Maintaining a PC in 2 climates


Being a resident of both Singapore and US, I need to maintain a home PC in two countries to make my gamer self happy. One in the country I am born in and one where I live in.

Isn’t it the same wherever you go? Computer hardware is after all heavily standardized nowadays.

Yes and no. The hardware is the same, but that is a problem as much as a solution. The reason is a single word…”Climate”.

Singapore is a tropical equatorial nation, hot and humid. Where I live in the US, it is typically cold and dry. The same materials used to build a computer just don’t hold up the same way in these vastly different climes. In general, things last longer where it is cold and dry.

From what I observe…

Singapore US, Bay Area
Dust Heavy, black and feels slightly moist. This type of dust sticks to components and stays on until wiped off. As it appears to be slightly moist, it may accelerate component degradation if left on. Fluffy, white and dry. While most of it can be relatively blown or vacuumed off easily, these adhere to components via static so there is some risk of damage to equipment.
Heat Effects Warm most of the time, there are not much temperature extremes to worry about relatively speaking. However, heat dissipation can be a problem.

Wire sheaths also have a tendency to degrade and “melt” after long periods of use at elevated temperatures.

The plastic used tends to feel sticky after some time as well due to degradation.

Due to the seasons, components can be subject to high mechanical stresses due to temperature variances.

High temperatureĀ components like the graphics card has a good chance to fail.

Chemical Effects Warmth and humidity brings about rapid oxidation of electrical contacts if they are made from say, stainless steel or silver.

Herein lies the problem. Since component design and manufacture is standard for the entire globe, things just don’t last as long as they should be in different climates.

However it can be compensated partially by how a computer is built. Water cooling for example makes a lot more sense in Singapore where it eliminates both the dust and heat problems. Gold electrical contacts also makes more sense because they are more resistant to oxidation. Whereas in the US, higher quality components adapted for temperature extremes may be a requirement.

When it comes to computer components, perhaps our current “one size fits all” global manufacturing process is not that great after all.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s