The last few weeks I've noticed my PC has been making a lot more noise than usual. The fans seemed to run up to 100% and stay there constantly after just a couple of minutes from switching it on. I had initially thought that the monitoring software that regulates fan speeds had gone a bit screwy so I kind of ignored it telling myself I'd sort it out later.
Well last night I decided that "later" was now, so I fired up the software to be greeted by angry alarms blaring through my speakers at 1am! Not the best thing to wake the household with, but oh well, it was too late to worry about that.
Apparently my CPU temperature was hovering just over the 90 degree mark, and my case temperature was 70 degrees! Ouch, that CPU is nicely roasting away and probably has been for a few weeks. I decided I had to do something about it, but that 1am was not the time to strip the PC apart. So this morning out came the compressed air and tool kit.
OH MY GOD! I've never seen so much dust in my life...... The case was stuffed full of the stuff. No wonder I had air flow issues, all the fans were totally clogged up. A good blast of air outside and a well aimed hoover sorted that issue out. Then I figured while I was at it, it couldn't do any harm to replace the thermal paste on the CPU. So off came the heatsink/fan and the old stuff was carefully removed from the copper heatsink, and the top of the CPU. A fresh application of some Arctic Silver 5 paste and a quick re-assembly later it was all done.
Time for the moment of truth, everything worked straight away (phew!) and this time the fans didn't ramp up! After loading the monitoring software again, the good news is the CPU is now at a more comfortable 61 degrees, and the case a refreshing 38 degrees! Now I can sit in peaceful silence once again.
So, if you're PC is noisier than you'd like, it might be time to give it some TLC and sort out air flow inside your case. It can make a HUGE difference!