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What is needed for a high/low temperature tolerant PC

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New Member
Mar 29, 2001
I want to use a PC in an environment (my attic) that suffers from high and low temperature extremes. The attic is well ventilated (20” attic fan) and has a temperature range here in Pennsylvania of around –10F to maybe 120F. I haven’t measure the summer extremes yet but I know that the attic fan cuts the high temperatures down significantly. I have read much of what's available on this site but am confused by the number of products that might help me.

Why do I want to put a PC in my attic; My upcoming satellite 2way internet service. When I built my house four years ago I wired everything for video and data. The attic got 4 quad shielded RG-6 cables and 2, 4 pair Cat 5 cables. Right now one of the RG-6s is used for DirecTV and I expect to use all when I move to a High Definition receiver. There are alternatives here but I know that I would like to keep from using the video cables if possible.

Which brings me back to the PC. I am already planning to use an old 166 Gateway as a proxy server for the internet. I doesn’t matter where I put it as I have network cables in every room, including the attic. If I can put it in the attic, then I save the video cables.

For low temperatures I can build a small ventilated enclosure heated by a 100 watt bulb (like the outside soft drink machines do) and the PC’s own heat that should work in the winter. From what I have seen, if I can keep the PC above 35-40F I should be OK.

My big question is what about the high temperatures. Most hard drive specs, say operating temperatures go up to about 130F. I don’t know about other components and their operating extremes.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do here to keep a PC operating reliably in this kind of environment. I don’t mind spending a reasonable sum for this if it will buy me reliability. Thanks.