Heatsink Reviews and Analysis
TOP 5 Heat Sinks     TOP 5 Low Profile Heat Sinks     TOP 5 Liquid Coolers    
 Reviews + Articless     News     HSF Mfg's Index     Advanced Search    

Frostytech Cooling Fundamentals: Dusty Computers
Frostytech Cooling Fundamentals: Dusty Computers
Abstract: Chances are if you've had your computer for more than six months there is some level of dust inside. While dust under the couch may be bad to look at dust in the computer can cause problems.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author   Cooling / Heatsinks   Oct 05, 2000   Max Page  
Dusty Computers

If there's one thing that can cause havoc for anyone with a computer, it would have to be dust, dust bunnies, and dust monsters. Chances are if you've had your computer for more than six months there is some level of dust building up inside. While dust under the couch may be bad to look at dust in the computer can cause problems.

As is the nature of this airborne creature, dust always settles on the regions which have the most air flowing over them. That means expensive heatsinks and power supplies are the foremost target. What can dust do to you processors heatsink? Well, over time the dust builds up and acts like an insulating layer, blocking air from directly contacting the heatsink's surface. In extreme instances the dust can build up to such a high level that it fills up the spaces in a heatsink and prevents it from doing its job.

The effects of a dust build up are not always easy to recognize. But you may find your computer starts to run a bit hotter than it did previously, and may indeed be less stable if you overclock it. Dust can have an adversarial effect on fans if it manages to find it's way to their bearings. Dead fans in power supplies are rare by they are common. While a bad fan in a power supply is not going to immediately kill you computer, you may smell the flux as it starts to flow around the components not being cooled. A dead fan on top of a processor can mean system hangs and in the worst case scenario, a fried chip.

If you have a case with an intake fan, try to lessen the amount of dust being brought into your computer by putting a filters of some kind over top of it. Standard air filter material, the same kind you may find in an air conditioner or furnace, porous spongy foam, or even pantyhose have been used successfully to limit the amount of dust a computer inhales with out reducing the amount of air being circulated.

While dust can be really helpful for figuring out the airflow patterns in your case, it is doubly a pain in the arse. It insulates heatsinks and can lead to overheating. In the pictures on this page, a BP6 with dual 366@550Mhz Celerons ran 24x7 for about 8 months straight before getting a good cleaning. It ran a few degrees cooler after all dust covered components were cleaned off.

Finally, if you run that computer 24x7, be sure to crack it open every couple of months and clean it out. Guaranteed it will run a bit cooler. It may even be a bit more reliable. When you do, remove the dust building up on heatsinks and fan blades with a vengeance, dust on the mother board will have less of an impact overall.



Facebook RSS Feed Twitter
° Got Feedback?
° Mk.II Test Platform
° Where To Buy?
° Manufacturer Index
° Industry Dir.
° Cooling Projects
Recently Tested

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B SCMG-5100 Heatsink Review

Gelid Tranquillo 4 Air Cooled Heatsink Review

Coolermaster Ergostand III Laptop Cooling Stand Review

Noctua NH-D9DXi4-3U LGA2011 Xeon Server/Workstation Heatsink Review

Noctua NH-L9x65 Low Profile Heatsink Review

Scythe Fuma SCFM-1000 Heatsink
...More Articles >>

Websites you may also like:
Since June 1999

Find a Heatsink / RSS Feeds
Latest Heatsink Reviews
Top 5 Heatsinks Tested
News RSS Feed
Reviews RSS Feed

Social Media
Pinterest Info
Contact Us / Heatsink Submissions
Submit News
Suite 66

© Copyright 1999-2020 All Rights Reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of Use
Images © and may not be reproduced without express written permission. Current students and faculty of accredited Universities may use Frostytech images in research papers and thesis, provided each image is attributed.