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Old 24th November 2007   #1
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How safe is it to leave my pc case open?


I was cleaning my pc today and decided to do some testing. I found out that if I left my pc case open, my GPU temperature would drop from 54° to 44°. Which is nice since it keeps my video card from over heating.

The question is, how safe is it? And what's the worse that could happen if I my PC case open?

Thanks!

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Old 24th November 2007   #2
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Mine are hardly ever closed

I have put my foot inside one once, stretching across the desk (oops, but no damage). I get a little queasy about the possibility of liquids getting onto the electronics.
BUT,
I still don't mind running them "open".

Matt

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Old 24th November 2007   #3
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Originally Posted by mattman
Mine are hardly ever closed

I have put my foot inside one once, stretching across the desk (oops, but no damage). I get a little queasy about the possibility of liquids getting onto the electronics.
BUT,
I still don't mind running them "open".

Matt

So basically. Just don't get the insides wet and I'll be fine?

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Old 24th November 2007   #4
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One thing your computer case does is shield electrical noise. That stops such noise from the computer affecting other electrical items near the PC, and electrical noise from other electrical items affecting the computer. That's why the case tends to be metal. So you may find you need to be a little more careful about the siting of the computer (not near items susceptible to electrical noise (e.g. a radio) or electrical device that emits a lot of noise - fridge, florescent lights.)

However, lots of computers are run without a case, with no problem. So just be aware that there could be a noise problem and be prepared to put the case cover back if such problems arise.

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Old 24th November 2007   #5
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If you have pets - 4 legged variety - a possible 'intrusion' problem. 2 legged variety (kids) equally problematic

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Old 24th November 2007   #6
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Personally, I would discourage running without a case buttoned up because of the risks/hazards of excess dust buildup, bugs/critters, pet hair, etc. and in Matt's situation - feet (foot) in or on critical components. OK, we all know that computers should be maintained in a clean temperature controlled environment, free of dust and critters et al, but the reality is ...... no matter how careful one is or how "clean" the immediate environment is, "stuff" happens to collect in unwanted places. I'd prefer to get dust buildup on a intake fan grill than on a CPU heatsink, graphics card or in the PSU.

My machines have side intake fans along with multiple front intake fans and I have dust filters which require regular maintenance and cleaning. However, because of the ventilation, my machines also run cooler with the side panels attached and buttoned up as opposed to trying to run with an open case. Its simple enough - in my own situation, air is circulated better (both into and out of the case) with the case closed than it is with an open side. A quick read of temperatures tells me when its time or past due time for cleaning filters and blowing out dust.

Personally, I'd be modifying the case if it ran cooler with a side panel off and lastly, let's dispell a common misconception - simply adding more fans doesn't necessarily equate to a cooler machine.


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Old 24th November 2007   #7
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I have been running my system open for 5 years. I do need to stay on top of the dust accumulation due to forced air heat and my smoking. In fact it needs a good cleaning now. That last time was this spring when I completely tore down the system for a thorough clean up. I was wondering where my lighter went. LOL!

http://xs221.xs.to/xs221/07476/MyPC001.jpg

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Old 24th November 2007   #8
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Yuck

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Old 25th November 2007   #9
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I run the Desktop with a side panel off in the Summer - does run cooler with a panel off and quieter - noise being one of my pet peeves. Love the Laptop - no noise

Whiskeyman reminded me that the desktop is due for a cleaning.

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Old 25th November 2007   #10
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[Rockster, I am very good at "putting my foot in it" ]

Whiskeyman, why did you show us that?? I just put a flashlight onto my CPU heatsink and it is completely coated with dust. Drat, cleanup time.

I do have air-conditioning filter material over the front air intakes of this computer, but discovering that that has blocked with dust is usually when I start to see signs of overheating. Just regular cleaning seems to be the solution (and I have carpet which is a fantastic source of dust).

Matt

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Old 26th November 2007   #11
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Just in time I think. It looks like my dust-bunnies were almost ready for interstellar expansion.

I could not seem to remove the fan from over CPU heatsink. AMD X2 stock heatsink and fan. Does anybody know if the fan is removable? (I ended up using tweezers between the blades of the fan.) * Just a note for any beginners...do not remove the heatsink from over the CPU chip or the thermal compound between them will need to be replaced.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
My nephew showed me his new "media center" case. It had two 120mm fans blowing across the motherboard area, the PSU fan of course, and an 80mm fan for the drive section...some air-flow

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Old 8th December 2007   #12
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Hi Tari, this is quite an interesting subject. I have 1 front case fan, 1 rear case fan, CPU fan, chipset fan, graphics card fan and PSU fans. I also have installed in all my comps, round IDE and floppy cables. These cables dropped the temp 10° C alone by allowing better circulation. I always keep the panels in place as this means that the air flow will be better directed and extracted.(applying principles from being an Automotive Technician for 55 years.) Like Matt said the cooling grille in the front indicates to me if there is too much dust around and when it's time to blow things out. Currently my CPU is running at 32.7° and the HDD is at 38.4°. Hope this helps you decide what to do. Neil.

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Old 8th December 2007   #13
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Quote:
How safe is it to leave my pc case open?
In general over all SAFTEY it is a NO-N0 !!

Let me ask this.
Would you ever leave the cover off of a 110 volt electrical outlet ??

BillyBob

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Old 8th December 2007   #14
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Originally Posted by PeteC View Post
2 legged variety (kids) equally problematic
For the last time, we're not pets! Pets are obedient


@BillyBob: *hint*Electrical outlets have covers?*hint*

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Old 8th December 2007   #15
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@BillyBob: *hint*Electrical outlets have covers?*hint*
YES The main box does have a cover ( faceplate ) leaving only the places to plug the PC and other power cords into. That part is necessary. ( but still dangerous in a way ) And when we had small kids all unused ones were covered also.

But that is also a bit different than something sitting right here beside me where I ( or someone else ) could accicently drop something into. Or a kid could stick a hand into.

For overall SAFTEY, leave the cover ON.

BillyBob

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