The things we did back in the day when 3D video game technology was just beginning to blossom have come a long way. Every PC part you can think of is already RGB-capable, and RGB is a perfect fit for all fans. In fact, we’d argue that best RGB case fans are an essential part of any modern PC. There are different kinds of RGB fans for you to choose from.
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BEST RGB CASE FANS
ARCTIC P ARGB SERIES (120 MM / 140 MM)
Arctic’s P12 PWM PST ARGB and P14 PWM PST ARGB are two of the best RGB fans available. They’re priced reasonably and provide great performance for the price. It’s not that they’re the best RGB fans out there—they’re just cheaper RGB fans. These are the RGB versions of the company’s excellent P-series fans, which rank as one of the best-case fans in their class. The main difference between the two is the fans, which have translucent blades to display the RGB lighting of the eight LED rings. There are differences in fan blade design that affect performance, but it’s not so bad that it would deter many people. The fan is not bad at all, especially for the price. If you want a really silent fan, buy the model without the fan. This fan’s high airflow and low static pressure make it one of the top fans for quiet computing.
Of course, Arctic fans aren’t just about cool looks, they’re also about style. Don’t get us wrong, these are good-looking lighting systems. But the good news is that these are relatively affordable for RGB fans. The P12 is under $20 and the P14 is just shy of $25.
In addition, these Arctic ARGB fans connect directly to your motherboard ARGB header, so you don’t need to pay extra for a proprietary controller to control the lighting. The “PWM” in the name means the fans have a second female 4-pin connector, which allows them to be daisy-chained with each other. A welcome bonus like this one is a nice benefit of buying from a trusted supplier.
CORSAIR QL SERIES (120 MM / 140 MM)
If you want your RGB fans to be spectacular, make sure they are. A quality RGB fan will create a nice glow that your LEDs will reflect. Corsair’s QL fans are awesome-looking RGB fans. They come with a dual-sided RGB ring, which is very useful, and most importantly, they’re quieter. The difference between Corsair’s QL120 and QL140 is that the QL120 only has a single RGB ring on the intake side.
The main advantage of this design is, of course, the full RGB visibility from front and back, no matter where you install the fans. The Corsair QL fans are an excellent choice for most gamers who want something a bit different from the standard fan choices available on the market. The self-contained LED lights are built into the ring, allowing you to control the intensity of each light, and they are highly flexible when it comes to color and positioning.
In fact, Performance is the QL fan’s strong point, but it isn’t their strong point. When it comes to lighting, the key to the room is the quality of the lighting, and that’s what you’re buying these fans for. These fans won’t hurt your PC’s cooling performance, but they’re not for people who are overly concerned with temperatures. The other downside to it is the price. A triple-pack of the QL120s alone will set you back over $100, which rises to nearly $190 if you need to include a Corsair Lighting Node. Fans are individuals, and so each one costs between $30 and $45, depending on their size.
AIGO AR12 PRO
RGB fans are generally expensive; even the value fans cost around $20 each, which is a lot for a budget-oriented PC. When it comes to budget RGB fans, we recommend the aigo AR12 Pro. They’re easy to install and won’t break the bank. The fans are great and even at low speeds, there is no noise, but the fans could do better. Each AR12 Pro has 9 LEDs, which is a decent amount even if it’s not quite on par with pricier RGB fans. You also get an infinity mirror design on the fan hub, which adds extra bling to the fan.
This is one of the best 120 mm fans for the price. With good airflow, this fan will blow your socks off. This headset isn’t for everyone—you’ll need to decide for yourself whether the lower sound output is worth the price.
The aigo AR12 Pros are surprisingly good fans that offer more than you’d expect for their price. A nice budget fan doesn’t come with a high price tag, but it’s worth it in the long run because they are perfect.
ENERMAX SQUA RGB
Enermax’s SQUA RGB fan has an affordable price tag and an excellent performance for all fans in general. How affordable, you ask? Three packs of the SQUA RGB cost about half of a three-pack of Corsair’s QL120 fans, all while boasting admirable airflow, static pressure, and noise ratings. The SQUA isn’t the best cooling pad for the money, but it does look pretty darn good.
This SQUA RGB is still one of the best RGB color-changing keyboards available. The SQUA is a very competent PC cooler, but it’s a bit small and boring looking. The SQUA RGB comes with two of those rings, so it can look more vibrant than the other version. It’ll make your rig a bit more colorful.
In addition to that, its size isn’t an issue because it’s small enough to fit in nearly any desktop case. SQUA is inexpensive, and it’s easy to install, too. It plugs directly into your motherboard’s addressable RGB (ARGB) header. No proprietary controllers are required for this model. Enermax is made up of a single LED ring with a circular array of tiny holes in the back. It is actually made to let some of the light from the front-mounted LED ring shine through. It’s a nice extra, something manufacturers could stand to add to their own designs. This fan has a high airflow 120 mm blade and you can add RGB lighting if you wish. That’s an awesome fan and it would cost just about any budget.
NZXT AER RGB 2
The NZXT Aer RGB 2 fan is one of the best-case fans on the market today. It features a very high CFM airflow rating, making it ideal for pushing heat away from your components. That seems to agree with what NZXT suggests, that the LED ring is on the fan’s intake side. In other words, you won’t be able to appreciate the Aer RGB 2’s lighting effects when they’re used as exhaust fans. If you’re wondering why it’s important to have airflow in the back of your PC, it’s because heat is generated inside the case, and a good airflow can help expel hot air out.
The Razer Kraken V2 gaming keyboard is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market, and the LED lighting on the keyboard can be customized to your liking. Like the Corsair QL fans, the RGB lighting on the Aer RGB 2 can only be controlled via NZXT’s own RGB lighting controllers. For only $30, you can get the two-pack for Aer RGB 2, and get it installed. For the money, the NZXT Aer RGB 2 is a solid choice. While the extra cost and cabling for an additional RGB lighting controller might not be worth it, they are great for your exhaust fans alone.
FRACTAL DESIGN PRISMA AL-14/PW
The Fractal Design is best known for its sleek, high-quality computer cases. Yes, the fans are decent but the Prisma AL-14/PWM isn’t a very good fan. We’re glad that Fractal finally made the move into RGB fans. The Prisma RGB fans are really well built and are one of the best fans we’ve tested yet. The Prisma AL-14 is an excellent option for both the intake and exhaust. It’s a great value, and it’ll serve you well for years to come.
We would recommend it for use with a static pressure intake fan. There are very few 140 mm RGB fans with a comparable static pressure rating. The most notable drawback of the AL-14/PWM is the lower LED count. Fractal chose to only build 6 LEDs into the motor housing. While the white blades will help the LEDs disperse light nicely, they will not be able to compensate for the lack of LEDs when it comes to brightness. Most likely your gradients will not be as smooth with the AL-14/PWM; whether it’s important or not, is up to you.
It is a great time to be building an RGB rig. Fans like the Arctic Air RGB have the same performance as the Noctua fans, but they’re even more attractive and have a lot of customization potential. You don’t have to sacrifice your cooling performance for a more attractive and well-lit home.
Cooling performance, low noise, and high-quality build all make RGB fans an attractive choice. Get your head in the game. It’s time to start the build!