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New Member
Jun 6, 2016
So the time has come to say goodbye to Fenrir... he was a good machine, a beast in his day, but like all his predecessors, he has succumb to heat death. In fact, it wasn't long after his birth, he lost the first... and then the second of his three video cards. As it stands now, under idle with nothing but a browser open, the CPU is running at 81 degrees. He doesn't have much left in him, it seems.

The problem is that where I am, space is at a premium, and the only place I've been able to put my machines is against an exterior wall that has zero insulation, gets direct sun, and has poor ventilation. Yes, I realize this has been my own actions that have signed the death warrants of my machines.

Now, I have one potential solution to this issue... and that would be to place the machine downstairs... in the basement... and run the video cable and USB up through the wall to the monitor/keyboard.

The downside, of course, is... it's an unfinished basement - inherently dusty, and only likely to be visited for occasional maintenance. On the upside, it's consistently cooler than where the machine lives now... and would allow for as large an enclosure as I feel like building.

Which brings us to my conundrum. If I move the machine into the basement, I'm loathe to rely on air cooling, as the potential (even with filters) to get particulates on the component boards is high. Even with a vertical build and bottom intake and top exhaust, I'm concerned about gunk sticking to the boards. So I'm pondering a liquid cooled build, with blocks on every component possible, to draw as much heat out to a radiator/fan assembly that would be far easier to clean. Hopefully enough so that a piezoelectric plate could handle the rest of the cooling for the mainboard, and I could essentially keep the unit in a stagnant air chamber.

So... question 1: Is this a terrible idea, and I should simply stop this line of thinking now?

My thought that is if I draw out heat from the major components and create what is essentially a sufficiently cold box around the main board and attached cards... do I really need ventilation?
I'll give what I know.
I remotely manage a couple of folding rigs in other peoples basements, big air is the way to go, less parts to fail and easier to clean when they need it.
When is the last time thermal paste was applied?
When is the last time you tore down and cleaned/flushed your water loop?
What are you using the machine for?
What is the actual hardware?
Thermal paste was reapplied during the last tear down... november. It's not currently liquid cooled. I use the machine for rendering, gaming, and as a dev server for programming/database/web. Running an i7 960, a Thermaltake Frio Dual, and down to a single GTX 560. Most of the other kit was removed, having died.
In the center of the room, 62. In the corner with the machine, 69.
Doh! The room temps are in F, the cpu temp is in C. Sorry... mixed metrics. Shame on me.
Stick with C here, it's what we use. If the basement is dusty, the don't blow air all over the pace, dust will stay settled. In the basement, away from prying ears, just stick with air cooling. It won't matter is the 3000 RPM fans are loud.

Watercooling isn't cheap, needs maintenance. Air cooling needs a cheap compressor to blow the dust out when needed.

Please keep it simple. There is a reason most server farms use air to cool the bits.

Lastly, you still need fans over the little bits, even with water cooling all the other parts. Cooling ram, HD, etc is silly for watercooling. Spend $500 for no reason. Or spend $1000 for mo reason.
I'm not arguing with your suggestion per se... but the particulate mater in the air is constant. I've tried my damnedest to eliminate it, but short of finishing the basement interior, it's not going to happen. The dust won't stay settled. My concern is it getting into the components. But... what you're suggesting is that it's a filtering problem, not something I can solve by changing to water cooling.
Yep, radiators will still get clogged and the rads still dissipate the same amount of heat so the room won't be any cooler.

If it's that dusty and you don't need to touch the PC for days, why not get some home air filter material and try to just cover the inlet to the PC? Or the whole front? That stuff is cheap. Like my house AC, I change the filter every month, it's about $3 a filter.
Okay, the hot room issue is where it's at NOW. I'm planning on moving it to the basement and running the video and USB up through a shared wall. The basement is where the gunk is, and yes... I plan on filtering. I'm just paranoid the filtering won't be enough. And rads and rad fans seem easier to clean than the circuit boards.
Have it elevated somewhere, maybe on a desk of some sort. Just don't set it on the floor or it will become your personal vacuum.
I was planning on building an enclosure for it... pretty much a rack system to get it close to the ceiling for shorter cable runs up the wall. I'm guessing I should draw air in from about mid room, then... put the machine 3/4 of the way up, and vent out the top for thermal convection.
Using a $100 cheapo air compressor like many of us do is a good option. Dust is dust.... And only dust. Easily beaten by marking the 1st day on each month and doing it.

Give it a try. Maybe cleaning the basement vacuuming for 2-4 hours might help.

Something ain't right here. Do you live in the Southwest USA? Sahara? A dusty place you don't want to mention?

Heck, get XXXXXXL pantyhose, say it's for your mom or for fun your girlfriend. Just stretch it over the pc, change it once a month.

I don't see a big issue you can't overcome.....
Can't wall mount it since it's a foundation wall, and putting holes in the wall would cause leaks. No, I'm in the Pacific Northwest... and to be honest, I have no idea where this gunk comes from... the house just sheds it. Taking out the tongue and groove and putting up dry wall on the interior main floor fixed it upstairs, but the basement just rains down this sticky sooty crud that gets everywhere. I'll try and figure out a filtration system that works... and I have an air compressor, but like I said this stuff's like tar when it builds up.

The joys of having a 120 year old house!