I wanted to show you what I have done to cool my computer in the winter!
I replaced one of my computer room's windows with a cardboard duplicate, cutting a hole in the lower part of it where I attached a small box to act as a tunnel to let the cold air into the room. My PC case has ventilation holes in the removable side panel, which I measured to correctly place the hole in the faux-window. I lined the PC up to the tunnel and slid a flat cardboard piece between the PC and the tunnel opening, allowing some control over how much air comes in. This is very important because the tunnel should be closed overnight, when it's very cold or damp outside, or when the PC is off. This prevents the components from being damaged, or having difficulty restarting. The PC runs just fine overnight with the side ventilation holes closed, as the temperature on the other side of the cardboard baffle is frigid enough to chill the room air that gets in through the front. I drew some horizontal lines on the board with a marker, measured to let me change the opening from 0 (closed) through ¼, ½, ¾ etc.
In the drawing below, the gray represents duct tape, the blue is the window's channel, the red is the window frame and ledge. The green is a shelf board I attached to the window ledge with a C-clamp to give more room for the PC. I press the PC firmly against the tunnel with the board in between and only a small amount of cold air gets into the room through the vents in the back of the case. I used masking tape on a few of these, making sure not to block the fan exhaust.
I have noticed an improvement in overall system performance, particularly while playing CPU/GPU-demanding games like Grand Theft Auto IV. The video card temperature now hovers around 20°, which allows me to overclock it, and the CPU as well!
Thanks a lot! I knew condensation might be an issue, but didn't think of running the fans to clear it out! Great idea! It sounds like just leaving the PC running with the baffle closed for a bit before shutting down will do the trick!
My biggest concern at first was birds getting into the tunnel (no screen on the window I chose) LOL!
I think I may do another P95 temp bench while its still below -20c here this week, just for the hell of it. One day last week I left the window open while I went to pick up my wife, and it was idling at -2 when I got home 25mins later.
From what I've been led to believe, any gain would be a plus. As far as I could find out the board doesn't allow it unless I use a hacked bios, which was what killed off my original board so I'm not anxious to try that again!