tatanka: Thanks for pointing that out...sounds much less ominous, actually quite good, as most ball-bearing fans (not sleeve or other types) are rated for 50 to 60K hours of life. Great idea about the mod kit
I wonder what the airflow is at the speed at which it runs in the Panny. I haven't pulled out my voltmeter, but I am sure it's not very high to reduce noise. Odd that Panasonic engineers opted to go for quashing potential immediate customer complaints about fan noise and price than long-term complaints regarding reliablilty. Or, maybe not that odd...
I just wish there was more room in the case for a larger fan. The "leg" on the PCB for the HDMI port and height of the case precludes anything larger than the 70mm x 15mm fan they have in there. Out of curiosity, one of these days I'm going to crack open my E85H and see what fan(s)/heatsinks they used in there.
If you don't have a spare heatsink lying around to chop up with a hacksaw, the one I'm putting in my Panny is a Wakefield 658-60AB. It looks to be about the best performer, and fits the LSI chip without gross overhang. Just opt for Arctic Silver adhesive instead of thermal tape to attach it. At $1.33 from Mouser, the shipping will be several times what the sink itself is.
The Wakefield line of heatsinks and specs can be viewed here:http://www.wakefield.com/pdf/BGA%20Catalog.pdf
At least there's plenty of headroom above the LSI chip to allow for a tall heatsink, unlike the LSI chip in the XBox 360, where vertical space is limited. There, it is blocked by the DVD unit over it, and they also ran the fan at a reduced speed to cut back on noise. Same end result as the Panny, though, and the Xbox HAS a heatsink, although undersized.
I'm not a thermodynamics engineer, so any corrections or comments are welcome.