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Most computers are housed in a box with a number of holes in it. Fans move air through the holes to cool the components inside the computer. After a year or two, if you open up the case and look inside, you will find dust everywhere. This dust should be vacuumed out, and that includes dust inside
the power-supply unit, which means breaking the seal and voiding the warranty -- but by that time the warranty has expired, anyway, and if you don't clean the power supply, accumulated dust will lead to overheating and it will eventually fail.
There's got to be an easier way!
The other day I was in a hardware store and noticed something called a "box fan". It's about the same size as an average "tower" computer case, and I happened to think it might be a "cool" thing if you could take off one side-panel of the computer case and mount a box fan there. Then you'd have to mount the removed case panel on the other side of the box fan (to block Radio Frequency Interference generated by the computer), and drill it full of holes to let the air in. SOMEWHERE in this process you also want to add a nice large air filter, not unlike the ones used in a home central-air-conditioning system.
The net effect is that your computer is now being cooled by one really big (and fairly quiet!) fan. And each year you can open the case and either replace or clean the filter.
[half, Oct 11 2004]
Filtered airflow cases
[Extreme Tomato, Jul 30 2005]
||High end cases have filters on anyway, see link
I'd like to see self-cleaning filters ;-)