1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

PSU's and dust (question about performance)?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by TechnicalFreak, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Hi

    Ok, so yesterday on my old system I removed the PSU from the case/system (it's an Thermaltake 480w Butterfly btw).

    Opened it up just to find dust.. And I don't mean a little dust, I'm talking about like a handfull of dust!

    However, it's clean from dust now. Was a bit tricky to remove dust from the pcb without removing it from it's own case (due to high electricity, I did not remove it).

    I also removed 1 fan grill, the one that is "under" the PSU that should suck hot air in - and blow it out thru the rear.

    The PSU itself is connected to the mobo and can tell me things like fan speed and temperature. The main reason why I opened it up is because it went as high as 60+ Celcius.
    And the past week(s) it has even managed to heat up my room!

    Would I would like to know is, does dust make the PSU perform less "good"? I mean, that heat just can't be good for it. I don't have the digital camera at home, I wanted to show exactly how much dust and where. It's also equipped with heatsinks, and the dust on them was terrible..

    <Reminder!> If you do not know what you are doing, or are aware of the high electricity contained within a psu do not open it! It's lethal, so let a trained/certified professional do it for you.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  2. Duxx Guest

    Well its never good to have anything overheating, and with as much dust as you are mentioning, id stick a better fan on there if u already have it apart. Was the fan coated in dust also?
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  3. If it was coated in dust? It looked as if it was made of dust!!
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  4. Duxx Guest

    Well if you are comfortable changing out the fans to something that has a little more juice, id go ahead and do that. If not, then make sure you are cleaning your case/psu out more frequently. There should never be that much dust accumulating anywhere. (compressed air)
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  5. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,448 (1.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    619
    dust is a wonderful insulator.. it acts like a nice cozy blanket.. now u have got rid of the dust your overheating problem should go away..

    if it survived the dust blanket.. it should be as happy as a bunny now.. he he he

    trog
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  6. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,641 (1.10/day)
    Thanks Received:
    428
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    dust also causes static eletricity and can potentially cause a short

    i blow my PSU out atleast once a year with a can of compressed air

    :toast:
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  7. Thanks everyone.
    I didn't know that something like dust of all things could work as insulation, I didn't even know that they could cause static el.

    Yes, I was thinking of exchanging both fans at first. But the bottom fan is not like an ordinary case fan, it looks more like CPU fan (more blades, "curved" blades). I would like to change the rear fan (exhaust) to the Tt fan that is on my case, I think it moves air better - highest RPM on that one was almost 5000 :eek:

    However, there is also another problem that I noticed.. Some of the dust had turned into a "dark color". And it could not be removed with the vacuum cleaner.
    Asked my uncle, and he said that I should do following with start on friday:
    Remove all cables that supply the PSU with an electric current.
    Remove it completely from the case.
    And then something about "discharging" the caps.. However, I'm not a trained professional or know how/what to do. So I leave that part for him. And after that, leave it like that until sunday, then I should be able to remove the exhaust fan. It's really tight in there.

    By then I should have my camera back, and can show some pics.


    As usual I would like to remind the rest: Do not mess around with the PSU unless you know what you are doing, or are a certified/trained professional..


    Thanks again.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  8. rangerone766

    rangerone766

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,036 (0.30/day)
    Thanks Received:
    111
    also dust causes it to heat up more, making it less efficient. lowering the amount of output power, so it works harder and generates more heat, which lowers its efficiency. vicious cycle. just keep it dusted out on a fairly regular basis.
     
  9. DanishDevil

    DanishDevil

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    10,239 (2.51/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,164
    Location:
    Granite Bay, CA
    Buy fan filters for your intake fans, and create a positive air pressure inside the case (more CFM going in than out). That way, air will blow out of little opening in the case instead of tracking dust in, so all the inward airflow is protected by filters. Your computer will be 99% dust FREE.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  10. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,448 (1.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    619
    with filters there wont be any airflow.. nothing kills a slow moving fan like hanging curtain in front of it.. just blow it out more often..

    trog
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  11. tzitzibp

    tzitzibp

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    2,228 (0.67/day)
    Thanks Received:
    324
    Location:
    Larisa, Greece
    I think this is the biggest problem... static electricity!
    just a piece of information: domestic dust consists up to 80% of dead human skin cells, and skin is conductive, so if you let dust build up in your pc and it shorts, then you would have effectively killed your PC....:eek:

    lol...
     
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    45,473 (10.23/day)
    Thanks Received:
    12,746
    Location:
    Australalalalalaia.
    heat makes it wear out faster, and could provide slightly less stable voltages. More or less, it just speeds up the death of the PSU (slowly, mind you).

    I back up danishdevil and his comments on positive airflow, stop the dust getting in period - my slow nexus fans arent stopped at all by the fan filters. I do this on all my systems, and dust them out every 2 months or so - other peoples systems (such as my housemates, with negative pressure due to case design) have to be dusted every 2-4 weeks in this house.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  13. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,323 (6.54/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    Or just do what I do, and forgo the case altogether. lol.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  14. I was thinking of using filters from these guys : http://www.tp-filter.se/index_eng.html
    They have really good ones. The filter doesn't "disturb" the airflow so very much compared to 'regular' filters. The only thing I dislike is the price..
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  15. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,448 (1.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    619
    slow moving air driven by a slow moving fan.. any filter will kill the flow.. also it will block very quickly if excessive dust is present..

    people remove fan grills to improve airflow.. come on dudes think about it..

    dust is in air.. some environments are more dusty than others.. fans blow dusty air thru the case.. the more air thru the case the more dust..

    the answer.. move your computer to a less dusty environment.. move it higher up off the floor.. blow less air thru the case.. passive cooling.. blow out any dust that gets in there every so often..

    if the dust in my room (a dusty one) was 80% dead skin cells i would have disappeared long ago.. he he he

    trog
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  16. Should I remove my fan grills infront (intake fans)? I'm just so scared to get hurt again by them..

    Oh, and it is on top of my desk (about 1 meter from the ground).
    I once tried to see the difference between having it on the floor than having it on the desk.
    Within 1 week 3 times more dust was "collected" within the case than having it on top of the desk..

    I guess I can't escape from dust, right?

    All of my fans are 80mm fans, except for the "new" one that is helping to remove the hot air the graphicscard makes.

    I'm considering doing something radical to my new Vento case (on my new system). However, I need a good advice regarding fans: Which ones are good, not looking at the price, but looking at how much air they move etc.etc. Forget about noise, the better the system is cooled the longer it will live, right?
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  17. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,448 (1.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    619
    no u cant escape from dust.. it sounds like u have a dusty environment..

    dust is a pain in the arse.. its not about fans.. its about having to blow dusty room air thru the case to keep the case ambient near room ambient..

    how much air u to have to move thru the case depends on how many "heaters" u have in the case.. the secret to minimize dust is to minimize how much air u are blowing thru the case.. more air more dust.. its simple logic..

    what u are in essesnce doing is moving the entire rooms air and dust content thru your PC case many times a day.. it aint surprising it gets full of dust..

    dust wont do much harm other than hinder the cooling of the internal components.. no heat sink will give off heat if its covered in a thick coating of dust..

    there really is only one ultimate answer.. a quick compressed air blow out very so often and a full dismantle and clean after a longer time..

    basically a low power media PC dont need much air movng thru the case.. a high powered ninja overclocked machine does..

    trog

    ps.. u are totally on the wrong track.. u dont have to maximize air flow thru the case.. its not the more the f-cking better.. the case ambient needs to be near room ambient.. shifting more dusty room air thru the case than u have to is stupid.. it simply maximizes dust..
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
    10 Year Member at TPU
  18. Ok, I hear you.. So I should do the same with this system as I did with the Athlon system, in other words:
    1.Get a better CPU fan
    2.Get rid of all "extra" fans that really ain't needed when doing #1.

    Because if I can do that - well than that problem is solved.

    Also, I read somewhere (think it was here on TPU) that if doing "cable management" if the cables are too close together they can "produce heat", is that right?

    Another question then, could you recommend me a good replace fan for a P4 system (Prescott @ 3.0Ghz)? I'm not going to overclock it. I had the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro for the Athlon system - and I have to admit, that was a really really good fan! Is there anything similar for P4 based systems?

    Thanks again.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  19. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,448 (1.36/day)
    Thanks Received:
    619
    the cables being together wont generate heat.. they are tidy and out of the way.. the artic pro is still a very good cooler to buy if it fits the P4.. it will do anything that u need it to.. but u now have the basic idea about right..

    best of luck

    trog
     
    10 Year Member at TPU

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)