TechSpot

How can I reduce dust build up?

By andy06shake
Aug 4, 2009
  1. I have rebuilt my system into an Antec 900 Gaming Case. Cooling is great! My GTX275 never goes above 55c and my E8500 idles at 38c and never goes above 55c. My problem is the 4 fans in the Antec case allready seem to be accumulating dust at an allarming rate. Can anyone suggest filters that will reduce the intake of dust and that are relativly easy to fit? Can anyone tell me if there is a material that allows air to flow but at the same time retards/ stops water?
     
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

  3. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 737

    Fan filters work resionably well. Another thing that works well are the foam filters that you can find for window air conditioners at most hardware stores (make sure to get thin ones). These are cheap and you just cut them to fit behind all intake vents (the mesh on the front and side fan intake). The coolermaster centuron 5 uses filters made of the same material (except it only has them behind the front mesh not the side intake). For front oprnings with no fan wedge it in or you can use adhesive, for intakes with fans sandwhich it between the fan bracket and the front pannel. For the side fan sandwhich it between the plastic mounting ring (the ring that holds the duct) and the side pannel. These work well the downside is that dust will build up on the front mesh. This is unsightly but easy to clean.
     
  4. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 956   +49

    One thing that helps is to have a positive airflow in your case. What I mean by this is have your case pull more air into the system with fans than pushed out by fans. By doing this excess air gets pushed out of the case vents naturally, meaning that dust and debris won't be sucked into the case through said vents. This also means the fans are the sole location where air is flowing into the case, so you can put air filters on those fans, reducing dust intake. I prefer removable, reusable filters like these (you can get them on ebay and newegg as well).

    Of course your PSU will usually have an outake fan and you definitely want a fan sitting by your Graphics Cards to be pulling air out, but it's a matter of airflow and experience to get it just right.

    I'm by no means an expert (I only discovered cable management a year ago lol), I'm just sharing what has worked will for me. ;)
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Nice idea with the foam filter! I'll try it out sometime.
     
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    Great point madboy,
    I have a clear acrylic case so this is obviously an issue for me, i have a healthy positive case pressure going (no filters) and have been very surprised how infrequently i have to 'dust' i didn't know that was the reason...thanks for the tip:)
     
  7. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 956   +49

    The environment in which the computer resides is also important. Places like basements, rooms with concrete floors (even if they are covered by say, tile), areas with pet traffic (dogs, cats, birds especially), tend to have a lot more dust in the actual room. Keeping the room clean does wonders to minimizing dust as well.
     
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    yeah,,well with three kids, that ones not an option LOL
     
  9. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 927   +104

    You can always place your PC in a hermetically sealed chamber or equally effective "clean" room, perhaps not the most cost effective solution but if you got one lying around give it a shot. :haha:
    You can also get one of those magnetic dust filters (also know as air purifiers) and put it near by to pull the dust out of the air, don't put it too close but in the general area your PC will be in. That would be a somewhat effective way to keep the dust level down for the entire room and probably better for your overall health, its something I've been wanting to try but never got around to. :grinthumb
     
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    Funny you should mention that Ad.... my wife just ordered some sort of air cleaning gizmo like that :). and im glad you mentioned not to put the magnetic air filter to close to the computer, cuz i was going to set it right next to the hard drives :haha:;)
     
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,804   +916

    So then, is building a clean room like the ones at CPU manufacturing plants, really out of the question, or only for the most part out of the question?

    Not knowing any better, I'm just going to keep struggling with taking that big, heavy, side panel off to clean the machine.

    Oh no, wait I have an idea, I'll ask my mother to do it for me.
     
     
  12. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 1,595

    Great suggestions all around. I will second the use of air filters, if it is something you can afford.
     
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 927   +104

    The idea of having a clean room in your house may seem over kill, but not impossible. And yes captaincranky, clean rooms are what CPU manufacturing plants use. When dealing with CPU fabrication the slightest particle contamination can make a chip nothing more than a fancy and very expensive coaster. To make something similar in your house is really not all that complicated, you just need to be rather proficient in carpentry and familiar with some rather basic tools. For the cheapest solution you still need to get some kind of air purifier that can remove as much particles from the air as possible (IE 99.9%) then build an air tight box minus the input for the air purifier and then an exhaust fan to evacuate the now warm air that your computer has used to cool itself. The concept is relatively simple, it just depends on how far you are willing to take it. Oh yeah red1776, that could have been a disaster but really the magnetic field created by a commercial air purifier IMO doesn't create a strong enough field to have a negative effect on home electronics. Unless of course stated by the device itself, magnetism diminishes rather quickly with distance.
     
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    I do however remember playing with a large magnet on the tv screen when i was a kid and forever leaving an area the size of a grapefruit that never had color again LOL....and that was when color tv's were a new deal....uurrhg
     
  15. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 927   +104

    I can't help but say LOL to that, but as you say, Large magnet, and that would have been pretty close to the TV itself. Similar effects are created when large speakers are place near TVs, the TV in my living room has a center channel speaker just above it and the colors in the top left are a little off. Or the speakers in my basement use to really mess with the CRT down here, but these are some rather large speakers. Just play it safe and keep magnets away from your computer, and your TV, and your microwave... and your dog if you have one.
     
  16. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    Red that's interesting, never done it, but I have stuck a butter knife in an outlet, i was 4. Luckily I was bare foot and grounded, or I'd be toast.

    Anywho...

    I had this same issue when I upgraded to my mountainmods ascension case, 12 fans on top, 6 in front(radiators) and 4 fans in the back. I used fan filters, think i got them at frozencpu.com in a pack of 4 for 9 bucks or something. Definately something to look into, especially if your pc is on the floor where dust is idle, and just looking for a pick me up from some air source. The ones I have kind of feel like a brilo pad, abrassive type of material, and its washable, but I'd say its decreased the dust in my setup by 70-75%. I havnt had to clean it out since march, before then i cleaned it out every 2 months or so.
     
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    Ad, i don't know if your an audiophile, but i have a pair of Altec lansing 'model 19' speakers, the magnets on these things are enormous! you would be surprised how close they 'don't have to be' to suck the color out of a tv, i learned that one the hard way, LOL
     
  18. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    I did the same thing......of course i was 12.....i really don't want to talk about it! :haha:

    I assumed that would cut the airflow to nil so i just went with open fans, i think i might order a six pack or so from frozen, and try that out.
     
  19. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    yeah work well, buy a few packs and try them out, if you dont like em, ill paypal you for em, i need more anyhow, i still have my silverstone tj07 with open fans im considering getting filters for.
     
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

  21. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 927   +104

    Tangent 500's, nuff said? Okay, I see you see what I mean by big speakers. I think we can all agree that any residential grade air purifier will never have magnets that can compare to high end home audio. BTW how do those model 19's sound?
     
  22. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

  23. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    speaking of speakers.....

    well Ad, to this day i've not heard anything like them. along with those massive woofers, they have 18" radial phase/horn tweeters. I run them with a pair of Altec Lansing 'Madrid' speakers @ 4 Ohms. powering these is a Nakamichi PA-7 and PA-5 Preamp. The imaging circuitry in the PA-7 is incredible, not only can you hear what row the violinist is sitting in, but what color his bow tie is. the Model 19's were known as 'the voice of the theater' as there was a version that was used in many theaters back then.(same speaker, just without the walnut finish) if you have the right room layout (big enough) for the wave to complete LOL, they are incomparable IMO. I got suckered back then into all of the 'oxygen free' Gold plated connection, monster cable stuff back then, that i have since been informed was completely unnecessary... oh well, live and learn. probably more than you wanted to know:) but here's the stats on them.
    http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/altec/specs/home-systems/model-19/page2.jpg
     
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,804   +916

    You know, the entire front of Cooler Master ""Centurion" cases is already equipped with this type of filtration.
    That said, I'm not suggesting anybody rush out and buy one of these cases to strip for parts.

    It's really the same material as air conditioner filter.
     
  25. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    Yeah im figuring they are going to be like a Scotch Brite,
     
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