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Can unexperienced fan control damage your fans?

I have got a quick and easy question:

 

If I apply a low voltage (3pin DC) or low duty cycle percentage (4pin PWM) to a fan, so low they don't even keep spinning, does it damage them?

 

Reasoning:

I recently optimized by Noise Profil by installing and configuring speedfan. The software is a little bit older, with limited datapoints for your fancurve.

More often than not, when idling, it applies 10 or 15 percent pwm (in my case) to the fan, which is not enough to keep it spinning, not to mention start them up.

I suppose the same is possible with DC controlled fans to, at some point the voltage is just to low.

 

Is it detrimental to your fans lifespan if you keep them in one of those limbos?

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Shouldn't be. That just means the motor isn't getting enough power to create an electromagnetic field strong enough to move the weight of the blades. It shouldn't be any more damaging than running the fan at full power would be.

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No. A fans mtbf is based on full speed operation. They are designed to be run at 100% duty cycle for their lifetime. You won’t hurt it.

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My thought was, that I am still putting power into the fan, but it is not spinning anymore, so it has to create heat somewhere.

And because it's not moving it doesn't get any cooling.

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1 hour ago, CommandAndCompute said:

My thought was, that I am still putting power into the fan, but it is not spinning anymore, so it has to create heat somewhere.

And because it's not moving it doesn't get any cooling.

Ideally you want them to be actually effective for cooling. Why not use the BIOS to control?

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1 minute ago, Duckson McQuack said:

Why not use the BIOS to control?

Very good question. The answer is: Early 2010's Gigabyte Motherboard

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1 hour ago, CommandAndCompute said:

My thought was, that I am still putting power into the fan, but it is not spinning anymore, so it has to create heat somewhere.

And because it's not moving it doesn't get any cooling.

That was my first thought when I read your OP. It will create some degree of heat because even though it isn't moving, electricity IS flowing. If the fan isn't spinning it could (potentially) heat up because there is no air flow to cool it...how much, I have no idea. As long as it doesn't overheat though, it should be fine.

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