The Definitive Fan Replacement Review - Tivo Series3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by rws70, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. rws70

    rws70 New Member

    Mar 19, 2013


    I have read some squabbling on other threads about what is the best fan to replace a worn out Cofan that came in the Tivo Series3.

    So I bought three fans from NewEgg and made a video of my testing to end the debates. I decided to go with a fan which was very quiet (important to me) and actually put out a bit more air than the original Cofan ... it also happened to be the cheapest.

    The video of my test is on YouTube.

    I tested: (all from
    EVERCOOL FAN-EC7025M12CA 70mm Item #: N82E16835119040
    APEVIA CF7025S 70mm Item #: N82E16835228027
    GELID Solutions Slient 7 FN-SX07-22 70mm Item #: N82E16835426040

    The APEVIA CF7025S was the clear winner and only costs $5.

    If you really want some extra air flow and don't mind a little background whirring sound during standby then the Evercool (out of stock today) might be for you.

    I often read in my living room when the TV is off and the Tivo is on Standby, and I like it quiet. I am very happy with the Apevia and you can see and hear for yourself in the video of my tests on YouTube, so you don't have to take my word on it.

    The video is my first, the editing isn't so great but it should help in the decision making and installation for all my fellow Tivo Series 3 diehards and do it yourselfers!


    EDIT Feb 2021 - The Apevia fan is still available on Amazon:

    Older Edit regarding bearing type: I am pretty sure the bearing type on the Apevia fan is sleeve as it is only rated for 25,000 hours. The Evercool is single ball bearing and rated for 60,000 hours. No question the ball bearing type is more durable. So I may be changing this fan out in a year or two. When I was a kid, I could not sleep with our pet dog because his breathing noise kept me awake. I guess I really like the silence. If anyone finds a 70mm bearing fan that is truly whisper quiet please advice.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
    RickStrobel likes this.
  2. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Nice comparison video! I'll keep it in mind if any of my fans start acting up. :up:

    That original fan was definitely on its last legs. You might have been able to get some more life out of it by re-oiling the bearings, but at this point not really worth it since you already purchased another.
  3. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks for the review.

    What kind of "bearings" does the winner have; ball or sleeve? Doesn't seemed to be mentioned at newegg?

    I suspect sleeve bearing. Half the rated lifetime of the ball bearing models. Potential to become noisier, earlier.

    No reviews anywhere I have checked, except the one at 'egg and here(which I suspect are the same reviewer), so I guess it's very new. Will await more long term reviews.

    Personally, I usually look for ball bearing models(with acceptable noise level) for my replacement fans.

    But as mentioned in post above, you can typically extend the life/silence of any of these case fans with a drop or two of lightweight household oil(sewing machine oil, 3 in 1 oil, clipper oil, etc). Don't use wd-40 though.

    Thanks again.
  4. rws70

    rws70 New Member

    Mar 19, 2013
    How do you get that drop or two of oil into the original fan. When I peer into the gap between the fan blade and the fan square base, I see the copper windings and I am concerned about dropping some oil in through that narrow gap. Thanks!

    Actually found a video on YouTube on how to oil the fan. Search for " ig33ku oil your PC fan " on YouTube. I will give that a try for fun and see if the old fan can be used longer.
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC


    All of those types of fans, as far as I know (and by those types, I mean the TiVo cooling fan, the one inside your PC power supply, case fans, and CPU heatsink mounted fans) are very similar in several respects.

    There's a sort of a "cup" and the blades sprout out from it.

    From inside the TiVo you can see the bottom of the cup, and air moves past it and the blades, past the top of the cup, and out the back of the TiVo.

    You'll need to remove the screws holding the fan to the chassis.

    (Unless it's an S1, then it just sort of snaps in place).

    If you took the cup off, you'd see an axle sticking straight up from it on the inside. This axle goes into a bearing which is mounted in the center of some supports that connect to the fan's frame.

    The wires will run down a channel in one of those supports until it reaches the circuit board with the coils and the bearing mounted in the middle.

    At the place where the bearing mounts, on the other side of that, the side you had to take the fan out of the TiVo in order to get at, there will be a round sticker.

    Under the sticker, there may be a plug in a hole, or maybe just the hole is there. Look into it and you can see the end of the axle that's not connected to the "cup".

    There may or may not be some sort of "C-clip" or split washer which mates with a groove that goes around the axle's end. If there is, it has to be carefully removed to enable slipping the axle back out of the middle of the bearing, but removing the axle isn't absolutely necessary unless the old lubrication really needs to be cleaned out.

    What I like to do is put a drop or 2 of light oil down into that hole so it flows down between the axle and the center of the bearing, then pack some light grease into the hole, pushing it with a finger to force some into the gap between axle and bearing, and then put another drop or 2 of oil in there.

    And you can grab the bottom of the cup and work the axle in and out a little bit to help distribute the lubrication.

    The grease helps thicken things up so all the oil doesn't drain away and the oil increases the grease's slipperiness.

    Then you re-insert the plug, if there was one, wipe up extra lubrication with a paper towel or something, and stick the sticker back down.

    You can get an idea of theory behind my combined lube technique by putting a little Vaseline on a surface and then a drop of baby oil on it and mix it up and rub it around with your finger, and you'll see how they combine to form something slippery that doesn't quickly dissipate due to the slipperiness.

    But don't use those two things on the fan axle.

    Try some fishing reel grease or go to an auto parts store for a little tube of dielectric tune up grease, and use 3-in-One oil, or sewing machine oil, or similar.
  6. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    Feb 17, 2003
    I should have listened to the OPs suggestion and bought the Apevia. Stupid me...I bought the Evercool for my Series 3 OLED based on other reviews at Newegg about much lower internal temps and low noise. Even at its slowest speed, the Evercool is loud. Was replacing all the power supply capacitors and the hard drive so figured I'd replace the fan too since it's been running 24/7 for 6+ years. Will lube and put original fan back in and keep the Evercool as a emergency spare, at which time I'll probably buy the Apevia. The Evercool did drop the internal temp by 1°C from the original fan. Still runs below 50°C, so the trade-off between fan noise and internal temp was just not worth it for me.
  7. pastreit

    pastreit New Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    I tried the Apevia and it was too noisy for the bedroom, even at a distance of about 12'. A month ago, I installed the GELID Solutions Slient 7 FN-SX07-22, and I can't hear it at all. Definitely worth the $13 from NewEgg.

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