I'm planning to buy a few HD7970s for OpenCL computing, which would be under full load permanently, probably for years. Now I'm wondering if this could be a problem for the fan. Is the fan of the HD7970 able to run for years under full load, or would this be a problem? I'm wondering since AMD's primary aim seems to be gaming, which doesn't cause the fan to run non-stop for many years.
I could go for watercooling, which solves this problem, but of course this is a nontrivial investment that I don't like making if it's not necessary. Alternatively, how and where to buy new fans when they're broken? Would a heap of spare fans be cheaper than watercooling?