Can a computer withstand winter/summer extreme temperatures?

By imekul
Jan 17, 2008
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  1. Hi all,

    I'm thinking of rigging an off-site backup of sorts, with putting an old computer in my shed. It's protected from the elements as far as rain or snow, but obviously it's not heated or air-conditioned. What I'm wondering, is would this be safe? Would components be susceptible to freezing in the winter or overheating in the summer?

    If so, do you know of any insulated cases or any other way to safely have a computer in a room that doesn't either have A/C or heat?

    Thanks! :)
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    How cold are your winters? The computer can heat itself in the winter as long as it's in a box or some other small space (unless you live upwards of the arctic circle or sth). Any cardboard box ought to do. You can even rig it to run at 100% CPU to put out more heat :D

    Now, summer heat is a bigger problem. How hot does it get in your shed?

    In addition to temperatures, you have to consider humidity too. Again, this depends on your climate and how the shed is built.
  3. imekul

    imekul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Well, I live in the midwest (St. Louis area), and we rarely get below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the summers we might max out in the mid-90s.

    Now, I understand that the shed will probably be hotter than 90, but I couldn't imagine it being hotter than 120 degrees or something on those summer days.

    Thanks for the input! I may give this a try...
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,410   +281

    I wouldn't try this with an expensive PC. I would think you could be OK in the winter for reasons Nodsu said. I think the heat will kill it before anything humidity related in the summer though. Running a PC in ambient air above 90 is a pretty big risk for overheating, and I'm certain the air temps in the shed will exceed that without very good ventilation.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    depends on what you have and how you protect it. My laptop survived both humid Korea and deep frying Iraq.
  6. unD!

    unD! Newcomer, in training

    Definitely don't use your PC in extremely hot temperates, but for general heat you should consider buying a decent exhaust fan, and possibly one for your CPU. I have the Blue Orb 2 for my CPU as opposed to the crap one AMD gives you, and it cooled my CPU down a lot more with less rotations.

    I also hear liquid cooling is great.

    Also seeing as you're in a shed, watch out for dust buildup inside your PC. Look inside every few months and maybe use something to blow it all out.
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,711

    The problem is that if the ambient air temp is too high there is no way the PC cooling can haul enough marginally cooler air through it to do any good. Either get a small AC unit or (slightly off the wall) work at a time of day when it is cooler
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