Could anything go wrong when cleaning the gpu with compressed air?

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by rachunekprawdopodobi, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. rachunekprawdopodobi

    rachunekprawdopodobi New Member

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    Hello everyone. Recently I decided to finally clean my PC. I disconnected everything, turned off the psu, disconnected cables and took out the GPU. I started to spray the gpu with compressed air, after i finished with the gpu i started to spray the remaining parts inside of the case. I assembled everything back together and everything works fine, but my OCD triggers and I just can't stop thinking that I could damage the GPU somehow. And now my question: If I theoretically would damage some part of the gpu (ex capacitor, or something else) would it still work like it used to? The temps are the same, I didn't notice any differences in performance, the max fps in gta benchmark dropped but this could be to other driver/older windows installation as of now, and the clocks are also boosting to the same frequency. My OCD just triggers me that I could have damaged some of the parts on the gpu and the performance could suffer from it .... If something could be wrong how could I know this, without having anything to compare to before i cleaned the pc.


    I mean what else can I check to know that that card is working fine, in some games with vsync on you get fps drops to 55 fps, but I was reading somewhere that this is normal due to how vsync works. When i disable vsync i can get even 100+ fps, and no drops below 60. What would be the symptoms of damaged parts on the gpu pcb? freezes, big fps drops?

    I guess dropping frames sometimes to 45-50 in some scenarios isn't hardware issue, just because the driver was telling to pull less power, and then rapidly for a second he needed more power
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  2. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    Not that I know of but I'm kinda curious now too but the only thing I have read about is that LED's might be a bit problematic if you use compressed air on the fans and those speed up beyond supported speeds but I do not know if that's still accurate and putting some light pressure on the fan blade or blades as you blow through the GPU or CPU cooler should prevent any problems.

    Sometimes water condense also tends to form from these but I don't think it's more than a drop at most so it shouldn't be a huge issue either, unless you disassemble the entire GPU cooler for a thorough cleaning perhaps including changing that paste on the chip itself. (Which helps for both the GPU and CPU even if it's just a small reduction in heat.)

    For damage? It depends but stability issues should manifest pretty quickly if you do damage some of the components since they're all important but I doubt you can blow them off just like that either, static electricity can be one thing but compressed air should be OK and it really gets rid of some of the dust buildup on fans that can otherwise be tricky to get at short of a full disassembly.


    EDIT: I would just keep using the system as usual and if everything is OK after a few days then there shouldn't be any problems though you could do more stress tests and benchmark runs too if you want to push the hardware a bit further.
     
  3. rachunekprawdopodobi

    rachunekprawdopodobi New Member

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    Hello JonasBeckman, thanks for your reply and sorry for poor grammar.

    Like I said the system works stable like it did before the cleaning, I was running furmark and prime95 for few minutes.

    The one difference I could check was the gta V benchmark, but after checking a few other benchmarks it comes out that the new benchmark has better min and avg fps, the max fps was just lower but that could be due to driver updates and os being slower from usage.

    "For damage? It depends but stability issues should manifest pretty quickly if you do damage some of the components since they're all important but I doubt you can blow them off just like that either, static electricity can be one thing but compressed air should be OK and it really gets rid of some of the dust buildup on fans that can otherwise be tricky to get at short of a full disassembly."

    Yeah I was thinking that If I would damage for example some volt regulation chip, the clocks/temps wouldn't be the same and they system could be instable.

    I started to think more about this because like I wrote earlier the random vsync drops, which I assume ar normal, the gpu was using less power and then rapidly it needed to get more power so some frames dropped.

    I never OC'd gpu or cpu, but I was reading that bad OC could lead to freezes/big frame drops which don't occure on my system only the vsync ones(damaging some part could maybe lead to some similar behaviour), and of course it depends on the game how it is optimised and how are the drivers controlling stuff. For example gta V on almost max settings, disabling shadows and lowering aa on 80+ fps or titanfall 2 on ultra+triple buffering on 70ish fps, while nier automata at a boss fight I can't have stable 50 fps, but that is just bad optimisation/or the gpu jus't cant push more.
     
  4. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Maha Guru

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    I've been using compressed air for nearly 20 years on all my PC's. The main thing is to spray in short bursts, and don't shake the can, If you do then you can spray frost that will damage hardware. And as you stated always unplug your power supply while doing this.
     

  5. rachunekprawdopodobi

    rachunekprawdopodobi New Member

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    And I think that even frame drops without vsync are normal, that's why on guru3d gpu reviews they analyze FCAT, but most people don't even bother with the stuff, they just look at the frame number.
     
  6. rachunekprawdopodobi

    rachunekprawdopodobi New Member

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    Yeah but I mean more like how can I tell if the performance changed without having a before cleaning example. I Mean if it changed that would mean the gpu degraded, which is kinda impossible, I think the fps difference can come from tons of factor's like drivers,os install date, hdd life, etc, etc which is a marginal number
     
  7. kastriot

    kastriot Maha Guru

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    I think you need to increase dosage of fluoxetine if you are on that, because problem is your brain not PC, OCD is terrible malfunction of brain do-loop do-loop it's organic and doesn't go away never just sometime increases and sometime decreases so in short we cannot help you to remove that subroutine that you now are processing ie "did i damaged something?" only you can do that and yes to assure you a little bit compressor can't do crap to components so no worries OK?
     
  8. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Maha Guru

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    Run some benchmarks with your settings.
     
  9. rachunekprawdopodobi

    rachunekprawdopodobi New Member

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    You got some stuff to the point, but yeah I'am not taking anything and like u said my subroutine would be probably gone if I would get some reply from a experienced man with a valid argument, something like u did but more related to the gpu not ocd
     
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  10. JethroTu11

    JethroTu11 New Member

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    I don't know if this is a good idea, but I've been using a soft paint brush and a vacuum cleaner to clean the dust out of my computers for years. I've got plenty of parts that are 10 years old that still work so I guess my routine isn't too damaging.
     

  11. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Master Guru

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    If the GPU still works and temperatures are normal, then I wouldn't worry about it. Personally though, I would disassemble the GPU when cleaning, to make that I clean every part and ensure that dust isn't trapped anywhere (I would also apply some new thermal paste if it's been a particularly long time since the last cleaning). Of course disassembling the GPU comes with its own risks and will usually void the warranty, but I like to be thorough when I'm cleaning. Also, there's nothing like putting a freshly clean GPU back together ;)
     
  12. 0blivious

    0blivious Ancient Guru

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    I use an industrial blower and a soft paint brush on my rigs. True story. I just get it really windy in there (nozzle about 18" away) and lightly brush dust from components.

    I only open my GPUs if they have a blower type fan. Standard fan cards seem to stay cleaner. And I religiously use filtered cases. I hate cleaning.
     
  13. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    I'm glad I don't have OCD...Dust has never bothered me...

    [​IMG]

    My stuff runs Cool!.....:D
     
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  14. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Maha Guru

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    Damn I thought my case was bad, Holy crap is that really your PSU?
     
  15. pimpernell

    pimpernell Master Guru

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    Do not brake the fins of the fan, did that with my 680 .. But i use a electric pump with a bit higher pressure than a air can. Now i am careful when doing fans.
     

  16. SSJBillClinton

    SSJBillClinton Master Guru

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    Oh my GOD. Had to log in at work just to ask... is that really yours?! Why is it that colour?! Is it alive?!
     
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  17. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    No!...lol...it was to scare the OCD (dust) members!....:D
     
  18. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    my odc would have field day with that
     
  19. Hammie

    Hammie Master Guru

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    Your fine my friend. gl
     
  20. rachunekprawdopodobi

    rachunekprawdopodobi New Member

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    Ok thanks everyone for help! The temps are same, max clock speed is same and power consumption is also same as before. I was reading somewhere that the GTA V stutter without fps drops is caused due too not enough ram (8gb), and other stutters like in titanfall 2 occur only on first startup of the game, so it may be some hdd reading slow-down. Also fps drops can be caused by bad game optimisation, like in ELEX in the opening cutscene when the ship explodes the frame drops below 60, I could use lower settings so it doesn't drop there or i can play at max settings with 99% of the time at 60 fps, which is better I guess.
     

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