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Dust Busting

I was awaiting the arrival of the new parts for my PC last night with not a little trepidation; I knew that in order to perform the upgrade, I'd have to open up my case and view the horrors lurking within. My fears were right: A whole family of midget dust-bunnies had taken up residence inside my case. Not only that but all of the fans - intake, extractors, power supply, CPU cooling, GPU cooling - were caked in dust (the clear extractor fans weren't clear, they were brown), and there was a thin layer of it across the motherboard. The Bruce Highway might only be two lanes, and we're not living right on the corner of it, but we still get a significant amount of dust from it through the place. (Then there's what the cane mill down the road puts into the air...) I cleaned, brushed and vacuumed my case out (not to mention taking several cotton tips to the various fans) before installing the RAM and SoundBlaster.

I'm seriously starting to consider getting a new case. Although I have a filter grille on my intake fan, there are just too many places that air can get in unfiltered: vents on either side of the case, bottom and top; the steel grille in the case frame upon which the intake fan is mounted (making the grille I've put on said fan redundant); an open 3.5" drive bay on the front; several open expansion card slots on the back. I never got around to customising that case as I'd semi-dreamed about, and it's a little too big and heavy to lug around whenever I want to do some maintenance.

I could buy new, but I'm wondering whether any decent cases get chucked on the council tip. That, or maybe the people of FNQGaming.com (formerly FNQGL, the Far North Queensland Gaming League/Lounge) might have some spares they're willing to part with cheaply. If I do spend, though, it'll definitely be a next year thing.

I tell you what, though; I'm dreading what I'll see when I open Vickie's PC. If mine needed a clean, hers will most likely be desperate for one. That 12cm blue-glow fan mounted on Vickie's case alongside her CPU has no filter or grille on it, so it's probably been sucking dust like nobody's business! I'm already browsing PCCaseGear.com for a 12cm grille; I'm also thinking of seeing whether there's some sort of filtration I can stick across some of the vents.

Or maybe I should just give up on air-cooling as a solution and get a couple of water cooling kits. Fewer airflow fans will mean no dust-sucking gale. Of course, water cooling ain't cheap, and there's that whole water inside the PC thing...

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