How Much Difference Could A Bit Of Dust Make?

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, February 25, 2013 - 10:18:43 am
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For the past 3 years my Linux server has been a re-purposed inherited computer. And it's always been on the loud side. In the apartment it sat right next to the sofa. It was noticeable when it was idle, and there was no mistaking any time a cron job ran, as the CPU fan sped up to full over 4000 RPMs. This was one of many things we just lived with.

On moving into the house, it was nice that it had it's own room to be noisy in. I didn't give it much though until recently, when it's become constantly noisy and pretty much heard all through the house. I haven't had time to look at it until this weekend, and discovered the CPU to be running pretty hot, even with the fan going at full bore. With over 200 processes running, I started killing things off, figuring that was the cause. Not matter how many things I closed, or how low the load got, the temperature didn't seem to change much.

So I shut it down, and pulled the sides off and cleaned out the CPU fan, and the case in general. The amount of dust wasn't great, but probably not the worse I've ever seen.

Once the job was done, the effects were immediately obvious. The CPU temperature which had been sitting at a constant 127+ C was immediately down to around 34C, with the fan running at about 1,770 RPM's instead of 4,440.

Would I have expected a bit of dust to make this much difference? No. Do I wish I'd thought to do this 3 years ago? Absolutely. The silence in the office, and throughout the house at night is beautiful. Though everything else, the water heater, washing machine, and even the hard drive of the desktop computer now seems so loud. [wink]

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