Dust prevention in cases...

Discussion in 'Cases & Case Modding' started by smo84, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. smo84

    smo84 n00b

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    I have a Cooler Master HAF Mid tower, sitting on hardwood floors. The room is a decent size for a NYC area apartment (12x35 for the kitchen and living room?). My fiance and I trek near the computer desk a lot as it sits between our kitchen and living room.

    I am running the front fan as an intake, Noctua NH-U12P with both fans blowing the same way out the rear of the case and a Thermaltake Silent CAT 120mm as an exhaust out the back. Also the monster fan on top blowing as exhaust out the top.

    Just this past weekend to see how this works, I bought some high flow air conditioner filter material and cut it for the bottom of the case that's exposed and the side, monitored my temps and nothing changed (which is good, my case runs super cool)

    I own a Datavac ED500, my god i love that thing. Every 3 months or so I take the machine outside and go to town on blowing out more dust than imaginable.

    My question I guess is what do people find success with as far as making their case dust proof? Is that just not feasible? Would it be ok to put some of that high flow material over the bottom of the front panel(seems to be where most of the dust collects since it's the intake fan)
     
  2. lttletimmy

    lttletimmy n00b

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    If it doesn't seem to effect your temps, then your high flow material should be fine. Your biggest problem is that you have far more exhaust than intake. If you either add more intake fans or maybe reverse your top exhaust fan, then that will help keep your case from sucking dust in. The positive pressure might affect your cooling a bit as you won't have as much actual flowing air over your components, but the positive pressure should help keep the dust out.
     
  3. u3b3rg33k

    u3b3rg33k [H]Lite

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  4. Tudz

    Tudz [H]ardness Supreme

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    Positive air pressure and filters will help. One without the other won't do a hell of a lot of good. You can have filters, but if you're letting air get sucked in through other openings, it wont help much. Likewise if you have positive air pressure but no filters, the net result will be much the same, for X amount of cooling you'll suck in Y amount of unfiltered air which will leave Z amount of dust.

    If your case has heaps of unfiltered ventilation then even positive air pressure and filters might not be enough, depends on the case.

    You also need reasonable filters, my current case I'm using some filters which really aren't that dense and they do catch a lot of dust, but they also let a lot pass through it.

    The main thing is getting whatever air that cools your components to first go through filters. Oddly enough, the case that I used that had the LEAST problem with dust didn't even have an intake fan, just an exhaust. Was an Antec Sonata 3. Even though it didn't have an intake fan, the case was reasonably well sealed all except for a filtered vent in the front of it. On the flip side it had mediocre cooling, but I was running a big tower cooler and my GPU was reasonably well cooled so it wasn't an issue. I cleaned the filter once every couple of months and for 2 years I never even had to clean the inside of it... compared to the damn Xigmatek case I have now where every fan is filtered but there's so much space for dust to get in that I have to clean out the insides once every month or two.
     
  5. smo84

    smo84 n00b

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    Thanks for the info all. The problem with the HAF is that there is only one rear spot for exhaust, I could reverse that top fan, but its exposed and i feel like it would pull anything down into it that floats by since it sits under an open sided desk in the corner.

    I might try the material i bought, its a see through foam that you cut to your size for an air conditioner. Might try mounting it under the front bezel and check the temps before / after.
     
  6. u3b3rg33k

    u3b3rg33k [H]Lite

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    had a similar problem with mine, but I sealed the spaces up with electrical tape (none of that work is visible with the front panel on).
     
  7. frtl97

    frtl97 Limp Gawd

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    i have been trying everthing to bring down the dust,there is an opening on the top that i
    i tapped over and then tapped every opening that did not have a fan including the pci
    slots. i have slowed down the frequency of cleanings ,but this thing is a dust collector.
    i wish i had waited for the corsair 650.
     
  8. frtl97

    frtl97 Limp Gawd

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    i'm sorry for the second post , i also got the demci filters , they are an exact fit and are
    expensive.
     
  9. [H]ealer

    [H]ealer [H]Lite

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    I like to get my rig off the floor to help with dust and once a month I take it outside for the air compressor treatment...
     
  10. smo84

    smo84 n00b

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    Wish I could do that, desk only fits my U3011 and 2007FP right now. no way possible to put this rig on the desk and i am not sure elevating it any would help. I'll see how this air conditioner material works out for now and report back in a month... haha
     
  11. J Macker

    J Macker [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I do the same air compressor method, except only once every 4-5 months. I used to use the little filters for the fans, but I found it to be a nuisance.
     
  12. smo84

    smo84 n00b

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    yeah, so far i am finding dust clinging to the air conditioner filter. looks to be working out ok after 3/4 days. lets see about 3/4 months and then i'll know haha.
     
  13. -PK-

    -PK- [H]ard|Gawd

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    I modded my case to use ac filter for the last 2.5 years, they're covered with mesh and look good. It will really show you how much dust passes through the mesh filters. Only downside is the restrictive air flow will put stress on the fans. I only have to replace the filters every 6 months and there is no dust inside the case. It takes some time to cut new filters and swap them out, but I've been happy with the results.

    Last year, I was going to build my own case with better airflow, easy to remove ac filters, and noise reduction. But now due to time constraints, I'll probably get one of the newer silent pc cases with removable filters and clean them every 2-3 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  14. XBarbarian

    XBarbarian [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have 2 cats.. and smoke in the house.. = fail for dust..

    the new case I went with, the Silverstone TJ08-E has a single 180 fan in front for intake.. comes with a mesh in front, Plus, a finer filter. Good stuff... cleaning it weekly!

    Ive also reached out to performance pcs' and their contacts with DEMI filters.. they dont have a 180 size atm, but are working on one. they aren't cheap.. but so worth it...
     
  15. WiSK

    WiSK 2[H]4U

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    Contact DEMCI directly, I'm sure Vincent will be happy to help you with custom filter sizes http://www.demcifilter.com/
     
  16. XBarbarian

    XBarbarian [H]ard|Gawd

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    thanks!
     
  17. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    If your tired of wasting those compressed air cans that don't do crap for case dust try this.
    http://www.amazon.com/Toro-51599-Variable-Speed-Electric-Impeller/dp/B000H1Y4EK
    My work has a couple of these. I try not to use air from a air compressor as its full of water.
    This electric leaf blower works really good. I like to use a unused paint brush to help dislodge stuck on dust. Also dont forget to block you fans so that they down spin when forcing air through them. I have heard stories of the fans creating energy from spinning and shorting out MB that the fans are connected to.
     
  18. sparks

    sparks 2[H]4U

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    I also use a 2HP air compressor...case looks like new LOL
    Cough Cough Cough ....man my garage sure gets dusty after blowing cases 2 out.

    I love these new cases with 2 fans in the top blowing out and then make a big deal of look at that easy to remove filter.
    I don't need a filter on the exaust. THEN THEY PUT NO FILTER ON THE INTAKES (Coolermaster)
     
  19. Chrisroman

    Chrisroman Gawd

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  20. sparks

    sparks 2[H]4U

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    Chrisroman do you have any prices on the filters.
    I think since its get a quote on a std square 120, if you have to ask you can't afford it.
     
  21. u3b3rg33k

    u3b3rg33k [H]Lite

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    You should drain the tank from time to time.
     
  22. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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  23. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    Your right it it useful to drain the tank to get rid of the water that collects at the bottom of your tank. Compressing the air also pulls the humidity from the air and its going to come through your hose to a certain extent.
     
  24. blade52x

    blade52x 2[H]4U

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    I used a leaf blower on my PC once... Got the job done in about 60 seconds. :D

    Yes I knew about esd risks, but it was aging system at the time and I really didn't care. Nothing happened either and I live where it's about 10% humidity every day.
     
  25. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    I always want to try and wrap a piece of strip metal around a vacuum hose tube on a small shop vac and run a self tapping screw through the strap and into the hose. You could put additional self tappers around the strap. Make sure the self tappers where long enough to get into the vac hose a bit to catch that static energy. Put an eyelet for the grounding cord under the self tapper and then run the cord to ground. Then you would have a bad ass electronic cleaning vacuum that you could use indoors. Haven't tested my idea but some day perhaps.
     
  26. Gazoozles

    Gazoozles Limp Gawd

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    You're going to have to go outside at least every 6 months to clean your comp out if you want it to stay pristine.
     
  27. nanu

    nanu n00b

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    It's funny to me that who I believe to be the wise will just say you must clean periodically in order to rid dust. It's not practical to filter dust without a method considered overkill in the minds of most people. Like most people, I'm cheap. I don't want to have to get a HEPA air purifier.

    How do those aluminum fan filters compare? Do they trap more dust than "sheets with holes" in them, yet worse than furnace filters?

    I'm bothered that lint is the more obvious form of dust and even though I know that, my attempts to filter air entering a PC doesn't cut it for finer particles. I'm thinking the only way it becomes effective for fine dust is after a layer of lint has formed; the lint buildup restricts airflow and thus acts as a filter!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust#Domestic_dust_and_humans
    Maybe it's due to cultural sensitivity that dust is never really discussed in detail. There's not much to discuss; we all hate it!

    At any rate, if you want to trap lint, you can get various nylon/polyester meshes from Amazon. They're also called "filter fabrics", I think. I've tried 300 micron polyester mesh. The holes are .3mm, about as small as I've seen on OEM PC case fan filters. A mesh exists for practically any round value. I believe you would need holes quite small to be effective against fine dust, and at that point the percent surface area that are holes is so small that you may as well use a furnace filter.
     
  28. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    Yeah after getting the aluminum screens they look like crap. They might stop a moth from flying through he fan lol
     
  29. zUg_zUg

    zUg_zUg n00b

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    ive used the fabric anti static sheets after i used them from the dryer. They seem to work decently.
     
  30. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    haha good idea. My antec has filters they are just a pain to remove. I with they would have made it so that you could remove the filters without having to take both side covers off so I could clean them weekly.
     
  31. EquaLiZr

    EquaLiZr [H]ardness Supreme

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    Im suprised no one said pantyhose:p Ive been using it for years. I stretch it over any front grill and tape it up on the backside.

    eg. had an Antec 900 and wrapped the 2 cages with panty hose and used double sided tape on the back to adhere pantyhose.

    Did the same with my new Corsair 600T front and bottom grill. So far just the fine white dust gets in over time.
     
  32. Dantrax

    Dantrax Gawd

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    $5.00 Foam Air Conditioner Filters. You know those dark gray foam filters they sell at your hardware store. You take a scissors & cut them to fit under your air conditioner cover, Well stick some double-sided tape around your intake fans & cut the foam to size. Stick on the foam & you're done. Vacuum it when it looks dirty or replace it, just cut out another filter from the left over foam, they're about 18" x 24" x 1/4" sheets. The inside of my case is still dust free.
     
  33. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    Thanks for the tips guys.
    I did a complete detail on my case yesterday.
    Few tips
    Use a unused paint brush to dislodge stuck on dust that wont blow out.
    A rag and rubbing alcohol works great on those fan blades that have that really stuck on dust.
     
  34. u3b3rg33k

    u3b3rg33k [H]Lite

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    Are you for real? the static charge that MIGHT build up will be on the hose, not the air in the hose.

    When was the last time you got a static shock from the AIR in your house?
     
  35. Hazakins

    Hazakins [H]Lite

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    You are correct. Its just and Idea.. basically building a grounding strap for the hose on the vac. I don't know what you are talking about the "air"..? Electricity, including static electricity will follow the path of least resistance. Thats how grounding straps work. Its easier for it to follow metal down to a ground that to jump from your finger to a component.