Where I live it gets cold and some years it gets significantly colder. This past month has been one of those months where we had nearly a week straight of -30 degrees Celsius weather (-22 Fahrenheit). So of course being an avid PC hardware enthusiast, I thought, I need to see if my PC can withstand temperatures this cold.
The test within itself could be considered mute, since of course electronics like the cold. PC enthusiasts are continuously trying to make their hardware cooler, in order to increase efficiencies and push their hardware to the limits. This is the very reason PC users yearn for the best CPU coolers and then try to overclock their CPUs as high as they can go in order to milk every drop of headroom possible so that they can either boast about it or gain those extra FPS in games.
Well when temps hit -30 here, I wanted to try and see what the temps on my test bench PC were when placed outside and whether it would be viable.
To caveat, no you shouldn’t place your PC outside in any weather, as condensation can become an issue and wreck your hardware. And everything I did was with some spare hardware I had. The hardware includes an AMD A6 3500 APU — which means it has integrated graphics. The other hardware doesn’t really matter, other than I had 4GB of DDR3 memory and I was using an old spare HDD. Yes, an HDD and not an SSD, which would actually be preferred for this.
Here’s the actual initial test with more to follow:
@newbcomputerbuild Can a #pc run at -30 degrees celcius? #techtok #coldpc #pchardware #pccooling #pcbuild #hardware #dyk #itscoldoutside #weather #pcsetup #interesting ♬ Super Mario Bros. – Sideviewer
The CPU started at -12 degrees celsius upon measurement, even though the ambient is -30 degrees celsius — with an even colder wind chill.
After 10 minutes, the CPU gets up to 0 degrees, and the motherboard holds strong at -20. The HDD starts at +17 gets to 10 degrees relatively quickly. I did wait for 30 more minutes post video and the hard drive did get to 0 degrees without any problems.
All in all, it went quite well and the above video is a great visual to get a quick glimpse at what may be possible in terms of attempting to put performing hardware outdoors in extremely cold weather. However, I was using a locked CPU in this case and overclocking isn’t exactly ideal. I would like to try using one of my Ryzen CPUs as they do run hot and overclock very nicely.
Again, the issue, in this case, would be worrying about condensation as the temperature rises and falls, which would risk your PC electronic components. The solution for this would possibly be creating a fully enclosed case and places outdoors with an applicable exhaust or something of the likes.
In case you are curious as to what else I did in the cold, here are a few other videos to peak your interest.
Removing the CPU Fan on a PC out in -25 Degree Celsius Weather
@newbcomputerbuild Reply to @mazenlbabidi — removing the #CPUcooler and fan in -25 degree celcius weather. Oops at the end of the video! 😂 #coldpc #techtok #pcbuild ♬ Super Mario Bros. – Sideviewer
This one was fun, and the PC runs perfectly and obviously does not need a cooler in this sort of weather. You should watch until the end because I do rip the CPU heatsink and fan off, along with the…
@newbcomputerbuild Reply to @zzahinz not the most demanding game, but it ran cool! #coldpc #gamingoutside #techrok #gamingtok #pchaddware #pcbuild #coldweather #pc ♬ Among Us – Sembari +
And now this one was even more fun, attempting to game out in the extreme cold. The PC was running without any cooling, although I did have the heatsink still attached. I mean Among Us isn’t intensive at all, however, it was interesting to do and as you can see the temperature stayed just above 0 degrees freezing, which isn’t something you see every day.
Would you game in the extreme cold? I had some fun playing around with some test hardware outdoors and was risk-averse to using anything I care about, however, I would love to test some hardware I can push to its limits in this sort of cold weather.
I would caution anyone considering doing so, that condensation is a thing and that you can easily do so, however in short bursts and not having your hardware outdoors for extended periods.
Have you done something similar? I would love to hear from you in the comments below ❄️.