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ML120 and ML140 Rattle?


Linition
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So I just ditched my SW2 and SW3 that started to make noise for 4 140mm and 1 120mm ML fans, and while I expected sounds of some sort, I am surprised of what kind of sound it is.
At low RPMs, that is around the 400-600 mark, I hear a slight rattle from my closed up beQuiet Silent Base case. It appears to be electronic rattle and when I get really close I can also hear something like a very feint coil whine.

After googling the issue I have seen a few threads and heard a few explanations, but they don't seem to apply to my situation.
For example I run the fans off the Commander XT and never ran them off the board.

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I have also 4x ML140 and 1x ML120.

All of these Fans have a ticking Noise... from 600 RPM it will louder and faster to a continous  Sound. Normaly its Annoying but in a Game i need just 600 - 800 RPM and it not annoying me because i hear just the Sound of teh Game. In Idle with no Sound in Backround i can hear it quiet too. These ML Fans are Good no Question but these Motor Sound is not fine. With the Ear on the Fans i can hear also an quiet grinding Sound. I have expect more for these Price... a Air Noise is not annoying me but a Motor Sound with a ticking Noise can be annoying.

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6 hours ago, DrknMonkey said:

I have also 4x ML140 and 1x ML120.

All of these Fans have a ticking Noise... from 600 RPM it will louder and faster to a continous  Sound. Normaly its Annoying but in a Game i need just 600 - 800 RPM and it not annoying me because i hear just the Sound of teh Game. In Idle with no Sound in Backround i can hear it quiet too. These ML Fans are Good no Question but these Motor Sound is not fine. With the Ear on the Fans i can hear also an quiet grinding Sound. I have expect more for these Price... a Air Noise is not annoying me but a Motor Sound with a ticking Noise can be annoying.


This video is interesting.

I know magnetic bearings are in theory quieter than other bearings, but in practice I think they reach higher RPMs and with the spool sounds can get noisy too.
What I didn't expect is how close the noise level and type is compared to other bearings when it comes to the ML fans.
It still has points of friction, doesn't it? (https://linustechtips.com/topic/783941-corsair-ml-series-disassembly/)



 

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Yes i think too the ML Fans have Points of Friction, otherwise you would cant hear a grinding Noises. I have read here in the Community that this ticking Noise comes from the PWM, but i dont know if this really so? I had before Enermax T.B Silence Fans with their Twisted Bearing for 7 Years. It were good Fans in Low RPM with no Motor Sound and loudless in IDLE at 400RPM (nealrly loudless just Air Noise), but at high RPM in Games much louder than the Ml Fans. Enermax meant their T.B Silence Twister bearing Technology would have a MTBF of 140K Hours... very high expected not even 20K Hours... one after one was falling out after 7 Years respectively Loud Noises. Thats the Advantage of the ML Static Pressure Fans. I need now maximum 700 RPM under Load opposite to teh Enermax Fans with 1200RPM. Ok i have Change my Case to from an old Thermaltake Armor to a Corsair 760T case, "maybe" it has a better Airflow and now  140mm Fans instead of 120mm... no matter, all is much quieter now and the Temps 6-10°C cooler.

Sorry for my English its not the best (German).
Can you live with the ML Noises or not thats the Question?

Here you can hear a ticking Noise too at 0:34... mine is not so high frequency as this:

 

 

Edited by DrknMonkey
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maglev bearings are used in turbopumps to completely levitate the rotor and let it reach stupid speeds 40, 50k RPM, sometimes more as pumps get smaller), but i doubt this is used in 20$ computer fans.

the ML looks like a looser sleeve bearing with magnetic... stabilization?

i would imagine it needs a minimum speed to be silent. Even turbopumps have speed ranges at which they vibrate during ramp up and braking after all.

 

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9 hours ago, DrknMonkey said:

Yes i think too the ML Fans have Points of Friction, otherwise you would cant hear a grinding Noises. I have read here in the Community that this ticking Noise comes from the PWM, but i dont know if this really so? I had before Enermax T.B Silence Fans with their Twisted Bearing for 7 Years. It were good Fans in Low RPM with no Motor Sound and loudless in IDLE at 400RPM (nealrly loudless just Air Noise), but at high RPM in Games much louder than the Ml Fans. Enermax meant their T.B Silence Twister bearing Technology would have a MTBF of 140K Hours... very high expected not even 20K Hours... one after one was falling out after 7 Years respectively Loud Noises. Thats the Advantage of the ML Static Pressure Fans. I need now maximum 700 RPM under Load opposite to teh Enermax Fans with 1200RPM. Ok i have Change my Case to from an old Thermaltake Armor to a Corsair 760T case, "maybe" it has a better Airflow and now  140mm Fans instead of 120mm... no matter, all is much quieter now and the Temps 6-10°C cooler.

Sorry for my English its not the best (German).
Can you live with the ML Noises or not thats the Question?

Here you can hear a ticking Noise too at 0:34... mine is not so high frequency as this:

 

 


Interesting, I never had that ticking noise, but the thing is even if something sounds like a "grinding" noise, it doesn't have to be actual grinding.
Everything with electronics inside can make noises because of the current that passes through them and the electromagnetic field that follows them around.
According to the graphs on the LTT forums the ML fan design seems to use a cap to seal against dirt, so I guess there could be friction happening?
 

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50 minutes ago, LeDoyen said:

maglev bearings are used in turbopumps to completely levitate the rotor and let it reach stupid speeds 40, 50k RPM, sometimes more as pumps get smaller), but i doubt this is used in 20$ computer fans.

the ML looks like a looser sleeve bearing with magnetic... stabilization?

i would imagine it needs a minimum speed to be silent. Even turbopumps have speed ranges at which they vibrate during ramp up and braking after all.

 

Well, they do say they require a constant 12v connection to run properly, but I don't know how much is needed to properly suspend the rotor part.
I doubt it has sleeve bearing, it would constitute as false advertisement, people opening it up would lead to lawsuits and corsair being an American company, familiar with American copyright law will be smarter than that, I am sure.

Another reason why I doubt it has a sleeve bearing is that, although I'm not an engineer, I know magnets add weight and I know the more weight you add to a rotor, the better of a balancing job you need to do in construction to make them work without dramatic wobble that would lead to noise, heat and even the whole thing flying off. Now given that Corsair produce in parts of Asia where quality assurance already is a nightmare to begin with, I highly doubt they would make it even easier for the factories to break their stuff.
Bottom line, taking a sleeve bearing fan and adding magnets for stabilization, which would also add a lot of weight and in turn make stabilization harder again, seems like an unlikely choice.
 

Rather, I think the "sleeve" parts are simply dust caps as you can see here:
When you scroll down here: https://linustechtips.com/topic/783941-corsair-ml-series-disassembly/  you will see a general maglev fan construction. I don't know how much of it is different in Corsair's fans, but this one on the illustration has dust caps that could make contact. I do also seem to remember reading something like "almost no friction" on one of Corsair's ML product pages but I can't find it anymore, but I can imagine Corsair simply can't entirely exclude the possibility of a little friction due to tolerances in certain parts of the bearing.
 

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well the coils need 12V at all times, so that simply means it should not be ran as a 3 pin fan, or on a 3 pin controller that will vary speed by varying the voltage. It has to be ran as PWM exclusively.

When i say "loose sleeve bearing" i only mean it's loosely guided by a sleeve bearing, when it starts up or powers off. it can't be a normal sleeve bearing that has tight tolerances. In operation that bearing does nothing since the rotor floats 🙂

It's like on turbopumps. they have landing ball bearings that are only used when powered off or crashing, but never in operation.

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  • 1 month later...

I just bought 12 x ML120 RGB "Elite Premium" fans and so far, 5 of them are faulty with this rattling/whine noise.

This fan is branded not just "Premium" but "Elite Premium" does it deserve that branding?

 

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I have found the source of this noise (at least in my case) and it is the vibration from the fans which are transferred into the case.

So I have now ordered some Anti-Vibration rubber fan mounts to eliminate the vibrations caused by the fans... I guess this "Magnetic Levitation" isn't really working that well...

 

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  • Corsair Employees

This is some interesting feedback, especially since only 5 are exhibiting this issue.  Have you tried adjusting the amount of torque used on the fan fan screws to see if this improves the vibration?  Also, make sure the fans are connected to a 4pin PWM fan header, and it is set to PWM mode either in the BIOS or fan control software.  If you continue to experience issues, please submit a ticket without support team so that they can assist you:

https://support.corsair.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/17/2022 at 6:42 PM, Corsair Nick said:

This is some interesting feedback, especially since only 5 are exhibiting this issue.  Have you tried adjusting the amount of torque used on the fan fan screws to see if this improves the vibration?  Also, make sure the fans are connected to a 4pin PWM fan header, and it is set to PWM mode either in the BIOS or fan control software.  If you continue to experience issues, please submit a ticket without support team so that they can assist you:

https://support.corsair.com/

The "Anti-Vibration rubber pins" didn't do the trick, tomorrow I should receive some rubber spacers. I will try tomorrow to add the spacers on the back (against screw head and case), since the fans do have their own rubber corners. If there is still noise, I will see if I can somehow, somewhere, place something between the removable fan grills and case, tho they feel very, very tight.

The screws were screwed firmly.

The fans only spin if I have PWM (or auto) selected.

I already have a support case running with Jack-Z.

My setup:
Case: 7000D
Fans: 11 x ML120 RGB Elite Premium, 1 x ML140 RGB Elite Premium
3 x ML120 connected to 7000D PWM Repeater for AIO.
4 x ML120 connected to Commander Pro on front via Y-Splitter
4 x ML120 connected to Commander Pro on side via Y-Splitter
1 x ML140 connected to Commander Pro on back.
2 x Lighting Nodes from ML120 Triple packs are in controls of the RGB of those 12 fans.

I really love this case, and I am hoping that one day, I will be able to buy a White iCUE H170i ELITE LCD Display Liquid CPU Cooler for it...

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have at least one fan going like this now, where before they were silent. I'm running 11 ml fans so hard to pin down where the house is coming from. I've definitely located one, the rear exhaust fan.

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