How often do you replace your case fans?

admiralperpetual

Limp Gawd
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May 7, 2015
Messages
416
I upgraded my case about a year ago and transferred over a few fans I had in the old one - so currently have 2 stock fractal 140mm fans and 2 cooler master 120mm fans in the case, plus 1 stock cooler master CPU fan..

that means 3 out of 5 of the fans are about 7 years old. I do blow the dust out pretty often and did my best to 'clean' them with paper towel when I transferred the cases.. but they still get pretty dusty (even with the dust filters for some reason).

I've noticed some vibration noise in my case recently, thinking it could be related to the old fans, or maybe even more ancient hard drives..

TLDR; how often do you replace your case fans?
 

Aluminum

Gawd
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
687
Noctua behind filters so practically never? With true positive pressure setups and good filters cleaned semi-regularly there shouldn't be any mysterious dust buildup. Intake fans should noticeably outnumber/outpower exhaust fans, especially since they have more restricted airflow using filters and with most case mounts.

None of mine are dead or noisy yet, some have got to be 8+ years old now. I replace, toss or give away a case sometimes, they don't get my noctuas ;)
 

rgMekanic

[H]ard|News
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May 13, 2013
Messages
5,914
Only when needed or to change the colors to match new hardware, keep em clean and as long as they aren't noisy, a quick glance at the tach to make sure they're still running within spec RPM they're still good to me.

After 8 years I decided to change the radiator fans in my ancient Koolance case. 4 months later the new fans started getting noisy so the 8 year olds went back in.
 

Batboy88

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
323
Only when needed or to change the colors to match new hardware, keep em clean and as long as they aren't noisy, a quick glance at the tach to make sure they're still running within spec RPM they're still good to me.

After 8 years I decided to change the radiator fans in my ancient Koolance case. 4 months later the new fans started getting noisy so the 8 year olds went back in.

yeah still got old fans that are fine...but all push pull on the 240mm with some newer ones. should be set for awhile.
 

margrave

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
118
When I replace the fans I also replace the entire computer.
That's about once every five or six or seven years.
 

rive22

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
4,645
i keep any fans as long as they work. when/if they start making any kind of noise they get the boot. I buy good fans with ball bearings, so that's rare. whenever I do brand new builds though and not just a couple upgrades here or there I sometimes through new fans on if there's better ones out.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

Guest
I upgraded my case about a year ago and transferred over a few fans I had in the old one - so currently have 2 stock fractal 140mm fans and 2 cooler master 120mm fans in the case, plus 1 stock cooler master CPU fan..

that means 3 out of 5 of the fans are about 7 years old. I do blow the dust out pretty often and did my best to 'clean' them with paper towel when I transferred the cases.. but they still get pretty dusty (even with the dust filters for some reason).

I've noticed some vibration noise in my case recently, thinking it could be related to the old fans, or maybe even more ancient hard drives..

TLDR; how often do you replace your case fans?

I used to replace them every year or two.

I got sick of that and decided to buy some Noctua 140 iPPC fans that are dust and water proof. Haven't had an issue since and every fan runs awesome.

The downside is that super high quality fans aren't cheap. I think that I bought that Noctua iPPC fans about 6 months or so after they came out and they were still nearly $30 each. It's a steep price, but they also come with a 6 year warranty, but should be good for much longer than that as their standard fans have the same warranty and MTTF
 

Nebulous

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
1,754
I replace fans when they either make noise/clicks and/or during a new build. I've still have fans that are over 5 years old and with a little 3-in-1 oil are still going strong.
 

noxqzs

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
260
Don't fix what isn't broken. If you cannot hear it and temperatures are fine, concentrate your effort elsewhere like saving for new hardware.
 

Gavian

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
434
For some reason I tend to hoard fans, so I mess with them every couple of months.
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,484
Depending on what fans came with case, they may be changed before building system, but once system airflow is optimized I haven't changed a case fan in years. Good fans last a long, long time. I have an old Define R2 I modified to accept TY-140 fans almost 8 years ago in both horizontal (bottom) and vertical (front) orientation as intakes with no exhaust and haven't had any problems with them at all .. knock on wood.
 

thesecond

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
1,074
I'd replace mine if they started making noise, but my scythe AP-15's are 5 years old running almost 24/7 and still silent. Ball bearing love
 

FearTheCow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
6,058
All the time from the looks of it, I have...
4x corsair 120mm static pressure
1x corsair ml120 pro white led
4x corsair 120mm high air flow
2x corsair 120mm high air flow blue Led
4x corsair 120mm high air flow white led
Those are all extras

In my case I have...
2x corsair ml120
1x corsair ml120 pro white led
2x noctua 80mm pwm
1x Silverstone 120mm slim
 

Mega6

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,556
When they stop turning, apparently.

Disabled the speed monitoring on one CPU fan and and the power supply bearing has jangled since two months after I bought the PS. Sent back an identical PS for the same thing so apparently ThermalTake got a bad batch of fans.
 

Shadow_Foxx

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
111
Either when my needs change (ie need higher static pressure for going watercooled) or when they begin failing. Otherwise I dont see a reason to, unless they dont match a color scheme.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
Messages
2,286
Way more often than I need to. I'm pretty young in PC modding terms and have never had a fan fail. That said, I love changing up my system and trying out new hardware.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
10,842
I've had good results with most ball-bearing fans. In 24/7 systems, most last 3+ years and I have good ones from Silverstone that are over 10 years old and still working great. For sleeve bearing fans, I consider myself lucky if they are still quiet after a year.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
22,230
i went 9 years before finally re-oiling my fans with sewing machine oil no longer worked. usually had to re-oil them every 2-3 years 2x250mm fans, 3x120mm(1 was the cpu fan). ended up just replaced the entire case since there was only one place that still sold properly sized 250mm fans at 40 dollars a piece.. wasn't worth it when i could buy an entirely new case with fans for 90 dollars, lol.
 

thesmokingman

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
6,617
Only when needed or to change the colors to match new hardware, keep em clean and as long as they aren't noisy, a quick glance at the tach to make sure they're still running within spec RPM they're still good to me.

After 8 years I decided to change the radiator fans in my ancient Koolance case. 4 months later the new fans started getting noisy so the 8 year olds went back in.

Were they ball bearing fans? My set of GT's are around 8 years old or more now. I've kinda lost count.
 

pek

prairie dog
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
2,142
I don't track that, but I've never had to replace any noctua's and I've got several build of various ages around. Had to replace some nzxt's after a couple of years when they started making 'tic-tic-tic" noises, had to get them from nzxt because they have a special frame to fit in the top of my 630 (200mm, but have and odd frame that's just a circle with tabs on the outside for screws, the tower top is stamped out for that frame) couldn't fit 200 mm noctua's in there. No 'regular' frame 200's will fit in that space. But, nzxt replaced them for free, so they might have been only old enough to be in warranty? Too lazy to look up nzxt's warranty.
 

margrave

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
118
I replace mine about every 6 or 7 years.
I replace the fans using a process called "buy a new computer". :)
 

matt167

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 18, 2016
Messages
1,124
When I put my T3500 together, I grabbed 2 80mm fans I had in my bin that I know came from a build that was in Service 2004-2011ish. There still fine
 

cjcox

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
2,212
I've never had to replace a case fan (at home). I've had to replace a PSU before, had to replace a GPU, ram and obviously hard drives, but never the case fans or even the CPU HSF.

I'd say, might case fans have been very reliable (now watch one go out).
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
14,399
If they start to have audible bearing rattle, or they stop rotating.

Otherwise, they get tossed when I buy a new case, which s about once every ten years.
 

arnemetis

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
3,853
I opted to keep my Medium Yate Loon 120mms when I upgraded end of last year, one of them has started making odd noises. They're over nine years old now, probably should have replaced em all when I had the chance.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
3
I typically do a full system build every couple of years, with gpu upgrades as needed. Every time I do a full build I switch cases, and rarely reuse existing fans. The only exception to this would be my most recent build, when I migrated over a trio of Thermaltake RIING rgb fans that were less than a year old. I would replace any fan at the first sign of increased/unusual noise output, though, because I tend to get a little peevish with system noise.

That said, as part of my most recent build I added a pair of Corsair ML120 pro mag lev fans to a cooler master ML240L RGB AIO to give it a push/pull configuration. Given the price and inherent low wear of the maglev bearing design, I will most likely be carrying these forward to any future build, assuming they live up to my expectations long term.

fans.jpg
 

AwakenedBeing

Weaksauce
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
105
I usually replace them when they start rattling or making loud noises. Ive had fans that lasted anywhere from 6 months to over 4 years.
 
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