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 Post subject: Good 140mm ball bearing fans for horizontal mounting?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:15 am
Posts: 17
I need 3 quiet 140mm fans for mounting horizontally in a Fractal Design XL R2 case, one in the bottom and two in the top. I've been reading fan reviews literally for days until I'm burned out. One thing I've learned is that ball bearings are preferable to sleeve bearings for horizontally mounted fans.

Can anyone recommend a good quiet 140mm fan that has ball bearings? I know I can go with the 120mm Gentle Typhoon if I have to, but I'd prefer a 140mm ball bearing fan if there is a good one.

Thanks,
Alan


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 Post subject: Re: Good 140mm ball bearing fans for horizontal mounting?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:24 am
Posts: 18
While ball bearings have some key benefits over sleeve bearings, esp. when horizontal, the various flavors of fluid dynamic bearings are usually even better. Ball bearings are long lasting and don't have the directional lubrication issues of sleeve bearings, but they can often end up noisier because they're very easily damaged in shipping. Just drop the package on the floor once, and you can end up with micro-dents in the bearing ring surface that cause clicking or buzzing forever.

Fluid dynamic bearings are great because they minimize any sort of metal-on-metal contact, and float the fan axle in the middle of a spinning sheath of oil. That makes them very quiet, and also very durable since there's little wear. Since fluid bearings are generally considered better, there are also many more fans available that use them. The tech goes by various names as each company tries to put their own proprietary touches on it; Noctua has "SSO2" (self-stabilizing oil pressure), Thermalright has "Enhanced Hyper-flow", etc., plus there's lots of variations on "fluid", "hydraulic", "flux" etc.

You don't mention whether you're looking for PWM or solely voltage-controlled fans, or just planning on running them at full 12 volt max all the time; that makes a big difference for suggestions.

If you decide to go for fluid bearing fans, the Noctua series is very high quality and hard to beat; I have NF-A15 PWM fans and love them. Thermalright TY-140 or TY-147 are also very good, as is the Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition. If you stick to ball bearing, then Thermalright TY-141 is probably about the best, and the Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 14 is also very good (but thin, which can be good or bad).


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 Post subject: Re: Good 140mm ball bearing fans for horizontal mounting?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:15 am
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They will be voltage controlled but I will most likely run them at 12v all the time. Thanks for the suggestions!


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 Post subject: Re: Good 140mm ball bearing fans for horizontal mounting?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:24 am
Posts: 18
Well, if they're not going to be throttled, then watch out for fans with too high of a max speed. Even generally quiet fans are often not so quiet when running flat out. And while 140mm fans are usually considered quieter than 120mm fans, that's because you can run them at lower & quieter RPMs for the same air flow.

The Noctua NF-A14 FLX might be good for you; it comes with two speed-limiting adapters that can cap the top speed to give you some control over their noise/performance balance. Or the NF-A14 ULN, which has a lower top speed to start with, plus an ultra low noise adapter that slows it into the really silent range.

Or to broaden your choices a bit, you could connect the fans to the XL R2 fan controller switch and run them at the medium 7v setting; that's a sweet spot for many fans for running quietly but still with good air flow.


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