I warned a friend that he needed to dust out the PC that I helped him build in 2020. If he doesn’t dust out his PC, the dust bunnies will torch a component that he can’t afford to replace. He ignored my advice for three years, as dusting out his PC would be a major chore.
The PC started having random crashes a few months ago. Since he was a member of the Windows 11 developer program, it was easy to blame Windows for the crashes.
As the random crashes became more frequent, the error messages pointed towards memory. I ran Memtest on the PC and found a ton of memory errors.
I put the G.Skill Trident Z Royal Gold 64GB RAM kit into my open-air test PC. I ran Memtest again and found no errors.
I put the RAM back into the PC with the side panels off and the Arctic Liquid Freezer II AIO pulled out. I ran Memtest and found no errors.
I put the AIO back in and the side panels back on. I ran Memtest and found a ton of memory errors.
I informed my friend that the dust bunnies had torched his $400 RAM kit. He paid that much for RAM because he wanted a 64GB gold bling kit during the PC parts shortage of 2020. A replacement 64GB gold bling kit today cost $170.
He was fortunate that G.Skill had a lifetime warranty and issued a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA).
He borrowed my old G.Skill Ripjaws V 8GB RAM kits for the two weeks that it took to process the RMA. He complained that FortNite ran slower on 16GB. He had to drop the settings from Epic to Low to get 200+ frames per second.
After his replacement 64GB gold bling kit arrived, we did a thorough dust out of his PC.
We also swapped out the three fans in front for the two-fan AIO on top. The thick radiator of the Arctic AIO sat on top of the RAM. Heat may have transferred from the radiator to the RAM.
The case temperature under load dropped from 80C to 60C.
That is why you need to dust out your PC every year. You will never know what component the dust bunnies will torch next.