War On Dust: Silverstone's Mammoth MM01 Chassis Features HEPA Filter Technology

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confus3d

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Can you easily pop out the filters and wash them or do you have to continuously buy replacements? I'd love a dust-free case but at $330 + filters I'll just stick to air dusters. 'Course if I didn't mind dropping $330 on a case I guess I wouldn't mind buying new filters... Just my $0.02 ;)
 

synphul

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Looks like a nice idea. My concern is the restrictive nature of the hepa filters which are usually found on really high pressure systems such as air ducts in a clean room or vacuum cleaners. They mentioned purposely using their air penetrator fans which makes sense. However even the fine mesh filter the enthoo pro uses is enough to greatly restrict the flow (and even cause some blow back) from noctua pressure optimized 140mm fans at 1500rpm. If fine mesh is capable of being that restrictive I can't imagine a hepa especially once it's coated with dust.

Of course for $330 I think they should have gone really 'performance' and hooked up a snorkel with a k & n filter and multiple delta fans. To top it off, audio on boot up of larry the cable guy yelling "git 'er done!"
 

razor512

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Really bad idea. I tried it in the past, and while there was a significant drop in airflow (had to increase the fan speed). The main issue is that after a few weeks, the airflow drops to unsustainable levels. It pretty much requires you to have a high quality filter, filtering the room air, then the case filter handling whatever is missed.
One of the main issues with the high end filters, is that you cannot clean them. You can vacuum out the larger dust particles, but it does not really do much to restoring the airflow. There are many tiny particles that get stuck in between the fibers of the filter (it is designed to do that). This is pretty much why you see those less effective mesh filters on most cases, they are easy to clean and last he life of the case.
 

royalcrown

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Honestly, i'd throw out the filter and just have a bad ass case.



 

royalcrown

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When I click "search for vehicle" my computer isn't listed. It's a 1997 Gigabye Focus with 2 liter CPU and automatic graphics card...



 

rantoc

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Some HEPA filters dont have a huge air resistance and choosing the right fans for the pressure loss should allow for good airflow without to much noise.

The big question i have is the filter washable? At first glance it don't look like the washable type of hepa meaning it will have to be replaced somewhat frequently and that can add to the cost quite abit in the long run
 

Evil_Overlord

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I built something like this years ago. I used plywood to create an external box with fans and an automotive grade air filter. A 4-inch diameter tube carried the clean air into the PC. It worked, but it was loud and not very portable. The trick is to pressurize the inside of the case with clean air, meaning that the input of clean air must be higher CFM than the fans blowing out of the case. If input < output, then dirty air will get sucked into the case through crevices, creating dust clumps. If you can't pressurize the inside of the case with clean air, then you need to design a case that is air-tight so that all incoming air is forced through the air filter, and not seeping in through some unfiltered slit in the 5.25" bay.

It was during this project that I learned about concepts not mentioned here in this article: "Static Pressure" as measured in in/H2O or mm/H2O, fan noise as measured at different flow rates (Cubic Feet per Minute through a restriction), and fans vs blowers vs impellers. Generally speaking, at the same volume (decibels), a blower (squirrel cage fan, or centrifugal fan) will generate a higher static pressure than a standard fan. Meaning, a blower can pull the more air through a filter than a standard fan at the same volume. The problem is that blowers turn the air output 90 degrees, whereas a standard fan blows straight through. Video cards use blowers all the time, but I've never seen a computer case that incorporated a blower.

If you want to get the same static pressure out of a traditional fan as compared to a blower, then you need to raise the RPMs to some unbelievably high number. At this point, you should be thinking about those three-bladed Delta fans that shriek like banshees. Nobody wants one of those a computer case sitting three feet from them.

I would like to see this case first hand.
 

synphul

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I think a lot of it falls victim to overthinking and theory. By all rights, my pc should be just packed full of dust. The enthoo pro is about as open air as you can get, with a filtered front panel, top and bottom. Part of the front around the 5.25" bays isn't filtered. There's open honeycomb air openings all along the side of the i/o ports on the back panel, the i/o covers are slotted and there's a ventilated section above the rear exhaust fan. None of which is filtered. I have 1 200mm fan as an intake and 3 140mm fans exhausting. Yet after around 60 days of operation without cleaning it out with an air duster, there were finally little specs of dust just beginning to show on the psu cover and hard drive. Purposely letting it go without cleaning for an extended period of time to see what a 'dust magnet' a case with so called 'negative pressure' was. Turns out it was pretty much bunk in the real world. The case was far from 'sucking' in dust around every nook and cranny like theorists would have us believe. I'm guessing the situation would be even less of a problem if I lived in a suburban area rather than on a 4 acre ranch with a dusty gravel driveway, no sidewalks, no pavement anyplace etc.

My .02 worth, rather than redesigning the space shuttle with mit worthy air filtering schemes - break out an air duster every so often and clean it. Takes all of 5-10min. People make it sound like if you have more fans exhausting than there are as intakes your computer will be packed in dust within a week. Reality says otherwise.
 

royalcrown

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The other solution you could do is just clean your computer twice a year..hehe



 

royalcrown

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Live here and say that, 3 weeks between dustings and the dust filters look like the dryer lint trap :p



 

synphul

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I can't imagine it being a whole lot dustier than my place. Middle of saudi arabia or the mojave desert maybe? Lol. Between the animals (including donkeys) rolling and kicking up dust (fun when the windows are open), 30-40 dump trucks running up and down the road every day back and forth to the quarry up the road etc. There was dust in the filters after letting the case go for 2mo, my only point was they were standard mesh filters not hepa and there's a good portion of the case with unfiltered openings with the dreaded negative airflow setup everyone worries about. The typical fear that dust will become sucked in through every unfiltered opening just didn't seem to materialize.

On a side note, if after a couple weeks the filters look like dryer lint traps - what gives? Lol. Maybe people with pets in the house that shed or something, but there shouldn't be that much lint roaming around or pc maintenance doesn't appear to be the biggest issue with those kind of dust bunnies blowing around. Time to fire up the ol' hoover from time to time haha.

This is just no good.
http://news.techgenie.com/files/Dusty-PC.jpg

Just confirming that the above is NOT what happens when running negative airflow in a case haha. (maybe after years of neglect)
 

QSV

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I tried dust filters several times with several materials. None of them offered enough air flow. Even the very crude one were far too restricting. With most it was that bad, that the temperature inside the case climbed very quickly up to 9C higher than without a filter, and that would have gone even higher if the filter would have got blocked with dust after a while.
Just not worth it. I rather clean my case with compressed air once or twice every year.
 

royalcrown

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To answer your question on dryer lint traps...wife = crazy cat lady, 2 dogs and nasty old carpeting. That and the amount of trees we have means no grass, just dirt patch that comes in when we do.



 

JonnyDough

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Good idea, not all Hepa filters will kill airflow. You just need a more powerful fan, the filter muffles some sound too. The only real issue I have with this case is that it's ugly as hell, it looks like an air filter or a dehumidifier. It also has an overly high price tag.
 

QSV

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A more powerful fan means higher noise and that filter will NOT muffle enough to compensate that.
But if you dont care about noise much, yeah thats the way to go.
 

bit_user

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Yet after around 60 days of operation without cleaning it out with an air duster, there were finally little specs of dust just beginning to show on the psu cover and hard drive. Purposely letting it go without cleaning for an extended period of time to see what a 'dust magnet' a case with so called 'negative pressure' was. Turns out it was pretty much bunk in the real world. The case was far from 'sucking' in dust around every nook and cranny like theorists would have us believe.
Check your CPU heatsink and temps.

I had a negative pressure case with a P4 Prescott and a Zalman flower-style heatsink fan. I had to clean the CPU heatsink twice a year, when I got CPU overheat alarms. And well before that, the CPU fan would start to get noisy.

What's worse is that the heatsink was blocked by the fan (which was non-removable), so I had to try to get in there with q-tips, as an air duster just wasn't enough to get the caked dust out.

I've now been running positive pressure Lian Li cases since 2011 and 2013, with filters on all the intakes, and I've never had to clean the insides of the cases. I check, every now and then, but they're still clean. Granted, those PCs aren't on 24/7, but maybe 10% - 20% of the time.

BTW, the type of dust matters a lot, for clogging. Hair and fur are probably the worst offenders. Fine particles will pile up, but they clog much more slowly.
 

synphul

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I agree, the dust I experience isn't pet hair just standard dust/dirt (can't be avoided in a rural setting with windows open). I know what you mean about the old zalman coolers, I had one of the flower style on my p4 as well. My pc stays on 24/7 so even when idle/low power the fans are still constantly running.

Haven't had too much issue with this heatsink, it's a dual tower similar to the larger noctua/phanteks type with dual cooling fans. Every so often things need a deep clean, compressed air can only do so much and doesn't substitute a thorough cleaning. 2-3min with a datavac takes care of a lot of it. Got tired of spending a fortune on compressed air. Anymore canned air is running $5-10 a can.

Tried checking their website again and still no mention of replacement hepa filters or potential cost. I expect they won't be cheap and they don't appear to be washable. Kind of a drawback in my opinion, everything involves consumables anymore. They've 'filtered' people to death, whether furnace filters, vacuum filters, water filters, filters for the refrigerator, now the pc case takes filters - it's enough to drive people insane. Pretty soon they'll need a dedicated storage area just to hold all the filters needed for every piece of equipment in the house. :p
 

bit_user

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Me too, but I simply cut & taped a piece of HVAC filter over the intake vent of the case. Keeping it external made it easy to replace. The CPU was a 500 MHz AMD K6-2, which I underclocked to 485 MHz, as this was intended to be a file server and I wanted good stability.

In the end, I didn't use it enough to see a measurable impact, but it was so ugly and crude that I decided not to try it again.
 
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