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Post-Build Static Electricity Risks

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Last response: in Systems
January 25, 2013 5:17:03 AM

So I have this question that's been nagging at me whilst I prepare to build my first gaming computer: I live in an apartment building (mostly carpet in my apartment, save for the kitchen, bathroom, and front closet) where there seems to be a great deal of static. It doesn't exactly help that it's very warm, so I usually keep a window open most of the time (even in the winter, when it can be easily -15C, meaning the air can become very dry... and static-y).

So, naturally, I'm concerned about my new computer and static electricity. Especially since I have a cat that loves to rub his statically charged furry self all over everything. So I guess my question is this: Just how well will a case (assuming it's mostly metal) protect my components from static electricity?

I mean, the problem can't be that bad, since I'm writing this from a computer (2008 MacBook, white plastic enclosure) in my apartment right now, and my cat has been rubbing himself all over me and my computer. But that said, my computer's performance has only been getting more abysmal lately. Of course, it is 5 years old...

What are people's thoughts? As someone who wishes he had a better grasp on the tenets of static electricity, I would think that a conductive (steel or aluminum?) case with rubber feet and a PSU connected to an outlet with a grounding wire would mean that I don't really have to worry. Would I be wrong? Do I need to keep my new build elevated somewhere my cat can't rub all over it?

*Side note: I'm aware of the risks associated with static when building. I plan to build in my kitchen, keep my cat locked out, and take several precautions against static (regularly grounding via faucet, wearing a rubber bracelet, etc.).

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January 25, 2013 10:48:24 PM

You don't have to worry about static electricity after the build. The voltage is minimal and is easily dissipated. Even during building it's not much of a concern. I'd be more concerned with your cat's hair getting all up in my computer :p  Get filters on your intake fans.
January 27, 2013 7:03:25 PM

Best answer selected by SyntaxSocialist.
January 27, 2013 7:05:04 PM

Thanks, crewton :)  Indeed, the cat hair is a concern, and I'll be making the presence of or potential for installation of dust (or in this case hair) filters a major priority in choosing a case.