using a cold computer

October 9, 2005 at 06:29:38
Specs: XP Home, 3.2 ghz / 1.5 gig

Is there such thing as computers running too cold? Is it bad on them? My processor is running at 62 deg and my mobo is at 58 deg right now. My current room temperature is 52 deg. Yes 52 deg. I aint got any heat, just my electric blanket which I'm wrapped up in right now.

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October 9, 2005 at 06:43:43

You have nothing to worry about

Athlon XP 1800+
8.5 x 200MHz
1024MB PC3200 2.5-3-3-7
Asus A9550GE/TD 128MB
WinME/WinXP Pro SP2

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October 9, 2005 at 08:16:24

Cold will not effect the electronics of the pc unless the temp is so cold that the elctrolyte in the capacitors freeze, you cant get it that cold. But on the other hand cold can effect anything mechanical such as all drives and fans. But we are talking extreme cold like well below the 0 maybe mark. Of course you would be a popcicle sitting there trying to use it :)

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October 9, 2005 at 09:23:28

you are good, it'll actually be better than higher temps.

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Related Solutions

October 9, 2005 at 09:36:17

""But we are talking extreme cold like well below the 0 maybe mark""

I disagree completely. Starting a cold computer from a COLD START that is much below, say (pick a figure) 40F is probably not a good idea on a regular basis, and with some hard drives, the temperature may tend to be a lot warmer than 40F. the fact is, the bearings in a hard drive were never designed to operate at that temperature, and (at least on older drives) the head alignment at colder temps WAS certainly a real issue.

If your room is cool, as you say, and you leave the machine ON full time, the heat from the machine itself and the head generated by the drives themselves will keep the HDD's warm enough.

One thing you might do, if you are forced into a situation like this (starting a cold machine often) would be to make sure that you force the machine into the bios/setup, and let it idle there for a few minutes. This will allow the drives to spin and generate som warmth.

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October 9, 2005 at 12:20:56

Leaving the machine on 24/7 in a situation like you have might be adviseable. Heating and cooling causes condensation, which might cause some problems.

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October 9, 2005 at 14:38:25

How's that for conflicting opinions??!!

Modern electronics are designed to work in a reasonable temperature range - we don't all live in 68degree air-conditioned surroundings - they do use PCs in Iceland I believe!

Cool computers do run better - hence the use of liquid/gaseous cooling systems. If you have a system which runs stable and doesn't display problems with overheating then don't worry about it & consider yourself fortunate. Power supplies, by their nature, will always produce heat; CPUs will do the same - neither is damaged by being (within reason) too cool and the small amount of condensation that may be produced will have no effect. You obviously don't need any extra fans & the only other moving part is the hard drive which is totally sealed & will also run better when cool.

In your current situation I'd probably recommend leaving your PC on 24/7 (if you can get used to the noise) in order to provide a little extra warmth, (Where are you incidentally?)

"I know that I'm mad - I've always been mad..."

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October 9, 2005 at 14:55:15

All electronics devices (caps, chips, resistors, transistors, etc...) come with a temperature rating. Most of these solid state devices have ratings that go as low as -25 degrees C or so. (I live in a cold climate area and the onboard computers in the cars still function with no problems at -40C).

But as NAME quite correctly said above, the mechanical items start to have trouble at the lower temps, as well as LCD displays. The LCD's are pretty useless at about -15C or better.

But low temps are not to worry about unless you are talking zub zero... +40F is still a walk in the park for a computer.

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October 9, 2005 at 16:19:29

Well when winter gets here and when the temperature gets below 0 deg wouldn't the heat from the psu cause moisture on the mother board or other stuff inside when the heat and the extreme cold come together?

I'm from northwest ohio and can't afford my gas bill (gas was shut off last spring...I still owe over $2000)

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October 9, 2005 at 17:16:48

Contrary to popular belief, condensation isn't really a big issue with most electronic devices. Firstly, there is moisture with condensation but not enough actual water to cause problems. Secondly, There is a plastic coating sprayed to the backside of the PC board where water CAN do serious damage. All PC boards are done this way not only to protect from moisture but also to protect the copper traces from oxidizing over time with simple air.

You have to get a PC board pretty wet in order to cause problems. How many times have you used a camera in the winter and then brought it inside... wiped the condensation from the lens, and used it again...

Condensation over time however, will start to cause some oxidizing in the unprotected areas like the contacts in the various plugs and connectors for example.

If you have a CRT display on the other hand... this could be a problem. The operation of a CRT includes some high voltage wiring, and it doesn't take a lot of moisture to see sparks jump... kind of like a spark plug on your car.

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October 9, 2005 at 21:31:32

Your processor is running at 62 degrees? Is that fahrenheit or celsius? For fahrenheit that seems incredibly low. For celsius I think it's too hot.

I think you're using a fahrenheit room temp and a celsius cpu temp. 62 celsius is a toasty 144 fahrenheit.

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