Questions about airflow and dust plus advice on parts for new PC build

David is in the process of building a new gaming PC and has questions regarding airflow, dust, and more.

Question by David from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by in Computer Systems on Tue, Apr 27 2021 7:07 PM CDT

Hey, I am a massive fan of your work, and I'm looking forward to my first build.

  • Motherboard - £350 ROG STRIX Z590-E GAMING WIFI
  • CPU - £300 10700k
  • GPU - £530 EVGA 3070
  • Memory - £240 2x 16GB DDR4 3733Hz Kingston DUAL
  • Storage - £370 ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 2TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe
  • Power Supply - £200 BE QUIET! STRAIGHT POWER 11 1000W 80 PLUS PLATINUM
  • CPU Cooler - £90 Noctua NH-D15

I'm worried about overheating and dust accumulation which could damage the build. Here I believe the ease of cleaning dust is my paramount concern while buying a case while still wanting excellent airflow. Having looked at the cases so far, I'm unsure which you would recommend for 1. Ease of cleaning and 2. Thermal performance.

I'm thinking of using a positive pressure high intake through filters and 6 Noctua fans 4 in 2 out (in on the front (3) and bottom (1) and out at the rear and top) to get rid of heat. This means I'll be needing to clean those intake filters regularly to stop any potential dust build-up. Can you recommend a case for me?

I also am a bit unsure about power supplies; I'd be looking at 1000W to overcompensate and keep the system as quiet as possible so the PSU fan doesn't ramp up too much. With the fan configuration described, would the PSU be pushing hot air back over the GPU and motherboard? Should I reconsider this part of the build?

I finally thought of duct taping the empty rear PCI extension covers at the back inside and out to stop dust from getting in. Is this wise? Hope to hear from you.

Hi David,

Congrats on the first build! To address the first part of your concern above, the best weapon against overheating and dust accumulation will be a small air compressor or canned air, blowing out the chassis every month or two. There have been countless articles showing neither positive nor negative airflow shows a substantial difference in the amount of dust that makes a home in the chassis.

Questions about airflow and dust plus advice on parts for new PC build 1 | TweakTown.com

As far as cleaning and airflow go, I don't have a ton of experience here as I haven't used a chassis in years, but research shows the Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX and Corsair 4000D airflow are two of the best ATX options right now.

As for the power supply, I have no qualms with you going for a 1000W Platinum-rated power supply; it's one of the most essential parts of the PC. That said, you may be able to get by with 850W assuming you aren't upgrading GPUs in the near future. As for the PSU dumping heat into the chassis, you should orient the PSU fan down in the chassis, so it pulls air from under the chassis and pushes it out the back.

As for the build, it's solid top to bottom, but you should consider 11700K over 10700K because you are already buying a Z590 motherboard and the XPG Gammix S70 is a Gen4 NVMe. Why not take full advantage of the platform and the drive you are buying?

Another thing, on the Gammix S70, it runs hot, as seen in our review, so you will want to keep an eye on the temps and adjust airflow as needed. I would also consider leaving the stock heat sink on the drive rather than using the motherboard NVMe heat sink capabilities.

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