summer cleaning

As per my previous entry, I decided to clean up my PC and removed a ton of dust. I also removed the CPU cooler in order to clean it. After I put it back together, I started thinking about the thermal compound that was on the CPU. It looked good, but since I’ve had the PC for 2 years and never changed it, even if I removed the cooler a couple of times. I thought it might be a good idea to get some new compound, and see what effect it had.

So today I bought a syringe with 2.5 g of Artic Silver Céramique. I got home (through the hottest day of the year) and opened up the box again and replaced the thermal compound.

There was a slight improvement. Honestly i was expecting a little more, but that’s what the values read.
The system was left to run in idle in both measurements, just as I had done yesterday.

So repeat after me: A little maintenance can help your system. Clean those dustbunnies, and renew the thermal compound while you’re at it 🙂

Actually I’m a bit embarrassed by this article. I live in Portugal, and we are now experiencing summer in all it’s glory. Meaning long days and high temperatures everywhere. It’s quite normal to exceed 35°C, or 95 °F, for you yanks 🙂

I’ve been postponing cleaning my CPU Box for some time now. Today, after lunch, I decided I’d get the job done. And I was in for quite a surprise.

My home system is a Quad Core Q6600 running at 2.40GHz, and I thought it would be interesting to measure the idle temps before and after the operation:

before after
temps before cleaning temps after cleaning

The thing is, I found out my system was actually full of dust. And I mean full of it. Every single fan had dust on it, every surface had dust on it. The CPU’s cooler had dust on it. The CPU cooler’s fan had dust on it… I mean lot’s of dust, and dust everywhere, which is not a good thing, when you want to run a healthy system.

So I took apart some of the major components and cleaned them as best I could short of rinsing them under a running tap 🙂

Here are some pictures I took with my cellphone showing the dust, and also how the system looked when I managed to remove the dust:

Finally here’s a picture of the pile of dust I collected:

So, the bottom line is, clean your systems if you want them to run smoothly. As you can see my temperatures have lowered on average 7 degrees (Celsius) just by cleaning away the dust.

I didn’t disassemble the whole rig. If I had done so, I would have been able to clean it much better, but would also have taken much, much longer.