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roundthird

@optonline.net

Computer Desk - Where to put tower?

I'm looking for a new computer desk for my desktop, either in light maple, black or glass/metal. My budget is around $200, but a little flexible. I was looking for something that's not too hard to assemble, such as from Best Buy, Staples, Office Max, etc.

My current computer desk has a CPU compartment on the lower right side for the tower, which I like a lot.

Is it better to have the computer tower in a CPU compartment near the floor or on top of the desk? If the CPU compartment is okay, it definitely should not have a door, correct?

I'd like to keep the computer as dust-free as possible.

I guess I was looking for suggestions on where it's better to store the tower on a computer desk, and if anyone had suggestions for a computer desk.

Thank you!!


runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Nags Head, NC
kudos:1
A year ago, I abandoned my 1990 style computer desk with a compartment to hold the PC tower and got a Galant work table at Ikea.
»www.ikea.com/us/en/search/?query ··· op+frame
(If there is no Ikea near you, they will ship.) These tables come in all different sizes and finishes. They are very easy to assemble. They are easy to adjust as to height. They are easy to clean. The finish holds up. I've been very pleased with mine. I keep my tower on the floor--yes, it is a bit more prone to dust there--but I just blow out the inside and filters with compressed air every month or two and it's happy. On the table top, I keep my printer, speakers and two monitors. I got a slide-out tray for the keyboard (that was more expensive than the work table). I had to mod mine because the slide-out track for the keyboard wouldn't sit flush against the underside of the table because of the frame bars there. So I shimmed the tray track out with plywood so it extended across one of the bars under the table. With other keyboard trays, that might not even be an issue. Depends on the design of the tray. Just something to check out before you order one.

The whole thing has worked out great--couldn't be happier with it.


dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
reply to roundthird
I like my table much better then the old computer desk, it has three small drawyers for knick-knacks, I keep the PC, keyboard and mouse on top and still have plenty of room.


93388818
It's cool, I'm takin it back
Premium
join:2000-03-14
Dallas, TX
reply to roundthird
+1 on the Galant from Ikea. They even sell an accessory tower holder which bolts to the undercarriage of the desk.

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to roundthird
As a former field service guy I can tell you that I HATED going into offices where the PC's were trapped inside one of those things. It makes doing any work on the tower a pain in the @$$. It seems there's always a cable or two that aren't quite long enough to let the tower out of its pigeon hole.

One customer even had one that required the PC go out the BACK of the opening. Of course, the table was right against the wall and he had 3 rows of engineering books and manuals stacked on top. We spent 30 minutes just moving the books off the table so that we could move it and then putting them back afterwards.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:4
reply to roundthird
Get one where the tower is off the floor, otherwise any old table will do.... I needed something bigger than your standard computer desk for around $60 I got a 3x5 folding table. I have the tower, and two monitors on this table with a little extra room on the side where I can put a printer.

At your price you're not going to find real wood, and the glass or metal tables are also expensive unless you go used, where you might check craigslist.
--
My hourly rates:
$25 per hour.
$35 per hour if you want to watch.
$45 per hour if you want to help.
$75 per hour if you tried to fix it, and failed.
Play your war games with other peoples lives, it should be you on the front line!


Madness
Like a flea circus at a dog show

join:2000-01-05
Quincy, MA
kudos:1
reply to roundthird
My tower sits right on top of the desk; easy access to the optical drives. Also, I can easily pop the side off & hit it up w/ some compressed air (when needed).

Stevert

join:2001-10-23
Algonquin, IL
reply to roundthird
I got (2), two-drawer lateral files from an office store (I forget which one) and a 10' length of laminated counter top from Menards. The lateral files fit perfectly under the ends of the counter top, leaving a large open "leg room" space in the middle. It's just the right desk height. A couple of strategically-located 3-inch holes with plastic cable grommets help to keep the cable clutter in check

My counter top has a rolled front edge, so if you wanted a keyboard shelf you'd probably have to shim the mounting rails down an inch or so. But I have so much space on top I haven't bothered.

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to roundthird
I got one of these - »www.staples.com/Z-line-Designs-M ··· t_808942
I put the computer on the floor. That way I can easily pivot it 90 degrees and open the side panel.

This was by far the best-designed furniture kit I've ever assembled. Much better than that Ikea crap. I'm convinced that Z-line Designs had people put together the products and adjusted the instructions based on the feedback they got. My review:
quote:
Ordered the desk, shelves, and printer stand. I was amazed at how well the kits were put together. Each type of hardware was packaged and labeled separately. No need to guess which screws were which. Each piece was labeled, along with 'top' and 'front' labels where necessary. The instructions were written in English with words (not just pictures). The various parts were identified in the instructions by labels. There were handy tips along the way, such as not to tighten screws until after a certain step.

Assembling the printer stand took the longest, as it had the most parts.

The style is very nice, with black glass and black metal parts. It goes very well with today's black computers, LCD panels, and keyboards.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to roundthird
If you have a pet do not put your tower on the floor...especially if the pet is a cat.

I still have my 90's style desk from Office Max. It has a cabinet on the right for the tower with a file cabinet drawer under it. Even though I have to unhook all cables (from the back) if I need to get it out so I can open it, I still would never put it on the floor or on the desktop (as it weighs 50 pounds and there would be no place for a monitor or speakers as the tower is gigantic ...great for working in). It doesn't get dusty hardly in the cabinet and it is somewhat protected from the salt air too (I live right on the ocean). If it was on the desk or floor, my cat would sleep on it and clog it with hair quickly plus it would rapidly collect dust as does my ancient computer in the bedroom that is on the floor.

Not sure why this type of desk is considered outdated since Office Max has mostly this type with the cabinet. Further, I don't see the ergonomics of the ones posted in this thread. I didn't see a pull out tray for the keyboard and mouse. You can't buy a computer desk without first trying it out as the tray will be at different heights depending on the desk and you must get the one that is ergonomically correct for you.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

PC70

join:2011-06-04
reply to roundthird
I would say Stay away , run, sprint whatever you can do about desks where there's a cubby hole for a computer, this is bad news.

As a Network Systems guy I can tell you not only is this a pain to work on but its also not very good ventilation for the computer. Heat and dust are the worst things besides Nicotine crud (if you smoke near your computer thats another issue)

I have a large table and a file cabinet flush against the table and the computer sits on top of the file cabinet so I have all the desk space I need.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to roundthird
I have a 100 to 150 dollar desk from office max. I have a 2 shelf book shelf next to it. My tower sits on top of that.
1]ease of access to dvd drives/usb ports.
2]easy to get out to work on if I need to.
3]Off the floor, away from dust, animal hair, tracked in dirt.
4]easier to keep kool.

My kids have a cheapo desk with a shelf about 1 to 2 inches off the floor. They get more dust and dirt in their systems, then I do mine.

I would think about your current computer, and any future PC you'll purchase. What is the likely hood that your next PC will be a lap top?
Lap tops are rapidly replacing Desktops in the home. So if you maybe getting a laptop, can the desktop cubby, be used for something else?
--
To All Real Dads. For All Real Moms Every Real
Service.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to PC70
A "cubby hole"? I didn't recommend that. My computer cabinet is 14" off the ground and plenty wide, deep and tall to provide adequate air circulation. I run Speed Fan and my CPU, two hard drives, video card, etc. do not run hot even though homes in Hawaii are not air conditioned. A "cubby hole" wouldn't be a good idea.

I will have a problem if I buy another Dell XPS as the new ones have USB ports on TOP of the tower. Utterly stupid place for them. The XPS is a huge computer and quite tall so I would have trouble accessing the USB ports on top easily. But not all computer makers are as dumb as Dell is with their current XPS design and the only problem I currently have with the cabinet is the disadvantage of having to unhook everything before pulling it out and putting it on the floor so I can work inside it. But I rarely need to get inside the tower, thus, the advantages to a cabinet definitely outweigh the disadvantages. There is NO WAY to keep a cat off the computer unless it is in a cabinet and the cat can do a lot more damage than the inconvenience of a cabinet when you need to take it out. One definite, very important advantage to a cabinet, is that the computer is not exposed to as much salt air (if in a marine environment), nor is it exposed to as much humidity which is a big problem in Hawaii on the East side of each island. So, as I said earlier, it depends on many factors whether or not a cabinet is a good decision...it is not a simplistic thing like you are trying to make it out to be.

As for replacing a desktop with a laptop that doesn't make sense. A laptop is for use because you cannot carry a desktop with you. No one would want a laptop at home except perhaps those who are not serious computer users. I know that type of user who keeps their laptop in the closet and gets it out maybe once a week to check email.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

PC70

join:2011-06-04
Sounds like a cubby hole to me, regardless of how far off the ground. If you have something on each side of the tower then you're probably not getting the best air-flow you possibly can.


DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:20
reply to Mele20
said by Mele20:

One definite, very important advantage to a cabinet, is that the computer is not exposed to as much salt air (if in a marine environment), nor is it exposed to as much humidity which is a big problem in Hawaii on the East side of each island.

How does your cabinet reduce salinity or humidity of the air your computer tower intakes? Is it an air conditioned cabinet? Do the sides of the cabinet filter out salt and water from the air?

..or do you just figure the cabinet is reducing airflow to the tower?

Just curious because you've said that particular statement twice already and it strikes me as really odd...
--
If it's important, back it up... twice. Even 99.999% reliability isn't enough sometimes.


runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Nags Head, NC
kudos:1
reply to roundthird
I don't think this is an either-or situation. There are degrees of ventilation and cooling, and no doubt, the distance between the sides of the desktop box and obstructions around it is one important variable. Of course, the proof is in the pudding, and the CPU/mobo monitor temp readings should be checked with and without the desktop in a particular desk.


lordpuffer
RIP lil
Premium
join:2004-09-19
Rio Rancho, NM
kudos:2
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to roundthird
For a computer desk, if you just Google "computer desks," you will find 2 sites that just sell computer desks, and lots of them. You do have to put them together though, however, for $200 you can get a pretty nice one.

I was always told that the best place to keep a tower is on the top of the desk. IMO, the next best place is what I did for my Mother's. Staples sells a stand on rollers for a computer tower that keeps it off the floor. Works great. However, as was said, if you have a pet(s), put it on top of the desk.
--
If you need a re-format, just ask and I'll do it. If you don't need one, just give me 5 minutes with your computer, and you will.

PC70

join:2011-06-04
Agreed, even when I didn't have pets I always had it on the top and never on the floor. There's just too much that can happen with it on the floor and its never a good place for it.


Tappedout

@rr.com
reply to Mele20
said by Mele20:

As for replacing a desktop with a laptop that doesn't make sense. A laptop is for use because you cannot carry a desktop with you. No one would want a laptop at home except perhaps those who are not serious computer users.

I know a lot of "serious" computer users that use a laptop as their main system, it is great to be able to go out on the deck on a nice day.


roundthird

@optonline.net
reply to roundthird
When people say it's not good to put the tower in the cpu cabinet of a computer desk, due to possible ventilation issues, is that because it can cause damage to hardware over time, or because of dust build up?

I've had my HP tower in the cpu cabinet for six years without any issues at all with hardware, but dust is an issue. (I have no animals).

If I only have about two to three inches on each side of the tower, would a lot more dust end up in my tower than if it had nothing obstructing it on the sides? My main objection is to keep it as dust free as possible.

I'm also trying to find out exactly why cross ventilation is so important. If it has to do with the hardware, dust, etc.

Thank you so much!!

PC70

join:2011-06-04
Not just dust but over-heating issues that could happen due to lack of ventillation.


kingdome74
Let's Go Orange
Premium
join:2002-03-27
Syracuse, NY
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to roundthird
When you put a computer case in a cabinet you create heat and while it may run fine you are shortening the life of the CPU and other components because of the extra heat. Cases should never be on the floor where they act like little vacuum cleaners sucking dirt, dead skin (dust), and animal dander. I have a small table next to my computer desk that I keep my two desktop cases up off the ground and with wide open ventilation all around.
--
If I agree with you we'll both be wrong.



93388818
It's cool, I'm takin it back
Premium
join:2000-03-14
Dallas, TX
reply to roundthird
Regardless of where you put your CPU, you should routinely take it out (preferably outdoors), open it up, and clean it.

I take mine out every 6 months or so and use my air compressor to blow any dust/dander out of the case. It helps that the side of my tower has a clear panel, and I can see how dirty it is.

Generally speaking, less dirt/dust = cooler temps = longer life for your components.
--
"To be sincere, you don't have to know anything, you just say whatever makes you feel good and spin and smug circles in your tiny fucked up little head, happy as long as you're true to yourself. In other words, Sincerity is bullshit!" -Penn Jillette