Overclockers Forums > Hardware > Cooling
Cooling Discussion of fans, heatsinks, thermal pastes and putting it all together to keep your rig cool
Forum Jump

Ball Bearing vs Hydro Wave

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe Search this Thread
Thread Tools
Old 03-09-05, 11:09 PM Thread Starter   #1

HydroCool's Avatar 

Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tampa

Ball Bearing vs Hydro Wave

What exactly is the difference between the Ball Bearing and Hydro Wave fans? And which is preferred?
HydroCool is offline   QUOTE Thanks
Old 03-09-05, 11:44 PM   #2
Voodoo Rufus
Powder Junkie Moderator

Voodoo Rufus's Avatar 

Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bakersfield, CA

10 Year Badge
Ball bearings are comprised of a pair of steel containment rings with very hard steel or ceramic balls holding them apart and carrying the load. Hydrowave bearings are rather bushings with oil that circulates between, and from my understanding have near infinite life because the two surfaces never or rarely touch each other.

I've run some of my Panaflos for almost 4 years now continuous, but ball bearings also tend to have long life spans. The downside is that they can have more noise than Hydrowave bearings.

"I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar!"

Serious Gamers Halo Custom Edition
Green Leaves!
Voodoo Rufus is offline SETI Profile Heatware Profile   QUOTE Thanks
Old 03-10-05, 12:08 AM   #3

Join Date: Jan 2005

here's a good blurb about hydrowave bearings. now while i've never seen someone sit 100 fans next to each other to compare lifespans of sleeve- and ball-bearing fans, the rules seem to be that sleeve-bearing fans are cheaper to make, quieter and live shorter lives than ball-bearing fans.

while i can't vouch for cheaper, of the 70 or so fans i have there are very few ball-bearing fans that exhibit less motor noise than the sleeve-bearing ones, an observation that pans out over at silentpcreview. so if you're not interested in quietude, i'd go with ball-bearings due to price, availability and lifespan. there are some ball-bearing models that don't have the usual orchestra of rattling, however this is not usual.

panaflo fans are an interesting case. the recent batches have been made in china and exhibit wildly varying quality in terms of motor noise, due to manufacturing oversight difficulties. just recently matsu****a merged with nmb to create a mega-fan-manufacturer making several hundred million fans a year. the panaflo spec was intently revised, and the new china-made panaflos ("m3" - matsu****a minebea motor) are apparently superior to all panaflos that came before, both in terms of per-sample variability and absolute performance. here's an extensive thread about the m3 panaflos over at silentpcreview, with input from someone who's been distributing panaflo fans for many years as part of her thermal design work.

i just noticed when previewing that the forums don't let you write matsu5hita (5=s).
yeha is offline   QUOTE Thanks

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe

Overclockers Forums > Hardware > Cooling
Cooling Discussion of fans, heatsinks, thermal pastes and putting it all together to keep your rig cool
Forum Jump

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Mobile Skin
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
You can add these icons by updating your profile information to include your Heatware ID, Benching Profile ID or your Folding/SETI profile ID. Edit your profile!

Welcome to

Create your username to jump into the discussion!

New members like you have made this the best community on the Internet since 1998!

(4 digit year)

Why Join Us?

  • Share experience
  • Max out your hardware
  • Best forum members anywhere
  • Customized forum experience

Already a member?