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Thread: Don't pc fan filters lessen airflow?

  1. #1

    Default Don't pc fan filters lessen airflow?

    I don't use them cause I think they will block airflow somewhat. I've seen many dusty old computers that still work great. Just grab your compressed air once in a while.

  2. #2
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    Depends on the filter type, surface area, and airflow.

    My main machine is housed in a full tower Corsair case with the front being a removable filter and it also have a filter for the power supply that sucks air out the bottom of the case (the case has stands to keep it off the floor). I need to vacuum the front grill once a week or two (cat hair and dust starts showing) and filters don't slow airflow from the 2 x 140MM fans. The PS filter gets cleaned every few months.

    The built in filters are not meant for microscopic dust like say a furnace filer so you still might see a fine layer of dust inside the case over years of use. If I removed the filter the insides would be much worse since hair and larger dust particles will get into the CPU and GPU cooling fans and trap the smaller stuff as well meaning you would need to clean those fans out or stuff starts to overheat and die.
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  3. #3
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    Filters lessen airflow by a very small amount, but accumulated dust inhibits heat removal a lot by comparison, so it's a good tradeoff in the end. As a bonus the filters are generally much easier to clean than the rest of the system; often it can be done without opening the case.

  4. #4
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    It entirely depends on the fan design. If you have a low static pressure fan, even a very coarse foam filter can cause a significant reduction in airflow. Higher static pressure fans will suffer less reduction in airflow and you can use finer filters with them.

    I use these filters to great effect in most of my servers and workstations:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-in-x-1...VENT/100351670

    These catch all but the finest of particles of dust, which makes dust buildup take a very long time. When it is time to dust them out, you have less of the hard to remove dust and most just blows away.

  5. #5

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    Even a small amount of dust can insulate a heated device. As gigabit says, it is better to keep the dust off than to have too much dust on the part you are trying to cool.
    Dwight

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    My rackmount cases use a filter that occupies approximately 2/3" of a 4U panel. Has 2 fans behind it.

  7. #7
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    I have a fractal meshify case (circa 2017)... takes under 30seconds to remove all the air filters. My Antec 300 (circa 200 took a bit longer, maybe 5 minutes (have to remove some panels, etc). I don't have CFM numbers, but I'm quite sure the Fractal does better than cases from 10+ years ago.

    Seems more for modern cases, we can afford to take the CFM hit. And its far more efficient to clean the air filters than taking using the old fashioned can of air.

  8. #8
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    The whole point of newer cases is to be quiet while having great airflow, things old cases with 80mm fans were not good at.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

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