The overheating of a PC is a phenomenon that directly affects the proper functioning of our equipment. It causes errors, data loss, locks, restarts and/or shutdowns, reduces the useful life of the components and in extreme cases irreparable damage to some of them.
Although a PC is prepared to operate at high temperatures and has controls to limit its impact, our computers also suffer from high temperatures. It is always good to have knowledge in this area to check how much they can harm them.
Keep it clear; everything inside a PC generates heat. The cooling of a computer has become an art especially in the high-end gaming systems that use overclocking techniques. They squeeze the performance of components such as CPU and GPU, thereby increasing operating temperatures. We will not get that much deep in this article. But we will review a few common tasks that should be part of the usual maintenance. It can be done by any user and effectively prevent overheating of a PC.
Check and control the temperatures of PC
It is convenient to start the process by checking the actual temperature of the main components of our equipment, CPU, GPU and storage units, as well as that of the chassis as a whole. There are many free tools that offer us the information we need, such as Speccy, PC Wizard or HWMonitor, which record temperatures, voltages and fan speeds that ultimately form the components to consider. As a reference to take into account, the maximum operating temperature of a CPU should be between 70 and 80 degrees, although, in standard equipment, it is easy to keep it much lower.
Motherboard manufacturers also offer this type of information in their desktop tools and in an increasingly complete UEFI BIOS.
Dust accumulates on any PC no matter how modern it is, desktop or laptop. It obstructs ventilation ducts, reduces the efficiency of the fans and even stops them. Regular cleaning can help maintain a correct flow of cooling air.
In a desktop PC, cleaning is very simple. Once the equipment is turned off, you should disconnect the power cable and static electricity should be discharged. After this, we can open the chassis and proceed to clean it. Blowing gives good results although it would be ideal to use a can of compressed air, isopropyl alcohol and microfiber cloths for a complete cleaning. A trick to keep in mind is to hold the blades of the fans when we apply the compressed air. If they turn, they will make an annoying noise which you may not find comfortable to hear.
In a laptop, the complete dismantling is not available to all users but at least we must remove the outer covers and apply the compressed air to free the dust of all the ventilation grilles.
The main cause of automatic shutdown in a laptop is the over temperature. There are cooling bases for laptops and they give good results but everything starts with a good cleaning. Its use on flat surfaces reduces the temperature and if you use it on a desk, lifting it to favor ventilation is a trick that continues to give results.
The microprocessor is the heart of our equipment and a good cooling system (of course, as clean as possible) is essential to maintain a correct temperature. The fan should always be separated from the heat sink because it also accumulates a lot of dust as it can be seen in the following image:
The fan model also matters. Intel and AMD offer fan-dissipaters in the retail sale of many of their CPU models (not all). They are sufficient for a basic use but as soon as you intend to overclock or you are a somewhat more demanding user, you will have to go through the box and buy a third-party model.
Air and Liquid Cooling
The air cooling is the most common cooling system. Systems having liquid cooling have also gained popularity in recent years due to increased supply and reasonable prices. It is a great option because, in addition to maintaining low temperatures, its noise level is usually very low. Almost all systems are sold with all the necessary elements including, fan, radiator, and liquid. There are real integrated wonders that cover the cooling of all the components.
There are good offers for liquid cooling systems which can be within the budget for CPU, GPU or chassis. Whether you bet on them or use air fans, make sure you have enough space in your tower to mount it.
Special mention should be given for the change of thermal paste. It is a compound that facilitates the transmission of heat between the processor and the heatsink fan. A quality thermal paste will improve that transmission and help maintain low temperatures. You do not have to do cleaning very often but every once in a while try to replace it.
The paste is ineffective when a small amount is applied and also when a lot is applied. Use the “pea” method. A drop in the middle of the die is enough. The natural pressure of the dissipater will spread it evenly over the entire surface.
The dedicated graphics cards are another area to be given importance. They include their own dissipation-cooling system. And should be removed from their PC slot and their fans should be thoroughly cleaned. The big manufacturers offer applications for their control and configuration. You can customize their speed according to the reached temperature.
Fans – Air flow – Wiring
The effective surface (size in mm) and the speed of rotation are measures that define the efficiency of the fans for the chassis. It should also be checked and cleaned. Finding the balance between the noises emitted and the speed to keep the chassis and components “cool” is the objective. Applications like “SpeedFan” allow modifying the speed of rotation of the fans.
It depends on the slots available on your tower but there are times when strategically placing a quality and good size fan (120 mm) is enough to keep the temperature of the chassis at bay. We talk about chassis and as always, we recommend balancing the budget in the creation of a PC. There are users who spend a lot of money on a simple graphics card. But they do not invest 60 Dollars in a good tower that can last for many years. You know, a good tower allows installing all your components in most comfortable and efficient manner. It also takes into account the future updates and ensures an optimum air flow.
The same can be said of a power source. Not only does your fan have to be clean(the first time you disassemble it you will be surprised to see the amount of dust accumulated) but also the proper power source. The voltage delivery is directly related.
Finally, it is also important that one should correctly do the wiring, which can prove to be another source of overheating and dust collection. There are special wiring and towers that make things easier. But at least we must use plastic clamps to collect the wiring so that there is maximum free space inside the chassis to improve air circulation.
As we can see, preventing overheating of a PC is simple if we take it as a regular performance task. The advanced cooling components cost a lot of money. Don’t worry. Spending a bit of our time just cleaning is free and very advantageous to avoid problems and increase the life of the components.
You can easily prevent the overheating of PC using these easy tips. Use these websites to check and monitor the temperatures. Clean the PC often using these methods. Use air cooling or liquid cooling according to the use. Use thermal paste, control fan air flow and ensure proper wiring.