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Fractal Fan woes

ilya

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Feb 26, 2010
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Markham
So I ordered 120mm and 140mm Fractal fans from NCIX to try them out.

When I plugged them into my fan controller they made a really loud and scratchy buzz. I figured it was my fan controller, so then I tried them one at a time on my motherboard, same thing. Tried directly to my PSU, same buzz. Used a AC-DC converter and gave it exactly 12V, same thing.

The buzzing stops when the fan isn't moving, so it's not an electrical problem.
Should I try some lube? Or does anybody know something about this?
 

AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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Sounds like you got a bad couple fans. IIRC they are sleeve bearing and the only time sleeve's make that noise is when either you have REALLY dirty power or the bearing is not working properly. What you are most likely hearing is metal to metal contact (the bearing is toast)....which is a bad thing. Time to RMA them.
 

ilya

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Feb 26, 2010
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Would make sense that it's the bearings assuming they are sleeve.
Bleh, brand new fans with bad bearings. Kinda hard to believe they would make their debut in Canada like this.
But then again, the Fractal cases ALL had the front USB wiring backwards.
 

AkG

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To be fair....a bad batch of fans can happen to anyone. Sucks that it happened to you, but where you got them from NCIX. Phone em up and see if they will cross ship the replacements to you. Could be a lot worse if you got them from fleabay or "shady joe's shenanigans emporium" or something. :)
 

Soultribunal

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It happens.
I've purchased 60+ R4's and I've had 5 DOA. Cheaper items sometimes end up that way. Mine were sleeve bearing too and made a similar noise.
More grind less electrical but same difference.

Hopefully your second set will be better for sure.

ST
 

ilya

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Feb 26, 2010
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1,561
Location
Markham
So the RMA replacements came in, and while they didn't have the "scratchy" buzz, they still drive me insane. :angry2::censored:

The fans have an incredibly annoying ticking/clicking quality that sounds like a jackhammer far away in the distance. The sound is a physical motor noise and not electrical.

Then I looked around for reviews and more info,(which I should have done beforehand) below are links to audio recordings from silentpcreview. Turn up your volume and you'll understand what I mean by jackhammer.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/sounds/cases/fractal-r2-baseline.mp3
Do note that this recording was made in the Define R2 case, which is made of steel and has a ton of bitumen to reduce vibrations/noise. So in a less silence-friendly case and a quiet room it's a LOT worse.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/sounds/cases/fractal-array-baseline-14cm-psu-14cm&psu.mp3
This one is of the 14cm fan and the PSU, slightly different jackhammer quality, also quieter than the previous 12cm fans.

I will give some credit to Fractal though, these fans actually move a decent amount of air with some static pressure for the rather low RPM they run at and only people in my situation would be able to hear the noise so clearly. (I have a fairly quiet room and my PC isn't very audible to begin with)
However, they pale in comparison the the Gelids in terms of noise/price.

On a side note, the fans that are being sold by NCIX are not the ones featured in the Linus Unboxing Video or the ones you see on the Fractal Design website. The rubber fan mounts are different from the ones in the video and pictures (the 120mm uses same ones as the Gelids and the 140mm uses the mounts that Nexus uses for closed corner fans) and the fan blades are different. (140mm is a standard 7 blade design instead of the portrayed 11 blade windmill design) So anybody that might be looking into these should be warned.
Also thanks to AKG and ST for the troubleshooting help.
 

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