Keeping dust out of PC?

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#1 Posted by 6_Dead_360s (1673 posts) -

So I did some research and it sounds like my case needs to have positive pressure when it's on to push dust out, rather than creating a vacuum which makes it easy for dust to settle in.

I have a HAF 932, but I took the sidefan off.

Right now it has one 230mm top fan as exhaust, one 140mm rear fan as exhaust, and one 230mm front fan as intake.

I understand that in order to create positive pressure, you would need to have greater combined CFM from the intake fans than from exhaust.

I have a radeon 5970 and an aftermarket Noctua NH-D14 cpu cooler, and I'm not sure exactly how these fans affect airflow. Since the 5970 pushes air out of the case, I assume it functions as an exhaust fan and needs to be countered with more intake. The Noctua pulls in air from the case, but it doesn't directly push it out, either.

Keeping the room free of dust isn't an option. What can I do? How will I know for sure that it has postive airflow?

 

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#2 Posted by Guppy507 (17401 posts) -
There's not much you can do with a HAF case. Mine was a dust vacuum. The only filtered intake on it was the front, and it had a lot more exhaust than intake. To answer your other question, the CPU fan and GPU fan don't affect much. The GPU fan doesn't exhaust much and the CPU fan just move air away from the heatsink, not out of the case. It's just the intake fans and the exhaust fans you need to be concerned with.
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#3 Posted by 04dcarraher (22764 posts) -
Right now you have negative pressure, put the 230mm back on the side panel as intake then you will have a positive pressure.
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#4 Posted by Guppy507 (17401 posts) -
Right now you have negative pressure, put the 230mm back on the side panel as intake then you will have a positive pressure. 04dcarraher
The side is unfiltered though IIRC. It's intaking anyway because of the negative pressure, but a fan on there would suck in so much dust.
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#5 Posted by 04dcarraher (22764 posts) -
[QUOTE="04dcarraher"]Right now you have negative pressure, put the 230mm back on the side panel as intake then you will have a positive pressure. Guppy507
The side is unfiltered though IIRC. It's intaking anyway because of the negative pressure, but a fan on there would suck in so much dust.

I have a HAF 932 with four 120mm fans on the sidepanel, it dont suck up as much as you think
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#6 Posted by 6_Dead_360s (1673 posts) -

[QUOTE="Guppy507"][QUOTE="04dcarraher"]Right now you have negative pressure, put the 230mm back on the side panel as intake then you will have a positive pressure. 04dcarraher
The side is unfiltered though IIRC. It's intaking anyway because of the negative pressure, but a fan on there would suck in so much dust.

I have a HAF 932 with four 120mm fans on the sidepanel, it dont suck up as much as you think

I have my computer in probably the dustiest room in my house. I took the side fan off because it was indeed sucking in noticeably more dust and also wasn't helping temperatures or noise level.

Are there any "high CFM" replacement fans for the 230mm front fan? I was thinking it would be easier if I just kept the front fan as the only intake, but replaced it with something more powerful than both exhaust fans and put a filter on it.

Also, how would this affect airflow?

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#7 Posted by 04dcarraher (22764 posts) -
If your going with a solid side panel I would get a good rear 140mm fan and a good 120mm for front
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#8 Posted by 04dcarraher (22764 posts) -
like these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835129057 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835129055
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#9 Posted by Elann2008 (33028 posts) -
I don't use a side panel fan. I actually modded my side panel with just a window panel, no side fan. My ambient temp didn't get worst, but less dust for sure. Did you look into dust filters? Cleaning out your PC once a month isn't demanding.
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#10 Posted by halokillerz (3406 posts) -

i just threw dust filters in my side panels

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#11 Posted by General_X (9137 posts) -
If you really want a completely dust-free case you could look into building a passive system, though obviously they have limitations with powerful components and heat.
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#12 Posted by 6_Dead_360s (1673 posts) -

I don't use a side panel fan. I actually modded my side panel with just a window panel, no side fan. My ambient temp didn't get worst, but less dust for sure. Did you look into dust filters? Cleaning out your PC once a month isn't demanding.Elann2008

My HAF is too tall for my PSU cables to neatly fit behind the back panel, so there's a mess of dusty wires inside. The noctua cpu heatsink is massive, and I wouldn't want to clean my pc out unless I could also take that out. The problem then becomes reapplying thermal grease to the cpu, which I do not have any suitable compounds to remove the old stuff on it right now. 

On top of all of that, I have terrible ocd with electronics (I'm actually too delicate with them), so anyway you spin it, it's going to be a 3 hour job or longer, and that's when I clear an adequate working space and get something that can remove old cpu grease since the oil in standard cleaning solvents and rubbing alcohol lowers heat transmission.

In short, I think you have the right idea by using a side panel without holes and a filterd intake fan. I'll have to see if I can find something more powerful to replace the 230mm red led fan in the front; changing anything else might alter the airflow undesirably or make the system louder (radeon 5970 is more noisy than a hair dryer, and there's a bug where the fan goes to 100% and takes 30 seconds to spin down everytime I boot my computer).