|Better PS models have larger, more efficient heat sinks inside of them, and weigh more than lesser quality PS models partially because of that. |
The fan may have a temp sensitive control that spins the fan slower when the temp inside the PS case is lower. I haven't heard of such a temp sensitive control that allows the single fan to STOP spinning if the temp is low enough - that's possible, but NOT likely.
However, in any case, the fan SHOULD spin when the temp inside the PS gets hot enough to trigger that.
Sometimes you have to look on the PS manufacturer's web site in order to find out if the fan on the particular model is temp controlled. That may be indicated by something within the specific model number on the label of actual PS you have.
Some PSs have more than one fan - in that case, the fan on the bottom of the PS is nearly always temp controlled. The lower fan MAY stop stop spinning when the temp is low enough, but I've never come across that.
Both fans may be temp controlled.
Your Antec Earthwatts EA-500 has a 500 watt (output) capacity. If your system doesn't need anywhere near 500 watts of total power, the PS components will stay relatively cooler.
Antec has two lines of PSs for the same or similar wattage capacities.
The lower line which includes Earthwatts models have a shorter warranty than the higher line which includes the TruePower (True Power ?) models. It used to be Antec made only the latter.
PS models that have shorter warranties tend to usually have a fan or fans that has or have bearings for the motor that are less durable.They're two cheap sleeve bearings that have oil impregnated into the pores of the bearing (e.g. oilite brand), or one sleeve bearing, one ball bearing, rather than two ball bearings or better (e.g. ceramic bearings). (If the label on the fan, or the specs for the fan, say ball bearing without an s, it probably has one sleeve bearing, one ball bearing.) Some fans have a sleeve bearing or bearings that has some superior method of keeping them lubricated (e.g. many Japanese brands) , but they don't last as long as fans with two ball bearings or better
If you find out your PS fan isn't spinning under any situation and it's supposed to spin at least a lower rpm at all times, if the PS's board has not been damaged by overheating yet, if you replace the fan with one of the same size and the same or similar or higher cfm rating - if you find no cfm rating one that draws about the same amount of ma or more usually has a similar or better cfm rating - the PS will work fine and the fan will spin as it's supposed too.
I recommend you replace the fan with a three wire case fan of the same size, that has two ball bearings or better bearings rather than a two wire PS fan, and run the fan's 3 pinhole connector to a spare 3 or 4 pin fan header on the mboard, if that header's available Some case fans can be connected to either a 3 pin fan header or a spare larger molex power connector. Some have a variable speed control or switch in their wiring. Some case fans have a superior blade design that moves more air and/or makes less noise when the blade spins faster.
If you connect the 3 wire case fan to a 3 or 4 pin fan header on the mboard, you can monitor the PS fan's current rpm in the bios, or use hardware monitoring software in Windows to monitor that rpm which uses the info the bios provides. Most retail mboard models come with such software on the CD or DVD that came with the mboard, or it can usually be downloaded from the mboard manufacturer's web site, from the list of software available for the specific model, or from elsewhere on the web site. If there is hardware monitoring software available from the manufacturer it's often been tweaked to make it as accurate as possible.
Sometimes you can set bios settings so you get a warning of some sort if the rpm is too low or zero. You almost always can set a software hardware monitoring program in Windows to do that in it's own settings.
In either case,
- if the fan is variable speed, or isn't but spins slower than the default setting, you may need to change the lowest rpm value from it's default value to suit the fan;s situation
Third party software such as SpeedFan makes assumptions and may need to be tweaked in it's own settings to have it read about the same as the readings you see in mboard's bios version, and sometimes it detects readings for inputs nothing is connected to (the reading is always the same, and/or is impossible).
I've replaced the PS fan with a two ball bearing case fan at least 4 times when a particular PS was working fine otherwise, other than the fan not spinning properly, and in all but one of those cases, the PS did not fail after that.
For the one case where PS failed after replacing the fan, it was a PS in a friend's computer I was working on, it had a conventional tower computer case with the PS mounted at the top of the case, and I accidentally noticed the case got HOT above where the PS is when the computer had been on a while. There was very little air coming out of the computer case at the back where the PS is mounted. When I opened up the computer case, the single fan on the bottom of the PS was wiggling back and forth instead of spinning. The friend had not noticed the problem, so who knows how long it had been doing that. I replaced the fan with a 3 wire case fan of the same size (Antec brand) that had two ball bearings and came with wiring connectors / adapters that could be connected to either a 3 pin fan header on the mboard or a spare larger molex connector from the PS, and it had a switch inline for selecting one of three speeds - I chose the fastest speed as I recall. The PS failed a couple of months later, the fan is still fine.
It was a Cooler Master model that turned out to have a 1 year warranty and probably a fan with two cheap sleeve bearings. The fan failed less than two years after the new PS had been installed - there is no one in the friend's household who used that computer all day except possibly on the weekends.
I replaced the PS with an Antec model with a 5 year warranty, and there have been no PS problems with that computer since then.
Tubesandwires, in Alberta, Canada.