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I recently moved into an apartment building that has a small study with a built-in desk. My tower is now played beneath the desk in a very tight spot. I'm not sure how much ventilation it gets, but I know that the area does get rather warm.

This has me worried about potential long-term effects this placement may have on my machine. Where is the best place to position a tower for long-term performance, and how can I determine whether my environment is conducive to keeping my machine operating well?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Dust and ventilation are going to be your biggest concerns. If you can mitigate those, everything else will be pretty much window dressing.

One thing some people don't think about is noise. If possible, you may want to keep it from surfaces which cause a lot of sound when vibrating.

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+1 for the noise comment! – Andy Mikula Jul 16 '09 at 18:56
  • Keep plenty of breathing room around the sides of the box (at least 3-6 inches).
  • Hardwood flooring or an elevated "pc stand" is best, avoid carpeting (collects dust/heat).

If those aren't viable options, and you gotta keep the PC cramped in there, put a box fan on the floor next to it. Face it away from the PC so it moves the hot air away and draws in cool air from around the desk; this also prevents the fan from blowing dust at your computer.

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