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Old 02-24-2019, 12:21 PM
c-attack c-attack is online now
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I don't know that I would phrase it like "compulsory". We're talking percentages and probabilities. A ball bearing fan is more likely to last 10 years than a FDB bearing fan. That doesn't mean FDB fan fails at 4.5 years. The last and only PSU I've ever had to RMA was done so on a fan issue. It's ball bearing fan was no longer turning on when it should, at less than 12 months since brand new. All fan types can fail and not necessarily a bearing failure. I would never base my long term behavior around something like a fan bearing. It's too inconsequential given the length of time in discussion.

Why doesn't everyone use ball bearing fans in their PSUs? I know some people who ask that all the time and they prefer the time tested ball bearing design. Lots of cheap, poorly made FDP bearing types on the market and it gives the design a bad reputation. However, the answer is the same why we don't all use ball bearing case fans. The FDB style bearing (and all the other variants as well) generally make less noise. The aforementioned replaced PSU had an "Eco Mode" that was similar to Corsair's control. I loved Eco mode, because the PSU fan was so much louder and different in tone than all my other fans. It could be clearly heard above everything else. My current Seasonic Titanium has a non-controllable zero mode as well. Fortunately, it doesn't need to run very much either, except when I cross the 50%/500W line. It also can be clearly heard when it spins up.

So your question of whether or not to use zero rpm mode should be made on your usage or needs, not fan longevity. If the fans wears out and you are still using it, it can be replaced inexpensively 5-7-10 years down the line or never. I think most people should use it because of the noise reduction benefits and no immediate need for active PSU cooling. When should you not? 1) If your normal usage constantly jumps across the turn on point and thus the fans spins up/down/up/down/up/down. That is annoying. Change the turn on point if you can or set a low fan speed you hopefully can't hear. 2) If this is an unmonitored server or workstation that is going to have a pretty steady stream of activity with a 200-250W or more. If you have a constant load, I am more inclined to use a constant fan.

I think your rationale on the bottom PSU and dust is logical and reason enough. I don't know about the top mount PSU. Even if the case is quite warm, the PSU will force the fan on when it gets to it's temp point. If the case design sets up the PSU as the only source of rear exhaust, then it may have some value.
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