I built a PC with a 3900X last April. It’s being cooled by a 280mm NZXT AIO.
Now due to the crazy past year I’ve had to move and have just been very busy (forced overtime to keep the hospital running etc) so the regular maintenance of my PC was neglected. After moving the PC had to be on the ground rather than a desk. It’s in a cooler master H500 with the mesh front and so it had REALLY good airflow etc so I didn’t worry about it to much
I finally had some spare time to myself to reorganize my space and bought display port and active usb extensions so I could move my Pc across the room to a shelf off the ground.
When I tell you that the dust blown out of the radiator fogged up the room I’m not even kidding. I wore a mask and had an air filter running to pull it all out of the air. The PC got a spa day cleaning and my idle temps fell from the mid 50’s to the mid 30’s on the 3900X resulting in better boost clocks too. Now under stress test it’s hitting high 70’s not high 80s with reduced clocks
So PSA clean your computers guys!
Gonna throw in a pin here, but please don't buy compressed air cans, not only are they environmentally wasteful, but they are economically unsound and the vapor can damage hardware if used incorrectly.
Please buy an electronic duster, they are better for the environment, cheaper in the long run, don't produce any vapor and they often come with anti-static brushes to help aid cleaning.
Thanks for the reminder! I've been in a similar situation lately. Between moving and the pandemic, maintenance has kinda slipped my mind. My Fractal R6 has filters that I can clean fast but I haven't taken out my Liquid Freezer II 280 since I got it early last year. Not directly computer related, but the point remains that I've been distracted. So much so, I failed to remember to do basic maintenance on my car. Recently it started throwing a check engine light for an O2 sensor issue, Air Fuel ratio related. I brought it to the dealership twice, thinking it was a bad sensor or something. They couldn't figure it out. Turns out I hadn't cleaned the washable Air Filter I installed on the engine's intake in over a year. I washed it properly, cleared the codes, reinstalled the filter and now my car runs good as new. $400 wasted on dealership visits when all I had to do was remember to do basic maintenance lol.ID: gv384ee
I changed the oil on my daily driver car and I haven't reset the change oil light. I should probably do that lol
Its so easy to skip the basics especially when you think you just did them hahaID: gv4mitn
Damn I can’t believe you got a K&N so dirty that it was throwing off the A/F ratio. That must’ve been a huge restriction to the airflow!!!ID: gv4n4zo
I probably hadn't cleaned it in around 15-18 months. I usually clean it once a year, right before spring. It's an AEM DryFlow that just needs to be washed, no oil needed. I've used these filters in all my previous cars and never had a problem. I own a Focus ST with a Ford Racing Tune on it. It's my first turbo car, so I think tolerances for A/F are much tighter than my previous cars. The engine code was for a downstream O2 sensor sensing a lean fuel burn and, after looking at logs, the short term fuel trim was out of spec and throwing the light. Somehow the dirty air filter was throwing everything off. Wild stuff.
I hoover around my pc and its dust filters every week. Only takes a couple of minutes.ID: gv33dlr
Same here, at max once every two weeks. Its much easier and cleaner than doing it once a year and it is also a great feeling to have it in tip-top shape (almost like new). Be careful with the hoovering though.. static and too great suction can remove/bend components. Also its easy to bend the radiator's tiny metal "mesh" if you pull/push the hoover's tube across it.ID: gv4wbx7
Another benifit of using dust filters: they don't break if you roughly vac them and they're a flat plane rather than a convoluted, high surface area part.ID: gv45azr
Keeping a clean room is key. Especially if you have pets since they create a lot of crap to get stuck in filters.ID: gv4wkmc
Maybe it's because my PC is on my desk in the living room, but it really doesn't get very dusty even with 2 cats. I am pretty aggressive about sweeping though (allergies).ID: gv462dr
Couple minutes every week is alot of your life spent on vacuuming a PC. I think every six months should more than suffice.ID: gv4o6n6
So you vacuum your room every 6 months? but have time to waste surfing reddit and posting worthless comments.ID: gv56xg8
At least once a month for me. For some reason my apartment is exceptionally dusty and if I waited 6 months my computer would look like a chinchilla is nesting in it
Man, I wish it was a warning up front on prebuilt systems. In my days as a tech, I'd see so many computers come in, the majority of them dusty, but some of them with dust bunnies collected inside the case. Some were primarily dust and hair, but some were also dirty, a gross greyish brown color. I'd blow some out and immediately start choking. I think a couple times a computer would be brought in for turning off randomly from thermal overload and all it needed was a good dusting. It's just not something the average consumer ever considers, and I don't exactly blame them, but man we should raise awareness.
Worth reminding people this about consoles as well, especially since they generally have a smaller cooling system that's much easier to clog with dust.ID: gv4tkqh
My dad used to do this when he was a teacher with his school computer lab computers because he was in charge of running it. This is when they first got computer labs. He said sometimes his coworkers would ask him to fix their computers too and there would usually be brown dust bunnies clogged in it that smelled like tar, and those were the teachers he knew smoked a lot.
Sounds like a very disgusting job.ID: gv57jfi
Smokers PC's are disgusting. I no longer use compressed air on them, and the motherboard goes straight into a sink with hot soapy water. I've also resorted to pressure washing the interior of a few cases after removing all the components. The water that flows out of them is brown.
I've worked on PC's where you can take out chunks of dust and draw a disgusting picture on a piece of paper with the tar built up in it.
Plastic fans slightly ionize the dust/smoke flowing past them, so PC's are quite literally dust/tar magnets.ID: gv4wqpo
There's a tech support gore sub here and it's disgusting. Shit like cockroach infected PS4's.
You might want to check your fan configuration too. If you're pulling in a lot of dust, you might have pretty high negative pressure, when you want a slightly positive pressure.ID: gv3y10z
Second that, filters only work with positive pressure. If your ventilation is set up right, should only have to clean the filters.ID: gv4aetx
In theory, yes. But filters dont catch everything. Realistically its impossible to have no dust inside the system
This is why I take my desktop to the back yard to blow out. I don't want my exfoliated skin flying around and settling on things more than it already is.ID: gv36k0j
That air filter was working overtime the whole day
Definitely an outside task from now on however.
I set a quarterly reminder on my phone. Otherwise I’ll forget or put it off. It’s crazy how much dust a AIO radiator can collect!ID: gv2yuia
Definitely going to need to set a reminder that’s a great idea haha
It blew my mind that it dropped temps that much.
Genuine question but how do you guys clean out your systems?ID: gv3lxeh
Take it outside and use an air duster to blow it out, if you do it for a living you can get filtered and anti static air compressors to do the job but $5 canned air will clean a PC out several times.ID: gv4j6i0
DataVac is 100% worth the investment. Forget canned air.ID: gv3idi9
I shut it down and tilted it on its side (radiator was on top) and blew it all out with compressed air.
Same for the intake filters. And then I used a microfiber cloth with some PC safe cleaning spray and wiped it down.ID: gv4icut
standard vacume cleaner. And positive pressure filtered cases.
Leaf blower, one of my greatest purchase for pcID: gv41dpt
Is this a joke? I just got an electric leaf blower. Now I’m tempted to use it.ID: gv458c8
No joke, it is awesome. A full Pc clean in 20 sec. BUT, use the slowest speed and block fan blades from spinning or else you risk damage. Also use common sense and be thorough.ID: gv4buu9
Before I built a new rig in 2018 I had to take the Phenom II over to the neighbors who had a real air compressor. Think had been neglected and sitting on the floor for years. Took 90psi to blow out the heatsink on it!
My 5600X with an AIO and nine fans now get's cleaned quarterly.
dust filters my dude.ID: gv44d9p
Intake has filters but the real crime is my idiot ass accidentally left the dust filter on the radiators exhaust......Holding the dust in.....ID: gv46jvb
I like taking my rig outside then going to town with my DataVac
If it's been a few years, replace your thermal paste too!
XPOWER A-2 Series Multi-Purpose Powered Air Duster Vacuum - Black
That’s what I use
love my meshify 2 compact, super easy to access and dust the filters
So I've got a thermaltake core p90. I regularly dust it with compressed air and the like. Any other things I can do specific to open air cases? Where's my naked case gang?
And if you're able to afford it, get a datavac. I got one last year and it's amazing. Straight deletes dust.
Just repasted and cleaned by laptop after close to 2 years of ownership, and I got a 10c thermal improvement! Yay:)ID: gv4n7vr
Look at us go haha
Get a Metro DataVac Electric Duster. Take your PC outside and blast it. Takes literally 5 minutes.
highly recommend moving your computer outside before cleaning out. all that dust in the air is no bueno! thanks again for the psa though, good luck out there!ID: gv4nb0f
Yeah I goofed. Lesson learned!
I don't understand how this much dust occurs... my PC has been on the floor in my past two living spaces and I only dust the insides when I do a hardware upgrade (so like a year and a half at least) and there will be a very thin layer on the PSU and that's basically it...
Was a bit worse at the old place since I had a cat, but even then it wasn't very much... I can't even begin to imagine how dusty someone's place would have to be for the PC to resemble the horror stories I've seen/heard.
Novus makes a dust repllant/plastic safe cleaner I use on basically all my PC stuff. I think its made for cars, but its perfect for PC's.
Nice. As a Sophomore in highschool, I don't have the time to clean my PC right now, but come this summer I'll be doing my first ever deep clean in the three years I've had this thing. I'm talking disassembly, repasting, hydronaught, all the bells and whistles are being taken out and polished.