Beating the Heat!

Overheating is a major cause of motherboard and component failure in computers. Fortunately it is also a fairly easily prevented situation.

If your computer overheats, it is possible to cause irreparable damage to hardware and catastrophic data loss. Not only that, but an overheated computer will run much slower than normal. Keeping your computer running at optimal temperatures will ensure that you get the most out of your PC. Below are a few tips to help you keep your computer cool:

  • Keep it clean – make sure the vents and fans are clear of dust and debris. It would recommend you take it to a store to periodically open your computer and dust out the interior also. Not taking the time to dust out your computer once or twice a year is like being too busy to get your oil changed in a car. If you have a laptop, do your best to blow it out, but you should also have an experienced technician do a thorough cleaning at least once a year.

  • Don’t sit your PC near other heat producing items – you don’t want something blowing hot air onto your PC. That’s asking for a shortened life span. Be sure to keep it away from radiators, other hot electronics, bright lamps or prolonged use in direct sunlight.

  • Allow for airflow – make sure there is room around your PC for adequate air flow. Most computers rely on fresh air to breathe, and you don’t want to stifle it! Don’t cover the bottom and rear of your laptop or hide your desktop in a cluttered cubbyhole.

  • Add extra fans – if you’re doing all of the above and still getting heated, try getting an extra fan or two installed for increased airflow in the case. There are laptop cooling pads that come with adjustable fans to increase airflow and myriad options for desktops with overheating processors, hard drives or graphics cards.

  • Heat sink service – if you’re still not getting results, have your PC tech do a heat sink service. This involves removing the existing heatsink, cleaning off the dust and dried or cracked thermal paste\pads, and replacing them with fresh, new ones that will keep your PC as cool as the day you bought it. It can also be replaced with a more efficient heat sink with a bigger fan to make it better than new.

  • Water cooling – there are some risks involved with putting a water loop in any computer, but for the extreme overclocker and gamer, the performance benefits can be worth the risk. Just be sure to evaluate the pros and cons, and be sure to buy quality equipment if you’re thinking about water cooling. Make sure you or the person installing any water-cooling components know what they are doing and take the necessary time and care. Even though it’s summertime, you wouldn’t want your PC taking an unexpected swim!

Most of these methods amount to a good, old common sense and regular maintenance. As always, Staff at Chips Computers are highly skilled and ready to help with all your PC and Laptop cooling.

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