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HDD Killers

A Universe Of Dust

Posted on Friday 9 February 2007

I’ve found that I like taking pictures, regardless of how well they turn out, or, as is usually the case, how badly they turn out. So while I still had my hands on a camera, I figured I’d take a look inside my PC.

I noticed that there was quite a siginificant build up of dust on the CPU heatsink, so I scraped it off. The Zalman flower design seems to collect dust fairly efficiently, then arranges it into a nice thick carpet over the copper. The rest of the PC wasn’t so bad, so I left it alone. Once I had a look at the pictures though … well, let’s just say that the pictures show a pretty different story than the human eye alone sees.

Click any of the pictures to get a bigger version (1280×1024), full size pics are also linked to at the end (3264×2448).

Here are a couple of snaps that display the dust on the Raptor X drives:

Lots of dust on the top two Raptor X drives.

Lots of dust on the bottom two Raptor X drives.

In the first pic on the top right, you can see the other HDD in this PC, a 160GB Seagate Barracuda. Below it there is a circuit board with a grey ribbon cable and FDD style power connector hooked up to it, that’s actually part of my sound card. It enables me to have many audio ports on the front of my PC, of which I only ever use one, the headphone socket. The sound card itself is quite an expensive one, but a very good one, for those wondering it’s the Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty.

Here’s a pic of my CPU cooler, a Zalman flower, aka the dustmaker. This was taken after it was cleaned, but as you can see, some dust still clings on for dear life. Also, this pic is somewhat overexposed due to the reflectiveness of everything in the case and also the proximity of the camera. I would attempt to correct it with some image editing program, but I have absolutely no idea how.

A 'clean' CPU heatsink.

This next shot clealy shows the difference between the black of the sound card PCB and the “black” of the sound card PCB with a layer of dust on it. Also, a similar affliction has affected the green TV capture card. The bottom of the PC case has collected an unhealthy amount of dust too. Heck, even the damn SATA cables have some.

Multi-storey dust on PCI cards.

Here’s an overview of the system, from this vantage point it’s possible to see dust on pretty much everything in there, even on the Arctic Cooler on the graphics card, I mean, how did that amount of dust manage to get in there to settle in the first place?


So, there are some pics. For all those laughing at how filthy my system is, I would like to point out that the HDD’s and RAM are only a shade under 5 months old, and the TV capture card and sound card are even younger than that. So just think, if this is how dirty my system is … how bad is yours?

As per usual, if you want to see the full size pics, I have uploaded those too and they can be found here:

    Friday 9th February 2007 | 2:58 am
    Antony's Globally Recognised Avatar

    See, this is exactly why i try (when i can be botherd) and clean mine out at least once a month – stops such a nasty build up of dust, but it is somewhat dishartning when you look into your case like an hour later and can already see a nice layer of dust forming on the components!

    John Tran
    Saturday 10th February 2007 | 5:59 pm
    John Tran's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Ehh, I don’t have that much dust, haven’t cleaned in like a year.

    Saturday 10th February 2007 | 8:21 pm
    Antony's Globally Recognised Avatar

    lol, i suppose it depends on how many fans you have on your case, my old case had 2*120mm Fans on the Front and side which used to draw in a crap load of dust.

    My current case has 2*250mm Intake fans on the front and side, and even though they have filters on i still get a crap load of dust in the case, but that could be because a while a go i decided i didnt like my carpet and pulled it up. Wooden Flooring seem to attract quite a lot of dust 🙁

    Saturday 10th February 2007 | 10:52 pm
    David's Globally Recognised Avatar

    I don’t understand it though, I only have two 92mm intake fans running at 5V and both of them have filters. And trust me, the filters DO work, I have to clean them every so often.

    Tuesday 13th February 2007 | 7:33 am
    James's Globally Recognised Avatar

    My current computer doesn’t collect that much dust. We’ll soon see how my new one will fair though…

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