Best Way to Keep Computer Room/Studio Cool

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by 88keys, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. 88keys

    88keys Golden Member

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    I'm using a spare bedroom for my computer/music studio and with all of these electronics on at one time it can get pretty warm in here which sometimes feels like about 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house.

    I have 2 PCs, 3 LCD monitors, a NAS, 2 (piano) keyboards, 1 amplifier and 1 mixer all in a 10x12' room.

    I have central HVAC and all vents are in the floor.

    I'm think I can install a celing fan and have it draw the air from the floor that it could make the room cooler.

    Would that work? Are there any better, more effective solutions?
     
  2. Ken g6

    Ken g6 Programming Moderator, Elite Member
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    A fan has to get cool air from somewhere and blow hot air somewhere. A ceiling fan might work if it can blow air out the door. Likewise, a fan on the floor outside the room could blow cool air into the room.

    Moving air can also make you feel cooler, if the actual temperature of the room doesn't matter.
     
  3. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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    Consider closing the heating register. Crack a window?
     
  4. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    You have to cycle air out of the room.

    Are any of the computer equipment due for an upgrade anytime soon? There may be chances to lower the heat output, such as consolidating devices, using LED backlit LCD monitors, more efficient hardware, etc.

    Back when I was running an overclocked Core i7 975 and two GTX 285 in SLI, my computer room was super warm even in Winter. Currently on an overclocked Sandy Bridge with one GTX 560 Ti and the room is only a bit warmer.
     
  5. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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  6. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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    Also what Zap said.

    The new 22nm Ivy i7-3770s paired with a 28nm HD-7850 draws under 200 watts while gaming or crunching BOINC projects.

    As efficient as the new computer is it still heats up the room running BOINC 24/7 so I got the window air unit linked above.
     
  7. Blain

    Blain Lifer

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    The most effective thing you can do costs you $0... Turn off unused components.
     
  8. piasabird

    piasabird Lifer

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    Air return Vent.

    Well they make some portable air conditioning units. That might be something to look into. Of course that may do a number on your electric bill. Our computer server room at work has 2 air conditioners, just for one room.

    Other than maybe putting the computers in the closet, I dont have much of a suggestion. If you had a basement maybe you could put an intake fan through the floor or at floor level and have an exhaust fan that goes out the window. Air at floor level is normally the coolest.

    http://www.amazon.com/Room---Room-Fa...ir+Conditioner

    However, you may not want extra fan noise. I could imagine something like a bathroom exhaust fan.
     
    #8 piasabird, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  9. dave_the_nerd

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    It's December, so I'm going with "close heater vent and open window as needed."

    Worry about buying an A/C unit in the spring.
     
  10. dbcooper1

    dbcooper1 Senior member

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    I make seasonal adjustments to make sure my computer room has the vents fully open and a few others partially open during the Summer and do the reverse during Winter and that has been effective for some time now in equalizing the heat and cool. Since I'm in Texas, I usually shut them completely during the Winter and it's still plenty warm in here.
     
  11. 88keys

    88keys Golden Member

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    Yeah thats what i do now, but that won't work in the summer time lol
    [/QUOTE]
    Perhaps. My NAS and keyboards are both passivly cooled. so they're not an issue. My 2 PCs are running an old i3 and a C2D E8500 which is somewhat dated. My LCDs on the other hand could use an uprgrade. I have a 22" and 2x 24" LCDs which I'm sure attributes to alot of it. Another thing is my mixer is pretty old and gets pretty damn hot.

    The thing is I would like to pay a little more off on the CC before I start spending again.
    However, 24" LEDs are pretty cheap these days and my monitors are all 5+ years old. I suppose replacing at least 2 of them would reduce the temps quite a bit. I know I have some Best Buy gift cards coming to me for XMAS so maybe I could get all 3 of them replaced and sell the old ones on eBay to help pay for it all and I shouldnt be setting myself too far back.



    But I'm 'working' I'm usually using everything or almost everything.
     
  12. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Yes, replacing with LED backlit monitors would reduce heat output. My old Soyo Topaz S monitor used to get crazy hot. I picked up a thin HP LED backlit monitor recently and I'm not even sure it gets warm. I think the rated power draw is around 1/3.

    What do you use the two computers for? The Core 2 Duo probably uses more power for the amount of work it does. You can replace it with a Pentium G2120 which is a dual core Ivy Bridge, and get lower heat output plus higher performance. What other parts are in it? An older computer may not have an efficient PSU, so if it isn't at least 80Plus rated then consider a new PSU as well. Then maybe upgrade the old i3 with the next gen CPU.
     
  13. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

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    Less of an issue than the PCs, maybe, but passively cooled just means they don't make noise (I'm assuming keyboard as in musical instrument, not PC input device). An overwhelming majority of power being used is getting converted into heat, and then transferred to the air. You can consume less power, move the warm air, or make a few extra swipes with your deodorant in the morning :).
     
  14. 88keys

    88keys Golden Member

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    I have one PC at the music workstation where that is used to play drum beats, read sheet music, and record music.

    The main PC (sig) is used for mixing, editing and composing midi and drum beats and stuff. (having the 2 larger monitors aids in this task) I also play games with it.

    I suppose it could be consolidated to one PC, but the way things are set up at my music workstation, running a PC is rather uncomfortable for long periods of time. The only thing I do on the PC are tasks that require very little effort.
     
  15. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    I just had a thought. Heat output is pretty directly related to power draw. Consider buying a Kill-A-Watt power meter (or similar device). The cheapest models have been on sale as low as around $16. They plug into your wall outlet (or surge strip) and you plug whatever device you want into it. It will then tell you how many watts the device is using. This can help you identify which device you want to replace first.

    What games do you play? Gaming graphics cards can add a bit of heat, so if you are able to consolidate all your music stuff into one computer, then have a second one for gaming that you shut off when not using.
     
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