- Our top pick for the #1 Best Overall PC Fan is Lian Li UNI FAN SL-INFINITY. It has a high RPM, increased airflow capacity, and low noise levels.
- The best PC fans featured on our list offer exceptional performance in cooling CPUs. They have better features for delivering quality cooling.
- To choose the best PC fan, consider the speed, size, fan noise, airflow capacity, power consumption, aesthetics, and 4-Pin or 3-Pin (PMW) that determines its compatibility with other devices.
- Besides Lian Li UNI FAN SL-INFINITY, other PC fans in this category also guarantee the best cooling for CPUs due to their great specs. They have features like PWM controllers that make them more user-friendly.
In the digital age, most people prefer to build their own PCs from scratch. Most tech-savvy people love this approach since it allows them to develop powerful computers for heavy-duty tasks. However, while operating powerful PCs and GPUs, the problem you’re likely to face is overheating. This is why finding the best PC fans is so important.
If you don’t deal with the issue of overheating diligently, it will ruin the PC’s sensitive internal parts, which may lead to costly repairs. Since the operating temperatures of your PC determine its longevity, it’s vital to look for a reliable cooling solution.
CPUs can function at 150-200 degrees, but it will result in reliability issues over time. Therefore, consider installing cooling fans for your PC to run on peak performance at cool temperatures. In this article, we focus on some of the best PC fans available today. Here is our ranking of the best options out there:
- Best Overall: Lian Li UNI FAN SL-INFINITY
- Best RGB PC Fan: Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm Case Fan
- Best Performance: Be Quiet! Silent Wings Pro 4
- Best Budget Option: ARCTIC P12 120mm Fan
- Best Premium Fan: Razer Kunai Hydraulic
Best Overall: Lian Li UNI FAN SL-INFINITY
The Lian Li UNI FAN SL-INFINITY takes the best overall position on our list. It has an appealing design that makes it attractive for most CPU users. This device has great aesthetic features like an infinity mirror, a cable-less design, and daisy chaining.
The fan is 120 x 122.1 x 25 mm in size and has 12 volts fan and 5 volts LED, 5.16 wattage, and low noise levels of 29 dBA. It also has an airflow capacity of 61.3 CFM and a maximum rotational speed of up to 2100 RPM. It is compatible with PCs with USB 2.0 headers, 4-pin fan headers, and ARGB headers.
This fan is excellent for gaming PCs due to its modular design. Its Lian Li adapter can power at least 4 fans in a daisy-chained design. Moreover, this device has exceptional airflow to keep temperatures at a minimum. Using a button, its Lian Li “L-Connect” software also helps sync fans to the motherboard.
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|It’s easy to install due to Lian Li’s modular design (daisy chained design) that prevents cable clutter.||This premium fan focuses mainly on aesthetics, making it very expensive. You might be paying more for the case than the fan’s performance.|
|It’s very appealing due to its Infinity Mirror RGB appearance. Its beauty sets it apart from its competition.|
|It has a very high CFM and is very quiet. It comes with PWM support that provides impeccable performance and silent modes.|
Best RGB PC Fan: Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm Case Fan
The Corsair LL120 RGB features on our list as the best RGB fan. It has a beautiful Lighting Node PRO device that enhances its aesthetics. This fan is 4.72 x 4.72 x 0.98 inches in size with a 7-13.2 voltage. It has a 24.8 dBA noise level, a 43.25 CFM airflow capacity, and a top rotational speed of 1500 RPM.
This fan is compatible with devices with a 4-pin USB 2.0 header or a 4-pin PWM Fan connector. Despite its impressive looks, this fan performs optimally in keeping PCs cool. Although it is affordable compared to other premium fans, it is also relatively slow. Hence, it’s not suitable for high-performance PCs.
Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm Case Fan is backed by exceptional iCUE software made by Corsair, and it’s renowned for its impeccable RGB performance. This machine has a PWM fan control to enhance its reliability in cooling CPUs. Therefore, users can determine the speed of their LL120 RGB fans depending on their needs.
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|It is the most aesthetically appealing RGB fan with a high aesthetic value.||Since it uses 2 cables for every fan, handling over 3 fans in small cases will require an extensive cable management solution.|
|Users can enjoy multiple customizations due to its Corsairs iCUE software.|
Best Performance: Be Quiet! Silent Wings Pro 4
Be Quiet! Silent Wings Pro 4 made it on our list as the top-performing PC fan. Its incredible specs give it the power to deliver quality cooling for CPUs that handle heavy-duty tasks. This device has an unimaginable run time of 300,000 hours.
This fan is 4.72-inch x 4.72-inch x 0.98-inch in size, 12V, and 1.44 wattage. It has 36.9 dBA noise levels, an airflow capacity of 83.9 CFM, and a top rotational speed of 3000 RPM. This fan is a good purchase as it comes with a 5-year warranty. Its Fluid Dynamic Bearing fans can push more air, making it suitable for performance-centric PCs.
This fan also lives up to its name because it executes its tasks silently. The noise it produces at 3000 RPM is similar to other premium fans with a top speed of 2000 RPM. Since this fan focuses on performance, it doesn’t have an RGB option. Therefore, if you need the perfect cooling workhorse for your CPU, consider buying Be Quiet! Silent Wings Pro 4.
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|A 5-year warranty backs it.||It doesn’t have RGB and aesthetics, which appeals to most gamers.|
|It has a good build quality.|
|Its 3000 RPM guarantees increased airflow.|
|The Fluid-Dynamic bearing enhances its durability.|
Best Budget Option: ARCTIC P12 120mm Fan
The ARCTIC P12 120mm Fan isn’t great in terms of aesthetics or performance, but it’s the best budget PC fan on our list. It delivers exceptional cooling and it’s budget-friendly. This fan is 4.72-inch x 4.72-inch x 0.98-inch in size; it has 12V DC voltage and 2.4 wattages with a 3 dBA noise level.
It has an airflow capacity of 56.3 CFM, a top rotational speed of 1800 RPM, and it’s compatible with devices with the 3-pin connector. It’s a 5-pack fan, retailing at $6 per fan. With this price, you get five fans at the price of one. Despite its friendly price, this PC fan appeals to most people because of its low power consumption and noise levels.
Unfortunately, this fan doesn’t give users much-needed control of the air flowing into their CPUs. Since it doesn’t have PMW, its users cannot control the fan speed. If you intend to control airflow, this issue might make the ARCTIC P12 120mm fan unappealing.
However, its affordability, availability of low-cost spare parts, excellent airflow, and low noise levels can change your mind. Despite its weakness, the ARCTIC P12 still provides great value for money.
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|It has a simple design that aesthetically appeals to designer and gaming PCs.||It doesn’t have a PWM control. Therefore, its users cannot control the fan speed.|
|It runs at a top speed of 1800 RPM with a 3 dBA noise rating.||It lacks RGB or any other form of lighting to enhance its aesthetics.|
|Comes with a 6-year warranty.|
|It has an impressive airflow capacity rated at 56.3 CFM.|
Best Premium Fan: Razer Kunai Hydraulic
The Razer Kunai Hydraulic PC fan takes the top spot on our list as the premium choice for PC fans. Even without its PWM controller or RGB, this fan is quite expensive. It is 5.79 x 5.31 x 2.64 inches in size and has a 3.36 wattage and voltage ratings of 12V for DC fans and 5V for LEDs.
This fan has an airflow capacity of 65.5 CFM, a top rotational speed of 12000 RPM, and noise levels of 15-35 dBA. It is also compatible with devices with an ARGB header and 4-pin Fan Header.
This fan has Razer software compatibility with exceptional Synapse software that gives users absolute control of the fan’s PMW RGB settings. Apart from its decent performance, Razer Kunai Hydraulic operates silently at 1200 RPM.
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|Besides its great-looking fans, the Razer software suite gives room for customizations and improved sync potential with Razer hardware.||You will have to pay more for its controllers despite paying for its expensive fans.|
|It has appealing RGB lighting that justifies its costly price.|
|It has the best build quality, which enhances its durability.|
How to Pick the Best PC Fan: Step-by-Step
A PC fan plays a crucial role in maintaining low temperatures and preventing overheating issues. This component is much needed in CPUs that perform heavy-duty tasks.
However, the specs and capabilities of the fan will determine if it will adequately serve your computer’s needs. Here are the major factors you must consider when selecting the best PC fans:
- 4-Pin or 3-Pin (PMW)
- Fan Noise
- Air Flow Capacity
- Power Consumption
Now, let’s explore each in more detail.
4-Pin or 3-Pin (PMW)
While searching for a good fan, you have the option to choose between a 3-pin or 4-pin. The standard 3-pin fans comprise tach, power, and ground wires, which relay information to the software or motherboard.
The 4-pin has an additional room for Pulse Modulation Control (PMW). This feature enables users to adjust the fan’s speed through the fan control software or motherboard. The 4-pin fans are a better option because they give users more control when cooling their CPUs.
The speed of the PC fans is measured by Revolutions per Minute (RPM). RPM refers to the number of times the fan rotates in a minute. Fans with a higher RPM are suitable for heavy-duty computers. The many rotations provide a massive inflow of air through the system. This provides better cooling for your CPU.
The PC fans also come in different sizes. You will find fans with sizes ranging from 80mm to 92mm, 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm. The most popular size for modern fans is 120mm. Going for larger fans is an excellent idea because they supply more air to the CPU, especially if they run at the same RPM as smaller ones.
Since they will rotate less than smaller fans, their noise levels will be lower. You should also check the fan’s compatibility with your CPU and ensure it fits in your computer before selecting it.
Most PC owners can easily overlook this factor, yet it is very significant. Higher fan noises can be a nuisance, especially in an office setting. Therefore, if you love working in silence, consider the decibel level of the fan before choosing it. Manufacturers usually indicate the dBA levels of these machines. Hence, opt for a fan with the lowest dBA.
Air Flow Capacity
The amount of air the fan pushes through your PC determines how well it will keep it cool. The amount of air the fans distribute is measured in Cubic Feed/Minute (CFM). Fans with the best cooling performance have a very high CFM. Therefore, they will ensure a constant supply of more air into your CPU to curb overheating.
While using the PC fans, they will consume your energy too. Therefore, you must check the power consumption of these machines before selecting the one to purchase.
The fan’s aesthetics don’t affect its performance. However, it improves the appeal of the fan to the users. Some fans come loaded with RGB lighting, which makes them more appealing. Others stand out because they have LEDs installed by aftermarket manufacturers. Selecting PC fans based on aesthetics depends on the buyer’s preference.
What to Know Before Buying the Best PC Fan
Purchasing PC fans is a susceptible investment as it determines the reliability of your computer. If the fans don’t function effectively, they will limit your CPUs performance. Here are the things to know before purchasing PC fans.
PC Fan’s Features and Your Needs
Before buying the fans, consider their features and your needs. A powerful PC fan is essential if you are a heavy computer user. If you fall in this category, you need to get a fan with a higher RPM and airflow capacity to blow enough air into your CPU for hours without developing any technical issues.
Make your choices based on the brand of the PC fans. Several companies are manufacturing this equipment. However, some are renowned for delivering the best fans for cooling CPUs.
You will never go wrong buying fans produced by reputable companies. The best brands also give a lengthier warranty period for their fans as proof of their reliability and durability.
Reviews of Other Users
Never ignore the opinions of other users before buying PC fans. Some people take time to post reviews after using these fans. Fortunately, reviews are easily accessible online.
Therefore, commit to reading them to know more about the fans. Don’t risk buying fans with innumerable negative reviews from other users. Since most of those devices didn’t meet the expectations of their users, they may be unreliable in cooling PCs.
Don’t be deceived into buying a costly PC fan to get more value from it. Writing off affordable fans as unreliable is the greatest mistake most people make.
You can find budget-friendly PC fans that deliver impressive performance. Unless you have the money for high-end fans, consider other options with a track record of reliability and excellent performance in cooling PCs.
Using the Best PC Fans: What It’s like
As long as you are using PC fans, you will never experience overheating issues. These fans can continuously push massive amounts of air through your CPU while you’re using it.
By doing this task tirelessly, they ensure your PC operates at a very low temperature. These fans run at very high RPMs to deliver more airflow capacity to your computer. Their RGB lighting adds beauty to the computer. These fans come in different sizes and can fit any PC perfectly.
These fans will enable computers to perform optimally. By minimizing heating, they also boost the PC’s longevity. You will never repair or replace your CPU’s internal components due to heating issues.
PC fans also enable gaming enthusiasts to enjoy their games to satisfaction as they can play for many hours without interruptions caused by overheating. Therefore, buying a good cooling fan is essential for every heavy-duty PC owner.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©stockphoto-graf/Shutterstock.com.