Crazy From the Heat: Keeping Computers Cool

By: Richard n Williams
A computer's components produce large amounts of heat during a PC's normal operation. CPU's, integrated circuits, graphics cards, hard drives and power supplies all generate heat through normal day-today working. This heat has to be dissipated to keep the computer's components operating within their ideal operating temperature.

Overheating can have catastrophic effects on a computers lifespan. S computer that runs too hot will have a shorter maximum lifespan and be more susceptible to system failures. CPU's can even permanently expire if they run too hot.

Excessive heat build-up can be caused by numerous factors (including the weather) and some computers struggle to remain cool due to their working environments. Computers having to run in warm areas or near to heat sources (like ovens and radiators) will often expire long before they ought to but there are several methods of keeping a computer running at an optimum temperature.

Heat sinks are the simplest method of supplying cooling to a computer's internal parts. Heat sinking is merely attaching large pieces of metal, which is usually finned, to increase the surface area and dissipate heat

Fans are also very common. A fan will allow air to flow through a computer taking warm air away from the components and replacing it with cooler air. Positioning of these fans or adding extra ones can make massive differences to their effectiveness. It is also important that these fans are working correctly and free from dust.

Dust will heat a computer up in several; acting as an insulator, causing excessive heat, and also blocking filters and vents. Regular cleaning or protecting a computer from dust is an easy method of reducing running temperature.

Another method of keeping a computer cool is known as soft cooling which is essentially turning down a computers components and power saving functions to decrease power consumption and therefore heat generation.

Many hardcore computer gamers use liquid cooling which uses cold fluids in pipes to dispel heat. However, liquid cooling can be expensive and difficult to maintain and there is also the possibility of springing a leak causing permanent damage to a machine.

There is however another solution to computer cooling and one that is often missed by so-called computer experts when advising on keeping systems cool and that is the use of an industrial computer enclosures.

These enclosures cost as little as a few hundred Pounds/Dollars/Euros but have the advantage in sealing a computer in a dust free environment. They have several methods of extra cooling including extra fans, plenum chambers (vents that use differing pressures to suck air around a system) and heat sinking.

These enclosures have the advantage of other methods of cooling as they not only cool a computer but also keeps out dust and also protects from knocks and bangs. They are also suitable for computes that have to operate in really tough conditions making them a genuine and less expensive alternative to specialised sold state or industrial machines.

They are also useful for computer users who often find heat build-up a problem whether that is because of excessive dust, a heated environment (such as near a radiator) or even hot weather.

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