Why you need to clean your PC out once in a while.

So in my video about installing a video card I mentioned that if my PC was dirty inside I would clean it out. The computer inside was actually very clean for the most part. Which surprised me as I have multiple fans. The case I have is from Antec and it has a big exhaust fan on the top of it, a smaller one on the side and one on the back. It also has an intake fan on the front.

So with all that airflow I’d expect it to be filled with dirt every few months. I’ve never has to clean it out. But then I remembered that the case is designed specifically to keep the insides clean. It has an air filter up front that I have forgotten about…for about five years!

I recently rebuilt the system but as I only needed to remove the side to access everything I didn’t even think about taking the front panel off, which is where the filter is. It would have saved me a lot of headache has I done so. I upgraded the AMD Phenom X4 2.4Ghz processor that was in there to a Phenom II X4 3.0Ghz processor and when I did so my CPU temps went up which I kind of expected but it was pretty significant. I also upgraded the motherboard, ram…everything.

I was using the stock heat sink and noticed the fan running a touch louder. At idle the temps I saw were about 45* and under normal use they would jump to 51* which seemed a bit high. Under gaming they jumped again to 70*. My CPU has a max temp of 83* so while I was well under that I also knew that was a bit high even when running the stock heat sink.

So I increased the speed of my exhaust fans which was short-lived as I didn’t like the increased noise. So I lived with higher temps like that for a month until yesterday when I remembered about the filter.

It was 100% clogged. NO airflow was getting though. May as well have been a solid panel. I felt embarrassed as it took all of 10 seconds to wipe clean. And WOW what a difference. My computer runs cooler and quieter. The CPU now idles at 35*, hits a max of 43* under normal load and 50* under gaming. I guess all the fans in the world are useless with a clogged filter.

So make sure that even if you don’t have a case with a filter that you still clean out your PC, all that dust the filter caught would have ended up inside the system, still heating things up.