Clean those machines!
We’ve now reached a few milestones as Polynauts. We’re still going strong after the great migration 2012. I decided it time to make my first post, and make it an Informational one. Hopefully it’ll be used for a while.
Maybe it’s just me but I’ve noticed that there has been a great uptick in people interested in a gaming on a computer. Whether you are building your own or buying a prebuilt one an important aspect that is often neglected is general cleaning maintenance.
I’ll be talking mostly about how to clean PCs but will also include general tips for consoles as well.
If the insides of your computer are not cleaned out eventually they might end up looking like this.
The main reason to remove the dust from the inside of a computer is because dust buildup causes heat and can make fans stop….which causes more heat. This heat can cause components to die out earlier than they normally would.
I usually clean my computer every three months or so. If your computer is on the floor, someone in the household smokes or you have a pet, this seems to be the recommended amount of time between cleanings. If you don’t fit the above description you can wait 6-8 months.
For this, a can of compressed air will be your weapon of choice. Make sure your computer is completely powered off and disconnected. You’ll need to open up your computer. Usually a side panel can be opened up with a Philips screw driver. If your computer is prebuilt make sure to check your warranty. Some warranties can be voided if you open up the PC.
The important parts that you’ll be wanting to use your compressed air on are the fans. I always go for the power supply first since it’s underneath everything. When using compressed air make sure you blow the dust away from the inside bits. You don’t want to lodge dust deeper into your parts. Make sure to hold on to fans in some way to prevent them from spinning. Sometimes if they spin too fast you can crack them, or so I’ve heard. Next look for any heatsinks . They are usually made out of aluminum or copper and may look something like this.
These are the things that collect dust the most after the fans. Basically follow the same instructions. Make sure to blow away to avoid getting dust in deeper. If you can remove your heatsink easily I would recommend it as it’s better for hard to reach places.
This should have removed most of the dust from your computer. Some computers do have air filters. These generally can be removed and dusted separately. It should look similar to this.
You should now only have things that need to be lightly blown, like the DVD drive. Give these items a quick touch up as needed. Make sure to get the outside air vets as well!
Some of you may be asking "why can’t I do this with a vacuum?" The reason is that conventional vacuums create static that can damage your components. There are specialty battery operated vacuums but I have never used one so I don’t know how well those work.
Many of the tips I stated up top work for consoles as well. I was once able to revive a PS2 after giving it a good dusting. If your console is still under warranty you may want to have it professionally fixed before opening it up. You can dust the vents and give it a good wipe down with some lint free wipes. If you don’t have any you can use paper towels. Make sure not to pray the console directly with Windex, instead spray the paper towel with a small amount and then wipe the console.
For Controllers and gamepads I use a mix of toothpicks, rubbing alcohol and q-tips (cotton swabs?).
The toothpicks are used to remove grime from the edges. I use a bit of rubbing alcohol on the q-tips to remove everything else. If it’s been a while since you cleaned it you can open the controller up and get the edges of the buttons as well. This works well if you have sticky buttons.
Feel free to ask any questions or mention anything I might have missed. Also include if you have any tips put those in the comments as well..