sheepdog

Hot Time In The Old Town

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Can you burn up a computer? The terrible heat wave we have been having has the fan in my computer really humming in the afternoon. Since it is too hot outside to do anything physical, I try to spend the afternoons and hotest part of the day inside, on the computer, answering emails and placing ads. But the last couple days it's worried me a little bit as you can just hear the little fan screaming. It was so bad yesterday, I actually decided to shut the computer completely down.

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Can you burn up a computer?


Yes. Not enough cooling will cause a PC to heat up very rapidly and can cause terrible damage. Most people stick their PC under a desk where it gets covered in dust and doesn't have anywhere near enough airflow. This means that the case rapidly fills with hot air which can't escape, causing all the components inside to run at higher temperatures. Higher temperatures = shorter lifespan for your PC components. In extreme cases, where the cooling simply cannot keep up with the heat generated, the CPU will "throttle" itself. This means the CPU draws less power, cools down, but runs considerably slower than normal. However, in that situation it is the safest thing to do. And if that doesn't help? Your CPU will melt/fry/explode, filling your room with the smell of burning silicon and plastic, and burning a nice hole in your pocket as your fork out for new components.

So, key things to do: Make sure the case is in a well ventilated position, not stuck in a cubbyhole under a desk. Make sure it isn't full of dust - use a soft paintbrush, compressed air or be incredibly gentle with a vacuum to get rid of any dust in the case. You can also buy more fans for your case if necessary.

Also, if you want to monitor the temperature of your CPU, take a look at CoreTemp. It's a free piece of software that shows you how hot your CPU is, along with the maximum temperature it should ever reach safely (known as Tj. Max).

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Thanks for the information. I do have the computer sitting on top of my desk, so that isn't my problem. I did notice that this particluar computer doesn't have near the air vents that my others have had. Matter of fact, it practicly doesn't have any. I actually took the side panel off and carefully vacumed it out, it did seem to help, but not really very much. Anyway, it's all a moot point now, since lightening took it out anyway. Right after I cleaned it of course, and wasted all that time.

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