Dust Kills Computers.....

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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KorruptioN
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Post by KorruptioN » Fri May 27, 2005 12:38 pm

Enough talk, let's see some examples!

Basic AMD boxed thermal solution.
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These next three show how sensitive Thermaltake heatsinks can be to dust. Keep them clean at all costs!
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[size=75]Deal with it.[/size]

Green Shoes
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Post by Green Shoes » Fri May 27, 2005 1:49 pm

flarkit,

Welcome to SPCR!!

This thread prompted me to do another round of dust cleaning this afternoon, and I noticed that my G4 really didn't have any dust collecting at all. I started thinking to all the other Apples that I use at work, and I realized that Apple must really take that into consideration when they design their Powermacs, as I have run them for years and never seen any significant dust buildup; this is in sharp contrast to the old Dell I have sitting right next to that Mac, which needs to be cleaned every 3-4 months. I don't have any experience with iMacs or laptops, but kudos to Apple for doing such a good job with the PowerMacs.

I have a few other bones to pick with them, though....
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flarkit
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Post by flarkit » Fri May 27, 2005 11:45 pm

Thanks Green Shoes. SPCR currently tops my short list of sites with great information from the contributors.

KorruptioN, the pic of the boxed AMD HSF is one of an mATX board, if I'm not mistaken? Could it be that the compact design leads to there being a higher concentration of dust too?

Also, that TT sink looks brilliant! The only way I could come anywhere close to that was by actually rinsing my friend's unit under running warm water, then leaving it to dry completely (thanks to some warm weather).
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Post by peteamer » Sat May 28, 2005 1:07 am

KorruptioN wrote:...
YEW... Please !!! ... I've yet to have my breakfast !!!


I really think we should start an 'XXX' titled thread for stuff like that, so people could have some kind of 'warning' of what they are about to view...

nici
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Post by nici » Sat May 28, 2005 1:36 am

Heres a picture of my brothers amd boxed-cooler, its an early Athlon XP. It wasnt crashing or anything, it worked perfectly fine though i suspect cpu temps were high(didnt check). He doesnt have any case fans, just the psu fan and the cpu fan. I swapped the 60mm stock fan for a "12dB" Papst with 60-->80mm adapter to make it quieter.

Click for bigger picture

Image

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Post by peteamer » Sat May 28, 2005 1:41 am

I think we just went from 'kinky' to depraved... :lol:

nici
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Post by nici » Sat May 28, 2005 2:26 am

peteamer wrote:I think we just went from 'kinky' to depraved... :lol:
Lol! :mrgreen:

KorruptioN
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Post by KorruptioN » Sat May 28, 2005 3:58 am

That's probably the worst I've ever seen. Damn. The motherboard is really clean around the CPU socket...

flarkit, I forget where the pic came from, I just happened to have it on the drive. :o
[size=75]Deal with it.[/size]

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Sat May 28, 2005 4:15 am

Damn....those awful pictures are exactly what I try to avoid when I build effective dust filters in all my computers. It's a whole lot easier to replace or clean a filter, than to take a case apart to blow it out.

My newest build has one 6x7" pleated paper filter at the rear, and another identical filter on the bottom of the case....raised on casters. Both filters can be changed or just taken out and blown clean......in seconds, without even touching the case.

Computer case manufacturers could design similar dust control systems...easily.

nici
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Post by nici » Sat May 28, 2005 4:26 am

KorruptioN wrote:The motherboard is really clean around the CPU socket...
Yeah, all the dust is gathered on the heatsink :lol: Really, the mobo was almost dust free, there was a thin layer of dust on graphics card and network card and in the drive-bays though but nothing like on the CPU :shock:


I havent noticed any dust in my computer because i only have one very slow 120mm and the computer is on a table and not the floor. If its on the floor it sucks in plenty of cat and dog hair and dust.. enough to make filter-cleaning a weekly thing to do, i had a filter on one case, one of the metallic-mesh filters, and it would get totally clogged up in a week or so and the computer was only running daytime. Now this one is running 24/7 and no dust. Here is the setup, link to General Gallery thread

feddup
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Links? ideas?

Post by feddup » Sat May 28, 2005 8:16 am

I'm a noob here at SPCR but could the veterans provide ideas and/or links as to materials to fabricate your own filters to prevent dust? My Lian-Li PC-65B is loud as hell but the filter assembly used by Lian-Li on the intake fans worked flawlessly. After hanging here I've purchased a SLK3000B but am less than impressed with the filter arrangement. It seems dust would be best prevented!

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Post by pony-tail » Sat May 28, 2005 8:06 pm

I buy and Strip / repair and part out old ex Government and Corporate computers and IT equipment on a regular basis .
Mostly from a local auction centre .
The ammount of dust in some of the machines is incredible and they are still running (I do not know how) these are the systems our Govt . (AU) run our personal info on ! Scary huh!.
The ones I got from oue local stock exchange were very clean .
but it varies from batch to batch.
They keep these machines 2-3 years with 0 maintanance and still they work.
the main component with problems seems to be their PSUs wich always seem to have flakey voltages even after cleaning they never come back quite right.
But it is amazing what the CPUs survive.
I primarily do Macs but quite a few PCs as well .
My own computers get pulled apart modified ,upgraded and generaly fiddled with so often they do not get a chance to get dirty . I like to experiment and it does not always work , so I just try some other way. It keeps me out of the Pubs :lol:
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Re: Links? ideas?

Post by Ralf Hutter » Sun May 29, 2005 9:36 am

feddup wrote:I'm a noob here at SPCR but could the veterans provide ideas and/or links as to materials to fabricate your own filters to prevent dust? My Lian-Li PC-65B is loud as hell but the filter assembly used by Lian-Li on the intake fans worked flawlessly. After hanging here I've purchased a SLK3000B but am less than impressed with the filter arrangement. It seems dust would be best prevented!
Use the SPCR search to find the many posts/articles/projects by Bluefront. He's the master "dust filter/dust prevention" guy here at SPCR. He's posted lots of excellent information about dust, and I suspect that if it hasn't been tried by him, it's probably not worth messing with.
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mathias
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Post by mathias » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:04 pm

I got an idea for making dust filters more popular. People don't want to clean out their computers because they think it's a hassle. Put a 180 degree spin on that thought by arguing that whatever dust ends up in the computer has to get taken out of the room, so your computer doesn't really need maintenance, it performs maintenance on your room. I don't know if a clean computer absorbs dust better than one already packed with it, but I think most people would assume that it does.

Taking this a step further, maybe computers could be tweaked to absorb more dust?

Lubb
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Post by Lubb » Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:05 pm

Taking this a step further, maybe computers could be tweaked to absorb more dust?...
-I had this idea for my DIY, but that effort bombed out near the finish line. Flat-element-type filters are very compact but have some serious drawbacks; I did a cyclone-style filter--but it measured about 7 inches diameter and 9 inches long. The case had particular airflow for the hard-drives as well which increased the outer dimensions too, but that was part of the noise-abatement issue. No solution I could come up with was nearly as compact as a conventional mid-tower case.
~~~~

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Post by IsaacKuo » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:40 pm

I view filters as counterproductive to silence. Filters resist airflow, so you need to run your fan(s) harder/louder to make up for it.

I guess my attitude toward filters is like most SPCRr's attitudes toward ball bearing fans. Sure, they may last longer, but they'll be noisier the whole time.

A dead fan will do in a computer just as badly as dust buildup. The difference being, there may be no gradual forewarning in the case of a failed fan...
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Post by Stjopatron » Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:10 am

mathias wrote:I don't know if a clean computer absorbs dust better than one already packed with it, but I think most people would assume that it does.
I think that the opposite is true. In fact, the most part of the dust gets blown right through your computer without you ever noticing it (I know, it's a shocking thought!). The case sucks the dust in wherever it can and then blows it out through the PSU or any exhaust fan. A dust particle might even pass through your case 10 times before it actually finds a good piece of electronics to hang on to. A small amount of dust will then allow for even more dust to accumulate. However, these assumptions are based on pure intuition rather than hard evidence.
Last edited by Stjopatron on Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

cotdt
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Post by cotdt » Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:24 am

dust is the reason why all-passive computers is an advantage over quiet fan-cooled computers. my computer doesn't have dust!

dust filters are a bad idea in my experience, like the poster above mentioned, far more dust gets blown through your computer rather than collect, so if you install filters there needs to be high maintenence to clean/replace those filters very often. it also impedes airflow and makes things louder. most dust filters don't filter all the dust, either.

Lubb
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Post by Lubb » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:41 am

I tried to do a DIY case and it essentially flopped (Brutal Tripod).
Since it was primarily concerned with noise and dust-control, I am posting the page here, which also showcases my "next great idea" (Dirtcan).

http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dcimper ... _bomb.html
-There's about 900Kb if images, dialuppers beware....
~

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Post by Bluefront » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:56 am

You guys are spewing out a lot of mis-information.....without having tried to solve the dust/noise problem at the same time. It is quite possible to do so......but right now it is a DIY solution. There is no case being sold right now that even partially solves the dust problem.You have to come up with your own solution.

If I remove both air filters from my main computer......I hear no extra noise. It's still inaudable at three feet. That as close as I sit to it. After a year of use, it's clean as a pin. Both filters come out in seconds without tools...for cleaning or replacement. Their combined filter area could run for a year without any maintenance.

I like quiet computers......but I also like cool running, clean computers.

Stjopatron
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Post by Stjopatron » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:18 am

Sorry Bluefront for not being clear. I was referring to dustflow in non-filtered chassis. Concerning filtered chassis the matter becomes a complete different one.
There is a screen in front of the intake fan in my PC and I am impressed by how efficient it actually is and how little dust there is in the optical drives instead. I think all computers should be fitted with filters, but I guess that it is much easier for the manufacturers to stick labels with 'For home and office use only' and presuming that if the user is able to breathe in his environment, so can the computer.
My filter usually gets a clean up whenever I open the case for some other reason. I think the filter actually reduces the level of maintenance since it becomes much nicer to work and poke around inside the case.

Lubb is on to something big.

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Post by IsaacKuo » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:06 am

Bluefront wrote:If I remove both air filters from my main computer......I hear no extra noise.
No one has made any claims that removing air filters would cause extra noise--why would it? Quite the opposite, the claim is that ADDING air filters could essentially cause extra noise (by requiring more fan effort).

My own experience with dust is that I've never had it be a major problem, even with very old computers which have obviously never been cleaned. When I come across a computer with overheating components, it's usually because of a failed fan.
Isaac Kuo

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Post by Stjopatron » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:58 am

IsaacKuo wrote:My own experience with dust is that I've never had it be a major problem, even with very old computers which have obviously never been cleaned.
No, but surely you must have come across unreliable CD writers and the unpleasant encounter of computers belonging to heavy smokers. I think filters might help here.

And mathias is on to something too.

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:27 pm

What I meant to say is....If I remove the filters in my computer, the noise level remains the same. That indicates there is enough surface area of filter to have no negative affect on the system.

If I remove the filters, the fan speeds remain the same, as do the temperatures......again indicating a large surface area of filter. That certainly is the key......

I don't see any purpose to turning your computer into a massive dust collector. Run the least amount of air through your computer to maintain an acceptably cool system......and filter it as it enters the case. More than that and you are sure to increase the noise levels.

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Post by stromgald » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:05 pm

mathias wrote:Taking this a step further, maybe computers could be tweaked to absorb more dust?
Thats an interesting idea. But, the best way to implement this would probably build an extra section onto the case, sort of like the PSU section on the P180. In fact this would be best since its on the bottom of the case. You would add like 2-3 extra fans. 1 to 2 fans to move air through the duct, and one fan to move air from the duct into the actual computer. There could be a thick, sizable filter (like on a car) right before the intake fan. The filter could also muffle the fan noise coming out the front. Cleaned air that the computer doesnt need (duct intake fan cfm > computer intake fan cfm) will be spewed back into the room. Viola! air filter and computer rolled into one :lol:. In fact, you could turn it around and take air from the back and have cool clean air coming out the front. Great in warmer climates. Pretty cool eh? . . . Yea I'm an engineer bored at work and surfing around SPCR :wink:
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Post by Lubb » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:13 pm

No, but surely you must have come across unreliable CD writers and the unpleasant encounter of computers belonging to heavy smokers. I think filters might help here.
-Well I am pretty certain that I have read that cigarette smoke is some of the finest, smallest dust particles there are. Only a HEPA or an electrostitic has much chance of catching cigarette smoke very well on one-pass.
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Post by vine-au » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:57 pm

we used to use an air compressor to blast the dust out of customer machines - sometimes it was like a desert sandstorm, so much dust hanging in the air you couldnt see the other side of the room. regular cleaning is a must.
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Post by mathias » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:18 pm

Stjopatron wrote:
mathias wrote:I don't know if a clean computer absorbs dust better than one already packed with it, but I think most people would assume that it does.
I think that the opposite is true. In fact, the most part of the dust gets blown right through your computer without you ever noticing it (I know, it's a shocking thought!). The case sucks the dust in wherever it can and then blows it out through the PSU or any exhaust fan. A dust particle might even pass through your case 10 times before it actually finds a good piece of electronics to hang on to. A small amount of dust will then allow for even more dust to accumulate. However, these assumptions are based on pure intuition rather than hard evidence.
That's great! If it's true. It would mean that filtered computers absorb more dust than unfiltered ones, and that would be a considerable extra benefit for any filtered computer, and not just computers that are cleaned often.
Bluefront wrote:I don't see any purpose to turning your computer into a massive dust collector.
Uh, to collect dust? You might not think that's very important, but I think it could make filtered computers a bit more appealing.
Bluefront wrote:Run the least amount of air through your computer to maintain an acceptably cool system......and filter it as it enters the case. More than that and you are sure to increase the noise levels.
Not if you increase increase the airflow by snipping out a fan grill. Or if the noise from the fans is far lower than everything else(including ambient, speakers, monitor, drives, pump).

It would probably not be too hard to make a device that increases the airflow a bit if the room gets noisy.

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Post by Shadowknight » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:24 pm

Lubb wrote:
No, but surely you must have come across unreliable CD writers and the unpleasant encounter of computers belonging to heavy smokers. I think filters might help here.
-Well I am pretty certain that I have read that cigarette smoke is some of the finest, smallest dust particles there are. Only a HEPA or an electrostitic has much chance of catching cigarette smoke very well on one-pass.
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Post by Devonavar » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:50 pm

mathias wrote:Uh, to collect dust?
Great! :P I needed some for my collection. Once I get enough, I might be able to trade it for diamond dust :!:

Right .. uh ... so what am I supposed to do with the dust once I've collected it?

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