Why the hell do people still put fans with sleeve bearings in computer hardware? Was getting horrible noise from my file server at home, to discover that the chipset fan was failing. Fine. Unplugged that, I think I’ll survive for now. But, while in there, I’m noticing that the CPU fan is dying. An expensive CPU/heatsink combination, but apparently not expensive enough to warrant a proper ball bearing design. Just a few months into ownership, the original exhaust blower (I didn’t figure I needed it, but it was there, and evacuated some heat off the RAID controller) shipped with the case popped its sleeve and started dying. I had the presence of mind to at least tear out all the case and power supply fans and replace them with panaflo 80/120mm fans, which are still running without complaint.
But, now I need to go ahead and replace the CPU/heatsink before my core burns up, which is somewhat tenuous when you’re ripping a multi-pound device off a waver the size of a dime and trying not to chip the thing. And, as long as I’m in there I should probably properly replace the chipset fan (ooh fun), which will probably require another sleeve bearing.
I know sleeve bearings are cheap. They’re quiet. That’s nice, honest … but I want my hardware to last. I don’t want to have to crack open the thing and rebuild it every few months because another fan failed. Charge me the extra $5, I don’t care, I will have spent hours over the last year diagnosing and fixing fan problems in this thing, which is worth a lot more than the sleeve bearing to ball bearing cost to me.