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Difference between different fan bearings ?

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#1
Hi, TechPowerUp forum!

Just a simple question which fan bearing is better Hydraulic Bearing or Rifle Bearing and what is difference between them ?
 
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#2
Go for FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing or Hydrodynamic) fans. They cost more, but are totally worth it. People don't know what they are missing when they opt for cheap crap fans.

Enermax is heavy on Rifle bearings, but I have mixed experience with them. Have the Enermax Twister Pressure which are good fans in terms of static pressure and convenience with RPM switch, but the bearing just isn't as smooth or quiet as the one found in Corsair FDB fans or BeQuiet SilentWings 3.
 
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#4
That's really a tough, if not impossible to answer question and RejZor hit on why. There are cheap crap fans, and quality fans. I'll take a professionally designed, top quality sleeve bearing fan over a cheap crap, poorly designed, poorly produced fluid or hydrodynamic fan any day.

Note it is not just about the type fan that sets it above others. It is how well and precise the machining of the bearings and the channels and/or shaft they run in or around. The aerodynamic design of the blades make a HUGE difference in the amount of air, and noise just moving the air makes.

I don't really look at bearing types that much any more. I look at CFM (cubic feet per minute) and dB/A (and of course size, voltage and type connector).
 

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#5
So, look at warranty. Some bearings have good design some bad, some use cheap materials some don't. Crap-shoot considering the state of manufacturing. Go with the best warranty.
 

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#6
I want to add ML or Magnetic Levitation bearing to that list... Expensive Yes but well worth the money. Fluid or Hydrodynamic bearing are always a good choice too.
 
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#7
Noctua's SSO bearing is a refined fluid-dynamic design that uses an extra magnet to center the spindle, reducing wear and noise. My $20 NF-P14s PWM fans are quiet and effective, the best fans I own. But I like the idea of mag-lev fans, and I'll be buying some, if my Noctuas ever wear out. I wasted a lot of cash over the years on cheap fans, and finally learned my lesson. Buying fans locally at a retail store was never good, they were all terrible sleeve bearing junk that wouldn't blow out a wet match. Find the good ones online at Newegg and Amazon, and consider the Noctua (redux and industrial), Corsair (mag-lev), and EKWB (Vardar). These are the best, if you can afford them, and they'll outlast a whole drawer full of cheapies.
 

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#8
Rifle bearing is basically the same as sleeve bearing but there's rifling in the design that pulls lubricant from a reservoir and spreads it out across the friction surface. Rifle bearing is better than sleeve.

Hydrodynamic bearings are like ball bearing but instead of using balls, they use pressurized liquid or gas. Hydrodynamic bearings run quieter than ball but generally have to run at high RPMs to maintain pressure. Ball would be better for low RPM fans.

Magnetic (jury still out on that one) > Hydrodynamic ~= Ball (depends on speed) > Rifle > Sleeve
 
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#9
Dual ball last forever in any orientation and generate a lot of pressure. Usually there is more motor noise as a tradeoff.
 
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#10
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#11
Noctua's SSO bearing is a refined fluid-dynamic design that uses an extra magnet to center the spindle, reducing wear and noise. My $20 NF-P14s PWM fans are quiet and effective, the best fans I own. But I like the idea of mag-lev fans, and I'll be buying some, if my Noctuas ever wear out. I wasted a lot of cash over the years on cheap fans, and finally learned my lesson. Buying fans locally at a retail store was never good, they were all terrible sleeve bearing junk that wouldn't blow out a wet match. Find the good ones online at Newegg and Amazon, and consider the Noctua (redux and industrial), Corsair (mag-lev), and EKWB (Vardar). These are the best, if you can afford them, and they'll outlast a whole drawer full of cheapies.
I still have fully functioning Noctua fans that are closing in on 10 years. Have them on my sister's PC atm: 1 in the case as exaust and another on the CPU cooler (NHC12P).

The warranty on those has expired quite a long time ago: it was only 6 years ... Expensive for sure, but worth the money IMHO.
 

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#12
The difference between rifle bearing and fluid dynamic bearing is actually a trademark issue. Panasonic holds the patent on the "herringbone shaped groove" and no one can call a fan exactly a "fluid dynamic bearing" fan without that. Hence workarounds like riflebearings and such.

Some reading:

https://www.hardwaresecrets.com/the-truth-about-fluid-dynamic-bearing-fdb-fans/
You got me curious. I have Rexus Panaflos here I just pulled out of my server (11 years of 24/7 use). They're labeled Minebea-Matsushita. Got the PCB off of it so I can see the coils but having a bitch of a time trying to get the bearing to let go.
 
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#13
Can't go wrong with either, same with ball bearing fans, only sleeve fans have 2 major disadvantages and that is fan orientation and temperature
 
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#14

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#15
I got it apart: double ball bearing.
 
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#16
At least it's double ball bearing. Yate Loon wink ;)
 

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#17
You got me curious. I have Rexus Panaflos here I just pulled out of my server (11 years of 24/7 use). They're labeled Minebea-Matsushita. Got the PCB off of it so I can see the coils but having a bitch of a time trying to get the bearing to let go.
Havent heard Matsushita in a Long Time
 

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#18
Rifle bearing is basically the same as sleeve bearing but there's rifling in the design that pulls lubricant from a reservoir and spreads it out across the friction surface. Rifle bearing is better than sleeve.

Hydrodynamic bearings are like ball bearing but instead of using balls, they use pressurized liquid or gas. Hydrodynamic bearings run quieter than ball but generally have to run at high RPMs to maintain pressure. Ball would be better for low RPM fans.

Magnetic (jury still out on that one) > Hydrodynamic ~= Ball (depends on speed) > Rifle > Sleeve

Well sleeve i say keep away, they maybe silent for a while but will sooner rather than later whine.

I got it apart: double ball bearing.
Good but not the best as they should be sealed for better longevity.
 

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#19
Sleeve tends to be quiet but have a short life span relatively speaking. Once the lubricant dries up, it's done for.
 

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#20
Well sleeve i say keep away, they maybe silent for a while but will sooner rather than later whine.
Found in alot of cases, they get you by, I replace them on particular builds
 

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#21
Found in alot of cases, they get you by, I replace them on particular builds
I got a bunch of Rosewill fans @ $7 each 8 years ago and still doing as good as day one as the4y are ball bearings, although about 4 years again i did take them apart to re lube them.

Not the best but for $7 a piece it's a none brainer u8nless you need absolute silence.
 
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#22
I got it apart: double ball bearing.
Can you inspect the bearings for their designation? I ask because i work @ a ball bearing manufacturing company and i'd like to know if we make those or not, out of curiosity.
 

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#23
I got a bunch of Rosewill fans @ $7 each 8 years ago and still doing as good as day one as the4y are ball bearings, although about 4 years again i did take them apart to re lube them.

Not the best but for $7 a piece it's a none brainer u8nless you need absolute silence.
Ball bearing units are good
 

AsRock

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#24

FordGT90Concept

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#25
Can you inspect the bearings for their designation? I ask because i work @ a ball bearing manufacturing company and i'd like to know if we make those or not, out of curiosity.
I didn't see anything on them.
 
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