The Best PC Case Fans in 2021

Case fans might seem unimportant but they can be handy for many users. You can markedly improve airflow inside your PC case by installing a couple of quality fans. This leads to lower temperatures across the board. Case fans with RGB support can also improve the aesthetics of your machine.

But finding the best case fans isn’t easy. They aren’t popular as other components so you won’t find many reviews of specific models. They’re also sort of commodity leading to many users simply just getting the one that’s cheap and fits inside their case, without researching which are the best.

We’re going to change that today. Here, you’ll get a list of the best PC case fans you can buy right now. We’ll show you the best fans in all sizes, RGB fans and the most quiet case fans on the market. Get ready to discover the best computer case fans in all categories. If you like our guide, check out our articles about the best CPU coolers and GPU coolers.

noctua nf-r8 redux-1800 pwm
  • 80mm Diameter
  • RPM Range: 325-1800 RPM
  • Noise Level: 17.1 dBA
  • Airflow: 31.4 CFM/53,3 m³/h
  • Connector: 4-pin PWM
CHECK PRICES

The Noctua NF-R8 redux is an impressive little fan. Its max noise level is 17.1 dBA, which is great, especially for an 80mm fan. These small fans are usually louder than bigger ones. But the real achievement is providing excellent airflow of 31.4 CFM/53,3 m³/h along with inaudible noise levels.

The fan can spin up to 1800 RPM but this high speed of rotation isn’t accompanied by an exceptionally loud noise. The self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing is the best you can get on a case fan. It’s silent and long-lasting.

While the fan doesn’t come with RGB support, it looks rather nice with the combination of black rotors and pale grey housing.

Pros:
  • Incredibly Silent
  • Great Airflow Regarding Inaudible Noise Level
  • SSO Bearing Is The Best On The Market
  • 6-Year Warranty
Cons:
  • No RGB Support
  • Expensive For An 80mm Fan

be quiet! Pure Wings 2 80mm BL044

Quiet 80mm Fan With Solid Airflow

be quiet pure wings 2 80mm bl044
  • 80mm Diameter
  • RPM Range: 750-1900 RPM
  • Noise Level: 18.2 dBA
  • Airflow: 26.3 CFM / 44,45 m³/h
  • Connector: 3-Pin

The be quiet! Pure Wings 2 80mm is almost as quiet as the Noctua one. Rated at 18.2 dBA at max RPM, the noise level is virtually the same as on the Noctua fan. In other words, both are inaudible in an average PC case.

But despite its quiet design, this fan provides airflow of only 26.3 CFM / 44,45 m³/h, which is lower than on the Noctua model. On the other hand, this one’s noticeably cheaper so if you plan on getting multiple fans, we would recommend this one over the Noctua Noctua NF-R8 redux.

The fan features rifle bearing that is incredibly long-lasting and silent even after years of usage. There’s no RGB support but we really like the design. This is the best looking 80mm fan on the market. We don’t like the 3-year warranty period, which could be longer. Finally, the fan doesn’t have PWM support.

Pros:
  • Slick Design
  • Solid Performance For The Price
Cons:
  • No RGB Support
  • No PWM Support
  • Only 3-Year Warranty

Arctic F12 PWM

The Best Budget 120mm Case Fan

arctic f12 pwm 120 mm pwm case fan
  • Fan Diameter: 120mm
  • RPM Range: 300-1350 RPM
  • Noise Level: 23 dBA
  • Airflow: 53 CFM/90, 1 m³/h
  • Connector: 4-Pin PWM

If you’re looking for an extremely affordable 120mm case fan with excellent performance the Arctic F12 PWM is a perfect choice. It features low noise of 0.3 Sone/23 dBA with an airflow of 53 CFM/90, 1 m³/h. This combination of very low noise levels and impressive airflow is praiseworthy.

Fluid dynamic bearing enables silent operation and long life. Just remember that it’s not as long-lasting as Noctua’s self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing. The fan can reach 1350 RPM and it features neutral design without RGB support.

Pros:
  • Excellent Performance For The Price
  • 6-Year Warranty
  • Impressive Airflow
Cons:
  • No RGB Support

Scythe Kaze Flex 120mm

Best 120mm Case Fan – The Noctua NF-A12x25 Replacement

scythe kaze flex 120mm
  • 120.000 hours life span
  • 300-1200 RPM PWM fan
  • Sealed Precision Fluid Bearing
CHECK PRICES

The truth when looking at 120mm fans is that the Noctua NF-A12x25 is simply an incredible fan, but it is a purchase that you could definitely feel in your wallet with one fan being 30$.

The reason the Noctua NF-A12x25 is so insanely good is the fact that this fan can cool your components while being almost dead silent. But what if we told you that there is an underdog company that produces fans that are just one tiny (and we mean like extremely tiny) bit behind in terms of acoustics and performance at a considerable discount in price – the Kaze Flex 120mm case fans.

Even though the P12 fans are the best value to performance option, the Kaze Flex fans are not far behind (P12 – 13$, Kaze Flex – 13.85) while also performing quite a bit better both in terms of acoustics and cooling.

The Kaze Flex is indeed extremely good and is able to match the best case fan on the market while costing significantly less. Objectively speaking unless you are in love with the Noctua brown color scheme or simply have too much money to spend, there is no reason not to buy the Kaze Flex instead of the NF-A12x25!

Pros:
  • Rivals the best fan on the market
  • Costs only 85 cents more than a P12
  • Best value-performance-acoustics purchase
  • Too good to not buy
Cons:
  • Reference the last point in the Pros category

Arctic P12 PST

Best Price to Performance 120mm Fan

arctic p12 pst
  • Pressure optimized fan
  • 200-1800 RPM PWM fan
  • New generation motor

The Arctic P12 case fans are simply stellar and if you have done any research on case fans you have most likely reached the same conclusion as us – if you want to buy case fans that cool your components well, are not loud, and are unmatched in the price department, the P12s are the best choice.

The P12 is a pressure-optimized fan so that means that even if there are surfaces and barriers in the way of the airflow, the P12 will have no issues penetrating those surfaces and delivering cool air to your components.

The P12 case fans are a direct upgrade from the F12 fans since they have a better Neodym-Iron-Boron-Magnet ring motor of the newest generation that prolongs the lifespan and increases efficiency. The fan can do 200 to 1800 RPM that can be regulated through PWM.

Pros:
  • Very good at cooling your components
  • During operation the fans are quiet
  • The price to performance ratio is off the charts!
  • Arctic offer a value pack
Cons:
  • The value pack might be hard to find in stock
  • The fan motor produces louder noises in certain RPM ranges (simply change the RPM range to fix the issue)

Corsair Ql120 RGB

The Best RGB Fan With 120mm Diameter

corsair ql120 rgb
  • Fan Diameter: 120mm
  • RPM Range: 525-1500 RPM
  • Noise Level: 26 dbA
  • Airflow: 41.8 CFM/71 m³/h
  • Connector: 4-Pin PWM

The Corsair Ql120 RGB is a solid fan on itself. It features a noise level of 26 dBA, which is higher than both 120mm fans we covered in this article. In real life usage, it can go up to 38 dbA at full load, which is a pretty good result. Airflow is rated at 41.8 CFM/71 m³/h, which is also lower than both 120mm fans covered today.

But, this one comes with excellent RGB features. First of all, you have 34 LEDs with 4 light zones. RGB LEDs can be controlled by Corsair’s own iCUE app, which can be used to create amazing animated lighting effects. The fan also supports immersive lighting that reflects colors in games you play.

On the other hand, the price is high and if you care more about high airflow and low noise levels you should get either the Arctic F12 PWM or Noctua NF-F12 PWM. But if you’re into RGB effects, the Corsair Ql120 RGB is the best choice in the 120mm case fan market.

Pros:
  • Excellent RGB LED Quality
  • Wide Range Of Programmable RGB Effects
  • Excellent Design
Cons:
  • High Price
  • Average Airflow
  • Average Noise Levels
  • 2-Year Warranty

Scythe Kaze Flex 140mm

The Best Overall 140mm Case Fan

scythe kaze flex 140mm
  • 120.000 hours life span
  • 300-1200/1800 RPM PWM fan
  • Sealed Precision Fluid Bearing
CHECK PRICES

After looking at the fans in the 120mm category this decision might not be surprising for many. The Scythe Kaze Flex 140mm case fans are simply THE BEST fans you can buy in this category considering value-performance-acoustics once again.

This fan has the same great specs as its smaller counterpart, in a bigger 140mm frame (140 x 140 x 27mm) which is a great thing to hear since the 120mm version is also the best in its category.

The conclusion here is pretty simple: if you want to get the best possible overall 140mm case fans and be done with your research just get the Kaze Flex 140mm!

Pros:
  • Extremely good cooling
  • Silent operation of the motor
  • Best value-performance-acoustics purchase
  • Too good to not buy
Cons:
  • It is not brown like the Noctua fans if that is your thing…

Arctic F14 PWM PST and P14 140mm

Best Value Purchase

arctic f14 pwm pst 140mm
  • Fluid Dynamic Bearing
  • 200-1350 RPM (F14)/200-1700RPM (P14)
  • New fan design

The situation with the Arctic F14/P14 mimics what happened with the Kaze Flex 120/140mm fans. If you cannot for some reason get your hands on some Kaze Flex 140mm fans then the next best thing for your value-performance-acoustics comparison is to get the F14/P14 Arctic fans.

We would like to point out that the main emphasis here is on the F14 case fans because these are the newest addition to the Arctic lineup and generally are unbeatable (even by the P14 fans). The main reason we have included the P14 in this category is to compensate for the one downside of the F14 fans.

The Arctic F14 fans are airflow fans therefore they perform the best when used with a mesh PC case with no obstructions in the way. If you want to use these fans in a case with sound dampening foam, or other mesh/filters in the way the F14 will exponentially perform worse.

This is also valid for using the F14 case fans for radiator cooling – these fans are not made for this task. This is exactly why we have included the P14 case fans in the same category since all of these scenarios where the F14 struggles the P14 excels.

The simple way of thinking about this is as follows:

  • if you have a good airflow case and no obstacles then the F14 will perform extremely well both in cooling and in acoustics while not costing you an arm and a leg.
  • if you do have different layers in your PC case or want to use the fans as radiator fans as well then get the P14 140mm fans instead of the F14.
Pros:
  • Very good cooling from both fans
  • Relatively Silent during operation
  • Great value purchase
  • Affordable value pack!
Cons:
  • Need to figure out which fan to buy depending on your PC case

Corsair LL140 RGB

Excellent 140mm RGB Case Fan

corsair ll140 rgb
  • Fan Diameter: 140mm
  • RPM Range: 600-1300 RPM
  • Noise Level: 25 dBA
  • Airflow: 51.5 CFM/87.5 m³/h
  • Connector: 4-pin PWM

Corsair LL140 RGB is an excellent RGB fan that comes with relatively low noise levels and solid airflow values. Each fan is equipped with 16 RGB LEDs in total, allowing for some cool RGB effects. The customization level is pretty good but below the level of Corsair Ql120 RGB fans.

The noise level is solid, but not exceptional. At max 25 dBA at full RPM, you will hardly hear the fan. Airflow is rated at 51.5 CFM/87.5 m³/h. Again solid, but nothing remarkable. be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm PWM is better in both regards, and it costs less.

But be quiet! fan doesn’t have RGB support and it doesn’t look this cool. The main thing is that this fan provides enough airflow for any build and that the noise is not exceptionally loud. If you love RGB effects, this is one of the best 140mm RGB case fans to get right now.

Just get them in a pack of two, because that way you’ll get the RGB LED controller and Lighting Node Pro module, both needed for that sweet RGB extravaganza.

Pros:
  • Excellent Level of RGB Customization
  • Attractive Design
Cons:
  • Average Noise Levels
  • Average Airflow
  • 2-Year Warranty

Noctua NF-A20

Best 200mm Case Fan

noctua nf-a20
  • 350-800RPM
  • Acoustical noise of 18,1 dB(A)
  • The lifespan of 150.000 hours
CHECK PRICES

Unlike most other fan categories the 200mm case fan territory is largely unexplored. The main reason for this is simply the fact that most PC cases are not made to house these types of giant fans.

The main advantage of 200mm case fans is the fact that they can move huge amounts of air at low RPM which makes them relatively quiet.

If you are in the market for a 200mm case fan and do not know what to look at then our main advice would be to get a Noctua NF-A20 PWM case fan. These huge Noctua fans go up to 800 RPM while being very quiet during operation 18,1 dB(A).

The fans do not have RGB or any other features, but if you are looking for raw performance metrics then you know Noctua is the place to find those. The NA-A20 fans are quite an investment going up to 40-50$ sometimes, but the 150.000 hours lifespan and the 6-year warranty make it worthwhile.

Pros:
  • Good airflow
  • Silent during operation
  • Great build quality (as always with Noctua products)
  • Can be bought in black too!
Cons:
  • Pretty expensive investment
  • Cannot be mounted in every case

Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 RGB TT Premium Edition

The Best 200mm RGB Fan

thermaltake riing plus 20 rgb tt premium edition
  • Fan Diameter: 200mm
  • RPM Range: 500-1000 RPM
  • Noise Level: 30 dBA
  • Airflow: 118 CFM/200 m³/h
  • Connector: 9-pin

If you want the best computer case fan, get this one. This is a large, 200mm fan with RGB support that also sports impressive performance. The airflow level of 118 CFM/200 m³/h is impressive. Noise levels aren’t that much. At almost 30 dBA this fan could be quieter but at least RGB features are excellent.

24 LEDs on each fan are divided into 12 addressable sets. Powerful customization features working with TT RGB Plus App will make a light show out of any case. The fan and its RGB controller support voice controls, which is something pretty cool and unique that we love.

The design is great. Minimalistic with all black coloring and the focus on RGB features. Overall, this is the best 200mm fan you can get. The only major downside (aside from the price) is just 1-year warranty period.

Pros:
  • Great Airflow
  • Excellent RGB Features
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • Loud
  • Just 1-Year Warranty

Cooler Master Fan MF200R RGB

Affordable 200mm RGB Case Fan

cooler master fan mf200r rgb
  • Fan Diameter: 200mm
  • RPM Range: 500-1000 RPM
  • Noise Level: 28 dBA
  • Airflow: 90 CFM/153 m³/h
  • Connector: 3-Pin PWB

The Cooler Master Fan MF200R RGB is an excellent RGB case fan and a solid, lower price alternative to the Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 RGB TT Premium Edition. The fan provides about 90 CFM/153 m³/h of airflow. Pretty good for a 200mm fan but nothing to be excited about.

The rated noise level is just below the Thermaltake model, at 28 dBA. Tests show about 35 dBA noise levels under heavy load, which is a pretty good result. The fan features RGB and is compatible with a wide range of third-party RGB apps, which is definitely a plus.

We would like if the fan was offered alongside the RGB controller. At the moment you cannot get one alongside the fan. Also, only one year of warranty is disappointing. Everything else is solid for the price.

Pros:
  • Solid Airflow
  • Pretty Good Noise Levels Under Heavy Load
  • Support For Lots Of Third Party RGB Apps
Cons:
  • No RGB Controller In The Selling Package
  • 1-Year Warranty

How To Choose Case Fans

If you just want a solid case fan that will improve airflow in your PC case, check out which fan diameters your case supports and then get a well-reviewed case fan. It will do its job well enough in most cases.

But, if you want a specific set of features, well, read our buying guide.

Don’t Mess Up Fan Diameter And Check For RGB Support

Before you even consider getting a case fan, check out which fan sizes are supported by your case. Then, check how much fans your case can fit. Only then start searching for compatible case fans.

Also, if you have a full tower case, check how long connector cable is. Most cables should be long enough for regular and ITX cases but full tower cases might be too large for some cables to reach fan headers.

Before you install the fan you bought, connect it to the fan header so you can see which way to turn it depending on do you want the fan to blow air out of the case or draw cool air into your PC case. It’s better that way than to install it first and then realize you messed up the orientation. Finally, check if a case fan you’re interested in has RGB LEDs.

You Can’t Have Minimal Noise And Incredible Airflow

Choose one of those two, you can’t have both. The good news is that silent case fans can come with excellent airflow. Not record-breaking airflow levels, but great regarding their noise, which can be virtually inaudible. For most users, silent case fans are the better choice.

But if you like to overclock and if you live in a hot climate, the best possible airflow could be more important for you. If that’s the case, forget about next-to-nothing noise levels. If you want superb airflow, get ready for more than perceptible noise coming from your case fan.

Learn About Different Connector Types

Different case fans come with different connectors. Most fans come with 3-Pin and 4-Pin connectors, which work with every fan controller, motherboard fan header, and fan hub. There are also fans with old-school Molex connectors, but these are quite rare these days.

There are also fans with 9-Pin connectors. These are usually RGB fans and they need these connectors to be able to support various RGB effects. If you’re buying a case fan with a 9-pin connector, it is advisable to get it alongside RGB controller from the same manufacturer so you don’t have to worry about connecting your fan and playing with RGB effects.

Static Pressure vs Air Flow Fans

There’s a lot to be said about differences between static pressure and airflow fans. In short, the first ones are great for liquid cooling radiators and case intakes blocked by hard drive cages. Airflow fans are better for case intakes without any obstacles.

What Is PWM?

PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) allows for smart fan control. Users can create various profiles that can control all their case fans with just a few clicks. This allows case fans to be virtually silent until the rig is under serious load.

Only under heavy load, the fans will start spinning faster and become audible. PWM fan control is great to have so if you’re looking for a quiet fan, make sure it supports PWM. Those looking for performance case fans and aren’t bothered by the noise should be fine without PWM. But we are still recommending for everyone to look for fans with PWM support.

You can even get a standalone fan speed controller. They can be used for in-depth control of each of your case fans and can even be installed into your PC case.

A Word Or Two About Different Fan Bearing Types

Fan bearings affect performance and noise levels. The best technology (at least for us) is Noctua’s self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing that is extremely silent and that can last a lifetime.

Other quality bearings are fluid dynamic bearing, which is also very silent and long-lasting but not as enduring as the self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing. Ball bearings are extremely durable, especially at high temperatures. They are also very quiet.

Rifle bearings are very quiet and durable. They aren’t as durable at high temperatures as other types of bearing mentioned here. Finally, magnetic bearings are high-tech bearings that don’t use lubricants. In magnetic bearings, the fan is repelled from the bearing by the magnetic field. These are the quietest and incredibly long-lasting. But also very expensive.

As long as your case fan of choice has some type of ball, rifle, or fluid dynamic bearing, you should be fine. Magnetic ones are cool but very expensive and not worth their price.

About The Author

Goran Damnjanovic

Goran studied psychology but video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. On top of that he likes writing so he decided to become a writer. And it was the right choice. Other than games and hardware, Goran is interested in basketball, Sci-Fi literature, and music.

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