Exactly how important are the little fans inside your computer case? Why are they even there? As of 2019, what are the best case fans to install in your computer system?
If you have never given much thought to those little fans, pay attention. If you’re an enthusiast craving a closer look at the best case fans in the market right now, don’t go anywhere. We have all the answers and we are getting right to business!
First and foremost, those little fans are there to prevent overheating in different components of your computer. Overheating can cause damages to the parts by gradually compromising their condition and shortening their lifespan. A high-end cooling fan keeps the parts from overheating by maintaining the right temperature.
It can keep the parts better functioning under heavy duty and enhance the overall performance of the system. Walking the extra mile to achieve great performance for your system may very well be the same thing as choosing the right fans wisely.
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How would you recognize which fan suits your needs the best?
The functions of a good cooling fan are simple. It exhausts the hot air from inside your case or its components and draws in the cooler air from outside. To understand whether the fan in question is an efficient one or not, you should take the following four basic factors into account.
The size of a cooling fan must suit the size of the component it’s cooling. Two of the most commonly used sizes are 120mm and 140mm fans.
Revolutions per minute are the measurement of how many times a fan’s blades fully rotate in a minute. It is directly related to the velocity of blade rotation. If a cooling fan has a low RPM, it can’t move air fast enough to ensure proper cooling.
There’s one factor even more important than RPM when it comes to determining a cooling fan’s efficiency – CFM. CFM is the measurement of air volume, standing for Cubic feet Per Minute. The more your fan’s CFM, the more air its blades move allowing swifter airflow.
The noise generating from the fan itself should be kept to a minimum. You would rather choose a quiet fan over one that sounds like a helicopter under attack. Sometimes, higher RPM can result in more noise.
120mm vs. 140mm PC Cooling Fans
If you have a slot adaptable to both 140mm and 120mm fans and money to spare, which one should you go for?
The answer should come to you if you understand the factors involved. A cooling fan with higher CFM is more efficient because it pushes more volumes of air.
Since the 140mm case fans have longer blades, they can push more volumes of air than their 120mm counterparts at the same RPM. Yet every now and then, you will find a 120mm model with a higher CFM than a 140mm model. It all depends on the brand and the specifications of the fan.
120mm case fans are often noisy at higher RPM. But they are also gentler on your pocket. A 120mm case fan can be perfect for you if it’s a component that doesn’t run too hot. If you don’t mind the noise, it can also save you some money.
If you would rather cool a seriously overheating component while enjoying the gift of silence, 140mm fans are the way to go.
Best Case Fans in 2020 – Reviews and Guide
The case fan marketplace has been scoured, researched, and made simple for you to take your pick. We’ll discuss the models in no particular order and share our reviews to guide you through the selection process.
Noctua NF-F12 PWM – Very Low Noise With Anti Vibration Pad
Noctua is a premium and one of the most trusted brands in the industry. The Noctua NF-F12 PWN is one of the top-notch 120mm fans ever manufactured by the company. Adorned with elegant colors, beige and brown, the NF-F12 stands out in the crowd. Even if you don’t like the colors, the NF-F12 has plenty of build and design features to sweep you off your feet.
The Nf-F12 PMW comes with Noctua’s very own Focused Flow™ frame. The technology used in this system works with eleven stators and comes to the rescue with direct airflow focused through a small area in the most extreme cases of overheating. The SS02 bearing shell used in this fan is made of brass to increase durability.
The seven blades of the fan are paired with a Heptaperf™ impeller that works with the stators. This technology combined with the Focused Flow™ keeps the noise to a minimum.
The NF-F12’s simplistic but clever design earns it an 8/10.
The Noctua NF-F12 PWA doesn’t disappoint performance-wise either. It takes only 5V to power these fans up. They can spin really fast with 1500 RPM. The CPM is clocked at 55 which doesn’t seem very impressive at first. But you’ll be surprised at what they can do when merged with the Heptaperf™ impeller blades.
This model is designed to withstand the test of time. Moreover, Noctua is offering a warranty of 6 years on these fans.
For performance and durability, we give it an 8/10.
Noctua NH-D15 (Long Lasting Use Cooling Fan)
The NH-D15 is Noctua’s new flagship model succeeding in the NH-D14. The new flagship encloses two 140mm premium NF-A15 fans with PMW support for automatic speed control. The dual tower model is huge as Noctua widened the fin stacks from 140mm to 150mm and placed the 6 heat pipes in a more spread-out manner.
This alteration in the structure was made to allow heat to be distributed to more of the heatsink area.
The NH-D15 uses the usual SSO2 bearing shell. The color scheme remains the same as all of Noctua’s other models. But this is the least interesting thing to talk to about when speculating the NH-D15’s design. You may not fall in love with its size and looks but the giant structure is incredibly well-engineered to deliver a performance that drops jaws.
The NH-D15 gets a 7/10 for design.
The rotation speed of the Noctua NH-D15 is clocked at 1500 RPM. Each of the NF-A15 fans is able to push 82.5 CFM of air, all the while producing only 24.6 dbA of noise.
We like to think of the NH-D15 as the Batman of cooling fans – high-end performance, deluxe specs but quietly cooling down your system like a silent guardian.
It gets a 9/10 for its impeccable performance.
Ac Infinity Multifan S3 -Best Selling PC Cooling Fan On Marketplaces
The AC Infinity Multifan S3 comes in a small black frame. Its dual ball bearing design keeps the fan functioning flat on its back and also standing up on its feet. The packaging includes little rubbers that go in the corners to support the fan both vertically and horizontally.
The Multifan S3 sports a multi-speed controller with an integrated power switch. The controller can be used to optimize noise and airflow levels according to different situations of usage.
The feature that really makes this model stand out is the option to daisy chain up to four Multifan models together with a single USB port to power them. A spare USB port also comes in handy.
The Multifan S3 gets a 7/10 for design.
The cooling fan moves a good volume of air for its size. Yet the little power it needs to run will surprise you. This model has won many users’ hearts for its ultra-quietness.
While there’s no variable RPM count, the maximum noise produced measures as little as 18 dbA. Cubic feet of air per minute pushed has been clocked at 52 CFM. It has an estimated lifespan of 67,000 hours, again thanks to its dual ball bearing.
We’ll rate it 8/10 for performance.
Multifan S3 is most suitable for devices that run too hot too fast. It has done an excellent job cooling routers, gaming consoles, home theatres, and computers. Even it is the best case fan for gaming pc.
Cooler Master Sickleflow 120 – Budget King Case Fan
The Cooler Master Sickleflow 120 is a 120mm fan in a small (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 inch) PMW case. The fan comes with stylish translucent blades that look magnificent when back-lit by the LED lights.
It gets a 7.5/10 for lucrative design.
The Sickleflow 120 does have great value for money. We wouldn’t call it expensive and we definitely wouldn’t undermine its ability to push air. The cooling fan consumes 4 watts to run and move more air than other 120mm fans within the same price range.
There happen to be some complaints about noise. But most users would agree that it does the job more or less quietly until it is adjusted to spin at the maximum speed. Its specially designed long-life sleeve bearing gives the model a good life expectancy.
The Cooler Master Sickleflow 120 gets a 7/10 for performance.
We would recommend this model as a budget choice for cases, CPU coolers, and radiators.
Rosewill ROCF 13001- Simple Design & Long Life Sleeve
The Rosewill ROCF 120mm fans come in a pack of four. The design is very basic with a universal black case. It neither repels nor appeals to the eyes of the viewer. The fans are equipped with long-life sleeve bearings for better durability. The design, however, isn’t as convenient as our other options in the market.
There appear to be some problems with mounting the fan as it comes with mounting screws instead of rubbers. The model sports non-removable Molex adapters and require 4-pin connectivity.
We will give it a 4.5/10 for design and build.
The ROCF 13001 powers up to a minimum of 7v. The revolution per minute count is average at just 1200 RPM. It does make the fans run silently at 22dbA.
But many will say the blades don’t spin fast enough to push sufficient volumes of air. The cubic feet air per minute pushed isn’t very impressive at just 32 CFM. But you get what you pay for since the ROCF 13001 is a low budget choice.
We rate it a 5/10 for performance.
Corsair Air Series AF120 – Quiet Edition (Best Silent Case Fans)
The Corsair Air Series AF120 is a 120mm case fan that comes in both single and twin packs. Corsair provides three colored rings – red, blue, and white, to customize the look of each fan. The rubber on the corners of its frame holds the color rings in place and keeps the fan from spreading vibration to the surface it is attached to. The thin blades and simplistic black case give the fan an overall sleek and polished look.
The AF120 gets a 7.5 for design.
The AF120 Quiet Edition, as you can guess, doesn’t make any noise even at full speed. The fan has a maximum speed of 1100 RPM. Corsair lowered the RPM from 1650 of the Performance Edition to have the model live up to its name. It has a sound level of 21 dbA. The fan keeps quiet even at a reduced voltage.
The airflow measurement for the AF120 is 39.88 CFM. If that doesn’t sound like a good amount of airflow to you, you should go with the Performance Edition which is capable of 63.47 CFM.
Yet this is a fan of the Air series. The airflow generated by this model uses the full potential of its 39.88 CFM and actually feels quite powerful in practice.
You shouldn’t spend the extra bucks on this model to achieve a greater airflow, however. Rather, do it for the smooth and noiseless operation of this special edition.
The Corsair Airflow Quiet Edition earns a 7/10 for performance.
Corsair Air Series AF140 – Quiet Edition (Awesome Led Lighting Fans)
The Corsair Air Series AF140 is a 140mm case fan, a larger edition of its 120mm counterpart, the AF120. This one also comes with color customization rings to match the theme of your build. It can be removed to give the fan a completely black exterior which is preferable to some. It is the best rgb case fan on the article list.
The AF140 case fan has eleven long blades curved slightly deeper at the ends. It feels like a deluxe device in your hand with its premium build and elegant look.
We will give it a 7.5/10 for design.
Though they’re both Quiet Editions, this 140mm case fan has a sound level measured at 24 dbA, higher than that of the 120mm variant. The speed rate is obviously higher too, at 1150 RPM. It is capable of reaching 67.8 CFM of airflow. The cooling power of this case fan should be valued more than its ability to hit your ears almost noiselessly.
Its performance earns an 8/10.
Best Laptop Cooling Fan in 2020
Tree New Bee Cooling Pad K0025
The Tree New Bee Cooling Pad for laptops has a distinctive shape and look. It’s a workstation and cooling pad all in one. The pad sports a futuristic design with its black wing-like frame. It houses four 120mm fans and all of them are lit in blue LED lights. At first look, you will instinctively know it has something to do with gaming devices because it just looks so cool.
However, it isn’t as inappropriate for office-goers as you’d think once you place the laptop on the platform. The bold LED lighting disappears and the matte black color of the metal mesh and plastic gives it an aesthetic presence in any environment.
The pad weighs a fair amount for its size and structure, 2.3 lbs with a width of 16.1 inches. Its platform can accommodate a laptop diagonally for up to 17 inches and doesn’t take up much space on a table. It is super portable and can be easily carried in a backpack.
The cooling pad also sports built-in USB cables to receive power on the move. The cooler has supporting arms and legs to adjust height and angle. Two slider switches to control the speed of each of the fans are an added twist.
However, the bottom of the pad is not properly blocked and can cause your fingers to come in contact with the running fans. Our advice would be to watch your fingers and be careful with transporting the pad while it is on.
The cooling pad’s convenient features earn it an 8/10 for design.
The fans run really fast with the combined speed clocked at 1200 RPM. The volumes of air it pushes are by far the highest among other laptop cooling pads of the same price range, clocked at 75.4 CFM. The fans run smoothly and quietly despite the powerful revolutions per minute rate.
The cooling fan’s performance is up to the mark. When paired up with overheating gaming laptops, it maintains the temperature quite well by generating sufficient airflow.
The cooling pad’s performance earns a 7.5/10.
We will now name the top 3 case fans based on our discussion.
- Noctua NH D15 recommended for extremely overheating devices and heavy-duty use
- AC Infinity Multifan S3, for achieving a high airflow at a low noise level. It is also a more budget-friendly choice.
- Corsair Air Series AF140 – Quiet Edition, if you value design and performance over pin drop silence.
Case Fans Installation