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The Best Case Fans to Buy Today. 80mm to 200mm

Best Case Fans


If you’ve noticed that your PC is running a bit hotter than what is ideal for your system components, it may be time to start checking out some of the best case fans in order to avoid future problems. There are a broad variety of options available to you when it comes to case fans and it is important to choose the right one for your case.

To help you out a bit, we’ve put together this guide to explain how a fan cooling system works and how to pick the best one for your case and components.

Before you start shopping, you’ll want to double check the dimensions of your case and how much clearance you actually have internally for a fan setup. In some cases, you may be better off with a multiple fan system, rather than just a single fan. Really, it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

What Role Does a Case Fan Play in Maintaining PC Performance?

As the technology driving our PC’s and laptops continue to increase in both power consumption and speed, so do our computer’s internal temperatures. If important components such as the CPU and PSU are not kept at ambient temperature via passive cooling, you desperately need a case fan or two in order to help carry the excess heat load. Left unresolved, excess heat will severely shorten the lifespan of your PC components.

Active cooling has become an integral part of PC maintenance. That’s where case fans come into play. With proper positioning, your case fans will simultaneously push hot air away from problem areas such as the CPU heatsink and pull fresh, cool air across them.

How to Choose the Very Best Case Fan for Your PC

A fair amount of thought and research should go into the purchase of a new case fan for your PC. You’ll want to consider things like;

  • Whether or not aesthetics are important. Does your case provide a view of your fans? Does it matter to you what it looks like? There are fans with cool lighting effects for computer enthusiasts looking for something a bit more unique.
  • What your primary goals are for active cooling. Do you have specific problem areas that are in need of active cooling, or are you taking preemptive measures to protect the entire system? Are you in the market for a new fan because of heat problems, noise levels during operation, or both?
  • How much noise you want to put up with. Noise complaints are most common amongst overclockers, gamers, and professionals that need a lot of processing power. There are, however, some really nice, quiet models available if you’re willing to pay a bit extra. To better understand fan noise rankings, check out this guide.
  • How you want to control your fan. Do you want a simple, plug-and-play fan that turns on and off as necessary? If you’re interested in manually controlling your fan settings, picking up a fan controller for your system might be a good idea too. You can also use software to control your fans.

Before you go shopping, you’ll need to check a few things:

  • Check your PC’s connector type. There are 3 different types of connector, a 2-Pin, 3-Pin, and 4-Pin. A 2-Pin is a simple, on/off setup; not commonly used in modern computing. Both the 3 and 4-Pin connectors allow more control over fan operations, leading to more efficient active cooling.
  • Choose an appropriate fan for your case size. If you have an extra-large case, you’ll want to consider a 200MM case fan, for instance. In this situation, an 80MM fan would do very little to cool your system, as it lacks the force of air flow and RPMs necessary to efficiently move cool air to important areas such as the CPU.

Best 80mm Case Fans

Cooler Master SickleFlow 80 V2 All-Black

Excellent RGB Cooler With Great Airflow

Cooler Master SickleFlow 80 V2 All-Black
The Cooler Master SickleFlow 80 V2 retails for something like 10 bucks, give or take, and features an all-black (hence the name) square frame fan, air balance curve blades, sealed bearing and PWM control for computer cases and air coolers.

Basically, for the price asked, Cool Master really delivers in terms of design and performance, i.e. this is the perfect choice for all of the users who shop for a simple, sleek, and stealthy looking cooler for their custom build. The new blade design consists of a revised curve blade which dramatically improves air pressure and air flow, and the enhanced fan frame increases efficiency and reduces turbulent flow noise.

The 2-tier sealing mechanism in the sealed bearing structure prevents dust from setting in, as well as lubricating oil leakage, which increases the fan’s life span and operation stability.

The PWM fan control thing dynamically adjusts the speed between 650 RPM to 2,500 RPM, minimizing noise or maximizing airflow, but keep in mind that this particular model comes with a 3 pin ARGB plug, which means is NOT compatible with most ASUS AURA motherboards.

The software works, but you can’t physically plug this into any of the ARGB headers, so just double check your motherboard and fan before purchasing if you want RGB, i.e. look for a 4 pin plug to make it work.

Pros:
  • Super quiet
  • Braided cables
  • RGB lighting
  • Excellent build quality
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Nothing really

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ARCTIC F8 PWM Rev. 2

Another Favorite 80MM Case Fan

arctic f8 pwm rev 2
ARCTIC’s Fluid Dynamic 80MM Case Fan is probably the best budget case fan available to consumers today. Its two-way installation allows you to blow warm air out of your case or pull cool air into your case; which is highly effective as a cooling measure. With a 4-Pin connector, this affordable case fan is ready to plug-and-play, set up with a fan controller, or even directly control your fan’s PWM with software settings.

Another great feature of this ARCTIC case fan is the fluid dynamic bearing, which has an integrated capsule of lubricating oil to ensure that operation remains smooth and silent even at high speeds. Other quiet models typically rely on a sleeve bearing to achieve this level of quiet, however, their service life is usually much shorter than that of fluid dynamic bearings.

Pros:
  • 4-Pin connector that works with software and fan controllers to control WPM
  • Very quiet model
  • Highly affordable
  • Small enough to fit in smaller cases
  • Easy installation
Cons:
  • Too small for medium-large cases

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Noctua NF-A8 PWM Premium 80mm

One of the Best PC Case Fans on the Market

noctua nf-a8 pwm premium 80mm
If you’re into aesthetics when it comes to your computer components but aren’t a fan of flashy light displays, the Noctua NF-A8 PWM Premium 80MM case fan just might be perfect for you. Designed with components such as your CPU in mind, this Noctua model was built to stand up to the air flow pressure demands of tight spaces around heat syncs and such. But they didn’t neglect the visual design elements of the fan in order to accomplish this level of efficiency.

Not only is it fairly quiet, due to Noctua’s signature SSO bearing system, it is composed of sleek lines, an open design, and perfectly placed blades. If you’re in the market for a smaller case fan set up, this is truly a great option.

Pros:
  • Custom designed, ultra-low power consumption
  • 4-Pin connector which gives you more options for control
  • Quiet
Cons:
  • Inefficient for large cases

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Best 120mm Case Fans

Be Quiet! BL070 SILENTWINGS 3

A Practically Silent Case Fan

be quiet bl070 silentwings 3 - A Practically Silent Case Fan
Don’t let the standard 7-blade design fool you; this SILENTWINGS 3 case fan is anything but standard. A unique 6-pole motor design allows for drastically less power consumption; and thus less vibration as well. Thanks to this feature, the Be Quiet! 120MM High Speed fan is indeed very quiet.

Another of our favorite features on this particular case fan is the design of the air inlets. They are funnel-shaped in order to create maximum air pressure; whether drawing air away from overheated components or pushing cool, fresh air across them. At 120MM this case fan is perfect for small or medium size PC cases.

Pros:
  • Perfect fit for more small-medium sized cases
  • Quiet, thanks to a fluid dynamic bearing design
  • 4-Pin connector which gives you additional control options
Cons:
  • Won’t fit in all small PC cases, you’ll have to check how much room you have in your case
  • Some users experience more noise than others

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Noctua NF-A12x25

A Performance and Manufacturing Masterpiece

noctua nf-a12x25 pwm
Noctua NF-A12 PWM fan brings the traditional Noctua quality and proves, once again, that their entire product line is a class for itself. In other words, if you are seeking an uncompromising performance, without too many blows and whistles, this is the product to go for.

Noctua NF-A12 comes in a package with anti-vibration mounts, an extension cable, a y-cable, and an entire bunch of other assortments that guarantee for a great low noise performance that never passes a 22.6 dB(A) mark. Moreover, this fan provides speeds between 450rpm and 2000rpm; it offers 60 CFM airflow and on top of that comes with a six-year warranty that is just another proof of its quality and an assurance that this is definitely one of the best fans you can find for your case, radiator, or CPU.

Pros:
  • Six-year warranty
  • Low noise performance
  • Excellent build quality
  • It comes with a nice set of accessories
Cons:
  • Pricey

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CORSAIR iCUE SP120 RGB ELITE

Solid Triple Fan Kit With iCUE Lighting

CORSAIR iCUE SP120 RGB ELITE
If you’re looking for a high-end fan kit for y120mm PWMour custom-built rig, the CORSAIR iCUE SP120 RGB ELITE comes to mind. For less than $60, you’ll get three 120mm PWM high-performance fans with iCUE Lighting Node CORE, and even if this may sound a little bit on the expensive side, if you’re looking for performance and cool design, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Speaking of performance, the fans feature Corsair’s proprietary AirGuide Technology, that uses anti-vortex vanes to direct airflow and concentrate cooling, thus improving cooling whether used as intake, exhaust or mounted to a liquid cooling radiator.

The iCUE thing includes 8 individually addressable RGB LEDs, which allow you to create awesome RGB lighting effects with 8 LEDs along each fan hub, and since the kit comes with iCUE Lighting Node CORE included, you’ll benefit from total RGB control for up to 6 CORSAIR RGB fans via CORSAIR’s in-house made iCUE software, via a compact RGB Lighting Controller that reduces cable clutter.

The 120 mm fan blades are designed for low noise and good airflow, i.e. you’ll rig will be quiet, and everything will look awesome. Speaking of the latter, the fans are really bright and give wonderful colors when pulsing, and the colors are easy to set up on the controller, just like everything else.

If you want RGB fans which aren’t too loud and sync up well, these are the fans for you. You will be paying a higher premium, but if you want quality gear, the CORSAIR iCUE SP120 RGB ELITE will not disappoint.

Pros:
  • Strong airflow performance
  • Good value for money
  • Solid build quality
  • Easy to install/setup
  • Fantastic RGB
  • Low noise level
Cons:
  • None really

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ARCTIC F12 PWM Rev. 2

The Best 120MM Case Fan for the Price

arctic f12 pwm rev 2 - Best 120MM Case Fan for the Price
The F12 PWM Rev. 2 Case Fan is another great model designed by ARCTIC; one of the leaders in the industry of case fans and general cooling technology. This 120MM fan is a 4-Pin connector model, which allows you to control the pulse width modification of your fan. This is useful for heavy duty computer users such as gamers and designers who are battling unusually high operational temperatures.

Another benefit of the 4-Pin connector is that allowing your motherboard to control the fan’s PWM will dramatically cut fan noise levels. Constant monitoring of exact temperatures allows the system to appropriately estimate how much power and running time it will take to keep components at ideal temperatures. That means that the fan can avoid running at max power, and thus avoid running at max noise volume.

Pros:
  • 2 Way installation so you can push or pull air
  • 4-Pin connector allows control of PWM
Cons:
  • Not enough air flow for larger cases
  • May not fit smaller cases

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Thermaltake Riing 12 RGB TT Premium Edition

A Fan with Amazing Lighting Effects Possibilities

thermaltake riing 12 rgb tt premium edition
The primary task of RGB fans is to create amazing lighting effects that will make your computer different from the crowd. Depending on the fan features, these effects can vary from discrete to utterly amazing, which is the case with the Thermaltake Riing 12 RGB TT Premium Edition.

This three-fan pack comes with 16 predefined light modes, but also, thanks to it’s 30 addressable 16.8 million colors LEDs and a TT RGB PLUS Software, it allows for an unlimited number of possible color combinations and permits for users to create their own unique color creations and even synchronize the LEDs with their music, gaming action, etc.

Generally made as a radiator fan, with distinctive nine-blade design, PWM control, hydraulic bearing and specially constructed rubber pads, these fans deliver a silent but great cooling performance with a fan speed from 500RPM to 1500RPM.

Thermaltake simply hit in the dead center with the Riing 12 RGB TT Premium Edition, delivering both high performance and a unique-looking product, as any premium product should.

Pros:
  • Exceptional lighting
  • High customizability
  • Quality build
Cons:
  • Pricey

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Best 140mm Case Fans

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Last update on 2022-06-25 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon

Corsair ML140

A Revolutionary Fan that Doesn’t Bring Anything Revolutionary

corsair ml140
Corsair ML140, where ML stands for Magnetic Levitation, is a product that introduces a new technology to the industry, and its primary goal is to reduce the noise levels. Built to last, with a custom rotor design and a PWM control, this fan delivers a high airflow and achieves speeds from 400RPM to 2000RPM. Unfortunately, its noise levels aren’t that good. Even though its performance is very silent at low speeds, it becomes louder as its fan speed increases.

Generally very stylish, with a decent five-year warranty, this fan presents a quality product, with a decent price and overall a good performance.

Although Corsair ML140 is bringing something completely new to the fan market, the fact is that the involvement of a Magnetic Levitation technology actually doesn’t bring any noticeable benefit to the fans performance. Hopefully it will bring something in the future, but for now, this is just a decent product, which is, on the other hand, more than enough in most cases.

Pros:
  • Cool lighting
  • Almost silent at low speeds
Cons:
  • Loud at high speeds

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Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM

A Fan with Premium Performance

noctua nf-a14 ippc-3000 pwm
Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM is, before anything else, a premium product that doesn’t make any compromises. A six-year warranty, great air flow, silent operations and a great set of features for enhanced overall performance make this fan one of a kind product.

Advanced acoustic optimization, fully automated speed control, aerodynamic optimization, low-noise-adaptor, and anti-vibration pads are just some of its great highlights. With a PWM control and a fan speed from 800RPM to 3000RPM, this fan delivers the performance that can be accommodated to everybody’s needs.

You can use it directly on your chassis for improved air cooling or as a radiator fan, thanks to its square shape that guarantees full radiator coverage. Altogether, Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM is just a perfect thing of engineering, and an excellent and affordable option that doesn’t bring the shiny RGB but does the job, and it does it flawlessly.

Pros:
  • Silent work
  • Longevity
  • Great performance
Cons:
  • None

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Corsair QL140 RGB

A Perfect Combination of Good Performance and Attractiveness

corsair ql140 rgb
Corsair QL140 RGB is a very well-built fan, with an excellent balance of performance and good looks, as well as a nice set of customization options that might play a major role for RGB fans.

Although its price isn’t on the affordable side, its qualities, such as low noise performance and four lighting zones, with 34 addressable LEDs (fully controllable through the CORSAIR iCUE software), make this fan worth buying. Great things usually aren’t cheap and Corsair QL140 RGB is no exception to this rule. However, it offers a fairly good value for its price, such as fan speed of up to 1250rpm, good 50.2 CFM airflow, and equally importantlz, low noise performance. These specs altogether make it one of the best 140mm fans out there.

Pros:
  • Excellent RGB lighting capabilities
  • A solid performance
  • Attractive looking
Cons:
  • A bit pricey

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NZXT AER RGB 2 – 140mm

An Excellent Fan that is Worth the Money

nzxt aer rgb 2 - 140mm
If you are looking for some serious PC customization hardware that will not be there only for the sake of appearance, but also with a quality performance, NZXT AER RGB 2 – 140mm is the right product for you. With this fan, you will get a highly efficient cooling tool that is whisper-quiet and eye-appealing at the same time.

Thanks to its CAM-software, you will be able to easily configure and set your lighting effects, with an unlimited number of possible color combinations. Unfortunately, although the CAM-software is easy to use, sometimes it can be intrusive and annoying. Therefore, before the possible purchase, be aware of that, along with the fact that the fans have the RGB light only on one side, so if you don’t have a tempered glass side panel, you will have trouble enjoying their awesome looks in the first place.

Luckily, those are the only downsides of this otherwise excellent 140mm PWM static pressure fan that can bring a little bit of special touch to any gaming rig.

Pros:
  • Quiet
  • Quality cooling performance
Cons:
  • One-sided RGB LEDs
  • Troubling CAM software

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Best 200mm Case Fans

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Last update on 2022-06-25 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon

Cooler Master MF200R RGB

A Decent RGB Fan for Its Size

cooler master mf200r rgb
For people looking for a large 200mm RGB fan that will offer plenty of customization options and support for various RGB lighting eco-systems, Cooler Master MF200R RGB comes as a great entry-level option.

There is support for Asus Aura, Gigabyte Fusion, MSI RGB and many other similar utilities, so you will have no trouble setting it up to your needs. If, on the other hand, your motherboard doesn’t support RGB, there is always a possibility for an RGB controller purchase that will do the exact same work.

This fan comes with numerous features for the enhanced altogether experience, such as the audio absorbing rubber pads, Smart Fan Sensor that automatically stops the fan if the cable is jammed inside it, hybrid jet engine fan design and a lot more.

Cooler Master MF200R RGB can achieve a speed of 800RPM, which is more than enough for a fan of this size, delivers a great balance between the performance and a quiet work, and generally presents a good value for the money.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Attractive looking
Cons:
  • A bit noisy

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Thermaltake Riing Quad

One Riing to Rule Them All

Thermaltake Riing Quad
We’re just kidding a bit, but the Thermaltake Riing Quad is a solid option if all you got is 50 bucks and you’re shopping for flashy RGB cooling solution.

According to the manufacturer, the Riing Quad is actually an expansion to the Riing Quad RGB 120mm/140mm 3pack Kit with Digital Controller, the point being that operation of the product is enabled with the Digital Controller and TT RGB PLUS Software.

In terms of tech specs, you’ll get max airflow 40.9 CFM, max air pressure 1.4 mm-H2O, and max fan speed 1500 R.P.M. which is pretty good for the price point, and the PWM controlled fan comes in a nine-blade design, featuring 9 unique blades engineered for maximizing airflow while minimizing noise.

The Riing Quad also features hydraulic bearings with low noise design, which self-lubricate with a friction-reducing substance, which lowers operation noise while improving thermal efficiency, and an anti vibration mounting system, consisting of in-mold injection and anti vibration rubber pads, to prevent scratches and reduce noise from fans spinning at high levels.

The fans look great, work perfectly, noise level is pretty low, the RGB thing is gorgeous, but, the software sucks. The thing is, unless you have already purchased a 3 pack (that means 3x the money) then you don’t have the appropriate controller to plug this into.

Thermaltake doesn’t make it available, and if you don’t have any means of obtaining a controller that will be compatible with a single quad fan, you cannot plug a quad into a dual or trio (but you can do the reverse), which leads to software malfunctions.

Pros:
  • Good build quality
  • Solid performance
  • Awesome RGB
  • Good value for money
  • Cool design
Cons:
  • Bad software
  • Dubious company policy

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Thermaltake 200mm Pure 2

A Large Fan with an Excellent Balance of Silent Performance and Efficiency

thermaltake 200mm pure 2
Thermaltake 200mm Pure 2 is an affordable and very efficient 200mm fan that delivers very quiet performance and overall great value for the consumer.

Thanks to its shaved design, it is easy to install, while its sleeve bearing guarantees for its durability. Its specialized fan blade design ensures a quality airflow while keeping the noise levels at the lowest possible level. Similar to other large 200mm fans, Thermaltake 200mm Pure 2 has a maximum speed of around 800 RPM and generally presents good air cooling tool, with low-noise performance.

Since this is a 200mm fan, don’t expect it to be perfectly silent – it will surely be noisier than, for instance, similar type 120mm fans, but still, that is more than acceptable for this dimensions. In other words, if you want a fan of this diameter, that is something you just must accept.

Pros:
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Noisy

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TechsLounge editorial team consists of versatile tech enthusiasts. Each of us specializes in the specific area (from photography to virtual reality).
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