Best Computer Case Fans Reviews (How to Buy 2020)
You might have noticed that your PC is running hotter than the appropriate temp for your PC’s components. Thus it’s a good idea to begin checking out our best case fans for your computer’s need, and ultimately to prevent further issues. Worry not, because there are a wide variety of options available for you.
However, before shopping, you might want to double check how much clearance and the dimensions of your case you have internally for a fan setup since in some instances, users may be better off with a multiple fan system instead of a single fan.
Well then, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents:
- 1 Role of Computer Case Fans
- 2 Top 5 Best Computer Case Fans Reviews
- 3 1. Corsair Air Series SP120
- 4 2. ARCTIC F12 Silent – Ultra-Quiet 120 Mm Case Fan
- 5 3. Noctua NF-S12A PWM Premium Cooling Fan
- 6 4. Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 Silent Fan
- 7 5. Thermaltake Riing 12 Series
- 8 Before Buying A Case Fan For Your PC
- 9 Does Size Matter
- 10 Air Flow or Static Pressure
- 11 Fan Vibration, Speed, and Noise
- 12 Types of Case Fan Bearing
- 13 Conclusion
Role of Computer Case Fans
Since the technology driving our laptops and PCs continue to increase in both speed and power consumption, it’s just obvious that our computer’s internal temperature should fit to it.
If vital parts such as the PSU and CPU are not maintained at an ambient temperature via passive cooling, you should immediately get a case fan to aid carry the excess heat load outside of the computer. If users weren’t able to do so, this might result to the PC’s parts to shorten their lifespan.
And today, active cooling has become an essential part of PC maintenance. Ultimately, that’s where case fans come in to hand. By means of proper placing, case fans can simultaneously carry hot air away from issues such as the CPU heat-sink and drag cool, fresh air across the case.
Top 5 Best Computer Case Fans Reviews
1. Corsair Air Series SP120
The advanced technology of SP120 gives the higher static pressure that heat-sinks and radiators demand while keeping an inaudible profile. It gives high static pressure with its seven ultra-wide, custom-molded blades. On the other hand, its customized fan enclosure makes airflow move in the correct direction. The advanced hydraulic bearing system and rubber mounts combine high reliability with low-noise operation.
Its voltage step-down adapter that looks like a short extension cable minimizes voltage to the fan from 12 VDC to 7 VDC. This voltage reduction minimizes air flow and fan speed, yielding to further noise reduction. Now if your system can moderately cooled with the fan operating at 7 VDC, you might want to install the step-down adapter in order to gain even lower noise levels. Nonetheless, make sure to monitor your temperatures with the video card and CPU at maximum use.
Now here’s a tip from a verified buyer. According to him, Corsair SP120 is designed so that they are exhaust fans while facing the inside. He added that some people might have already know this, and he just wanted to clear up any possible confusions. Based on his observation, you can find an arrow on the fan.
However, he found one thing he didn’t like about these fans. He don’t like that the provided fan screws are not wide enough. He stated that the screw heads can slip through the screw holes of his PC’s case. What he did was he secured most of the fans with screws that were used with the original stock fans.
See more information on Corsair Air Series SP120.
Why We Like It
- Excellent air movement
- Very smooth rotation
- Rubber framing around the screws minimizes noise level
- Worth the price for performance
- Optimized for high static pressure application
- Extra quiet at idle
- Rubber corners are nice for anti-vibration
2. ARCTIC F12 Silent – Ultra-Quiet 120 Mm Case Fan
Artic is a major manufacturer of quiet PC components and coolers and has started and sustainably inspired the trend towards quiet cooling systems. Aside from a vast range of GPU and CPU coolers, Arctic offers excellent quality monitor mounts and audio product lines. For more than 15 years, Arctic stands for personal support, excellent service, and comfortable computing.
In particular, Arctic F12 provides greater efficiency as it has higher airflow while maintaining lesser noise. At low fan speed, the motor noise is a key. It is integrated with a motor developed in Germany with a new alloy-lubricant combination that minimizes noise and friction.
Moreover, it was engineered to have efficient and quiet ventilation. Its innovative design of the fan blades facilitates highly efficient ventilation and enhances the airflow. Arctic F12’s impeller was engineered with a focus on reducing the noise level yet giving the desired pressure and airflow.
And lastly, a verified buyer provided us a tip that if prospects are on a budget and want their system to be quiet and cool for cheap, Arctic F12 is a good choice. However, he specified that the fans will make noise if they are at high RPM, so he suggested to keep the fans at low RPM while their PC is doing nothing.
He added that they shouldn’t expect the fans to be silent when they are at max RPM or 50% RPM. According to him, he can barely hear his fans when they are between 30% and 40%, below 30% he can only hear the hum of the 212 Evo stock fan. And if he turn off that fan, he won’t hear his PC at all.
See more information on ARCTIC F12 Silent – Ultra-Quiet 120 mm Case Fan.
Why We Like It
- The fans are very quiet for how inexpensive they are.
- Comes with PWM PST connecting cord
- Has longer cord allows connections to reach more distant fans
- Includes 4 coarse-thread mounting screws
- Connected nicely on a new Gigabyte Z370-HD3p motherboard
- Great air-flow even at low speeds
Noctua NF-S12A marks the 3rd generation of Noctua’s signature S12 series quiet case fans, which have gained more than 250 awards and recommendations from the international press, offering a further refined blade design with Anti-Stall knobs that works in tandem with the new AAO frame. This new product from Noctua enhances the noise/airflow efficiency of its renowned predecessor by up to 8%.
Aside from that, NF-S12A offers PWM version sports Noctua’s custom designed NE-FD1 IC for complete automatic speed control via 4-pin fan headers and comes with a low noise adaptor to minimize the optimum speed during PWM control from 1200 to 900 RPM. This product is an elite choice for quiet case cooling because of its superb running smoothness, SS02 bearing and Noctua’s trusted premium quality.
Moreover, Noctua’s Advanced Acoustic Optimization frames offers integrated anti-vibration pads as well as Noctua’s proprietary Inner Surface Microstructures and Stepped Inlet Design, both of which further refine the fan’s noise/performance efficiency.
Its integrated anti-vibration pads crafted from extra-soft silicone reduces the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining complete compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems. In addition to that, the NF-S12A’s Anti-Stall Knobs minimize flow separation phenomena in medium to high impedance situations and thus increase the fan’s stall margin.
From a cooling perspective of a verified buyer, NF-S12A has actually dropped the load temperature of his CPU, significantly. Under load, he didn’t see it go over 45 degrees Celsius, with the average more frequent in the upper 30s. Overall, this product exceeded his expectations.
See more information on Noctua NF-S12A PWM Premium Cooling Fan.
Why We Like It
- Anti-Stall Knobs and Advanced Acoustic
- Airflow-optimized design for highly efficient
- Comes with 4-pin PWM version
- Integrated with NF-S12A technology
- Worth the price
- Quality packaging
4. Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 Silent Fan
As improvements are made for today’s computer parts, energy consumption increases, resulting to the formation of increased heat. To minimize the increasing temperatures, people need to improve cooling inside their computers. Incorporating many small fans is not actually the right way as they could produce high noise levels.
Larger fans are much more optimal for modern computer systems since they product lower noise. With that, the Cooler Master MegaFlow has a displacement volume of 184 m3/h and has a diameter of 20 millimetres, which is double that of 140 millimetre fans. These specs make exceptional silent and cooling operation.
According to a verified buyer, in order to keep his computer hardware cool, he mounted one of these fans wherever there’s a space for one of his Cooler Master Case. These work well and maintain the inside of his case cool. This product is a 3-pin fan and attaches to any of the headers on the motherboard. There’s a hardware included to mount directly to a power supply. He added that Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 is big, low velocity fans that move a lot of air silently.
Another purchaser said that this fan is very quiet. He said that for those who see it running at 300 to 400 RPM, and think that it’s not getting a lot of air, regard the fact that MegaFlow 200 is moving the air at a lower rate due to the speed but at a higher volume due to the increased size.
According to him, the concept is to move a lot of air as quietly as possible. He said that, if the user has a 400 mm fan running at 150 RPM, he could move as much air as 200 mm fan at double the speed and so on. And he quoted that this is a good sized fan, but at 12V it is not really a powerhouse.
However some complaints about the screws are present, like they are too short for anything other than a direct case mount. Moreover, some have issue about how they wish the manufacturer put a jumper or something on there so users could opt not to have the LED on at all.
See more information on Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 Silent Fan.
Why We Like It
- They are quiet
- Moves a lot of air
5. Thermaltake Riing 12 Series
Thermaltake is proud to announce the new Ring 12 and 14 LED Radiator Fans. It has now enhanced static pressure to result to an excellent cooling performance with maximized fan blades. This product is driven by hydraulic bearings, gives silent operation for anti-vibration mounting and extremely low noise operation. The patented LED Ring Series keeps brightness and color uniformity. The lighting effect is visible from all angles. Moreover, the multi-colored LED ring in green white, blue, red, orange, and yellow adds style to any chassis.
When it comes to thermal image test, compared to the standard case fan, the mix of three Ring 12 radiator fans and 360 mm radiator delivers 40% better cooling performance. Aside from that, to achieve optimum static pressure in all applications, the wind blocker frame is engineered to work with the CCB – Concentrated Compression Blade’s pressure mechanism by directing airflow towards the outer section of the blade, thus resulting to a compression effect and blocking any pressure from exiting. This lowers the blade’s vibration and noise, creating an ideal balance between sound and power.
Moreover, this product’s hydraulic bearing self-lubricates with a high quality, friction-reducing element which decreases operating noise and enhances efficiency. The seal cap precludes leakage of the lubricant, and enhances the lifespan of the unit. In addition to that, the Low-Noise Cable can minimize the noise level by 24% from 24.6 dBA to 18.7 dBA. Its anti-vibration rubber pads give hassle-free usage for 80% protection coverage.
Based on an interview we conducted from a verified purchaser, he found this product to be very nice high-static fans. According to him, they are well-balanced and have several fan/shroud features that help them keep airflow in high static use cases. Its vibration-dampening pads also work very nice.
He even added that the manufacturers really put a ton of work into the design of these fans. He uses them to pull air through carbon filters for soldering and when 3D printing ABS and other stinky filaments.
However, another user mentioned that the lights are relatively dim, despite what the computer-generated product pictures have shown. He stated that the manufacturers just added a warm glow to the area, and not an eye-burning LED madness that prospects might think from the product pictures here. The lights run on similar power line as the fan.
See more information on Thermaltake Riing 12 Series.
Why We Like It
- Vivid colors
- Comes with quiet adapters
- Have simple LED rings
- Sturdy bearings
- Ample speed fan
- Build quality for the price
- Soft padded screw mounts
Before Buying A Case Fan For Your PC
A significant amount of research and though must go into the purchase of a new case fan for your PC. You’ll need to consider the following like:
Whether Or Not Looks are Significant
Does your case give a view of your fan? Does it matter if it looks good? There are fans with multiples colored blades and cool light displays for computer enthusiasts looking for something more unique.
What Are Your Major Goals for Active Cooling
Do you have certain issue areas that requires active cooling, or are you taking pre-emptive measures to protect the whole system? Are you doing purchase for a new fan because of noise levels during operation, heat problems, or both?
How Much Noise You Want
Noise issues are most common amongst professionals, gamers, over-clockers that require a lot of processing power. Nevertheless, some really nice quiet models available if you’re willing to pay the difference in price.
How Do You Want To Control Your Fan
Do you prefer a simple, plug and play case fan that turns on and off as you want? If you like to manually control your fan settings, you might want to consider a fan controller for your PC system. If you don’t have the budget for this, just use a software to control your fan operation.
Check Your PC’s Connector Type
If you didn’t know, there are actually three various types of connector namely: 2-Pin on which it’s simply an on/off setup and not usually used in modern computing. On the other hand 3-Pin and 4-Pin connectors allow more control over fan operations, achieving more efficient active cooling.
Picking the Appropriate Fan for Your Case Size
If ever you have an extra-large case, you might want to consider a 200 mm case fan. In this case, a 80mm fan would do very little to cool your system since it lacks the force of air flow and RPMs required to effectively move cool air to crucial areas like the CPU.
Does Size Matter
Case fan size determines lots of its traits, and it’s extremely crucial to find one that fits the level of performance of your computer. Again, the case fan determines the amount of air it can produce. Moreover, the size of the fan determines the amount of cooling your system is capable of producing.
Users can prioritize the cooling features of the case fans and purchase a fan that has bigger attribute and generate the highest level of cooling. Users may also consider the noise of their fan generates. If you didn’t know, the biggest one has an advantage over the others, however in today’s market setting, the smaller ones generate noise that can be dealt with.
So What Is the Good Case Fan Size
Well, for all we know, the biggest fan size wins the battle since it produces the most airflow, last the longest, and lowest level of operating noise however it’s also the costliest and requires the most space. Nevertheless, the fan you must purchase mostly depends on the specs of your PC and thus the size of the case fan can be a relative term.
Air Flow or Static Pressure
One of the factors users must look for is the so-called Static Pressure. It is fundamentally stands for the pressure in which the fan rotates air through a small space. As a general rule of thumb, case fans with higher static pressure are much better for cooling radiators and heat sinks. Moreover, they are also very good as chassis fans. High static pressure helps you to cool the CPU effectively. The blades of these models are designed in such a way that there will be lesser gaps in between them.
This one represents the amount of air circulating through an opening. It’s another factor that prospects must look for when deciding. The air flow of a case fan is measured in Cubic Feet per minute. Thus usually, fans with higher air flow are best fitted to be used for case fans. They perform at their highest level when there’s a particular amount of space in front of them. Nonetheless, users must ensure not to mount them in front of cases or on the radiator. Prospects can differentiate them from static pressure maximized fans simply by looking at their blades. Higher air-flow fans have blades that have bigger gaps between them.
Fan Vibration, Speed, and Noise
Revolution for Minute
RPM or Revolution per minute is one of the major factors of the performance of the case fan as it’s how fan’s speed is calibrated.
Faster fans will always produce more airflow but can also be the highest operating noise, unlike a slow fan in which it will make lesser noise but at the same time less airflow.
As obvious as it is, users will get better performance and consume less power if they found the right fan. A large fan which operates at lower RPM is a nicer choice because it will produce enough airflow and will save energy at the same time.
Cubic Feet per Minute
Air flow of a case fan is calibrated in cubic feet per minute or CFM. It determines the degree of air the fan can get in a minute. The better the CFM, the more powerful the fan will be as it produces the highest level of airflow. Moreover, the RPM also affects CFM, and the user’s pick must be a proper balance of both that may help them maintain a respectable level of noise while not taking a hit on the case fan’s performance.
The generated noise of a fan is computed in decibels and normally, a fan has a noise level ranging from 10 decibels to 36 decibels. And the preferred one is the fan with the lowest dBa. Users will mostly find that the manufacturer will give them the level of noise of their case fan.
Types of Case Fan Bearing
This type of case fan bearing is usually used in small toys. Sleeve bearing uses liquid-based lubrication to minimize friction, and they’re mostly for one-time use. Sleeve bearing are inexpensive and should definitely last around 40k hours while at 60 degree Celsius while being continually used before they get replaced. Moreover, sleeve bearings have a low operating noise due to the fact that the fan speed is low and were mounted vertically in any axial orientation. Thus, case fans in such case might suffer from early breakdowns without any sign, are highly volatile.
Double Ball Bearing
As for this type of bearing, they certainly have longer lifespan than the previous one. Double ball bearing should last for up to 60k to 75k hours at 60 degree Celsius of continuous usage and are louder than sleeve bearing. In addition to that, these kinds of bearings have a higher temperature tolerance. They can also be mounted in any axial orientation. However, they are usually more used in Server-farm environments.
Fluid & Hydro Dynamic Bearing Fans
On the other hand, this type of bearing possesses the lowest noise levels since they use the fluid cycling technology. F & H dynamic bearings can last from 100k to 300k hours. Moreover, they are very quiet throughout their entire estimated lifespan and can be mounted without any trouble.
Dust Protection and Fan Filters
Case fans are similar to other electronic products as they are prone to dust over time. Accumulation of dust can generate higher noise levels and lessen the RPM, thus if not cleaned timely, this simply issue could eventually result to complete failure. In addition to that, fan filters are used to preclude and lessen this issue. Case fans are required to be frequently cleans so dusts won’t piled up.
Cooling is a crucial factor for every computer system in order to have a smooth operation. And it is the reason you get to use the best case fans from our top picks above. All the listed fans in this article are designed to provide the performance that you are looking for without wasting your hard-earned money.
Make sure to take the time to check out all the models we have reviewed for you and pick the right one according to your needs. Rest assured that you would get one that will provide the cooling your computer system needs.
If you already have any experience or have something to say about the products listed in here, please leave a comment below.