Time for a vacuum?

A graph of CPU, Motherboard and Graphics card temperatures so far this year.

Since getting this machine I’ve been collecting hardware measurements from it. I thought I should try to see if there are any trends developing.

Average daily temperature readings for SMAUG; the machine was dormant in June/July.


It’s kind of tricky because the database has readings from almost a million time points in it, with 36 measurements for each. Ad hoc queries can take a bit of forethought. There’s also the fact that at some times I might be playing a game on its maximum video settings and at others I might be doing practically nothing. I normally only do any one intensive activity for a few hours a day, so the average reading for each day should be a reasonable indication of any long-term changes.

A factor that could affect it over the medium- or long-term are a change in the type of game I want to play at that time.  I was playing Neverwinter Nights 2 in April which could explain the shape of the graphics data at that time.

My first graph was just of CPU temperature; I was curious to see a gradual upward trend there. Was it dust accumulating in the fans? Or it could just be a different typical use of it.

There’s no obvious corresponding trend in the motherboard or graphics card temperatures. So nothing serious to worry about. Though I guess checking the CPU fan and heat sink for dust won’t do any harm.

Update. Yes, it was!

I’ve opened the case and found quite a bit of dust.  It’s on the external fans (which are easily cleaned); but there’s also a faint layer over most the surfaces, such as the graphics card.  I’ve attempted to remove it but I don’t want to actually touch any of it since the circuitry is exposed there (and I don’t have any antistatic cleaning equipment handy).  Finally, the CPU fan and heatsink especially were starting to clog with dust.  I have cleaned them.

The result is that CPU temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees.

New temperature chart, showing 10 degree drop in CPU temperature after cleaning

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One Response to Time for a vacuum?

  1. Pingback: Minor hardware improvements and plans | EJRH

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