reliability of computers in harsh temperature environments


Thread Starter


I came across a book which states the reliability of computers in control room decreases by 10% when there is a decrease in temperature of 1 deg. It also mentions that the temperature is to be maintained at 22 degs for control room .
In this context whether the temp of 22 will be uncomfortable to the people working in control rooms and further whether any data is available on
reliability of computer systems with relation to temperature


Bob Peterson

22 deg C is 72 deg F. This is quite comfortable, if a bit warmer then many control rooms. Most seem to be about 65-70 deg F.

I think you will find that that despite what your book says, that the reliability of electronic equipment actually increases with a decrease in

Most modern desk top computers work very reliably at 72 deg F, and much higher temperatures. Its likely the computer will become obsolete before it
wears out anyway. Most failures occur in the first weeks of operation. If it survives the first few weeks, it will probably be humming along just fine 5 years from now, when it will need to be replaced due to obsoleteness.

Bob Peterson

Peter Whalley

Hi all,

There is one particular exception to this and that is hard disk drives. Modern high speed (RPM) drives can run quite hot and this is not good for their reliablity. If you want to improve hard drive reliablity it would be worth looking at providing additional fan cooling for the hard drive within the computer cabinet. This is likely to be far more effective than lowering
the room temperature by a few degrees.

Note that all IDE type drives I have seen have an expected lifetime of only 3 years if running continuously. If you use a SCSI drive many of these are rated for a 5 year lifetime. If hard drive reliablity is a major issue then look at a RAID configuration.


Peter Whalley

Magenta Communications Pty Ltd

Melbourne, VIC, Australia

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We are living in the tropical country of india where during summer the average temperature reaches to 35 deg C and similarly in winter the
temperature is around 25 deg c. If that is the case, when we maintain the temperature of 22 +/- 1 deg c it would be really uncomfortable to
the operators working in control room. what would be optimal temperature considering the reliability and human factor consideration of