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Thread: Spring Cleaning

  1. #1
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    Spring Cleaning

    I've got some spare time and I'm thinking of cleaning my fairly old self built computer. It's managed to pick up a lot of dust and the intake/exhaust vents are essentially clogged full of dust and fur balls. I figure I should probably also crack open the case and try to dust inside as well.

    Specifications:
    CPU: Intel Core2Due E6600 (Conroe) running at stock speeds
    CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
    RAM: 4Gb
    MB: ASUS P5N32 SLi SE Deluxe
    GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4850, ATI Radeon HD 4650 (not Crossfired)
    HD: Western Digital 2500KS
    SSD: OCZ Core 60GB (fairly rubbish/stuttery first gen SSD)

    I'm wondering whether it's worth completely rebuilding it- as in taking it all apart dusting off the individual components and then putting it all back together again? Or whether I should play it safe (and lazy) and just try to dust off the exposed bits as best I can? Wondering if anyone has any opinions either way?

    I'm pretty sure the CPU heatsink/fan will be caked with dust as well, but I'm quite scared of removing this and then trying to reseat it- I know I'll probably have to reapply the thermal compound stuff as well if I do.

    My main motivation for doing all this (apart from basic hygiene) is that I've noticed the computer has started to run a little warm. I used coretemp to watch temperatures while running Prime95. I have idle core temps of 65 C, but after 15 minutes of the Prime95 torture test these spike to 80-83 C, at which point I stopped the test. Coretemp indicates that 85 C is the Intel mandated maximum for my CPU.

    I'd be curious to hear how others maintain/clean their PCs and what sort of temperature improvements this results in? Also if anyone has any tips or advice it would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    • Sputnik's system
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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    Easiest way is with compressed air and/or a vacuum cleaner but, Compressed air dislodges dust from almost everywhere.

  3. #3
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    • pooley's system
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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    I use a can of compressed air and a paint brush for my pc cleaning duties. Your cpu does sound to be on the hot side seeing it's @65 idle at stock and with the freezer 7 pro.
    If it was me I would remove the cooler and give it a good clean, reapply with some good quality thermal paste and reseat it.

  4. #4
    Efficiency freak Queelis's Avatar
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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    Yup, and taking the GPU heatsinks helps a lot as well. I think I've dropped the temperatures by 20 degrees C after taking off GPU heatsink and cleaning it after 1.5 years of use. So absolutely worth it

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    • Rob @ Scan's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    Those temps seem very high for stock speeds!

    Compressed air is your friend with this. At scan we use a compressor, but cans of air will do the job!

    I'd take your CPU HSF off the board and give it a good blast out. Same with your graphics cards.

    (If you use a compressor make sure you stick a finger in your fans to stop them spinning as you could end up damaging the bearings)

    Make sure you take out any fan filters and blast/wash them aswell.

    You'll be surprised at the difference just a small amount of dust can make to CPU temps!!

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    • Rob @ Scan's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit IP-35 Pro (on it's very last legs!)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Q6600 G0 @ 3.4Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair Dominator
      • Storage:
      • NAS box
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 460 SC
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX620
      • Case:
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      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
      • Monitor(s):
      • 3 x 19"
      • Internet:
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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    You'll find a few more tips and a few pics to see how bad things can get here:

    http://forums.hexus.net/scan-3xs-sys...xs-system.html

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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    Thanks for all the help guys. I took it all apart yesterday, cleaned out a mountain of dust from the heatsink and other bits as well as reseating the CPU heatsink. It's made a massive difference as I now I have idle temps of 35-40 C.

    Thanks for all the advice.

  8. #8
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    • Rob @ Scan's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit IP-35 Pro (on it's very last legs!)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Q6600 G0 @ 3.4Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair Dominator
      • Storage:
      • NAS box
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 460 SC
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX620
      • Case:
      • Corsair 600T
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
      • Monitor(s):
      • 3 x 19"
      • Internet:
      • 60 Mb Virgin Media

    Smile Re: Spring Cleaning

    Result!

    That's a sign of a job well done!

  9. #9
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    Re: Spring Cleaning

    Yeah, I'm amazed at how much of a difference it made. I had a moment of panic when I couldn't even get it to post after rebuilding it, but it was just that I'd connected the front panel USB connector backwards.

    Also it seems that the dust was acting as a pretty good sound muffler, so now it sounds like a jet engine under my desk...still, I think I prefer it being loud and quick rather than hot and slow.

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