Best PC case fans in 2023 – RGB, budget and premium picks
Choosing the best PC case fans is essential for any gaming PC build. Creating a cool environment with precision airflow for your rig is just as important as picking up the best GPU or processor.
You won’t get the most out of those high-end components if you’re not taking care of the heat distribution within. Despite the fact that some parts already have their own fans/radiators built in, your PC still needs a way to effectively move that hot air out of the case. Thus, a set of the best PC case fans or CPU coolers are a must when building a powerful new rig.
Below, we’ll dive into the best case fans for any type of tower you decide to go with. From a smaller, more compact PC design to a monstrous high-end computer, all varied types will find case fans that fit their own needs.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best PC case fans
We made sure to select case fans that combine sleek looks with ample performance. From RGB lighting to airflow per minute, these following case fans will keep your PC as cool as possible, while also ensuring heat stays outside of the chassis. We considered products from different price ranges, and products containing different features from several different, reputable brands – to give you the best idea of the current PC case market.
Best PC case fans in 2023 – RGB, budget and premium picks
- Ultra-efficient SSO-bearing
- Subtle design
- Best quality materials
- Bad cable management
Noctua definitely gets the crown in this category. If this case fan can endure and cool a rig with the meaty RTX 4090, it can cool any rig with alternate components. Noctua’s been making fans for a long time, previously known as having some amazing yet ugly fans, until more recently re-designing its products.
The Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200 features the brand-unique NE-FD1 technology that integrates a Smooth Commutation Drive and delivers a quieter operation with ultra-low power consumption. In other words, this fan is super quiet even when in the midst of some demanding workloads.
The device has a self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing and can reach up to 1200 rpm with a minimal rotational speed of 400 RPM. It also ensures an airflow of 100.6 cubic meters per hour, all while only making a maximum of 18.1 dBA of noise. You won’t even need one of the best quiet PC cases, as your fans will do the job themselves.
- Beautiful RGB lighting
- Great price
- Strong performance
- Not the quietest
If you’re opting for a slick-looking RGB design, Corsair’s got you covered. This is one of the best RGB fans out right now. The LL120 RGB combines the best of the light and gaming aesthetic, with strong and quiet architecture. Corsair creates a “symphony of color” thanks to its 16 independent RGB LEDs across two separate light loops to create incredibly aesthetic visuals.
RGB lighting isn’t the only thing this fan has to offer. The Corsair LL120 features a dynamic control fan speed from 600 RPM to 1,500 RPM, which ensures great heat dissipation. It’s not the quietest fan of them all, but it only goes up to 24.8 dBA, which is pretty decent for a fan that can reach 43.25 CFM.
- Great price
- Addressable RGB connector clips
- Dual loop RGB lights
- It’s noisy
- RGB lighting could’ve been improved
Cooler Master offers some of the best PC fan cases on a budget. The Master MF120 Halo is one of these very fans utilizing a Smart Fan Sensor with Jam Protection. This is extremely helpful for PC cases that don’t have the best cable management system. Thus, thanks to Jam Protection, you won’t have to worry about cable management anymore.
The Master MF120 can get up to 1800 RPM and go as low as 650 RPM, creating an airflow of 47.2 CFM. Regarding noise, it emits between 6 to 30 dBA, which is decent, but in comparison to others on this list, can be a bit noisy. Despite the sound, you won’t get a better fan for the price.
- Durable cable
- Occasioanlly loud
However, if you are looking for an affordable, yet efficient fan that’s more subtle in its design, the Scythe Kaze Flex 120 PWM is a good option. However for those of you looking for a bit more flashiness, and more bang for buck in terms of packaging and presentation, we’d recommend other models on this list.
- Exceptionally high airflow
- Comes with many accessories
Another amazing option is the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM. This top-notch 120mm model can move an impressive amount of air.
This offering from Noctua has an exceptionally low noise level at mid-range speeds. The NF-A12x25 is an excellent choice for a typical gaming PC.
Of course, Noctua’s classic brown fans are not everyone’s cup of tea. But, don’t be fooled by its appearance, this PC fan definitely packs a punch. Even though the price is high, at least you know you’re getting Noctua’s great quality.
This offering also comes with a plethora of accessories such as a 12-inch extension cable, vibration dampers, and a Y-splitter to name a few.
That’s all of the best PC fans currently on the market. With new GPUs and CPUs flooding the market, it’s about time to reassess your PC interior, including the fan layout. While most will simply use their older fans, you should seriously consider upgrading in tandem with more important PC components.
Features and Considerations
Different components emit different amounts of heat per minute. A good case fan must have the ability to effectively move that air outside the tower while making as little noise as possible. One thing you’ll need to consider, even before those RGB lights, is how much noise are you willing to endure from your PC case fans. You must understand that fans will run at different speeds (slow speeds resulting in low noise) when the computer is emitting less or more heat, and that will depend on how much power the PC requires.
RGB stands for red, green and blue. RGB and ARGB lights are a common feature on a lot of PC fans but are a completely aesthetic choice, and do not impact the performance of a PC in any way. They light up your PC in an exciting way and can definitely add to your overall gaming experience.
The most common size for PC fans is usually 120mm. However, PC fans can also come in different size configurations depending on fan blades. The larger fans, mean more air can pass through it (through the intake fan) and cool your PC/graphics card/motherboard. However fan size is restricted by the size of your PC casing, so bear this in mind – smaller cases require smaller fans.
Fan speed is measured in RPM (rotations per minute). The higher RPM the more your PC can cool. However, this often results in more noise level (due to vibrations).
FAQs – Best PC Case Fans in 2023
Are 140mm fans better than 120mm?
Picking 140mm fans over 120mm prove to a lot a much quieter operation. Any 140mm fans will suffice in delivering a much quieter operation while also operating at a similar – if not better – potential over their 120mm models. Consider looking at PWM fans and static pressure fans too
Which company makes the best case fans?
It’s hard to say who makes the best PC case fans, but Noctua and Corsair are two of the biggest companies in the sphere. Both are marketed for completely different PC enthusiasts, with Corsair utilizing a ton of RGB, while Noctua makes simpler, quieter designs.
Thus, it comes down to the particular consumer – both are premium products.
Does a PC case need a fan?
Definitely! Cooling is really important when it comes to your PC, especially if you are using your computer for gaming.
You can’t eliminate heat completely but purchasing some fans will definitely help. Fans will remove hot air (as well as dust) from inside your PC and help you replace it will cooler air from outside.
Do all fans fit all case sizes?
PC fans come in 140mm, 120mm and 80mm, so choosing the right fan that fits to your specific case is essential.
Purchasing a great PC cooler should be important to all PC builders. Now, keeping the PC cool won’t be an issue with any of these various choices across this list, but if you’re looking for the absolute best cooling experience, the Noctua NF-S12B is the choice to go with.
Noctua proves time again that it knows the best sound design for its various fans, and while previous iterations tend not to look all that sleek, at least more recent products are taking on better designs.