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How often do you clean out your PC?

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goretsky    1,004

Hello,

 

Typically 1-3 times a year.  Depends on when I open it and whether it looks dusty inside.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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dipsylalapo    1,684
7 hours ago, ThaCrip said:

let me bottom line it... if someone leaves their PC running 24/7, I suggest blowing the dust out of it thoroughly 2-4 times a year, 3 times (i.e. once every 4 months) is probably my suggested default for most people although once every 6 months might be okay in some situations especially if someone wants to slack a bit and cleaning it more often than once every 3 months is overkill for the vast majority of people in my estimations.

But wouldn't this be dependent on the environment they the machines are held? I have two machines that are on a lot of time (not 24/7, but close to). One in an office and another in the loft, the office one barely needs cleaning out. I take a peek every few months, whereas the one in the loft needs the dust filters cleaning about 3/4 times a year.

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Daniel F.    560

i currently use the CompuCleaner air vac about once a month. No point having a show case full of dust and grime.

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+jamwheat    196

When I first read the topic, I wasn't sure if it meant "blow out the dust in the case" or "wipe the drive clean and start over".  I clean my tower whenever I think about it (which isn't very often), which is usually blow out the fans and fins.  One can of compressed air has lasted me around 3 years, so that's cheap enough for me :).  As for "cleaning the hard drive", I do that a couple times a year, as I stick with the Windows 10 Insider builds.  Sometimes I just feel bored and decide to "start fresh", other times I play to much and mess things up enough I need to clean it and start over.  Anywho, that's what I do.

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CrashGordon    433

About twice a year. I'll take it out to the garage and hit it with the shop vac in blower mode (making sure to keep fans stationary), a few seconds later.. done!

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freqnasty    213
Posted (edited)

I use this and it does the job.

 

AD57A1F0-358C-4880-981C-B671A70C30E7.jpeg

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xMorpheousx416    41

Using three towers and one laptop.. two of which run 24/7 until it's time for maintenance.. I run/ clean them as follows:

All towers are open case.  Only the CPU/GPU fans keep the system(s) cool as far as air flow goes.  Dust doesn't collect in them as it did back in the day of keeping the cases closed.  

 

Once a year, I clean them out with a can of compressed air.  Never, ever use a vacuum cleaner that can create static electricity as accidentally touching said computer can instantly wipe out the motherboard or other components.

Remove CPU heatsinks and replace the artic silver compound.  Even the best compounds can dry out, causing the chip to overheat.

Use a pure horsehair painting brush to gentle clean any residual dust that may have settled on components without removing them (only GPU is removed for cleaning).

 

Laptop, being a closed system, I remove the bottom cover completely, and clean components/air cooling system with compressed air and brush... every six months.

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wrack    452
19 hours ago, ThaCrip said:

If something blocks dust that well it almost seems like it would put a decent load on the fans pulling the air in or out of the case. don't seem like it would be good for the fans(?)

True so I had special openings made for Fans and they had double filters. Good old days. Keep in mind that the PC was always in a room with AC on at 20C so cooling wasn't a problem.

19 hours ago, JHBrown said:

A cloth cover while using the PC? Unless you mean dust on the exterior.

An actual cloth cover for CPU case.

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ThaCrip    552
Posted (edited)
On 1/7/2019 at 9:15 PM, DevTech said:

Again, as long as you don't live in Chernobyl, dust is a NothingBurger!

 

That can't be entirely accurate because eventually dust will pack the CPU heatsink etc quite a bit in a typical home and cooling will decline. it's just a matter of when, especially if you leave your computer running 24/7 or close enough to that range.

 

so even for those who want to keep minimal attention to the matter, assuming they leave their PC on 24/7, I would still think once a year should be a general minimum although I am more along the lines of 2-3 times as that's probably a bit safer for most people I suspect. I would rather play it a bit too safe than not safe enough. but obviously, unless someone has a huge dust problem I would imagine any more than 3-4 times a year (i.e. once every 3-4 months) is a bit overkill in terms of blowing the dust out of their computers.

 

in fact, one persons computer I blew the dust out of had their CPU heatsink packed pretty full of dust (like where you could not really see much if anything past the dust layer between fan/heatsink on CPU) to where I am sure the heat on that would be noticeably higher than it if was at least somewhat clean especially under a load. hell, even my previous Radeon 5670 512MB GPU which I used from 2010 to July 2017 you could see a noticeable difference from cleaning it especially if you ran more GPU demanding tasks as I ran FurMark on it and when it's clean the temps and GPU fan speed where noticeably better where as after so many months running that same test the heat was noticeably higher and especially the fan speed of the GPU was noticeably higher and I was cleaning this stuff at least once a year minimum, if not twice or so. so you can imagine if I waited years that would really pack the dust into things (I would guesstimate that it's less of a issue with my current 1050 Ti 4GB GPU though but still it's better to have it at least somewhat clean than not clean enough). sure, I realize with the whole FurMark GPU stress program that it's not your typical use scenario, so GPU temps probably ain't THAT serious, but it's the thought of when one does do something that taxes it, heat can become a potential problem and keeping it reasonably clean helps ensure heat won't become a problem.

 

so I guess if someone just uses their computers for basic internet and not much beyond this... then yeah, they can probably get by blowing the dust out of their PC's once every few years or something like that since the CPU likely won't be stressed enough for heat to become a real problem.

 

21 hours ago, dipsylalapo said:

But wouldn't this be dependent on the environment they the machines are held? I have two machines that are on a lot of time (not 24/7, but close to). One in an office and another in the loft, the office one barely needs cleaning out. I take a peek every few months, whereas the one in the loft needs the dust filters cleaning about 3/4 times a year.

 

Yeah, but I am trying to guesstimate things based on a typical persons home and in this regard, assuming one runs their PC 24/7 (or close enough to that range), I would imagine AT LEAST once a year is a good idea although I am more in the 2-3 times a year mindset to be a bit safer, especially if one happens to have one of those PC's that really sucks in the dust and packs the CPU/GPU with a ton of dust fairly quickly.

 

so that's why I came up with my 2-4 times a year scenario for the typical persons home who runs their PC 24/7 or thereabouts as unless you happen to be in a area that has minimal dust, chances are, even if you want to slack off a bit once a year should be a bare minimum although I tend to go with twice, maybe three times. because at that point I can be pretty certain dust build-up will never reach critical levels and at the same time I am not obsessing with it too much either.

 

or look at it this way... if one rarely cleans their PC I am willing to bet, especially if they leave their computers on 24/7 or close enough to that range, that their heatsinks will be pretty packed with dust which can't be good for the CPU/GPU etc especially if they do CPU/GPU demanding tasks. if they only do basic web browsing and not much beyond this, they might get away with somewhat rarely blowing the dust out of their CPU/GPU etc.

Edited by ThaCrip
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Mindovermaster    1,725

Actually, to the above, I usually clean out my system when I go into it. But I only do a "thorough" cleaning maybe every 3 months.

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+DevTech    1,495
7 hours ago, ThaCrip said:
On 1/7/2019 at 9:15 PM, DevTech said:

Again, as long as you don't live in Chernobyl, dust is a NothingBurger!

 

That can't be entirely accurate because eventually dust will pack the CPU heatsink etc quite a bit in a typical home and cooling will decline. it's just a matter of when, especially if you leave your computer running 24/7 or close enough to that range.

You either misunderstood my post or else I worded it very poorly or both...

 

I clearly stated that dust clogs needed to be eliminated and even suggested always keeping and air can next to each computer...

 

But with the "Chernobyl" reference, I was saying that the dust itself was not inherently harmful by being corrosive etc.

 

The sheer number of posts in this thread illustrates that this "tech" issue is not really about the tech but about the psychology of the people themselves making the comments.

 

If you have the heatsinks and other important areas clear, there is no tech reason why you can can't stare at the dust through the side window of the computer forever! Wave to it as you pass by. Imagine miniature Aliens making homes in it...

 

And wonder if through sheer emergence and a random spark from the power regulators if a new lifeform could spontaneously generate in the cosmic soup chemical makeup of the inside of your computer...

 

Or just be all Dictator on it and blow that ugly fluff away with a leaf-blower.

 

 

 

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