Blow-Out Cleanings

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How frequenty is this needed in a typical system ?

Re: Blow-Out Cleanings

On 12/9/2010 3:23 PM, Steve Giannoni wrote:
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It has less to do with the system than with where the system is located. If
the computer is sitting on a desk in a super-clean location the answer is
"virtually never" but if the computer is sitting on the floor in a dusty
room with a lot of traffic in a home with hairy roaming pets then then
answer may be "every month". The computer itself will have some bearing on
the answer too, of course, since a computer with high-air volumes will
hoover up more debris while one with effective air filtration will get less
inside and one which is overclocked will need more attention in almost
every situation.

The safe answer is it needs to be done when it needs to be done. If you
monitor the CPU and other temperatures in your system using SpeedFan or
some other compatible software you will know to do a cleaning when the
temperatures start to climb.

Re: Blow-Out Cleanings

On 10/12/2010 7:13 AM, John McGaw wrote:
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Yes! It's also amazing how much less dust and rubbish you get when you
simply raise your PC off the floor by, even, a phone book's width. You
will still get dust, but a lot less, when you place the PC on a phone book.
Hah! I live in Australia. My PC is on my desk at home. My cat often
jumps up on my desk. It's summer! The cat is moulting. I'm cleaning cat
hair out of the PC!!! Grrr!

Re: Blow-Out Cleanings

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A PC case with air filters is the way to go.  I still get some dust inside
the box and have to clean it every so often but mostly I just have to pop
out the filters and dust them off about once a month.



Re: Blow-Out Cleanings

Somewhere on teh intarwebs smithdoerr wrote:
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That's fine as long as you're diligent about cleaning the filters, or have
[motherboard] monitoring software installed that will tell you when temps
get a bit high.

I know of more than one instance where, when using a filtered case,
components such as the PSU, HDD and even the motherboard have failed due to
prolonged exposure to heat. At least with unfiltered inlets it's usually the
CPU cooler that acts as a dust-magnet, picking up most of the particulate
matter and clogging. This usually results in the CPU fan going full-noise
and the CPU thermally throttling, alerting the user to the problem rather
than the machine running on as a mini-oven [often IME with an elevated CPU
fan speed but not running at 'turbine speeds' which would worry the user].

However other components [usually] don't thermally throttle or give any
warning if they're running in a hostile environment. Therefore, in a case
with compromised 'filtered' inlets there may be enough headroom in the CPU
specs for it to keep running at full speed but it's dumping all of it's heat
into the case. With little flow-through all of the other components then
have to operate at elevated temperatures and a lot of them are less able to
cope wth it.

Therefore my preference for a system that isn't built by or for a geek is
for unfiltered inlets. That way, if it's in a 'dusty' environment usually
the first warning they get is thermal throttling of the CPU ('poor
performance') and/or a very loud CPU fan and they then get it 'looked at'.
In these cases the norm is to clean out the [choked-up] CPU cooler, blow out
the rest of the case and no long-term harm is done.

I recently cleaned out a neighbour's (PrescHOT 3.2GHz P4) PC that had been
making a lot of noise, crashing and Windows had been throwing up errors.
He'd been doing home improvements in the adjacent room (well, sort of the
same room as the house is semi-open plan) and had been cutting dry-wall. The
CPU heatsink looked like it had been encased in concrete but a wash in hot
soapy water, a clean of all the fans and blow-out of the case and all was


(* Actually I'm not so convinced that Intel's implimentation of thermal
throttling in that era of CPUs was very good. After I'd cleaned the system
and booted it Windows (XP Pro) gave me 16 'Windows has recovered from a
serious error' messages. The HDD tests out as fine, no bad sectors, and
going by the self-preserving SMART data, hasn't operated beyond specified
temperatures. The RAM is also all good. Therefore IMO the CPU must have been
sending corrupted data to the HDD. I thought that wasn't supposed to happen.
I'm pleased that I went to AMD for the duration of the P4 era.)

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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