Byte Me Article 434 – Dust and your PC

Dust and Your PC

Proving Knowledge is Power – Cheap is Definitely Not Cheerful When It Comes To PC’s So KNow Your Specs

Today we have 2 quick topics to cover.  A quick follow up from last weeks’ article on craptops, from which we received a huge response and an important note about PC’s and dust – considering that the Simpson Desert now extends to the Eastern side of the Great Keppel Islands!

Firstly, our article last Saturday generated a huge response with lots of readers thanking us for being frank and not sugar coating the situation.  There are a lot of ‘cheap’ PC devices on the market which will never run Windows 10 effectively and in some cases they will not run Windows at all as soon as their small drives fill up.  This lack of usability should see them taken off the market as they are a complete waste of money for the unsuspecting.

To help prospective buyers weed out these lemons, we can supply the following information.  If their specifications mention anything about an eMMC – whether it is a 32GB or a 64GB version then look elsewhere.  If they only have 4GB of ram then also look elsewhere.  Even if they have ANY type of mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) of ANY capacity – you should probably look elsewhere!

The standard should be 8GB of Ram and at least a 120GB Solid-State Drive (SSD).  You should also consider the topic of CPU power and do a quick Google search to see that they have a CPU power benchmark greater than 2,000.  Anything less than this will provide endless frustration in how long it takes to boot up and process any commands.

Just out of interest, comparing a good spec PC to a bad one – I had a look at one of our bench test PC’s which is running an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU from a few years ago to see what power rating it had.  To my surprise it has a CPU benchmark of 3,338 and it is eleven (11) years old.  This was NOT a top of the range PC in its day and it is still twice as powerful as many new PC’s sold today!!!

On another note, with Central Queensland turning into a dust bowl – we need to also consider the ramifications for our computers.  The amount of dust in the air at present is greater than I have previously seen – especially if you leave an East facing window open.  Airborne dust and fluff is the enemy of a running PC and a percentage of it will stay inside the PC mostly accumulating on the fan and heatsink.

This will make a computer run hotter than normal and may also cause a fan to become noisy.  We have had several customers lately with noisy fans and often they just need to be cleaned.  If they are left too long in the noisy state then the fan bearings will start to fail, and a replacement fan or cooling assembly will be necessary.

Modern computers have very good power saving modes whereby they can switch off screens and throttle down the CPU when not in use – however they do often leave a system or CPU fan running at slow speed.  We normally suggest that you can leave one of these modern PC’s turned on 24/7 if you wish, however considering the condition of the air at present we are currently suggesting that you turn your PC off when not in use.

Especially if the PC is near a window, turning it off when not in use and even throwing a towel over it is currently a good idea. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

We have developed a brilliant self-help troubleshooting section on our website – so if you are having problems but can still browse the web please check it out.  Click here to go to Kerr Solutions IT Troubleshooting

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