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I don't have anywhere else that I can store my upcoming gaming PC and the only place suitable (And big enough) right now is an enclosed wooden cabinet. (It opens via a door.) I've asked around and some people have said that it would be unwise to store a desktop inside a confined environment.

I will be opening the door though when the PC is in operation - would this be fine, or would the air circulation still be too low (And risk high dust accumulation, overheating of parts, ...)? The back part of the cabinet is sealed (With only a small 10 diameter hole for wires and such at the back.) with only the swinging door.

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Is there more than one 'hole' in the cabinet that would allow for air to be properly vented? –  Lunatik Mar 22 '11 at 13:13
    
No - the only large opening is the front swinging door of the cabinet. –  JFW Mar 23 '11 at 4:42
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4 Answers

To keep the PC cool you need to ensure adequate airflow.

If you can guarantee that you will keep the cabinet door open while the PC is in use then the best thing to do would to either take the back of the cabinet off or make larger holes in it so that the air isn't impeded.

If the back is needed to impart strength to the cabinet then you could replace it with a metal mesh or a wood panel similar to those used on radiator covers.

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I would find a drill and put a series of holes in the cabinet to allow airflow. Specifically, place holes near where the power supply exhaust fan will be located and near where the bottom front of the case (cool air intake) will be located. A few holes on top (if possible) would be nice as well. And if you really want to do this right, find a way to mount a fan over one set. What you're going for is something like this:

Ventilation holes

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I would replace the back with a piece of stiff metal mesh as ChrisF suggested. If possible, I would also cut out a piece of the side of the cabinet and do the same.

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If you let the door open while using the PC, a small fan behind the PC to flow the air out of the cabinet and letting the PC open (without the cover) would be sufficient in my opinion. This depends mainly on where you live and what is the average temperature in the room. I live in a place where I frequently can measure above 30oC in the room and I've no problem of overheating PCs provided the heat dissipator of the cpu is clean. Letting the PC open is not very good for dust but with the machine inside the cabinet, I guess it will be more protected and you'll only have to check and clean the heat dissipator if needed.

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