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Old Sep 6, 2011, 07:39 PM   #1
skadd
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Concerned about future dust accumulation in iMac

I've had my iMac 27" mid 2010 for about a year now and it runs a little bit hotter than it used to. This is because of dust I'm sure. It's not a problem now, but I'm afraid in one or two years time it will be.
Does it have a dust filter? Is it hard to remove the dust? Does Apple care cover dust removal?


Last edited by skadd; Sep 7, 2011 at 10:36 AM.
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 07:42 PM   #2
Young Spade
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I've had my iMac 27" mid 2010 for about a year now and it runs a little bit hotter than it used to. This is because of dust I'm sure. It's not a problem now, but I'm afraid in one or two years time it will be.
Does it have a dust filter? Is it hard to remove the dust? Does Apple care cover dust removal?

Just open it up, get a can of the compressed air, and spray it out. You don't have to remove any parts; just take whatever you can off the body and spray the vents.
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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I just use smc fan control and turn the fans up to 100% for like 30 seconds and it blows all the dust out...
got the idea from when I had to do an update a while a go and it made the fans run at 100% lol....

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23049/smcfancontrol
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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I've had my iMac 27" mid 2010 for about a year now and it runs a little bit hotter than it used to. This is because of dust I'm sure. It's not a problem now, but I'm afraid in one or two years time it will be.
Does it have a dust filter? Is it hard to remove the dust? Does Apple care cover dust removal?

Did you recently upgrade to Lion? My machine has run "a little bit hotter" since the upgrade.....
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 11:11 PM   #5
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The most effective way you can clean it out - without opening any panels.

Get SMC fan control, and crank every fan to 100%, then let them come up to speed.

While this is happening, used compressed air, and give it a few quick blasts in the intake and exhaust vents.

Return your fan speeds to "default", and you should be good.

If it's worth anything iMacs have a very effective thermal design - and in a house where PCs have actually died due to dust buildup. (no lie) There is an iMac, that's been running nearly round the clock for... 5 years now. So if that thing hasn't died yet - I think yours with a thermally conductive body - should have even less concern.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 08:13 AM   #6
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If the dust is a big issue, is it worth getting a minit with the new 27" apple monitor instead of the iMac?
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Maxing it out is an interesting idea. Except, where is the intake, exactly? I know the exhaust is in the back near the top. Intake?
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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You have future dust in your iMac?
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frocco
If the dust is a big issue, is it worth getting a minit with the new 27" apple monitor instead of the iMac?
Ehm the Mini has the same problem and like all the pc, plus the Mini fan is 1cm to the floor/table and the iMac intake is 10cm from the table... And the iMac has less heat due to a big dissipate surface and three fans instead of one and on the iMac usually the fans run at slow/idle rpm that mean it sucks less dust from tge intake!
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 04:27 PM   #10
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Ehm the Mini has the same problem and like all the pc, plus the Mini fan is 1cm to the floor/table and the iMac intake is 10cm from the table... And the iMac has less heat due to a big dissipate surface and three fans instead of one and on the iMac usually the fans run at slow/idle rpm that mean it sucks less dust from tge intake!
I think he means the dust that gets inside the LCD, behind the actual lcd screen which show up as blotches on the iMacs.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 05:13 PM   #11
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Ops sorry anyway I think that if you will stay with your iMac for 3-4 years and you'll notice more heat or similar trobles, after 1-2 years you can take to the Apple guys (reseller/store) to clean it and they "must" return it without dust inside the glass (you pay for the service).
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 05:38 PM   #12
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I've had my iMac 27" mid 2010 for about a year now and it runs a little bit hotter than it used to. This is because of dust I'm sure. It's not a problem now, but I'm afraid in one or two years time it will be.
Does it have a dust filter? Is it hard to remove the dust? Does Apple care cover dust removal?

I opened my 2 months old imc again to put back the stock hard drive and noticed the motherboard on the bottom already have a thin lay of dusts on it. The fan on the lower left hand also has a lay of dust on the fins.

There is no dust filter; the iMac basically sucks air (and dusts) through the bottom like a vacuum cleaner.

I'm going to buy a sheet of dust filter on ebay and cut it to cover the holes on the bottom and change it once a month. I'm also planning to take the screen off and blast it with a can of compressed air once every 3 or 6 months.

This will give better ventilation and minimize any chance of dusts short-circuit the iMac.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 06:11 PM   #13
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Seems like a lot of work to keep it clean.
Getting the screen dusty from the inside really bothers me.

I may return mine and get the MBP.
I wish the new MP was released.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 06:31 PM   #14
88 King
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Not really, you can cut a piece of dust filter into a dozen long strips, and use double sided stickers to place it under the iMac, 15 mins job to last you a whole year. You just have to replace it once a month.

Here is an example of the filter:

Taking the screen off is up to you, its not a hassle for me, but i can understand why other don't feel this way.

I find the 4 core MBP is an overkill and produce too much heat for daily use.

P.S. screen is very easy to clan, as the glass is only hold on by magnets that can be removed with a suction cup. You can also take it to Apple Store for them to clean it for you.

P.P.S. I don’t think you need to worry about dusts get sucked in from the bottom and end up in between the screen and glass. I think the way the screen slot into the main body makes it very difficult for dusts to get in to the screen.

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Old Sep 7, 2011, 07:26 PM   #15
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Dust sucked from the fan inside the screen?! No way... When you remove the glass the dust could remain inside but not from the fans during normal use, the fans are inside/rear the lcd panel and the glass "close" it from the rear, i've never hear someting similar (yes a lot of people have found dust inside the glass but there is inside from the first start, not after 4 months)
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 08:27 PM   #16
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Dust sucked from the fan inside the screen?! No way... When you remove the glass the dust could remain inside but not from the fans during normal use, the fans are inside/rear the lcd panel and the glass "close" it from the rear, i've never hear someting similar (yes a lot of people have found dust inside the glass but there is inside from the first start, not after 4 months)
The blotches of dust in my screen would beg to differ, not sure if it's fixed on the newer models tho.

It's not behind the glass panel in front, its behind the lcd glass and in front of the backlight :S

looky here : http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1056817
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 09:18 PM   #17
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This is not dust. And the problem is not the fans
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 09:30 PM   #18
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The air intake is usually along the bottom of the chin, and on some models - there is another intake behind the foot stand.

Someone had a excellent point earlier up - iMacs sit on desks - which generally are orders of magnitude cleaner, as they're away from the floor. They won't be sucking up pounds of dog / cat / human hair, along with coarse dirt like a computer sitting on, or just above the floor.

As for the filter idea: That thin layer of dust is not NEARLY as bad as putting a filter across your air intakes. You've got a couple of things to consider. Is your filter media anti-static? As you're going to place it directly next to one of the most static sensitive components in a computer - your ram. (unless you plan on mounting it externally) You will have to seal the filter along the edges - or else the air will blow by anywhere you don't have a hard seal, or at edges and corners. Also - even a "high flow" filter impedes airflow a LOT. So if you do achieve a good seal, your fans will be running faster in order to maintain the needed rate of airflow. If you have any other intake ports that you don't affix a filter to - the pressure delta will draw even more air through the uncovered ports.

Finally - that really fine powdery dust - guess what? Unless you're cutting pleats of HEPA or ULPA filter media - it won't stop that dust at all!

That said - your computer, your endeavor - I wish you luck, and if you have success - please share it! (I'm still interested to see)
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 10:17 PM   #19
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This is not dust. And the problem is not the fans
It is dust.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 10:46 PM   #20
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I'm in the "not dust" camp myself. That looks more like a delaminating polarizing film, and/or diffuser film.

If you have a nice SLR camera around - and you have a circular polarizer filter - look at your screen and rotate it until it's all black. (extinction) If where the "dust" appears is no different from the rest - then it's likely a failing diffuser. If it's brighter then the background - rotate the filter until the background becomes brighter. If the "dust" gets darker - then it's likely a polarizing filter (on your monitor) is failing.

If you have bright background / dark dust - and then dark background / bright dust - then it's dust or smoke / foreign mattern.

But most LCDs are sandwiched together, with gaskets and / or epoxy - because the polarizer / LCD array / diffuser have critical alignments to each other - so to prevent any movements - they're sandwiched together. It's not like there's any appreciable air-gaps between these components. So if you DO have dust, it's likely on the front of your panel - between the glass exterior panel, and your LCD.
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Old Sep 7, 2011, 11:34 PM   #21
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I'm in the "not dust" camp myself. That looks more like a delaminating polarizing film, and/or diffuser film.

If you have a nice SLR camera around - and you have a circular polarizer filter - look at your screen and rotate it until it's all black. (extinction) If where the "dust" appears is no different from the rest - then it's likely a failing diffuser. If it's brighter then the background - rotate the filter until the background becomes brighter. If the "dust" gets darker - then it's likely a polarizing filter (on your monitor) is failing.

If you have bright background / dark dust - and then dark background / bright dust - then it's dust or smoke / foreign mattern.

But most LCDs are sandwiched together, with gaskets and / or epoxy - because the polarizer / LCD array / diffuser have critical alignments to each other - so to prevent any movements - they're sandwiched together. It's not like there's any appreciable air-gaps between these components. So if you DO have dust, it's likely on the front of your panel - between the glass exterior panel, and your LCD.
It is dust, and it's not between the exterior glass and the lcd, it's inside the lcd itself. atleast all this denial makes me think the problem is solved so when i take it to my apple reseller (no apple stores down here) it might never appear again.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1101370
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Old Sep 8, 2011, 12:22 AM   #22
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Nowhere in that thread did he open the LCD. He cleaned behind the LCD, and cleaned the diffuser exit itself (in the picture, that's the opaque white part that had dust on it)

He did NOT open his LCD. (the tinted-glass piece)

With that said - why the diffuser no longer has a gasket between it and the LCD is beyond me. Maybe Apple thought that ditching CFLs and going LED got rid of the high voltage (which attracts dust like mad) and figured that with LEDs, all problems are solved - so why waste money on this needless gasket?

That's a design flaw. Should you (or anyone) decide to tape things together to seal this gap - use good tape that does not outgas - because the adhesives in most every cheap tape will - which will leave a "fog" that's even worse than dust.

Edit: Apologies to OP for derailing the thread.

Last edited by Big-TDI-Guy; Sep 8, 2011 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Apology to OP.
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Old Sep 8, 2011, 12:36 AM   #23
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Nowhere in that thread did he open the LCD. He cleaned behind the LCD, and cleaned the diffuser exit itself (in the picture, that's the opaque white part that had dust on it)

He did NOT open his LCD. (the tinted-glass piece)

With that said - why the diffuser no longer has a gasket between it and the LCD is beyond me. Maybe Apple thought that ditching CFLs and going LED got rid of the high voltage (which attracts dust like mad) and figured that with LEDs, all problems are solved - so why waste money on this needless gasket?

That's a design flaw. Should you (or anyone) decide to tape things together to seal this gap - use good tape that does not outgas - because the adhesives in most every cheap tape will - which will leave a "fog" that's even worse than dust.

Edit: Apologies to OP for derailing the thread.
I thought that entire assembly was the LCD, and yeah sorry for scaring ******** anyone with a 2010 iMac XD (i've seen less and less accounts of this issue lately, which is also a reason i've been holding out on taking it in)

There is some kind of tape around the assembly that it's probably not a great seal tho :S
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Old Sep 8, 2011, 12:40 AM   #24
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I keep an air filter next to my mac. No dust.
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Old Sep 8, 2011, 05:17 AM   #25
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I thought that entire assembly was the LCD, and yeah sorry for scaring ******** anyone with a 2010 iMac XD (i've seen less and less accounts of this issue lately, which is also a reason i've been holding out on taking it in)

There is some kind of tape around the assembly that it's probably not a great seal tho :S
The metallic tape around the outside is for electrical shielding / EMI issues - and typically isn't used for a debris barrier. There *should be* a very soft foam gasket, or soft silicone tape between the backlight assembly and the LCD - that's what's been used on just about every other panel I've had apart.

Still can't believe that's how the current-gen iMacs are built...
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