In my Opteron workstation article, I explained the importance of thinking about "clean air" as an important component of a high-end computing system.
As computer enthusiasts, we know how important good airflow is to stability and how detrimental dust can be. As dust builds up in your PC, it begins to insulate the case, increasing the system temperature. Your air intake and exhaust begin to clog up, reducing the efficiency of the axial fans used to prevent your CPU and videocard from melting. If you have airflow in your case and there's dust in the air, there's no escape. Even fast moving objects such as the blades of your CPU or exhaust fans are susceptible.
Slowly but surely, your PC begins to become more unstable and if you're unlucky, you'll experience the doomsday scenario of a dust-induced electrostatic discharge shorting your computer equipment.
To avoid dust, you can seal your case and consider liquid cooling techniques, but if you still want good airflow, there are only two good ways to keep a PC clean: vacuum regularly, or prevent dust from entering the PC in the first place. Since most of us are too lazy to vacuum, the better solution is to prevent dust from entering the PC in the first place. For this to be effective, the air purifier also has to be something low-maintenance – otherwise, you might as well vacuum.
I promised in that same article that FiringSquad would never review air purifiers. We will however look at one air purifier today, the Oreck Super Air 7. This air purifier is built with the same electrostatic precipitation technology used in the United States Navy's nuclear submarine fleet. Most importantly, in this instance, it's not marketing exaggeration. You see, Oreck famous (or infamous to some) for their lightweight but low-power vacuums does not make the Super Air 7 on its own. They're actually developed by Trion, who is the sole supplier of the air cleaners for US nuclear subs (and UK subs). The 5-stage electrostatic precipitation system is also identical to what's used in the submarines though clearly at a smaller scale. It's what I use at home.
The Oreck Super Air 7 Control Panel
The Oreck Super Air 7