Best 140mm case fans for your PC in 2023 – RGB, best airflow, and budget picks
Discover the best 140mm case fans for your PC with our top picks. PC fans come in all shapes and sizes (well, maybe not shapes but you know what we mean!).
From dinky 40mm fans like you find tucked away sometimes, but more often on things like 3D printers or even hidden away in your old games consoles all the way up to 200mm behemoths colling monster builds and water-cooled radiators.
Here though we are looking at the recent darling of the PC building fraternity – the fans that hit a sweet spot between the power and airflow of the 200mm and the relatively quiet 120mm that have been the staple for many years – yes, it’s the turn of the glamorous 140mm fan to take to the stage.
It is, in fact, a bit of a misconception that large fans make more noise. In general, in good quality fans at least, larger blades don’t have to spin as fast to move more air around your case, so should, in theory, be quieter.
There’s nothing worse than that helicopter noise roaring out from under your desk when you are trying to work, play games or worse still, watch a movie.
140mm fans can spin more slowly, cool things more effectively, and generally hit the spot on all points.
Before you take the leap to a quieter life, it’s worth checking whether your existing case actually has the option to mount 140mm fans. Not all do. If you are not careful, it could turn out to be a more expensive upgrade than you were hoping.
Another thing you need to check is the connections. Some fans come with three-pin connectors, others with four. Some come with RGB and their own fan controllers. Others don’t. It helps to know what motherboard you will be hoping to connect them to.
One final thing to take note of is that fans come with a variety of different bearings – basically the bits that make it spin smoothly. Fans with the cheapest bearings will a) be more economical, and b) not last as long.
Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t taking failing within weeks, but a more expensive fluid-bearing fan will probably outlast most parts in your whole PC.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best 140mm case fans
Our experts want to make sure you purchase the best case fans on the market. So to curate this list, we considered the following features.
The most important feature to consider is airflow. Measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), the higher the CFM, the more air the fan moves. We chose products with high airflow, to ensure top-notch cooling performance.
We also considered noise level. This is also an important factor because there is nothing worse than a loud, distracting fan. We looked for fans with a maximum noise level of 30 decibels.
Something else to consider is additional components. We made sure to include a range of fans that offer more such as RGB LEDs and PWM control. These features can add to the cost of the fan, but they may be worth it to you if you want a specific look or control over the fan speed.
Finally, we considered the price of the case fans. We know not everyone is made of money, that’s why we made sure to include both budget picks in this list. Although, we have also included a few premium options too for anyone interested.
So many fans, so little time
Here are the type you will see mentioned
- Sleeve bearings: affordable, quiet, can only be mounted vertically
- Ball bearings: can be mounted vertically or horizontally, relatively silent, with moderate longevity
- Rifle bearings: very similar to ball bearings
- Fluid bearings (FDB and HDB) are high-end options. Offering reduced friction and up to 300,000 hours spinning action.
- Mag Lev bearings – the new kid on the block and the most expensive. The fan spins on magnets pushing away from each other, like those futuristic trains in Japan.
Most recent cases from respective manufacturers should cater for the 140mm though, so it just comes down to which ones to buy, and that is why we are here. So let’s look at some recommendations to upgrade your gaming PC.
Best 140mm case fans for your PC in 2023 – RGB, best airflow, and budget picks
- Great airflow
- Adjustable RPM
- Mag-Lev bearing for that sci-fi nerd in all of us
- At full RPM they aren’t exactly quiet
We are starting off with a top model from Corsair. We love Corsair, we love their peripherals, we love their RGB solutions, heck we even love iCue, and now we love their fans equally.
The ML in the model number stands for; you may have guessed it, Magnetic Levitations as these bad boys have MagLev bearings which takes them to the top of the pile in terms of current technology.
You can pick them up in a variety of packs, from single to dual packs to packs that include Corsair’s Lighting Node fan controller, which you will need (or a Commander Pro) to control the RGB aspect of these.
Why do we like them so much – well beyond the fact they look amazing and dramatically alter the aesthetics of your PC instantly it’s their ability to push around 97 CFM airflow with ease with the help of their adjustable RPM – all centrally controlled through the iCue software on your desktop.
As you can see from the image above, the dual pack comes with a whole host of gadgets and cables to connect everything up. Fan screws and even cable ties are included, and it is this level of detail takes often takes Corsair to the front of the pack. Knowing you get everything you need is a hugely underestimated boost.
Price would be the only downside if paying for top-end things can be considered a disadvantage. The fans themselves are expensive at around $25, but to get a kit costs more because it comes with the necessary controllers also.
Still, you will only do it once, and these will make your PC look and perform like a true champion.
- ARGB lighting
- Great airflow
- Only one fan
The Cooler Master SickelFlow 140mm is one of the best PC case fans you’ll find, not just in the 140mm range. At $20 each, though, they might be a bit too expensive for some, but they definitely get the job done and look incredible to boot, thanks to the built-in ARGB.
Cooler Master is also offering a two-year warranty alongside the fans, so you won’t have to worry too much about any unforeseen occurrences. With this platform, you’ll be able to customize your fans to your liking through the PWM controller, making any necessary changes to fan speed or lighting an absolute breeze.
The SickleFlow 140mm fan is capable of hitting fan speeds between 650 to 1400 RPM, making them quite ideal for those who like a bit more control over their rig.
- Hydraulic bearings
- Unique blades
- Great price
- No RGB lighting
This offering from Thermaltake is another great option with a hydraulic bearing, meaning it should last the distance while remaining quiet to boot.
As with all hydraulic bearings, they are more suited to vertical mounting rather than horizontally. This is down to fundamental physics. If you face it down, then there is going to be an unavoidable movement of the fluid downwards. That’s gravity for you. Live with it. This causes a bulge in the hydraulics, which affects, ever so slightly, the bearing’s capability to do its job. So mount it vertically folks!
A top RPM of 1400 makes this an excellent little spinner, but even with those numbers, it remains quiet as a mouse. In fact, pound for pound this is probably up there with the very best 140mm fan on offer, but like the Cougar, it lacks a little in bling, but you just need to decide whether that should actually be a factor in your building decision.
Thermaltake has its own compression blade design, which pushes the inner air outwards, which allows the outer section to pressurize and compress having the effect of reducing the noise further. It’s all very clever. They don’t just throw these things together you know. Scientists have their uses!
Overall then at around $15 a pop, this is a truly great 140mm fan that will be at home in your build. There are LEDs on board, but they aren’t anything to write home about and almost seem there to appease PC builders rather than show off to them.
- Energy efficiency is great
- As silent as PC fans get
- Great cooling
- No lighting
- Low RPM not suited to all case uses
I have been putting Artic fans in my builds for years. They are my go-to fans when putting together media center boxes for friends and family, and the reason is simple. You just don’t hear them, and sometimes that’s the most significant factor in a buying decision. Arctic has been building and tweaking and honing their technology for a very long time, and just when you think they have nailed it, they come out with yet more improvements.
As a brand, they eschew bling. You won’t find any RGB here. You won’t even find any lights. Arctic fans are designed for one thing only – to cool your PC as quietly as possible.
The F14 Silent never goes past 800rpm and slows down when your PC is idling – you won’t hear that, but when asked to its cooling prowess is second to none.
Every company has its own blade design, and Arctic has tweaked theirs to perfection. These fans last the test of time. They just don’t light up, but you don’t buy a lamp to cool you down either.
It’s the lowest RPM unit in this round-up, so for overclockers it’s not for you, but if you are building a rig you would rather be seen and not heard, this should be your go-to.
- RGB comes with controller
- aRGB connection
- High RPM of 1700
- aRGB not compatible with all mobos
We will finish our roundup where we started, with a gloriously colorful RGB model – this time from case manufacturer Antec.
The product choice we have made here is the dual-pack with controller that still comes considerably cheaper than the Corsair pack.
Rather than utilizing a software application like iCue, if you have a motherboard with an aRGB connection, then you can sync these up with that for a colorful light show that will be sure to impress your friends and family.
It’s 3 pin header fits onto compatible mobos from Gigabyte, MSI, and ASUS.
With a max RPM of 1700 these can get pretty noisy at full pelt, but their hydraulic bearings shifting 65CFM mean they can certainly keep your overclocked rig below melting point.
RGB fans are a personal choice – do you buy into something like the Corsair ecosystem and it’s increased price barrier when you can get something similar like this and spend your extra cash elsewhere. That’s a personal choice, but these are good fans and should definitely be taken into consideration.
Features and Considerations
As we mentioned right at the beginning of this round-up, the main thing you need to consider – once you get past whether you can actually mount a 140mm fan in your case is mainly the connections to your motherboard. Options such as the Corsair circumvent this to an extent by using their own controller, but it is something you will have to investigate for yourself.
Beyond that, we’d say consider your usage. If you are building a new PC you likely have an idea of what it’s going to be used for the majority of the time. Silent fans can be a real boon in a media center – or even just a PC you intend to leave on a lot in your home office.
If you need a bit more punch, or maybe you are adding them to a radiator to cool down an overclocked CPU, then you might have a sacrifice a little bit of that PC and quiet in order to get the performance you crave.
This really is a tough one. Every fan listed in our best 140mm case fans list will ultimately fulfill the brief. It’s tempting to go for the Arctic just because they are so damn good. But, if you are a performance-head who likes to overclock, then these aren’t for you, so for that reason alone, we can’t. Also, if you are a serious overclocker, you probably love your RGB. So, it’s going to cost you more to get around their lack of lighting too.
In short, get them if they are for a media center build or something similar.
On this occasion, we are going to recommend the Magh Lev Corsairs. Yes, they are the most expensive, but they are the only magnetic bearing fans in the round-up and they are just great. Nice and quiet, great lighting options and come complete with all the bits you need as well as the controller.
iCue is a dream to use and you can sync them up to your Corsair case, keyboard, mousepad, headphone stand, and Corsair Kitchen Sink. So, it all just looks lovely.