The Best Fan Controllers in 2021

A fan controller is probably the last thing that comes to your mind when talking about PC accessories. But if you have a bunch of case fans, you can greatly benefit from having one, especially if your motherboard has just one or two fan connectors. Getting the best fan controller for your needs allows you to optimize the airflow inside your case, control the fan noise, and even control your RGB effects (on some controllers).

Now, finding the controller that suits your needs isn’t that tricky. Decide how many fan connectors you need, whether you want PWN control or not, do you want a single or multiple PWM channels, and whether you have RGB fans or strips or not. Also, think about whether you need an internal or external controller.

Bellow, you can find RGB fan controllers, as well as both single and multi-channel PWM controllers. We’ve also included both premium and budget picks. And if your next fan controller isn’t on our list, do check out our fan controller buying guide located at the end of this article.

corsair icue commander pro
  • Number Of Fan Headers: 6 PWM Fan Headers
  • Number OF Fan Channels: 6 PWN Fan Channels
  • 2 RGB Connectors, 4 Thermal Connectors (Thermal Sensors Included), 2 Internal USB Connectors, SATA Power Connector
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The Corsair Commander PRO is a pricey model but it comes with a bunch of features and it is the ultimate fan controller for users who already own or plan on getting Corsair RGB fans and/or strips. The Commander PRO comes with six four-pin fan connectors that support PWM control, two RGB LED channels, four thermal sensors, and two internal USB hubs (for connecting Lighting Node controllers).

The controller is fairly chunky and will need a decent amount of space for installation. It supports up to six RGB fans per channel (you can simply connect the Corsair RGB fan hub to one of the channels), or four strips per channel (you can daisy chain strips and connect the last one to the controller), making it possible to use a maximum of twelve fans, eight light strips, or the combination of the two. It would be great if it came with more than 2 RGB channels but the good thing is that you can add more by connecting Lighting Node controllers to the USB hub connector.

Also, you’ll need a Corsair LED Hub in order to control RGB effects on the fans. While the LED Hub is part of the multi-fan packs, users who purchased individual Corsair RGB fans will have to spend more money. On the other hand, the hub supports six PWM channels and it allows users to set their case fans to one of the three presets, or create a custom fan profile for each fan individually. The PWN control can use one of the provided thermal sensors for control or you can pick internal thermal sensors (CPU, GPU).

Overall, the Corsair Commander PRO is an excellent fan controller in case you have lots of Corsair RGB fans and LED strips. If you just need a multi-PWM channel fan controller and you don’t care about RGB or don’t have Corsair RGB fans, there are better choices out there.

Pros:
  • Perfect Solution For Owners Of Corsair RGB Fans
  • Six PWN Fan Control Channels
  • Can Connect To iCUE Lighting Controllers
  • Comes With Four Thermal Sensors
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Installation Can Be A Hell For Cable Management
  • Requires Corsair RGB Fan Hub To Control RGB Fan Effects
  • You Need An Extra Corsair Lighting Node For More Than Two RGB Channels

NZXT RGB & Fan Controller AC-2RGBC-B1

The Best Computer Fan Controllers For NZXT RGB Accessories

nzxt rgb fan controller ac-2rgbc-b1
  • Number Of Fan Headers: 3 PWM Fan Headers
  • Number OF Fan Channels: 3 PWN Fan Channels
  • Other Connectors: 2 RGB Connectors (2 RGB Channels), SATA Power Connector
  • RGB Support For NZXT Accessories
CHECK PRICES

If you own RGB fans, LED strips, or other RGB accessories made by NZXT you should definitely check out this fan controller. It comes with two RGB channels (two connectors) and three fan channels (three PWN fan connectors) and can control up to four LED strips or five NZXT Aer RGB fans. The three fan headers can accommodate more fans via splitters; just make sure that the overall power limit per channel is 10W.

The controller is fairly small and very easy to install. In order to control the fans (PWM or custom fan profiles) and to tweak RGB effects, you’ll have to install the NZXT CAM software. This means that RGB control is proprietary and limited to NZXT RGB fans. The software allows for programming individual RGB LEDs (up to 40 LED per channel) and it also supports a plethora of preinstalled RGB effects. Overall, this fan controller from NZXT is a perfect solution for setting up RGB effects and controlling NZXT RGB fans but users who don’t own NZXT RGB fans or who don’t have RGB fans at all have better choices out there.

Pros:
  • Excellent For Controlling NZXT RGB Fans And LED Strips
  • Small And Easy To Install
  • Has Multiple PWM Fan Control Channels
  • NZXT CAM Software Supports Individual LED Programming
Cons:
  • Only Two RGB Channels
  • A Bit Pricey

Thermaltake Commander F6 RGB

The Best External Fan Speed Controller

thermaltake commander f6 rgb
  • Number Of Headers: 6 Non-PWM Fan Headers
  • Number Of Fan Channels: 6 Fan Channels
  • Other Connectors: Six Thermal Sensors, SATA Power Connector
  • RGB Support: Yes, Limited To Two Thermaltake Lumi LED Strips
CHECK PRICES

The Commander F6 RGB is an old-school style fan controller that mounts into a single 5.25” drive bay. This requirement is the main negative about this particular controller because there’s fewer and fewer cases out there that come with 5.25” drive bays. But if you have one, this can be a pretty solid gadget. The controller features an RGB LCD screen able to show fan RPM and temperature.

It comes with six fan headers and supports up to three fans over a single splitter. In other words, you can control up to eighteen fans at the same time with a single controller, each channel populated by three fans. Now, the Commander F6 doesn’t support PWM (it comes with three-pin fan connectors) so the only way to change the RPM is with voltage control knobs. These are quite precise but still, a lack of PWM control is disappointing.

The controller also comes with six thermal sensors, each for one fan channel. They’re handy and by strategically placing them all over your motherboard you can get a pretty good picture of thermals and when to speed up or slow down different fans. This controller doesn’t support RGB fans but it does support up to two Thermaltake Lumi LED strips. Overall, this is a solid fan controller but it’s bulky, requires a 5.25” drive bay, and doesn’t come with PWM control.

Pros:
  • Voltage Control Knobs Are Very Precise
  • Nice LCD Screen
  • Excellent Build Quality
Cons:
  • Requires A 5.25” Drive Bay
  • Doesn’t Support PWM Control
  • Pricey

Noctua NA-FC1

Tiny Fan Controller With Lots Of Features

noctua na-fc1
  • Number Of Fan Headers: 1 PWM Fan Header
  • Number OF Fan Channels: 1 PWN Fan Channel
  • Other Connectors: SATA Power Connector, PWN Fan Connector (For Connecting The Controller With The Motherboard)
CHECK PRICES

The Noctua NA-FC1 is a tiny fan controller that comes with a single fan header. The controller can control up to three fans thanks to the three-way splitter that comes with it. The controller supports both automatic PWM and manual control via a tiny knob.

You just hook it up to one of the motherboard’s 4-pin fan header and you now have a PWM fan control for up to three fans alongside manual control. The controller can also work with non-PWN fans but then it’s limited to manual control via the knob.

The NA-FC1 can be powered via the motherboard fan header but if you use multiple fans via the splitter it’s better to hook up the provided SATA power cable. Overall, the NA-FC1 simple but effective solution for users who have a motherboard with just one or a couple fan headers or for those who want a manual fan control but also don’t want to sacrifice automatic PWM control.

Pros:
  • Tiny And Very Easy To Set Up
  • Three-Way Splitter For Controlling Up To Three Case Fans Included
  • Offers Both PWM And Manual Fan Control
Cons:
  • Only One PWM Control Channel

DEEPCOOL FH-10 Integrated Fan Hub

A Cheap And Easy Way To Automatically Control A Bunch Of Case Fans

deepcool fh-10 integrated fan hub
  • Number Of Fan Headers: 10 PWM Fan Headers
  • Number OF Fan Channels: 1 PWN Fan Channel
  • Other Connectors: SATA Power Connector, PWN Fan Connector (For Connecting The Controller With The Motherboard)
CHECK PRICES

The DEEPCOOL FH-10 Integrated Fan Hub is an excellent way to control up to 10 case fans (more if you use splitters) at once. The controller includes ten 4-pin headers that support both PWM and non-PWM fans. The only difference is that non-PWM fans cannot be automatically controlled, they will run at full speed.

The controller also includes a SATA power connector and a 4-pin connector that goes to your motherboard’s PWM fan connector. The FH-10 supports only a single PWM channels. In other words, all fans will be controlled according to the data from the unit connected to the Fan 1 header.

The controller doesn’t include any extra features but still, this is an excellent way to control a bunch of case fans at once. There’s only one PWM channel but this shouldn’t affect performance much since PWM case fans usually work at a very similar RPM either way. Unless you plan on using this controller both for the case and CPU fans. In that case, get a controller with more than one PWM channel.

Pros:
  • Can Control A Ton Of Case Fans
  • Easy To Set Up
  • Simple To Use
  • Relatively Affordable
Cons:
  • Only One PWM Channel
  • Non-PWM Fans Won’t Get PWM When Connected To The Controller

Phanteks Universal Fan Controller PH-PWHUB-02

The Best PC Fan Controller When Combining PWM And Non-PWM Fans

phanteks universal fan controller ph-pwhub_02
  • Number Of Fan Headers: 5 PWM Fan Headers, 3 Non-PWM (3-pin) Fan Headers
  • Number OF Fan Channels: 1 PWN Fan Channel
  • SATA Power Connector, PWN Fan Connector (For Connecting The Controller With The Motherboard)
CHECK PRICES

The Phanteks Universal Fan Controller is an interesting device. It comes with five four-pin fan headers for PWM fans but also includes three 3-pin headers for non-PWM fans that can receive PWM control when hooked to the controller. You can control even more fans if you use fan headers.

The downside is that the controller has only one PWM channel, using data from the fan connected to the Fan 1 connector. This is a great solution in case you have both PWM and non-PWM case fans and want to control them all automatically.

The controller also comes with a fan speed remote but since it comes with only three speed presets, it’s better to connect the controller to a PWM fan header on the motherboard since you cannot use both at the same time.

Overall, this is a great fan controller for users who have both PWM and non-PWM fans. It only has one PWM channel but that’s okay in most cases when it comes to case fans, just make sure to hook up a PWM fan to the Fan 1 connector. If you want to hook both CPU and case fans to a single controller, find one that comes with multiple PWM channels.

Pros:
  • Enables PWM Control For Non-PWM Fans
  • Support For A Ton Of Case Fans
  • Comes With A Fan Control Remote
Cons:
  • Only One PWM Control Channel

SilverStone PWM Fan Hub System CPF04

A Simple Way To Control PWM Case Fans

silverstone pwm fan hub system cpf04
  • Number Of Fan Headers: 8 PWM Fan Headers
  • Number OF Fan Channels: 1 PWN Fan Channel
  • Other Connectors: SATA Power Connector, PWN Fan Connector (For Connecting The Controller With The Motherboard)
CHECK PRICES

With the SilverStone PWM Fan Hub System CPF04, you can control up to eight (more if using splitters) PWM fans at once by hooking up the controller with a PWM fan connector on the motherboard. And that’s about it when it comes to features on this controller. You don’t get a fan control remote, there’s no way to manually control fans, and the controller doesn’t enable PWM control for non-PWM (3-pin) fans.

The PWM control takes info from the fan hooked up to Fan 1 connector; don’t forget this when installing the controller. Overall, this is a great solution for controlling a bunch of PWM case fans at once. If you don’t have PWM case fans or plan to hook up both case and CPU cooler fans to the controller, get a fan controller with multiple PWM channels.

Pros:
  • Simple To Use
  • Affordable
  • Supports Up To 8 PWM Fans
Cons:
  • Has Only One PWM Channel
  • Doesn’t Enable PWM Control For Non-PWM Fans

How To Choose A Fan Controller

Choosing a fan controller is simple. Just list your needs and see which controller fulfills them at the best price. Still, there are some details you need to focus on, especially if your PC case is filled with RGB and non-RGB fans and with both PWM and non-PWM fans.

Same-Brand Controllers Are Best For RGB Case Fans

If you own a brand-name RGB case fans get an RGB fan controller from the same brand. Each brand uses its own proprietary RGB controllers and software and while it’s technically possible to control off-brand RGB fans on some RGB fan controllers, it’s too big a hassle in most cases so it’s best to just get a controller from the same brand that made your RGB fans.

Some PWN Controllers Enable PWM Control For Non-PWM Fans

If your case has both PWM and non-PWM fans get a fan controller that enables PWM control for non-PWM fans. This way your non-PWM fans won’t run at max speed all the time and your motherboard will be able to automatically set their voltage and speed.

On the flip side, if a controller can enable PWM control to non-PWM fans that usually means it comes with only one PWM control channel.

One Or More PWM Channels

One PWM control channel is enough if you plan to only hook up case fans to the fan controller. If you plan on hooking up both CPU cooler fans and case fans to the controller, pick one with multiple PWM (at least two) channels. Getting a single-channel device will mess up the noise and fan performance because all fans will either be controlled with the info provided from the CPU fan/s or the info provided by a single case fan.

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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