Here’s the deal:
Case fans play a crucial role in your PC – if your PC gets too hot, your components will overheat and become damaged or worse, destroyed.
With that being said, it’s safe to say you should choose your next set of case fans carefully.
Good case fans need to be quiet, efficient, and of course, they have to provide great airflow.
Well, it looks like you’re in luck.
I’ve procured the 7 best case fans in 2018 – including the best 120mm case fans and the best 140mm case fans for your next gaming PC.
Best 120mm Case Fans
|ARCTIC F12 PWM PST Case Fan||$25||4.5/5||Shop on Amazon|
|Cooler Master JetFlo 120 Case Fan||$20||4/5||Shop on Amazon|
|Noctua NF-F12 Case Fan||$20||5/5||Shop on Amazon|
|Corsair ML120 Pro LED Case Fan||$100||4.5/5||Shop on Amazon|
1. The ARCTIC F12 PWM PST case fan was designed to run quietly, while improving airflow and ventilation.
Your computer’s motherboard utilizes the F12’s PWM function to run the fan at the right speed at all times. This feature ensures your PC will be at the proper temperature. Moreover, because your fan won’t be running faster than necessary, the PWM feature also helps to reduce noise.
The fan is also reversible – in other words, you can install it in a manner that will either draw cool air into your case (intake) or push warm air out of your case (exhaust).
The fan housing is actually two seperate sections, connected together with rubber grommets to help suppress the noise from vibrations.
What’s the bottom line here?
If you’re looking for a cheap, quiet, and cool fan, the Arctic F12 PWM is a great choice.
2. The Cooler Master JetFlo 120 case fan is ultra-thin, but don’t underestimate its cooling power.
The blades spin from 800 to 2,000 RPM, thanks to the fan’s high performance motor. The fan’s blades generate up to 95 CFM airflow.
Cooler Master’s self-lubricating polyoxymethelene (POM) bearing gives this fan a lifespan of around 160,000 hours. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth out of this purchase.
You can choose from red, white, blue, and non-LED fans to match your PC’s color scheme. Overall, this fan is delivering performance, style, and superb airflow, all for a low price.
At 1200 RPM with the included silent mode adapter, this fan emits 19 dBa. At 1600 RPM this fan emits 28 dBa.
The corners of this fan are made of rubber, bolted to the fan’s frame. This features cuts down on fan vibrations and helps to eliminate noise.
3. Although this fan may look plain, it is actually far from it. The Noctua NF-F12 case fan is designed with the new Focused Flow frame to achieve the perfect balance between cooling performance and quietness.
Integrated Anti-Vibration pads help to reduce noise, even when the Noctua NF-F12’s 7 fans are spinning at full speed (1500 RPM). The fan ships with a low-noise adapter, which reduces the fan’s maximum speed from 1500 RPM to 1200 RPM.
The NF-F12 uses Noctua’s brand new SSO2 bearing. The rear magnet has been moved closer to the axis to deliver increased stability during operation.
The bearing shell of the fan is constructed entirely with brass – this fan is built to last.
Despite this fan’s affordable price, it is one of Noctua’s high performance fans, guarunteed to deliver fantastic airflow without making a lot of noise.
4. The Corsair ML120 Pro LED case fan has a magnetic bearing that keeps the fan quiet, in addition to prolonging the fan’s life span, and helping its performance overall.
Its custom rotor design provides a balance between high airflow and static pressure. You can control the fan’s speed, all the way up to 2,400 RPM. In addition, the colors of the fan are entirely customizable.
This fan looks absolutely awesome, and performs well, too. The fan comes in blue, red, white, and black, and the fan’s CFM ranges from 12 to 75.
As far as noise goes, the fan is very quiet. At its lowest speed it will only emit 16 dBa, and at maximum RPMs the fan emits around 37 dBa.
Best 140mm Case Fans
|NZXT FN V2 Case Fan||$12||5/5||Shop on Amazon|
|Corsair Air Series AF140 Case Fan||$25||5/5||Shop on Amazon|
|Corsair ML140 Pro LED Case Fan||$25||4.5/5||Shop on Amazon|
1. If you’re searching for a case fan that is capable of cooling even the hottest computers, look no further. If I had to describe the NZXT FN V2 case fan with one word, it would be performance.
The fan is rated at 50 CFM, and can spin at a rate of 1,000 RPM. The fan is quiet, only emiting 21 dBa. It comes in black and white.
The fan ships with sleeved cables and anti-vibration pads to increase performance and minimize noise during operation.
The fan is designed to last for a long time – actually, NZXT insures your purchase with a two-year warranty.
Despite being a 140mm fan, the FN V2 is incredibly light, weighing in at 5.1 ounces.
For a mere $12, you can’t beat the price/performance of this 140mm case fan.
2. The Corsair Air Series AF140 case fan really packs a punch for less than $15.
Spinning at 1200 RPM and only emiting 25.5 dBa, the AF140 is capable of regulating your PC’s internal temperature without making too much noise.
It’s rated at 66.4 CFM, and Corsair recommends at least 3cm of clearance between the fan and anything else inside your case to insure the best possible airflow.
The fan features LED lighting, and a variety of colors to choose from, including red, blue, white, and purple. The fan’s blades are translucent and frosted, which creates a cool effect when the LEDs are turned on and the fan is spinning.
The AF140 is an ultra-thin, powerful, good looking and cheap 140mm case fan. It’s a yes from me!
3. The Corsair ML140 Pro LED case fan has custom LEDs mounted to the center harness of the fan that give off extremely vibrant colors. You can choose from white, blue or red LEDs.
Anti-vibration pads keep the fan quiet, even at top speed (1200 RPM).
Corsair’s Advanced Magnetic Levitation bearing sets this fan apart from the competition. The bearing dramatically reduces friction by magnetically levitating the fan blade, which prolongs the fan’s life and lowers noise levels.
You can dynamically control the fan’s speed from 400 RPM all the way up to 1,200 RPM to minimize noise or maximize airflow.
I use these case fans in my PC, and I’ve never had any issues. They might work a bit too well!
What to Look for in Your Next Case Fans
Before you buy your next set of case fans, it’s important to consider the following:
Size – The size of your fans matter. The most commonly used case fan sizes are 80mm, 120mm, and 140mm. If possible, buy 140mm case fans, as they provide the best airflow at lower RPMs (since they’re the biggest, they push more air at the same RPM as a smaller fan.)
Noise – If you’re anything like me, noisy case fans drive you insane. Noise level is especially important if you want to make YouTube videos or stream to Twitch. You definitely don’t want noisy case fans.
Airflow – This one is obvious, so I’m not going to go into detail about it – just make sure your fans provide adequate airflow.
Type of Power Connector - Fans that connect to the motherboard usually have 2 Pins. The 3 Pin fans have a tachometer signal that allows the motherboard to read the fan’s RPMs, and the 4 Pin connector fans have PWM signal for speed control. Also, make sure your motherboard has enough fan connectors to accomodate all of your fans.
Cosmetics – Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your fans look cool! There are many different designs to choose from. Don’t be afraid to search until you find the right fans for you.
Best PC Fan for Gaming
Although some companies advertise their fans as ‘gaming fans,’ they aren’t any different from regular fans.
I’d recommend choosing one of the fans listed above, either 120mm or 140mm in size, because they are the best PC case fans money can buy.
If you want, choose fans that come with LEDs, as that’s really the only difference between regular case fans and ‘gaming fans.’
How to Install Case Fans
The Importance of Case Fans
Case fans are important because the components inside your PC generate a lot of heat. If you didn’t have a CPU cooler on your CPU, for example, you could fry an egg on top of it. Seriously, look it up.
If your components get too hot, it can damage them and shorten their life span. You’ll run into problems with your components malfunctioning if they get too hot.
Most components are programmed to automatically shut down if they get too hot to avoid damage. So, either your PC will turn off over and over, or your components will be damaged.
CPUs and GPUs run especially hot – it is crucial that your PC draws in cool air and expels the warm air.
An efficient cooling system can increase performance and the lifespan of your computer.
120mm Case Fans vs. 140mm Case Fans
So, if you have the option to choose either 120mm or 140mm case fans, which is best?
In almost every scenario, you should choose 140mm case fans.
140mm fans are larger than 120mm fans (obviously). Therefore, they can move more air, even at a lower RPM. They can spin slower (and more quietly), while achieving the same cooling.
Or, you can have them spin faster and produce even more air.
The only time you should use 120mm case fans over 140mm is if your case can hold more 120mm fans than 140mm fans.
Cases that have space for a 240mm radiator are also an exception – in that case, it’d be wise to mount two 120mm case fans.
Budget Gaming PCs for Your Case Fans
|$400||Extreme Budget Gamer||
||View Prebuilt PCs|
If you take away anything from this article, it should be the following:
Whatever you do, buy case fans! If your computer gets too hot, you’ll damage your oh so expensive components.
Additionally, you can choose case fans that match your PC’s color scheme. They’re a great way to show your personality.
- Best 120mm Case Fans
- ARCTIC F12 PWM Case Fan
- Cooler Master JetFlo 120 Case Fan
- Noctua NF-F12 Case Fan
- Corsair ML120 Pro LED Case Fan
- Best 140mm Case Fans
- NZXT FN V2 Case Fan
- Corsair Air Series AF140 Case Fan
- Corsair ML140 Pro LED Case Fan
- What to Look for in Your Next Case Fans
- Best PC Fan for Gaming
- How to Install Case Fans
- The Importance of Case Fans
- 120mm Case Fans vs. 140mm Case Fans
- Budget Gaming PCs for Your Case Fans