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Computers in Hot Weather
Thread poster: NR_Stedman
NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:56
French to English
Aug 12, 2009

My air conditioning system has broken down and Italy being on holiday for the next week I can't (so far) get anyone to repair it. My room temperature is 34°C. Could someone advise me if I'm taking any risk for my computer working at that temperature and if there are any simple ways of improving things (NB I've been on holiday for the last 3 weeks so please don't advise me to take another week off!)

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asyouwish_dew  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:56
Member (2009)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Reschedule your working time Aug 12, 2009

You can work at night and sleep at daytime... : P

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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:56
English to Serbian
+ ...
Depends Aug 12, 2009

Not necessarily, it depends. The best idea would be to check your computer's temperature and to see whether everything is alright or no. There are many tools for that, this is one of them (it's free):

http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php


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Mihail M Mateev
Bulgaria
Local time: 22:56
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Do not overuse the computer Aug 12, 2009

NR_Stedman wrote:

My air conditioning system has broken down and Italy being on holiday for the next week I can't (so far) get anyone to repair it. My room temperature is 34°C. Could someone advise me if I'm taking any risk for my computer working at that temperature and if there are any simple ways of improving things (NB I've been on holiday for the last 3 weeks so please don't advise me to take another week off!)


Work as much as needed on the computer, the hardware should maintain well at least until 45C. But do not play games on it, do not render CAD, etc. - do not do hardware intensive works on it, because the processor and the videocard will deliver more heat inside the box. Just do your job and do not overuse it.


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Andrea Brumma
Spain
Local time: 21:56
English to German
+ ...
The right location and maintenance are important Aug 12, 2009

This should help: Make sure that your PC isn’t directly exposed to the sun and that the air can circulate freely around it (if it is placed below your desk or many things are stacked around it, you should move it to an open space). Clean the fans inside the computer from dust and debris so that they will work properly. If you have a fan, you could place it near your desk to keep yourself and your PC cool. When you don’t need your PC, shut it down.

Best,
Andrea


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:56
English to Czech
+ ...
Open your computer case Aug 12, 2009

My computer was overheating when it was really hot here and I was opening a large PPT file in TagEditor, which gives the CPU a really hard time. I know it because my computer is set to sound an alarm when the CPU temperature reaches certain level.

As a quick solution, you can simply open your computer case (unless you are sure it is ventilated very well and unless you are using a laptop, of course). Make sure not to touch anything inside! Google "how to open a computer case" if you need help.


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Cristina intern  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 21:56
Member (2008)
German to Italian
+ ...
Top 8 Tips for Using Laptops in Hot & Warm Weather Aug 12, 2009

Personal suggestion: do not spend all day home, close the windows during the day and open them in the early morning and in the evening.


Top 8 Tips for Using Laptops in Hot & Warm Weather:


1. Safe Temperature Range
Most laptop computers operate properly in the safe temperature range of 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 35 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind that when bringing a laptop in from the warm hot air, the laptop must cool down to the interior temperature before you use it. By the same token if you use your laptop outdoors, then let the laptop warm up to the outside temperature before starting it up.


2. Hot Cars
Just as you wouldn’t leave people or animals in a car in hot weather, you should not leave your laptop and other mobile gear either. Leaving your laptop closed in a vehicle in hot temperatures will cause damage to your laptop. The heat is not good for the internal components or the external casings.


3. Bright Sun
Never leave your laptop where it is exposed to direct sunlight, whether it is in use or shut down. If you must use your laptop outside in bright conditions you can use either:
a laptop glare screen which cuts down on the glare caused by the sun
a laptop hood which cuts down on the amount of light directed at the laptop display.


4. Humidity
In warm weather people are fond of saying it’s not the heat itself that bothers them but the dreaded humidity. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air and the recommended safe range of relative humidity is 10-80%. Moisture can cause damage to the internal components of a laptop and you may not even realize that the damage has occurred.


5. Take it Out
If you use your laptop in hot temperatures consider using a removable hard drive to store your data on. This way you can help protect your data and ensure that your removable hard drive stays protected from exposure to heat and the sun.
More: External Storage Options


6. Weather Watching
In warm, hot weather there are more storms, often with little or no warning and more severe weather occurrences which mobile professionals must face when traveling. Equipment to help protect your mobile gear includes having surge protectors, power invertors and spare batteries. External battery charges that don’t require an electrical connection are another wise investment.
More: Protecting Your Mobile Gear


7. Keep it Cool
Use a laptop stand to disperse heat that your laptop generates. Laptop stands are available in a variety of styles to suit your working needs. There are laptop stands which include fans to help dissipate the heat and keep your laptop working at its best.
More: Laptop Desks & Laptop Stands


8. Pack it Wisely
Using a properly fitted and well-padded laptop case for your mobile gear will help keep it insulated against heat, moisture and direct sunlight. When buying your laptop case make sure all your mobile gear will fit securely and be protected from the effects of weather.

[Edited at 2009-08-12 12:41 GMT]


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Vladimir Shapovalov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:56
Member (2003)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Laptop cooler really helps (if your PC is a laptop) Aug 13, 2009

I have been using a laptop cooler for at least 2-3 years and they really help. They manage to increase the performance of the old laptops I have (which tend to heat up really fast and hense slow down performing operations) and their fans can be powered through the laptop's USB port.

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Paul Carmichael  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:56
Spanish to English
Bad idea Aug 13, 2009

Hynek Palatin wrote:

As a quick solution, you can simply open your computer case (unless you are sure it is ventilated very well and unless you are using a laptop, of course). Make sure not to touch anything inside! Google "how to open a computer case" if you need help.


Computer cases are designed to have an airflow. The PSU/case fan pulls air past everything else. If one opens the case, this flow is lost. So just make sure air can get in and the fans etc. are all clean and functioning. Also, I believe a decent operating system will control the speed of the CPU fan and/or case fan according to load and temperature.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Member (2004)
English to Italian
my tip Aug 13, 2009

open the case and place a fan close to it... not pointing directly into the PC, but close...

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NR_Stedman  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:56
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all your tips Aug 13, 2009

Many thanks for all the answers. I have purchased a special stand for my laptop with an incorporated fan and will follow much of the above advice.

(Concerning the use of a fan though I have read that fanning lowers body temperature because of sweat but that an external fan has no effect on computer processors. )

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

open the case and place a fan close to it... not pointing directly into the PC, but close...


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Member (2004)
English to Italian
well.. Aug 13, 2009

a fan will lower the room temperature, allowing the PC to work in cooler conditions, whilst not getting as hot... and if it's a laptop, forget about opening the case...

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
French to English
+ ...
Battery saving settings Aug 13, 2009

I assume you're talking about a laptop - you didn't mention it initially. Any settings that your computer has that enable it to save battery power (turning down display brightness, optimising hard disk access, slowing the processor etc) will have the side-effect of lowering the temperature at which the computer operates, as I understand it. All these settings can be altered together on my computer, so perhaps they can on yours.

I second the advice to monitor the computer temperature, which I understand can be done quite easily.

Alternatively, I'd suggest booking a cheap flight to the UK and staying with friends/relatives and using libraries for a couple of weeks - it hasn't been much above 20 degrees here all summer and I don't envisage it getting any hotter


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xxxAguas de Mar
Just learned something new! Aug 13, 2009

Vladimir Shapovalov wrote:

I have been using a laptop cooler for at least 2-3 years and they really help. They manage to increase the performance of the old laptops I have (which tend to heat up really fast and hense slow down performing operations) and their fans can be powered through the laptop's USB port.


I had never heard of these gadgets. Never knew they existed. Had been placing the border of my laptop on top of my Portuguese dictionary to create a space between its bottom and the desk, and let some air flow by, but these things seem more sophisticated, even though some models are a bit pricey, they are not a bad idea!


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Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 04:56
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Ha Sep 2, 2009

You are working in a temperature of of 34C and worrying about your computer not you yourself?

Using a big fan is the best solution. Soon you will envy your cool and quiet computer while you are soaked in sweat.


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