Day 247 – Cleaning Inside the Box

I’ve got my Thursday night fun all lined up for me here. Some people go out for dates, drinks or parties… I’m detailing my PC case. To be fair, I don’t think my back/neck/shoulder-complex (the new axis of evil) would allow me to enjoy any of those other options, and in the end this’ll make me back some of the money that has gone into the laptop I’m writing this post on.

I don’t know if there is a better way to do this that I’m not familiar with, but cleaning my PC is a bit of an ordeal. I bought the case 5-6 years ago I think. I bought sturdy and big because once you have a good roomy case you never need another one. And this has proven true for my PC needs. A good case and a good power supply can outlast many re-builds of the internals of a PC and are probably the two elements most worth not skimping on.

On the down-side, a good quality case also has proven to have many awkward nooks and crannies.

It has six 3.5″ internal drive bays arrayed 3-and-3 with a 12″ fan in between. This is great for keeping them cool with solid and quiet airflow. But this also collects tons of very fine dust on both removable drive cages.

Similarly, there is an intake vent that goes *through* my case from side-to-side which has another 12″ fan directed at the GPU slot to get it plenty of fresh outside-the-case-air to keep it working optimally. But again, this ends up with a lot of fine dust inside the case.

And the problem with all of this is… the big plexiglass window in the side of my case showing off all that wonderful dust. I originally wanted a solid case-side, but at the time I wanted it quick and only the model with the window was in stock. It’s a nice marketable detail, but it’s not good for the I-don’t-care-about-dust part of my personality. Because I do care when I can see 2mm of it over all the innards of my case.

I’m not enough of a gamer… or I’m not sufficiently OCD… to actually clean this out with any kind of routine. For the most part I clean when I happen to move the case for some reason or another and wads of dust fall off the sides.

The fateful decision I made to want a whisper-quiet PC also doesn’t help. It has 12″ fans all over the place. From memory there are 5 in total, sucking air through this 11.2kg monstrosity and keeping it so well cooled that on a hot summery day I can cool my legs by resting them against the icy 2mm of aluminium that make up its body.

Yes. It’s a very solid case.

And so well-made. All edges are machined to be rounded, and all the major parts come apart without the use of a screwdriver. It’s a pleasure to open up and work inside. But alas. I’ve come to a point where I’d rather not, and just rely on a ready-made boxed solution that I can comfortably carry around with me. LAN games are fun. Lugging 11kg of aluminium around: less so. And that’s not counting the 27″ Dell monitor that goes with that particular social activity.

No. As much as I’ll miss the beauty of the well-made case, and the promise of infinite upgrade-ability, I am happy with the choice I have made.

Other than the inevitable cleaning inside all those little well-rounded corners.
That I could very easily live without.

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