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The Graphics Card That Cleans Itself

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 72 comments

Dust-Be-Gone!

Dust inside your graphics card can be a real killer. Not only can built up dust reduce heatsink and fan performance, but continued accumulation over time can lead to a total failure of a part.

MSI claims it can solve this issue. The company's latest graphics cards are starting to sport what it calls "Dust Removal Tech." Clear and simple! Essentially what happens is that when you start up your computer, the graphics card will operate its fans in reverse mode, pulling air away from the heatsink instead of blowing air onto it. This reverse fan movement is suppose to draw out clogged up dust.

Unfortunately, the air and dust gets blown back into your PC. At this point, one will be hoping that any aux fans or the PSU will be able to remove the dust from the system. After 30-seconds, the graphics card will switch to normal mode.

We can see this possibly working if you turn off your computer after each use, but most tend to leave their computers on for long periods of time. Some users never turn off their computers at all.

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  • 33 Hide
    Marco925 , June 1, 2011 6:12 PM
    it's a step, i'll give them credit.
  • 27 Hide
    segio526 , June 1, 2011 6:26 PM
    Dyson needs to design a computer case with quiet cyclone technology. It could have a canister in one of the 5.25 drive bays that gets dumped out every few days...
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2011 6:16 PM
    Glad to see this issue start to be addressed. It's very common and a pain for nearly everyone. This really should be applied to laptop fans as well.
Other Comments
  • 33 Hide
    Marco925 , June 1, 2011 6:12 PM
    it's a step, i'll give them credit.
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2011 6:16 PM
    Glad to see this issue start to be addressed. It's very common and a pain for nearly everyone. This really should be applied to laptop fans as well.
  • -6 Hide
    Yuka , June 1, 2011 6:16 PM
    I'm no expert in cooling here, but 30 seconds could be a long time for the Video Card to have it's cooling capabilities reduced... I mean, since you're making the air go out, I'm guessing the airflow won't be enough to keep the card cooled of at startup (100% clocks and mem).

    Anyone knows if my supposition is correct or not? :p 

    Anyway, it seems like a nice try to solve that simple irritating little problem :p 

    Cheers!
  • 4 Hide
    icemunk , June 1, 2011 6:16 PM
    only if it were that simple..
  • 1 Hide
    kalogagatya , June 1, 2011 6:22 PM
    its a clever idea but not really a necessity.. as long as all the case's intake fans have a filter (which is easily done..) there will be no dust on the graphics card..:) 
  • 27 Hide
    segio526 , June 1, 2011 6:26 PM
    Dyson needs to design a computer case with quiet cyclone technology. It could have a canister in one of the 5.25 drive bays that gets dumped out every few days...
  • 10 Hide
    therandomuser , June 1, 2011 6:37 PM
    Make it so that the fan will do the cleaning after a long/set amount of time at idle. That will allow people like me who leave their PCs on to have that sweet looking tech.
  • 1 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , June 1, 2011 6:41 PM
    I never turn my PC off. Good idea though.

    Edit:
    Not entirely true. I turn it off to take it apart and clean it with an air compressor.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2011 6:43 PM
    YukaI'm no expert in cooling here, but 30 seconds could be a long time for the Video Card to have it's cooling capabilities reduced.

    Yeah, but I'm sure there's a sensor so that if the core starts being loaded the card will bail out of the reverse mode and switch to normal operation. Or if there isn't some MSI engineers need to grab some frisbees and commit seppuku.
  • 9 Hide
    jojesa , June 1, 2011 6:45 PM
    You might need a lot more than reversing the movement of a fan to remove stuck dust on a PC component.
  • 0 Hide
    Soul_keeper , June 1, 2011 6:47 PM
    For those of us that average a reboot once every 90+ days this might not be useful.
    Also if there is humidity involved I question if the dust would be so easily dislodged.
  • 4 Hide
    lamorpa , June 1, 2011 6:50 PM
    YukaI'm no expert in cooling here, but 30 seconds could be a long time for the Video Card to have it's cooling capabilities reduced...

    No problem whatsoever. The thermal mass of the heat sink can easily absorb this heat if it starts out at room temperature.
  • -9 Hide
    elcentral , June 1, 2011 6:53 PM
    si for 90% of radeons cards this will not work right, seens they gor like a centrifuge sounds like a air ship going of. good cooling at the prise of loud
  • 2 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , June 1, 2011 7:00 PM
    YukaI'm no expert in cooling here, but 30 seconds could be a long time for the Video Card to have it's cooling capabilities reduced... I mean, since you're making the air go out, I'm guessing the airflow won't be enough to keep the card cooled of at startup (100% clocks and mem).Anyone knows if my supposition is correct or not? Anyway, it seems like a nice try to solve that simple irritating little problem Cheers!

    Since this is only used (as far as I know) on their Twin Frozr III heatsink, I'd day that it can nearly run cooler than a reference cooler with the fan in reverse ALL THE TIME, let alone just for 30 seconds to clean itself. Now, that was an exaggeration... or maybe not... but either way, you get the point. The Frozr III cooler should be more than capable of handling things. :D 
    /MSI Fanboy
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , June 1, 2011 7:01 PM
    I just vacuum my PCs every few month...
  • 5 Hide
    razor512 , June 1, 2011 7:01 PM
    The only problem is that most dust that builds up on a heatsink tends to also get heated and in tern caked onto the heatsink,making it hard for even a vacuum cleaner hose or can of compressed air to remove, so imagine how well a weak fan will do.

  • 4 Hide
    clonazepam , June 1, 2011 7:05 PM
    Like someone else said, a good air compressor is a worthwhile investment. Every homeowner should have one anyway for their vehicles, great for general cleaning up around the garage, and tools like nail guns.

    I use my compressor regularly for cleaning up the pc and components. Several models are available and small enough for apartments as well.

    If moisture is a concern, there's an attachment to your compressor's hose that catches any outgoing moisture.

    Where I live, you have to either cover your car, or wash it 3x a day just to keep it nice. Even with filters on the intakes, it still gets in there.

    Unless MSI's system is really quiet, you won't be impressing anyone when you start up your pc. You might scare them instead hehehe
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 1, 2011 7:09 PM
    Agreed, it won't remove baked on dust, just a marketing ploy. Takes all of 10 minutes to do a thorough HSF removal and deep cleaning followed by TIM replacement.
  • 2 Hide
    icebug , June 1, 2011 7:22 PM
    Seriously, with SSD tech where it is now my computer cold boots in less than 45 seconds. I turn my computer off at night when I'm sleeping and then turn it on when I wake up. By the time I get back from the bathroom I'm good to go. just because the air is moving in a different direction doesnt mean it wont be providing some airflow for the cooler still though, that's actually half the idea of course...
  • 0 Hide
    Khimera2000 , June 1, 2011 7:30 PM
    I have to say that he hit the nail on the head... I don't turn my computer off much. I think it only happens when an update asks for it, or when the power goes out... Both of whitch have become rare these days.

    Would be better if it picked up on a point where the thermals where low and reversed based on a daily time, or something like that...
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