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  1. #1
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    Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    I am aware that double ball bearing (or dual ball bearing) case fans last longer than single ball bearing case fans.

    However, I am finding conflict report on the NOISE levels of these fans. Some say that DBB is noiser than regular fans; others say that DBB is quieter.

    Which is true? Can you link to an external reference as well so I can read up on this more.

    Also, for the Antec TriCool 120mm (regular not DBB type). Is this a single ball bearing or sleeve bearing type (the website is coy about disclosing this; only the DBB says it is ball bearing)?
    Last edited by to1337ca; 04-27-2010 at 03:29 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    Just from a quick look on Newegg, DBB fans are far more silent when compared to SBB fans.

  3. #3
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    Are you certain? I read some comments like this, but others not so (this explains why I asked the question in the first place). There is also a review that coyly suggested that there is a trade-off between noise and longevity for the single vs. double ball bearing.

  4. #4
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?



    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  5. #5
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    Thank you kindly for the advice.

    I read the article, but it does not specifically address double ball bearing. Even the technical briefing PDF only compared ball to sleeve bearing which did not help.

  6. #6
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    Sleeve fans are quieter so it follows that a single ball bearing fan (with a sleeve on the other side) will be quieter then a double at least until the sleeve bearing wears out. By the way we are only talking about bearing noise. And bearing noise is minuscule compared to air noise and harmonics. Hydro bearings don't make any noise at all but their fans still do. I believe that sleeve fans can only be mounted vertically to prevent premature failure which is why they make the single ball bearing as it last longer then sleeve and is cheaper then dual.


    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  7. #7
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    Quote "a single ball bearing fan (with a sleeve on the other side) will be quieter then a double"

    Do you mean a single ball bearing fan will be quieter "than" a double (sorry, I just want to make sure I understood you correctly)? This seems to contradict what was posted earlier. Now I am confused.

    So double bearing fan trades MORE noise for LONGER life?

  8. #8
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    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    Yes, and I also said when the sleeve bearing wears out it will get noisier. Another trade off is price, a ball bearing is more expensive then a sleeve bearing.

    I also said bearing noise is just a small part of fan noise, at least until the bearing are starting to reach the end of their life.


    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  9. #9
    Joined
    May 2001
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    11,534

    Re: Single vs. Double Ball Bearing Case Fan: Which is Noiser?

    The only way to get a fan quiet is to run at a lower rpm. This is always the solution. There is no such fan that can run at high rpm and have low noise at the same time, right?

    Sleeve bearing is the absolute least reliable technology. A quality dual bearing fan is likely to last the life of the PC. Maybe Sunon's maglev (Enlobal's magnetic barometric is the same thing) or fdb fans (hard-drive "hydro" technology) will last longer. Put all known bearing technologies of a decent manufacturer side-by-side at a low rpm and you shouldn't really hear any of them.

    I don't have much experience with hydro bearings or related types, however they have one serious problem. They can't run at low rpm or they wear out too quickly. That's why they are all high-rpm fans. Hydro bearing is slang for fluid dynamic. The speed of the fan builds the necessary pressure to hold the friction surfaces apart. They'll last forever, if you don't mind an extremely loud PC. Probably more useful in advanced industrial applications where reliability may be impacted by the environment.

    I usually rob the fans out of dead PSUs that can't be warranted to get their often superior dual ball fans out of them.

    Now, there's plenty of junk 2-ball fans out there, no doubt, but if you get one that just turns out too loud, you can always rewire it to a molex adapter to use the 5v rail.

    You really need to keep it well under 20dBA if you want it not to drive you absolutely out of your mind. I would never consider a single ball fan. It just sounds stupid. Even stupider than a no-ball fan that hasn't addressed friction like magnetic levitation or fluid dynamic. AKA the worthless sleeve design. How does it balance the other end of the bearing? It doesn't. It's a sleeve fan with a booger in it.
    ...Does anybody else feel like Congress simply bailed themselves out? Isn't that what they really mean by a bailout?

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