heat rises!
Remember from my own experience, I use only one fan and below you will see my results. I highly doubt more fans would get this much cooler, but it's your choice to add more.
3. Work with entry points.
There are two ways to control your entry points. The cheaper way, and the more expensive but nicer-looking way.
For the cheap way, there's a few methods. First you can use the area where those old floppy drives go (since I have no floppy drives) and make that an input duct. Alternatively you could use an empty large HDD slot as an in duct.
You do not want to reverse a fan and make a fan position an input. This is because you will be sucking in dust - unless you happened to have a way to filter it, but these won't be found at stores I've ever seen.
Now, the way I first handled by input duct (the cheap way) is to go to wal-mart or a cheap "we sell everything" store. Get a cheap 99 cent A/C filter for a home A/C. It should be half an inch thick or just less. One will do.
If you are making an input out of your floppy drive area - what you probably noticed was that the open slots from the outside leader to an open area in between the front-wall and the actual case.
Take the filter, and cut out one piece for the steal inner front-wall, and one piece for the outer case. Use duct tape on the INSIDE (so you won't see it) and filter both. This provides a 99 cent solution. You can also do this with a hard drive input.
As I said there's a more expensive way, which is what I do now. You can go to the store and by an input fan system which is designed to sit in a large-hard drive slot, and pull air in and around your HDD cooling it. Whether you have a hard drive to put in this slot or not, you can install it as a simple dual (or triple) fan input. It sits in place of the empty slot cover. If you do want to put your hard drive in that spot, you can cool the case and the HDD at the same time.
Those are the two options for making a filtering air intake. The fan system costs 20 bucks or less.
Those are the three steps to controling your PC. control all input points and seal them off. invent your new input point which filters. and control your output.
When I did this, my results were dramatic. My PC inner temperature is never hotter than 35C and that's after running for weeks. And the actual CPU temperature is also 35C. When I touch the top of my case, it's so cold that I cannot leave my hand on it - it's like touching a freezer shelve.
As far as dust, after months of having my pc set up like this, I opened my case and the only dust was very very fine dust - smaller than sand - sitting on the bottom of the case. I can easily pop my side-wall off and blow it out with CO2.
So, in conclusion, if you have at least one fan, a roll of duct tape, and a 99 cent A/C filter (or wanna by an input) you can make your PC 99% dust free and VERY cold.
September 21st, 2004, 07:57 PM
I missed how you got the ambient temperature near 0°C. I'm not sure that would be such a good idea, actually ...
September 22nd, 2004, 08:46 PM
The temperature on the outside top of my case is roughly 18 to 25C. Not far at all from freezing - it's cold enough to keep ICE from melting for almost an hour
Originally Posted by medialint
September 22nd, 2004, 10:55 PM
Not that far at all from freezing ... ? That's room temperature and that is correct. 18 is a bit low, but room temp is generally considered 20. Quite a bit off the mercury from freezing
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” - Dr. Seuss
September 24th, 2004, 10:58 AM
thanks for your useful comments, I ain't gonna nit pick about the case temps. Nice post.