Is your PC running hotter than its ideal temperature? For intense gaming, you should be looking for the best case fans that suit your PC’s temperature. Indispensable components such as the CPUs and processors in your PCs need to be kept at ambient temperature to prevent overheating, malfunctions and damage. Keeping this at its usual temperature helps you increase the lifespan of this components. Your case fan is an active cooling tool that aids in your PC’s maintenance and with the right positioning you can keep your PC at the best temperature. In this roundup, the VG crew ranks the best 120mm case fans for your PC. Let's dive into some of the best case fans and why you should consider them.
Most Effective Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12
- Premium quiet fan, 120x120x25 mm, 12V, 4-pin PWM, max. 1500 RPM, max. 22.4 dB(A), >150,000 h MTTF
- Award-winning 120x25mm fan with Focused Flow frame for high static pressure and superior quiet cooling performance
- Ideal for CPU heatsinks (e.g. Noctua NH-U12(S) series) and water cooling radiators, perfect replacement fan for loud all-in-one (AIO) coolers
- 4-pin PWM version for automatic speed control via 4-pin PWM fan headers, broad 300-1500rpm speed range (1200rpm max. with supplied Low-Noise Adaptor)
- Includes anti-vibration mounts, fan screws, Low-Noise Adaptor, extension cable and y-cable for running two PWM fans on the same header
When it comes to effectiveness, then Noctua NF-F12 is the best for you on this list. With Noctua products, you typically don't get the flashiest fan in design and color. However, when it comes to effective work, it makes up for just about everything else. In truth, it is a bit of a stretch to find many negatives about this case fan, besides its color and design.
Perhaps, the most impressive feature is the less noise that it produces. This fan comes with a Low Noise Adapter (L.N.A) which reduces the fan speed from 1500 to 1200 RPM. The Low Noise Adapter can be used either to keep the fan’s speed at 1200RPM or cap it to the maximum speed with the automatic PWM control. This case fan comes with silicon anti-vibration pads installed in them, to ensure the only sound you hear when running is the motor. It sounds amazing, right? If you are all about the performance and care less for features like color and design, then the Noctua NF-F12 is about perfect for you.
- SSO bearing ensures stability and durability
- Easy installation
- It is a bit noisy when SSO is on.
- Poor designs with no lighting system
Best Case Fan for Value: Corsair ML120 Pro LED
- Magnetic Bearing: harnesses magnetic Levitation technology to provide lower noise, higher performance, and a longer lifespan. . Air flow - 75 CFM. Noise level - 35. 0 decibels
- Custom rotor design: Delivers the perfect balance between high static pressure and high airflow, operating flawlessly in the most challenging environments
- Extensive control range: a 2, 000 RPM control range gives you total control between silence and absolute performance
For all the outstanding features that come with the NF-F12 it is not the best value for money. Despite its low price, it does not offer the features of high-end case fans. With a range of $25 - $30, the Corsair ML 120 is the best value for money out there. The magnetic levitation technology used in the bearings and custom engineered rotors, help this fan to achieve unrivaled performance. Although, it can get a little bit noisy if overworked or at maximum speed. Due to its innovative design, the ML120 provides both high static pressure and high air flow which provides maximum efficiency for a low price. The Corsair ML 120 is perfect for you if you are looking for a low-price fan with high-end features.
- The 2000 RPM speed gives you control over its performance
- Airflow works effortlessly
- With the magnetic bearing, you get less noise.
- It generates noise at maximum speed
- You need a 4-pin PWM connection
Easiest to use: Corsair LL 120 RGB
- 16 independent RGB LEDs in every fan, split between two separate light loops. Airflow - 43.25 CFM. Noise level - 24.8 decibels
- Software control and customize RGB lighting effects with the included Corsair lighting Node Pro or expand your RGB lighting with more Corsair RGB fans or RGB LED lighting strips (sold separately)
- PWM fan control allows for dynamic speed adjustment between 600 rpm to 1, 500 rpm, minimizing noise or maximizing airflow
- 120 millimeter fan Blade engineered for Low-Noise operation without sacrificing performance
- Bearing Type: Hydraulic
Are you looking for something more attractive and easy to use? The Corsair LL 120 might be the perfect case fan for you. This case fan comes with software control and customizable RGB light effects; this is a stunning accessory for your PC. With a max speed of 1500 RPM, you can gain control of the speed and minimize noise and also maintain maximum airflow.
The Corsair LL 120 comes a little over $100 (to enjoy its full features you need to purchase the command pro unit which costs about $70), costing 4 times the Corsair ML 120 case fan. Another slight let down is its limited lighting modes. Unlike some other RGB fans, there are no fade, flicker or breathing options in this fan. You gain full control over everything from the speed to its lightening and even the temperature alerts. The Corsair LL 120 RGB is the fan for you if you want an easy to use customized case fan.
- Unlimited optimization
- Color options for customization of your computer chassis
- Full control over everything from the speed to its lightening and even the temperature alerts.
- It is expensive
- An extra purchase cost for the command pro unit
- It has limited lighting modes
Best Case Fan on a Budget: Arctic F12 PMW Rev. 2.
- INNOVATIVE DESIGN: Design of fan blades improves airflow and facilitates efficient ventilation, impeller was designed with a focus on minimzing the noise level yet delivering the desired airflow and pressure
- PERFECT CASE FAN REGULATION WITH PWM: The PWM function allows the motherboard to run the fan precisely at its necessary speed, this guarantees the required cooling and minimizes the noise level
- PWM SHARING TECHNOLOGY (PST): PST assures that all of your fans listen to one control signal, e.g. you share the CPU Cooler's PWM signal and assure that your case fans stand down at low load and spin up whenever necessary
- LONG SERVICE LIFE: The Fluid Dynamic Bearing comes with an oil capsule that avoids lubricant leakage, thus this bearing is as quiet as a sleeve bearing but comes with a higher service life
- TECHNICAL DATA: Fan speed: 230–1350 RPM, Airflow: 53 CFM/90.1 m³/h (@ 1350 RPM), Noise Level: 0.3 Sone (@ 1350 RPM), Pin: 4-pin
In the F12 PMW, Arctic has provided a pocket-friendly case fan. With $9, you can keep your computer running for hours without the fear of overheating. The fan runs between 500 and 1350 RPM; this makes the fan a must have for low budget gamers. The case fan’s RPM is significantly lower than most case fans so anyone with a gaming computer should stay clear of this fan as it is bound to struggle with the excess heat.
The fluid design also ensures the fan lasts you for years without any hassles on your part and in the case of a malfunction, it comes with a six years warranty making them easy to replace if need be.
- It comes at an affordable price.
- The PMW function requires speed to keep your PC temperature stable.
- 22.5db sound level.
- This case fan does not work well with gaming PCs
- Low RPM Value
Best Case Fan for High-End Computers: THERMALTAKE RIING 120MM
- 12 Separately Controlled RGB LEDs for unrivaled Lighting Control; paint your build with 16.8 million colors
- Patented Ring Plus RGB Software Enabled
- 9 Blade High Static Pressure Design : Generate higher airflow without compromising on ultra silent operation
- Digital Lighting Controller : Add up to 5 devices to 1 lighting controller and up to 16 controllers to the software; The controller and the coding guide are included in all packs
- Anti Vibration Mounting System : In mold injection anti vibration rubber pads provide a hassle free usage with 80 percent protection coverage for all corners
The Thermaltake Riing could best what you need to keep your PC’s temperature stable. Have you ever heard of the phrase "two for the price of one"? Well, that's precisely what you get from this fan. The Thermaltake riing comes in sets of two and function efficiently.
One of its unique feature is the Concentrated Compression Blades. These blades optimize air flow direction. The RIING runs very quietly, barely emitting any sound while in use with its highest noise level being 24.6db. The anti-vibration mounting system allows a cozy fit and also reduces the vibration of the case fan.
It's only significant con being the space the fans take up because two fans mean twice the space. If your computer has a small case, you might need to look elsewhere. However, if you want a quiet fan that keeps your gaming PC at an ideal temperature, the THERMALTAKE RIING is your best option. Moreover, it can fit into most gaming cases.
- Anti-vibration mounting system.
- 6 dB is it highest sound level.
- Concentrated Compression Blades optimize air flow direction.
- It takes too much space.
- A bit expensive.
How to Buy a Case Fan
The action of a computer is entirely similar to human behavior. Every human has a limit just like a computer. If you work 24 hours a day with no food or water, you will perform below standard because your body system will break down completely. A computer with an overheating CPU will perform poorly or possibly crash, and this may ruin your day. When you set out to buy a case fan that will suit your gaming PC, there are some important features you need to consider. Below are a few things to consider.
There different sizes ranging from 25mm – 250mm, but the common sizes are 80mm, 120mm and 140mm. You need to choose the size that works best for your gaming PC. If possible, choose a 140mm for a gaming PC because they provide your PC with the best active cooling system at lower RPMs.
Noisy fans can drive you insane. Your best option is to choose a case fan with less noise. If you are a vlogger then you want to choose a case fan with little or no noise. Remember that if you are operating an intensive gaming Pc, there will already be noise from your GPU, CPU and other parts. Reducing the noise of your fan can help keep the total noise down.
Airflow is the major reason you are buying a case fan. To ensure your PC is receiving the right amount of air, you should buy a case fan with maximum airflow.
Case fans are connected to the motherboard of your PC. Your motherboard usually has 2 pins; the 4 pins connector fans have PWN function to keep the speed in check. The 3 pin fans come with tachometer functions that allow the fans RPM to read your PC’s motherboard.
How we made our pick
The VG crew has done extensive research, and we came up with the best case fans. The compiled list is based on the following criteria:
- Product with many reviews from Amazon
- Amazon prime eligible
- Each product has more than 50 reviews on Amazon.
The products were picked cautiously to ensure that you get the best case fan that suits your PC.