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Does a pc need to be in a cool room?

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July 14, 2011 11:33:19 AM

Hello, As a former computer applications instructor, I taught word processing, spreadsheet, web page development, and desktop publishing. Another instructor taught computer programming. He also dealt with setting up computer hardware. We both were told to make sure the multiple computers for the students were placed in a room that had air conditioning for optimum computer function.

Is this still true?

The reason I am asking: A computer and printer were purchased in 2007 for our minister. I is housed in a small, separate building that has its own, separate cooling/heating devices. The window ac stopped working the first of June; and the heat has risen to 88 degrees inside on some days. This was not noticed for over a month because the minister retired; and a new minister has just recently been hired. There was friendly discussion when we said that even room temperature was needed for optimum operation of the computer. Does the temperature matter in a room where a computer system is located?

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July 14, 2011 11:50:54 AM

Yes, room temperature matters, but that's not a dangerous temperature (assuming you mean 88 degrees F, not 88 degrees C!).

I wouldn't worry until you start to see temperatures well over 100 F.
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July 14, 2011 11:54:33 AM

The chips inside a PC need cooling or they'll eventually over heat. The chips are usually cooled by passing air over the fins of a heat sink. Physic's says that the rate and efficiency of heat transfer is based on the difference in temperatures of the two mediums. Basically the colder the air in the room the better it cools the PC and various computer equipment.

Now with that being said, this isn't the 80's. Computer chips can run stably at pretty high temperatures, but you still need to cool them. Their effective cooling is limited by the temperature of the air in the room. If it's summer time with high humidity and your playing a video game with a high end GPU, then your system is going to have issues. On the other hand, if your just surfing the web or doing office work then you shouldn't have a problem unless you live in a desert.
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July 14, 2011 12:08:36 PM

Just make sure all fans are functioning correctly and make sure you check them periodically. The higher the ambient temperature, the more important optimal cooling becomes.
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July 14, 2011 4:05:51 PM

To expand on what palladin9479 said. Generally for every 1 F degree increase in ambient temp you can expect about 1.5 F degree increase in CPU temp. For eample CPU @ 35 C and room temp increase 10 F the CPU temp will increase about 10 C. This is up to some point at witch time the delta will increase more , ie 2x then 3 x.

That said. My son has a home office (Costa mesa Ca - NO AC) that he often uses for software/hardware development. The Monitors (about 5 with largest a 30 In and computers (4 - mac and PC). Total cost in excess of 20 grand. During the summer the temp is often 88 F -> slightly above 90F.
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July 14, 2011 5:39:45 PM

skhobbs said:
Hello, As a former computer applications instructor, I taught word processing, spreadsheet, web page development, and desktop publishing. Another instructor taught computer programming. He also dealt with setting up computer hardware. We both were told to make sure the multiple computers for the students were placed in a room that had air conditioning for optimum computer function.

Is this still true?

The reason I am asking: A computer and printer were purchased in 2007 for our minister. I is housed in a small, separate building that has its own, separate cooling/heating devices. The window ac stopped working the first of June; and the heat has risen to 88 degrees inside on some days. This was not noticed for over a month because the minister retired; and a new minister has just recently been hired. There was friendly discussion when we said that even room temperature was needed for optimum operation of the computer. Does the temperature matter in a room where a computer system is located?


Computers generate heat, if you had a computer lab full of students and no air conditioning, everyone would be soaked in sweat. I remember in high school, during the winter, the majority of the building was cold enough I felt the need for a sweat shirt, but I would be sweating in just a tshirt in the computer labs. :lol: 

Honestly a single computer isn't going to be of any concern over heating unless ambient temp is well above human comfort levels, this is of course assuming it has proper airflow and circulation to cool the components.
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July 15, 2011 2:05:51 AM

yes, it needs a cool place, try to install more fan each system unit to avoid overheat...
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July 15, 2011 2:29:14 AM

I've had plenty of workplaces with computers in 85F+. As long as the heatsink and fan are clean the pc should stay cool enough if it's only general usage like browsing or word. Temperature monitoring programs are free to download and use like hwmonitor or realtemp, so if you wanted to know specifically how hot you are getting you could get those.

You could also look at the situation the same for a person. You want to stay cool but can still work just fine when you get hot. But getting too hot and there will be trouble. Although too hot is subjective to people, too hot for computers is objective with a specific temperature of when the computer throttles down or turns itself off.
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