Few hardware components are as critical to your computer’s performance and yet as cheap as PC fans. But don’t be fooled by its low cost – a modern computer fan is an intricate piece of engineering,
and buying the wrong cheap fan can mean the difference between a system running at peak performance and one that overheats and slows down.
In this review, we help you choose the right fan for your computer.
Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200
Noctua occupies the throne of PC fans. If you care about PC cooling systems, you probably know this brand, a favorite among computer building enthusiasts. Noctua fans are very durable, move a lot of air, and are quiet. The only problem was that every PC fan from the brand came with a khaki brown color scheme straight out of the ’70s and that doesn’t match virtually any PC setup.
This new 120mm model does not feature this classic color combination, but rather a two-tone gray pattern that can be combined much better. The fan is of great capacity, being able to blow 59.2 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM), while the RPM has a range of 400-1200 and the noise stays below 18.1 dBA.
Corsair LL120 RGB
Nobody needs an RGB computer fan, but like so many things in life, what we want is not always exactly what we need. RGB PC fans look great in a side glass pane cabinet, and if you’re looking for that cyberpunky gamer aesthetic, the Corsair LL120 RGB are some of the best options on the market.
But beyond the lighting and aesthetics, this computer fan is very solid. At medium speeds, it’s louder than much of the competition, but under heavy load, it’s quieter than any non-Noctua fan we’ve tested. It reaches 1500 RPM and is capable of moving 43.3 CFM with a maximum noise of 24.8 dBA.
InWin Saturn ASN120
This triple addressable PC fan kit has a patented modular cable design that connects to each fan and allows only the cables that connect to the motherboard to be routed. It has an ARGB control that is capable of controlling not only the fans but any other ARGB component simultaneously. It moves a lot of air, specifically 77.17 CFM but this comes at a price in noise: it runs at 35 dBA.
Be quiet! Silent Wings 3
Silent Wings 3 comes in a number of variations of both 120mm and 140mm, as well as various PWMs. The most important, as the name suggests, is that this PC cooling system is practically inaudible. The maximum noise is 16.4 dBA. The airflow is impressive too, at 101 CFM.
Aerocool Astro 24 RGB Dual
This is a PC fan with a unique dual design and RGB lighting with more than 16 million colors that can be controlled by a control included in the purchase or directly on the motherboard.
The price-performance ratio is very good and it is quite quiet, reaching up to 17.8 dBA. The speed is not adjustable but fixed at 900 RPM, but if you are looking for a cheap computer fan, the Aerocool Astro 24 RGB Dual is one of the best options.