View Full Version : Leaving my computer uncovered - bad?
09-23-2004, 04:08 PM
I recently messed around with the innards of my computer and found that, for varoius, reasons, I am unable to put the cover back on, or at least back on entirely. The CPU itself is sitting in the corner on the floor with the open side towards the wall. There aren't any pets and no reason for anyone to get down there and mess with it. The best I can do to put the cover back on it to lean it up against the side.
Will leaving the computer uncovered be bad from a heat management/airflow standpoint? The processor is compartementalized in its own hood, so I don't think we need to worry about that. Will more dust get on everything if I leave it like this (given the amount of dust inside when I cleaned it last time, I have to wonder...)?
09-23-2004, 04:10 PM
No, it is not really bad. A lot of people that like to work on, look at the inside of their computers keep the cover off. You may get a little better airflow but be careful of stray objects that make get thrown into it.
09-23-2004, 04:20 PM
Just don't refer to the whole box as "the CPU itself." The CPU is the teeny tiny shiny bit that's hiding under your heatsink. You probably mean the case. And no, there's nothing wrong with leaving it open if you don't have cats.
If you do have cats, consider covering your case and maybe even using rubber cement to seal it against cat-hair. And if you leave it open, be prepared for your cat to pounce on the twirling, whining CPU fan.
09-23-2004, 04:28 PM
CPU historically does refer to the entire box as well as the processor proper. The case, well, that's just a component.
In any case, how sophisticated is your computer? In many circumstances, proper cooling depends on the case being properly closed. If you have a run of the mill, off-the-shelf cheap PC, I wouldn't worry about it, but if you have something fancy, it's a good concern.
The best way to tell would be to get a utility that tells you your processor temperature and perchance the graphic card processor temperature. Then you'll know if you have a problem coming up.
09-23-2004, 04:29 PM
Unless you live in the boonies, your open case may be causing RFI (radio frequency interference) to your neighbors. The FCC requires computers to be tested and certified for RFI before they can be sold in the USA. That certification is based on the assumption that the case is kept closed.
It's a bit like burning trash in your backyard. It's not considerate of your neighbors.
09-23-2004, 04:32 PM
Lets put it this way - I, and many I know, have had their cases off for extended periods of time for years and years, and have never experienced a problem. Just don't spill water on it or something stupid like that.
My opinion is that my computer likes its case off. It needs some breathing room.
Only thing to watch out for is if you have some funky CPU cooling system that has ducting or cowling attached to the case. If you just have the plain-jane heat sink and fan on your CPU, no worries.
09-23-2004, 11:21 PM
Hmmm, wasn't aware about the radio thing. That would explain the metal lining inside the access panel (the reason I can't fit the damn thing on is that the metal bent and I because of some ridges in the plastic, I can't straighten it back out - every time I slide the thing in, it bends again. Realted question: can I rip the metal off w/o affecting performance?).
It's a PIII and the only fancy ducting is the aforementioned hood that covers the processor.
Thanks for the help.
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