Question

Storing desktop in a large cabinet

So recently I've been considering storing my PC tower in a built in cabinet. Myself and my girlfriend each have a cat, so now we have two of these animals running around, plus the rest of the dust in my house. I cleaned out the inside of my desktop today and I was somewhat appalled at the amount of dust that was inside - putting my PC in a cabinet would definitely help this situation, and although the cabinet is fairly large, I'm still not sure it's a good idea and could use some insight.

The inside of the cabinet is about 4 feet wide, 5 feet tall and 16 inches deep.

One of the walls of this built in cabinet is an outside wall. The house is a few hundred years old and the walls have no insulation, so the inside of the cabinet gets pretty chilly during the winter (probably around 50F) when the doors are closed and our heat can't get in.

The front of the cabinet is two glass doors - I can see inside, but there isn't a way for air to easily enter or exit.

I hope my description of the cabinet wasn't too unclear. So my question is this - if I put my desktop PC in this cabinet, is the cabinet large enough to allow sufficient airflow without the PC overheating? Will it be cool enough during the winter to keep the temp down, or is 50F too cold for a PC to run continuously?

Just a note, I keep my PC running all the time.

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Answer
OK if you watch out for heat.

I'd be very careful about heat and air circulation if you do this. Obviously you'll want a holes in the back for wires (preferably at the bottom), then another one near the top for warm air to escape. You might even consider putting a tiny electric fan inside that cabinet. Finally I'd install something like SpeedFan to keep an eye on temperatures to make sure they don't get too high and damage circuits.
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Good luck.

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Holes and plugs

If I do this I'm actually going to put a plug right inside the cabinet. The cabinet is located adjacent to a closet so it's very easy to get some wiring in there. Also I can run the cords for the keyboard, mouse etc. through that closet to a small hole next to my desk. It's a bit hard to explain but basically the wiring and cords won't be a problem - the only thing I'm worried about is heat. I do have Coretemp installed on my PC already.

I can't really drill any holes in the top of the cabinet because that would go directly into the attic... this cabinet is literally built into the wall of my living room, the house was built in the 1800s. I was thinking about putting a small fan (like a desk fan) at the top of the cabinet to keep air moving. The cabinet is pretty big so the pc wouldn't exactly be in a confined space, but it would not be in an open space.

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Answer
Cooling

Your cabinet is fairly large but even so, the whole idea of cooling is to exchange or make airflow possible. If closed that just isn't going to happen other than inside of cabinet, so you need some vents, for in/out exchange. While during cooler months that may not be so bad, the requirement for air exchange is still valid. if you ever looked at anything that needs to be cooled, there be some active/passive arrangement done for airflow or exchange. If you've experienced entering an auto during the summer months, then you know why air exchange is required. A vent maybe as simple as a screened hole or ducted fan arrangement. Just think in/out in some way to help resolve the cooling issue just like your desktop PC is already been done.

IDEA: Use a dryer vent cut for outside wall exhaust with valve/gate in order to control during winter. Ducted fan arrangement is possible here as well. Though, some inlet from room to enter cabinet still has to be found. If possible make cabinet doors have a gap, even a 1/4in. gap of length of door, COULD be as large as a 4in. hole for a 16in. door.

tada -----Willy Happy

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