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When looking through CPU fans and heatsinks at, I see some that are "2 ball coolers" and others are "1 ball coolers". What is a 2 ball CPU cooler? How is it superior to a 1 ball?

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migrated from Aug 4 '11 at 6:25

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From wikipedia:

"Though generally more expensive, ball bearing fans do not suffer the same orientation limitations as sleeve bearing fans, are more durable especially at higher temperatures, and are quieter than sleeve bearing fans at higher rotation speeds. The lifespan of a ball bearing fan may be around 63,000 hours at 50 °C"

A 2 ball fan simply means that the sleeve uses 2 ball bearings. It is possible (and usually better) for a bearing to use more than 2 balls, but I have yet to see a computer fan use more than 2 ball bearings.

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I believe it is a reference to the number of (ball) bearings that the fan has. Bearings are a reliable/durable way of mounting a shaft (i.e. the fan motor) and arguably two may reduce wear/improve durability/reduce noise - I would question the necessity for that degree of excess for a simple fan though.

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