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Durability of EarthWatts fan

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:59 am
by line
I've always had a personal reservation about the EarthWatts 380 PSU. Whenever I had the choice, I went with the comparably priced Seasonic S12-II 330 or Seasonic OEM SS-350ET. Although the three share the same platform (the S12-II being superior) I've always feared that Antec's choice of a 80mm sleeve bearing fan was short sighted. Based on my personal experience with old systems, as well as the collective community opinion about what constitutes a reliable fan, I feared that the EarthWatts fan was going to be short lived compared to the potential service life of the rest of the PSU. I feared it would start rattling and fail sooner than it should.

I'm talking about the 380W model made by Seasonic, because this is the one I believe I've been getting up to now (80 Plus, non-Bronze, no 'D' suffix after 'EA-380'). I don't know about the Delta version or the high power versions. If anyone can educate me about the Delta model, which ships today in the NSK4482, I'll be happy to hear. Is it better? Does it use a better fan?

Now, the EarthWatts series has been out for quite a long time, over 4 years, and is still going strong. It has earned a good reputation among enthusiasts who no longer look down on it because it's part of a case bundle. At the same time, my Seasonic options become increasingly limited. So it looks like EarthWatts will become a primary choice from now on. I have other options like the Enermax NAXN 450 and the HEC Cougar 450 but I still need to make up my mind.

Granted, none of my EarthWatts units failed on me, but I haven't had many—and I haven't pushed them either. The fan never turns up in my builds. I am curious if someone who had shared the same concern can reassure me that this power supply is a safe buy for the really long term, keeping in mind that a system built today is likely to stay relevant for a very long time.

Re: Durability of EarthWatts fan

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:33 am
by djkest
I have 2 Earthwatts 380 watt power supplies. 1 has been used on and off for 4 years. The other has been used continuously for the last 4 years. Both of them have been quiet and reliable the whole time. They are both what I consider quiet at my low power draws. Did I mention I got them both for about $40 each?

The Earthwatts 430W bronze I have now is even better. Granted, my GPU is so loud I'm not sure what the noise levels are on it. But the efficiency is improved and it runs more than it should be able to.

Plus- if they do happen to fail, you aren't out too much money. I saw EW380s for $25 last week.

Re: Durability of EarthWatts fan

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:15 pm
by line
4 years of constant use is above the typical life expectancy for sleeve bearing fans, so it's great to hear yours is still good and quiet. $25 for the EW380s is a steal! If I could get them for this price I'd be less worried. ;)