Planning your setup is a fan part of building a workspace or gaming area. Part of that is deciding where to put your computer tower.
While they are called “Desktop” PC’s, it’s not always possible to put your PC on-top of a desk.
You may be on the move, or may not even have a proper setup wherever you are.
For long enough, I was working from a small coffee table. It was bad for the back but it got the job done.
Have you considered the size of some cases? This Phanteks gaming tower is over half a meter in height!
Sometimes putting your PC on the floor may be the only option.
Can You Put Your PC On The Floor?
It’s actually fine to put your PC on the floor, providing you give it room to breathe.
The reason why it’s recommended that you put the computer tower on a desk is so that it has optimal airflow.
PC cases are made with rubber feet that lift it from whichever surface it’s on, allowing for air to flow freely in and out.
If you block the intake fan it will prevent fresh, cool air from entering your PC.
If you block the fan that removes hot air from the PC, you’ll very quickly find temperatures rising.
The best types of flooring to put your computer on will be hardwood, tiles or even vinyl. As soon as you introduce soft flooring into the picture, it begins to heat up.
Before placing your PC on the floor, you should really consider how much air will be able to flow through your system.
Think about where your fans are located, the direction they flow in and how they could be blocked by the surface.
After thinking about it, and even testing it, you’ll be able to decide whether or not the floor is a suitable home for your particular PC.
Why You Shouldn’t Put Your PC On Carpet
While you can get away with leaving your PC on a carpet, I personally wouldn’t bother.
When you leave it sat on any type of carpet, it will begin to sink into it, allowing less room for the air to flow through it.
Admittedly, if the carpet is short and doesn’t have much fluff to it, it’s probably not too different from putting it on vinyl flooring.
However, If you have a very thick carpet or rug that’s constantly shedding fibres, it’s probably best to avoid leaving your computer on it for longer than necessary.
As well as lack of air flow, you have to consider the stability. On a soft platform, the computer tower will be unbalanced and much easier to knock over.
A solution to this problem is simply placing a plank of wood underneath your computer tower. This will create a solid base for your PC to sit on and allow the rubber feet to lift the PC from the surface, creating space for adequate air flow.
I’ve done it myself in the past and I have to say it works very well.
Be Aware Of Dust Bunnies
While it’s inevitable that your PC will get dirty and dusty over time, placing your PC on the floor will make it far more likely to attract dust.
Because dust falls in a downwards direction, the floor is going to be the dirtiest surface in your office.
On top of that, the dust collected on flooring is much more likely to be thrown around as a result of your movements.(Think walking, moving chairs, etc, etc).
I certainly wouldn’t be leaving any side panels off my PC when it’s on the floor that’s for sure.
My point is, having the PC on a desk will limit the dust build-up over time.
You’re far more likely to clean your work surface than the floor. Meaning there’ll be less dust around your PC at any given time.
Also, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is very relevant here.
With your PC tucked away under a desk, you’re much less likely to clean it.
This is because:
A.) You don’t look at your computer as much
B.) It’s more of an inconvenience to disconnect your PC and lift it up onto a surface where you can actually clean it properly.
The Truth Is…
No matter who you are or where your PC sits, it’s very easy to neglect it.
Yes, there are potential airflow issues when putting your tower onto a soft carpeted surface, however, there are ways to make it slightly better.
But, as long as you clean your PC often and make sure that your temperatures aren’t spiralling out of control, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.
In some cases, the floor may even be preferable.
If the PC is at high risk of being knocked off or falling from a height when on a desk, you probably want to place it on the floor.
Whereas someone that lives in a flood risk area may want to put it on a desk, or even an entirely different level of the house.
Everybodys situation is different, it’s not one size fits all.