can a radiator affect a desktop computer

  ronalddonald 12:10 19 May 08
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Can the heat from a radiator over heat a desktop computer. i know this sounds like the dumbest question - Any comments or views would be very helpful. Many thank you's.

  tullie 12:18 19 May 08

I would think so yes,if its very close,common sense tells us that.

  anchor 12:43 19 May 08

I have had different 4 PC`s quite close to a radiator; no problems.

  Totally-braindead 13:00 19 May 08

I suppose it depends how close it is. If the PC is sitting right on top of it then of course it will affect it. And even if its not, if the fan drawing cool air into your PC is drawing the air from the front of the radiator then the air will be warmer and again it could heat up. I'm not saying it would damage the PC but it certainly wouldn't do it much good especially if its really close.

I don't think its a major problem but as with all electrical equipement you are meant to keep them away from any heat source and that isn't just PCs its TVs, videos, DVD players, hifis, fridges etc etc.

  tullie 13:00 19 May 08

I suppose that how close is 'quite close' is the question.

  Forum Editor 17:55 19 May 08

yes, it can.

The slightly longer answer is it depends - if the radiator is right behind the case, logic tells you that the air around the case is going to be warmer, and that's the air which the fans are drawing into the case and around the components. That means that the cooling effect will be diminished somewhat.

The hotter the ambient air, the less effective it will be as a coolant. The speed with which it's drawn into and expelled from the case has a big effect on its cooling property as well, so you can see that the answer isn't as simple as it might as first seem.

Play safe, and keep your computer as far from any heat source as possible.

just too add on pc cooling...i have a pc case with 3 case fans and they would run very fast and noisy ..and i thought great loads of cooling..but in effect it acted like a vaccum cleaner sucking all the dirt out of the air and into my computer clogging it up..by the way each fan has a filter on aswell to restrict dirt..well what i did was reduce the voltage on all the said fans and it was quieter and there is less dirt getting sucked in..there may be a lesson to be learnt from this...kind regards akanic

  wis 21:45 19 May 08

you could run a check and confirm your self,run pc
for a while close to rad, go health check in bios
jot down case cpu temps, move away re test compare

  UncleP 23:40 19 May 08

As a very rough approximation, your computer generates a certain amount of heat which must be removed by the air flow around the hottest components. The heat loss is proportional to the temperature difference between the components and the incoming air. So if the air temperature goes up, the component temperatures will go up by about the same amount to maintain that temperature difference. For a given computer, the fan efficiency, the air flow velocities and patterns etc change - but not greatly - with temperature.

So the essential question is - how warm is the air from the radiator entering your computer? The normal room temperature is around 20-25oC; the surface temperature of a radiator is about 50-55oC (above that it's too hot to touch, below and it doesn't warm the room very effectively). If all the air entering your computer has been drawn through the radiator I would guess that it might be heated by 10-15oC. So your computer would run 10-15oC hotter than if it were placed away from the radiator (I did warn you that this was a very rough approximation!).

This is unlikely to do any real short-term damage to your computer. Some microprocessors have a thermal switch which reduces the voltage (or frequency?) to protect it when it's working flat out; I've seen one operate on a hot summer's day when the room temperature was over 30oC. But long term over-heating won't do your machine any good, and the solution is pretty simple.

  ronalddonald 09:13 23 May 08

Thank you all for your repies. i be relocating my desktop.

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