Considering how summers are upon most of us, it is finally time to start taking the temperature of your PC seriously. Sure, you can turn on the AC in your room and keep things cool but your PC is going to run considerably hot and you cannot just get away with relying on average fans. A good cooler is just as important as a good set of fans and without either one of them, you are looking at a lot of heat generated.
But how exactly do you choose a PC fan? A lot of times people have told me how almost all the PC fans that they have seen in the market look the same aside from some minor differences in terms of blade designs, and the way their case is designed.
Well, to make things easier, I have decided to take a look at the best PC fans available in the market. This should comparatively ease your worries and allow you to buy fans that are better in almost every aspect. So, let’s not waste more time and start having a look at the best fans that you can buy in this instance.
Reviewing the Best PC Fans
|Best Overall PC Fans||Buy on Amazon |
|Best RGB PC Fan||Buy on Amazon |
|Best Budget RGB PC Fans||Buy on Amazon |
|Best Radiator Fan||Buy on Amazon |
|Best Fans for Air Coolers||Buy on Amazon |
Getting the right fan is extremely important. I remember building my first PC and not installing the fans that were built for that type of case and it only created more and more issues. Sure, you might think that a fan is just supposed to provide but there are a number of things that actually make a good fan and something that separates a good fan from a bad fan, so it is important.
With that said, aside from the fans that I am featuring, I will also be featuring a buying guide at the end that is going to help you choose the right fan for your PC.
- Bearing Type: Self-Stabilizing Oil Pressure Bearing
- RPM Range: 400-1200
- Listed CFM: 59.2
- Listed dBA: 18.1
- RGB: No.
- Size: 120mm and 140mm.
It should not come as a surprise that when we are talking about good fans that are available in the market, the one company that has always been there is Noctua. They are known for making some amazing fans and the best part is that they are not going to slow down, either. They also make some amazing coolers that I have reviewed in the past but this time around, my focus is primarily on the fans and yes, you do get some really good stuff.
Now, it is very important to know that these fans have been around for some time. But the reason why they are still popular and they are still selling really well is because of the performance they deliver. The fans are able to push out a lot of air, to be honest. Which is definitely a good thing as if you do run into some issues with the temperatures or your PC getting hot, you will not have to worry about the performance being hampered in any way.
Noctua has hit it out of the mark as well, giving you a fan that is affordably priced and more importantly, looks good too. If you are familiar with some of the Noctua fans in the past, they are not the greatest looking but this one strikes the perfect balance between looks and pricing.
Thankfully, the performance is not something that suffers either. The fans can get fast and are able to push a significant amount of air, and that too, without too much of a concern. If you are using these on air cooler or for the purpose of exhaust or intake, I would highly recommend these fans.
The color scheme is also excellent and another thing that I do love about the Noctua NF-S12B is that they ship with a 6-year warranty and on top of that, they are also available in a 140mm variant in case you are using a bigger case like I am.
For those who are wondering about what I don’t like about the fans. Honestly, they can get loud and while it does not bother me much, it might be a concern for some and the fans don’t ship with any RGB so that is one more point to note down.
Overall, it is more than safe to say that the Noctua NF-S12B are excellent fans even now. They are available in multiple sizes, work really well, deliver great performance, and well, they are discrete. For anyone who wants a high performing fan, this is the way to go.
- Great pricing.
- Strong performance.
- 6-year warranty.
- Available in two sizes
- Can get loud.
- No RGB.
Corsair LL120 RGB
- Bearing Type: Hydraulic Bearing
- RPM Range: 600-1500
- Listed CFM: 43.3
- Listed dBA: 24.8
- RGB: Yes.
- Size: 120mm and 140mm.
The next set of fans that we are reviewing are from Corsair. Now, Corsair as a company has been around and it is one of those companies that can easily and proudly say been there, done that. The best part about all of this is that despite having so many things under their belt, the company has never really run into major issues that made them stop and rethink.
With that said, the Corsair LL120 RGB are on the table and honestly, these are my favorite fans for a lot of reasons. Something I will be getting into detail as we go forward but if you have been searching for fans that genuinely look great and even perform that way, then this is definitely for you.
Now, I am going to address the elephant in the room right away and that is the fact that the Corsair LL120 RGB brings a total of sixteen addressable RGB in each fan. This allows for one of the brightest, best looking RGB experiences that you can get and that too, without any complication coming in the way. This might as well be the best looking RGB PC fan in the market because the experience is just amazing.
Not just that, considering how fans are controlled by the Lighting Node Pro controller, you can control the lights and the fans anyway you want and you would be surprised to know the customization is limitless. Considering how the ICUE software is finally in a stage where using it is just as much pleasure as it should be, you are getting one of the best experiences that you can go for.
However, just because the fan looks good does not mean that it is going to perform on the same level. Thankfully, the Corsair LL120 RGB does surprise you in terms of the relative performance, too. The fan runs really well and is quiet, and surprisingly, even when you go past the 1000 RPM mark, it manages to remain quiet. This is all thanks to the hydraulic bearing that Corsair is using and while it is not as good or fancy as magnetic levitation, it still is something that works really well if you want to crank up the fan speed.
Corsair has also done a fantastic job at the build quality of the fan and you are getting something that is not going to give in, either. If you want a fan that is built as good as it performs, the Corsair LL120 RGB is the way to go. Last but not the least, the triple-pack (which is how you should buy this) comes with the Lighting Node Pro controller that will help you set everything up.
Now, coming back to what I do not like about the Corsair LL120 RGB; for starters, the fans can only work with the Corsair Lighting Node Pro as that is the only way that you can control them, and the fact they do not serve as good fans for radiators is slightly disappointing due to not having enough static pressure.
For those who are looking for flashy fans that are excellent with airflow, the Corsair LL120 RGB is amazing in almost every regard. They are also built really well, but they have some minor shortcomings that do not come in the way in the long run. These are certainly excellent fans for every PC build.
- Hands down the best looking fan in the market.
- Lots of lighting options with software control.
- Manage to remain quiet even at 1000+ RPM.
- Solid build quality.
- The Triple-pack bundle is a solid deal.
- Not as good as a radiator fan.
- Setting it up properly can be a hassle.
Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo
- Bearing Type: Rifle Bearing
- RPM Range: 650-1800
- Listed CFM: 47.2
- Listed dBA: 30
- RGB: Yes.
- Size: 120mm and 140mm.
Cooler Master as a company has been around for as long as one can remember and if you are to talk about some of the most consistent companies out there in terms of their portfolio deliverance then Cooler Master is definitely among the list. The best thing is that there have been several amazing offerings from the company in the past and none of them have failed us so far. Sure, the company did go through some ups and downs in the middle but that is just something that happens to almost every major brand in the market.
With that said, Cooler Master has gone through a number of revamps in the past and it has come to the point that the company has finally managed to win over the fans and well, have released a number of amazing products, too. The fans that I have with me are the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo and well, these are some slick looking fans that are not going to cost you a lot of money but the best thing is that their performance is sufficient as well.
The first thing that you are going to notice right away is the fact that if you have been wanting something that brings great value for money, this is it. The fan is not going to disappoint you in terms of how much it costs, making it one of the strongest selling points. But don’t worry as there is more.
For starters, with the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo, you are getting 24 addressable LEDs in a single fan and if that is not something that is going to impress you, I do not understand what will. The fans are super-bright, and they look excellent, too. The RGB LEDs can be controlled the way you want and that too, without any complications. What is even better is that the RGB lighting is fully compatible with the motherboard’s onboard RGB. However, if you do buy the triple pack, you will get a standalone LED controller as well.
The one thing that I have really loved about what Cooler Master has done here with the MasterFan MF120 is the inclusion of cable covers and cable adapter which allows for an easy cable management, something that a lot of people would appreciate, considering how easy it makes everything. Not to forget, the build quality is excellent, too. So, if you have been wanting something that can stick, this will definitely get the job done for you.
Honestly, I cannot seem to find issues with the fan and the overall performance here. However, the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo does not perform as well as a radiator fan, so I would highly suggest that you are using it as an airflow fan because the performance there is exceptional.
Overall, it Is safe to say that the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo is an excellent fan for those who are looking for a good experience. If you truly want something that delivers exceptional performance, I would highly suggest that you get the triple pack as that brings the best value you can ask for.
- The triple-pack presents an excellent value for money.
- Integrated RGB lighting looks phenomenal.
- Lighting can be controlled standalone or through a provided controller.
- Clean cable management.
- Solid build.
- Performance is not as good with radiators.
Thermaltake Toughfan 12 Turbo
- Bearing Type: 2nd Generation Hydraulic Bearing
- RPM Range: 500-2500
- Listed CFM: 72.69
- Listed dBA: 28.1
- RGB: No.
- Size: 120mm and 140mm.
Thermaltake as a brand has always looked towards providing excellent value for money and great performance, too. However, over the past couple of years, the company has started focusing on some really high-end offerings too that are great for those who are looking for excellent performance in almost all aspects there are. With that said, if you have been on the lookout for something similar, you would be happy to know that Thermaltake has you covered.
The first from Thermaltake is the amazing Thermaltake Toughfan 12 Turbo, built over the foundations that were laid by the standard variant and something that does deliver top of the line performance and that too, without any issues that might otherwise come in the way. If you have been searching for something that is known for its solid performance, this might as well be an excellent choice.
Now, the fans are excellent and that is something that I can tell you right away. They perform brilliantly when paired with a good radiator and even AIO. I used these with my Corsair H150i and I did not, for a second, run into any performance issues whatsoever. Nearly everything about these fans is excellent as far as the performance is concerned, so for anyone who has been wanting that, this is the way to go.
Another thing that Thermaltake has done brilliantly is how they have struck the perfect balance when it comes to airflow and noise across the entire RPM range. This means that the fans do not really feel loud at any instance and nearly everything about these fans is as good as it can become, making these a compelling option for those who are on a budget.
Furthermore, you are also witnessing a linear RPM response and linear noise response, too, allowing for one of the best experiences in terms of the overall usability. Not just that, considering how these are simple, no nonsense PWM fans, you can actually go ahead and get a really flexible RPM range thanks to the control you can have on these fans.
As far as the downsides are concerned, I honestly do not have any issues with the Thermaltake Toughfan 12 Turbo; I believe this is an excellent fan that you can go for, but when you are using the fans at a lower RPM, there is some audible bearing noise.
In conclusion, I really believe that the Thermaltake Toughfan 12 Turbo are excellent fans for radiators, to be honest. I have been using these for some time and I have realized just how good these fans are. Sure, they are not the fanciest looking fans in the market but for what you are paying for, you get a lot.
- One of the best performing radiator fans.
- Manages to create an amazing balance of noise and RPM.
- Linear RPM and airflow response.
- Long and receptive RPM control range.
- Bearing noise is audible in lower RPM ranges.
Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM
- Bearing Type: 2nd Generation Self-Stabilizing Oil Pressure Bearing
- RPM Range: 450-2000
- Listed CFM: 60.1
- Listed dBA: 22.6
- RGB: No.
- Size: 120mm and 140mm.
We are finally on the last fan that we had to review and this time around, it is Noctua all over again. However, this one is a treat for all those who are looking to use a good fan for their air cooler. After all, air coolers are still in fashion and believe it or not, a lot of people do prefer using air coolers over liquid coolers for various reasons. Anyway, this is not a comparison of air vs liquid coolers, so we are going to focus more on the fans.
The fan in question is the legendary Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM and the reason why I am calling it legendary is rather simple. The fan has served as one of the best offerings for the longest time in the market and it actually is one of the longest running series of fans, too. Available in both 120 and 140mm sizes, the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM are excellent fans for those who want to move a lot of air.
With that said, there is a lot to love and unpack about the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM and we are going to start with the obvious; the performance here is excellent, to say the least. The fan is fast, quiet, and delivers perhaps one of the most impressive performance to noise ratio that you are going to experience. All of this to a point where you will not really feel like you are getting something that simply is not good enough. If you have been looking for something that is out of the bounds extraordinary, this is the fan you need.
However, although the performance is great, it is not the only thing that I enjoyed here. The thing that I loved the most is the fact that the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM comes with a zero RPM mode, and in case you do not know, the fans can turn themselves off in idle conditions depending on the PWM duty cycle.
Moving on, Noctua has hit a homerun with the overall build quality of the fan as the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM is a nicely built fan that almost feels like a tank in hand and that is always good because I do love quality components that really work. That is very evident in how Noctua has worked on the PWM motor as this time around, the motor has minimized PWM switching noise when you are running the fan at lower RPM.
Moving further, you also get access to a good set of accessories that not only are shipped with the fan but can also be purchased separately in case you feel like getting your hands on them, which definitely is the right thing to do.
Last but not the least, I love how for a fan, Noctua is providing a 6-year warranty, which goes to show just how much the company has faith in their product. After all, releasing something that is not good enough is not going to cut it.
Moving onto the downsides, I have been using the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM in my personal build for as long as I can remember and honestly, my only complaint here is that the tan and brown color scheme is something that not a lot of people are going to like but if you are looking to push a lot of air through your system, then there is nothing better than this and if there is a better fan, I have not heard.
Overall, the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM serves as an excellent fan that has the makings of everything excellent. Never really did I feel like the fan not being good enough because in almost every situation I encountered, everything worked as intended and without any issues.
- The performance to noise ratio is one of the most impressive I have seen.
- The fans have a zero RPM mode that lets the fans completely switch off on idle conditions.
- The build quality is among the best.
- The PWM motor barely makes any noise during switching.
- Comes with enough accessories.
- A long, 6-year warranty.
- The color scheme is not something everyone would like.
How to Choose the Best PC Fans
Now that I am through with the best PC fans that you can buy, the next part of this round up is going to be a buying guide that will help you pick up the best PC fan. Now, I do understand that the need for such guides is not something that everyone is going to want but hey, fans are a lot more technical than one might know. With stuff like airflow, static pressure, decibels, PWM, and more. Needless to say, an average consumer can easily get confused.
With that out of the way, the purpose of this section is to make your fan buying experience a lot easier and allow you to end up with the best PC fan that is available in the market.
- Size of the Fan You Want: The first thing that you should be looking into is the size of the fan. Now, it should not come as a surprise to anyone but PC fans, much like other fans are available in a number of sizes. Picking the right size is very, very important. Why? Well, it should not come as a surprise but the size of the fan has to correspond to the size of the fan that is supported by your case. So, if your case only supports 120mm fans, you can only use 120mm fans. The most common fan sizes are 120 and 140mm. Most of the companies release a single fan in these sizes. However, we have also seen 200mm fans and 80mm fans, too. But they are not as common.
- What is the Purpose of the Fan: A friend once came to me asking for suggestions regarding some fans that he wanted to buy for his PC? After a lengthy discussion I asked him what does he plan on doing with the fans. To my surprise, he said “put them in my PC” I know, it sounds like the logical answer, too. However, that is not the case with PC fans because PC fans are either made for moving a lot of air, or are built for cooling the radiator. How do you tell which one you should be getting? Well, you have to be sure that if you want to move a lot of air, then you have to get a fan that is made for high airflow. In case you want a fan for radiators, you should check for a fan that has a better static pressure. While you can use these interchangeably, the performance difference is not worth doing so.
- RGB or Not: Now, this might not be as important as the rest of considerations, I know so many people who would decide against a fan just because it does not have any lighting in it, the same goes for a lot of other PC components. Therefore, when you are choosing a fan, you should ask yourself if you want RGB or not. If you do want RGB, would you rather go for addressable RGB, or something that is as simple as plug and play. Remember, ARGB or addressable fans are going to cost you more money than the standard RGB ones.
I do understand that finding the right fan for your PC is not something that you have to do every day. Fans live a lot longer than one might believe and the failure rate is rather low, as well. So, if you have been wanting something that is reliable and can last you a long time, it generally is better to spend a good chunk of money once rather than doing it again and again.
This was the whole idea behind this roundup as I only included the fans that I thought would value a person’s build rather than being there just for the sake of providing more air.
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I have been gaming for almost 24 years with extensive knowledge of all platforms and the gaming industry, in general. With interests in literature, art, gaming, and PC hardware.