Want to pick up a computer fan to spice up your gaming setup? You’ll find one below, whether you like RGB or not. For some, this isn’t a matter of aesthetics. If you have dusty or closed-off PC cases, or the fan on the console starts slowing down, air coolers are crucial. The increased airflow prevents dust from collecting by creating positive or negative pressure and thus stops overheating problems. Consequently, games will stop crashing, and get increased performance directly or and through higher overclocks on CPU, GPU, and RAM. With that said, let’s help you find the best gaming fan.
Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM looks very plain because it has no RGB. However, it’s the best fan for gaming for a good reason – how do 100+ awards sound to you? The secret lies in its SSO-Bearing which utilizes hydrodynamic bearing with self-stabilization. Combined with the Vortex-Control Notches blade design, which makes the spinning sound pleasant to the human ear, we get an unbeatable 70 CFM (cubic feet per minute) airflow without compromising quietness. Add to that 150,000 hours MTTF (Mean Time To Failure) longevity, and a low price and we have a winner.
Invite colors into your life Thermaltake Pure 12 ARGB, the most powerful gaming fan with RGB. It has a great balance of all specs and comes at a very attractive price. For one, it’s compatible with a variety of strip/fan controlling software and has its own analog ARGB controller, allowing you to make full use of its 9 RGB LEDs. It also boasts a 56.45 CFM airflow and comes with PWM control, which is unbeatable in this price range. Also, thanks to a 9-blade design and, anti-vibration pads, and a self-lubricating hydraulic bearing, the fan operates at only 25.8 dB at max speed.
CoolerMaster SickleFlow 120 V2 ARGB is both powerful and colorful with only 6 addressable RGB LEDs, positioned on the outer part of the fan ring. Its most impressive feature is the 62 CFM airflow, followed by a two-tier sealing mechanism that ensures a long lifespan. It also comes with PWM control of between 650 RPM and 1800 RPM. This allows for maximum versatility – you can use it for inaudible, almost passive cooling, as well as a bonus fan for a 240 mm or 360 mm radiator, or even as a cooler for CPUs with lower TDP, approximately under 65.
Cooler Master MF120R is the go-to RGB gaming fan for many because of its design, enhanced by 24 addressable RGB LEDs. Add to that Hybrid Fan Blade design that delivers powerful static pressure and airflow of 47 CFM. You can also fine-tune their rotating speed to anywhere between 650 RPM to 1800 RPM. Also, the combination of sound-absorbing materials and anti-vibration pads allows you not to hear or feel the fan in action, unless you push it to the limit. Finally, 3-pin ARGB headers can be daisy-chained, and you can control multiple fans at once without an RGB controller.
Corsair LL120 is the perfect choice for looks over performance. It achieves an airflow of 43.25 CFM while having an almost identical noise level as Noctua’s fan. Where it wins over are 16 addressable RGB LEDs, 12 of which are placed on the outer loop. When controlled with Corsair Lighting Node Pro or Corsair iCue, both well-known PC software, the effects and color choices are only limited by your imagination. As for RPM, it can be downgraded to 600 RPM for maximum silence or sped up to 1500 RPM for resource-intensive tasks that generate heat.
6. Arctic F12
Need a powerful fan for gaming on a budget? Pick Arctic F12 which has an insane bang per buck value. It comes with a static pressure of 1 mm H20 and the fan blades that produce an airflow of 53 CFM at a fraction of Noctua’s price. Keep in mind they do this while producing noise of only about 30 dB at 1350 RPM. You can also find Arctic F12 with PWM for just a dollar more, allowing much-needed versatility for putting the PC through the wringer or letting it idle. Also, thanks to a Fluid Dynamic Bearing with an oil capsule that prevents lubricant leaking, you’ll enjoy its long lifespan.
Phanteks F120MP achieves slightly better airflow than Arctic F12, of 53.3 CM, and at 25 dB, but costs double. Despite its plain looks, this affordable gaming fan is a powerhouse thanks to its 1.72 mm H20 static pressure. This makes it ideal for use in 240 mm and 360 mm radiators. Some even users report using it as a temporary solution for cooling their CPU, which speaks volumes. The fan doesn’t come with RGB, true, but thanks to its specs, it will stay dead silent, making it ideal for servers, HTPC, or gamers that don’t like bright lights or noise.
Don’t care about flashy lights, but the fan above doesn’t look pretty enough? Get Be Quiet Silent Wings 3. Sold in a standard all-black package, its 7 blades have multiple grooves and ridges providing almost inaudible operation, only 16.4 dB at 1450 RPM. Thanks to a Fluid Dynamic Bearing, the fan also has double the lifespan of Noctua’s fan, 300,000 MTTF. This PWM gaming fan also has low power consumption thanks to its 6-pole motor with 3 phases. This stays true in its high-speed version which goes up to 2200 RPM which produces 28.1 dB of noise at 1000 RPM.
Once invited, colors are here to stay with NZXT AER RGB 2. They are a little underwhelming to RGB fans we mentioned because NZXT only placed them inside one RGB halo ring. However, they are blindingly bright and excel when combined with the HUE 2 Lighting Controller. This little gadget allows you to control up to 5 daily-chained devices (5 NZXT AER RGB 2 fans/up to 40 RGB LEDs per channel). The fans use Fluid Dynamic Bearings, known for longevity and quietness. Additionally, fan winglets provide robust static pressure and cooling for intense tasks.
upHere RGB series case fan is a budget RGB gaming fan that is quieter, only 17.6 dB. Unfortunately, that makes it less powerful than the fans above. But, it also draws less power, even though it doesn’t have PWM control and is locked at 1100 RPM speed. Furthermore, it doesn’t have an enormous life span, only 40000 MTTF, but comes with a hydraulic bearing that’s more than durable enough for the price. Finally, its selling point is that a 3-fan upHere RGB Series kit costs as much as any of the single RGB fans. Plus, it ships with an analog RGB controller.