Best RGB fans in 2023 – picks for airflow, radiators, and budget
You’re here because you want RGB lighting on your fans. And we’re here to give you a quick view of the best options out there. So below we’ve set out to find the best RGB fans on the market, so you can make your choice in a quick and easy manner.
Your gaming computer should be like you: reliable and cool under pressure. In order to achieve this, your PC’s case must be equipped with proper cooling and fans allowing for dependable airflow which keeps your components at sensible temperatures. Performance isn’t the only thing that matters, though. Keeping components cool is key and if you want a bit of character then the best RGB fans can provide it.
We’ve got a top five picks and we’ve included a guide to help you know what to look for when shopping for your next gaming PC fan.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best RGB case fans
There are three main criteria we’ve used to select the products in this guide. Foremost is that the fans have RGB functionality that you’d be proud to include in your system. After all, this is our best RGB fans list – you only want the best options for budget and function.
Second, but actually equally important, is effective cooling. You don’t want a fan that is all form and no function, as ensuring safe temperatures inside a system is critical. We’ve researched the available options to ensure you get a fan that’s worth picking up and at a good price.
Not quite convinced by RGB? If you’re not interested in the extra premium price associated with the best RGB fans, then you might want to check our best PC case fans guide. As well as, our best CPU cooler article.
Best RGB fans in 2023 – picks for airflow, radiators, and budget
- Most RGB of any fan
- High static pressure
- Low noise level
- Lacking airflow
When it comes to RGB, it’s mostly about the looks. Contrary to what some believe, RGB lighting does not make your PC run faster and does not improve benchmarks or frame rates. RGB will, however, make your computer look awesome and will possibly even make all your friends jealous of your awe-inspiring battle station. If this is what you’re after, then the best RGB case fans for aesthetics are the Corsair LL120.
These fans sport a light ring inside the fan hub that shines light outward into the fan blades, while a second light loop on the outside of the frame of the fan adds an additional halo of stationary lights around the fan. Each of these loops has eight individually addressable RGB lights that can be controlled through Corsair’s iCUE software for tons of customization. Corsair’s software allows for practically unlimited animations and color combinations using the 16 RGB LEDs on each fan.
There are a number of packages available including single, dual, or triple packs of the fans. Also, you can opt to either have the lighting node included or not, but you will likely need one to run all of the fans and RGB.
While these fans don’t offer the most total airflow, they are incredibly quiet and offer excellent static pressure, the highest on our list in fact. This makes them the best RGB radiator fans on the market as they can easily blast air through dense radiators.
- High airflow
- Available in two sizes
- Loud under load
Now that we’ve covered a fan for those just chasing after the most luminous ways to cool their PC, let’s take a look at some fans that actually put performance at the top of their list. The NZXT Aer fans live up to their name with impressive airflow for their size.
These fans are available in both 120mm and 140mm versions, with the larger variants boasting greater airflow and static pressure at the same RPM and noise level. Speaking of noise level, these fans are pretty loud, especially for the relatively low RPMs that they run at. If you’re looking for a quiet fan, these are not it, but if you want fans that will quickly replenish the air in your case and keep your hardware cool then these are a good option.
The 120mm RGB fan pushes 52 ft3/min of air while the 140mm RGB fan moves an impressive 91 ft3/min. This is enough airflow to keep even very high-end hardware cool and is the highest on our list. Also, while not quite as much pressure as the Corsair LL series fans we looked at, these NZXT fans still offer enough static pressure to be used on radiators.
As for the lights, these fans have a single light loop around the perimeter of the frame of the fan and lack any illumination within the fan blades themselves. These fans come either individually or as a twin or triple pack. Unfortunately, they do not come with any kind of fan controller or hub, making it very important to ensure you have enough of the right kinds of connectors on your motherboard – or you’ll need to pick up a hub separately.
- Comes with RGB hub
- Lots of RGB lights
- Mediocre performance
We opened our reviews in this article by praising the 16 RGB lights in the Corsair LL series fans. But there is actually one other contender on the market that can more than give Corsair a run for its money in the RGB department, and that is Thermaltake.
Thermaltake has crammed an impressive 30 individually addressable RGB lights into their Riing fans. There is a light loop around the edge of the fan on both sides, which each contain 12 lights, and the final six are illuminating the fan blades themselves. This makes these truly the best RGB PC fans and the undisputed kings of radiance.
Even better than that though, is the fact that these fans even come with an included hub that allows you to plug in up to five of the fans and easily control them through software. Thermaltake’s software also boasts some unique and impressive features such as Alexa integration that allows you to change the color and speed of your fans using voice commands.
So you’re probably now wondering why these aren’t at the absolute top of our list. The answer is performance. Yeah, RGB is all about being cool and all, but when it comes down to it we feel more comfortable recommending the Corsair fans that will save you money. They’ll also perform better with greater airflow and static pressure while still looking great. In comparison, Thermaltake’s is an inferior performance for the sake of gratuitous vibrancy.
- High airflow
- Low noise
- Very low static pressure
When it comes to case fans, one size sits at the top of the food chain like the mighty apex predator it is 200mm. These elusive fans are pretty rare to spot and counterintuitively are often found in smaller cases. They offer some interesting benefits though, so let’s take a look at why a 200mm RGB fan might be right for you.
Larger fans can, as you probably already know, push more air through your case per minute. In fact, this 200mm fan flaunts the second-highest airflow rate of any of the fans on our list, beaten only by the 140mm NZXT Aer 2 fan. However, to achieve its narrow victory over this 200mm fan from Cooler Master the NZXT offering has to spin about twice as fast and produces much more noise.
Larger fans not only move tons of air but also do it running at a lower RPM; therefore generating less noise. So if you’re looking for a fan that can offer excellent cooling alongside nearly silent performance, then large fans might be worth checking out.
These fans are also compatible with almost any RGB controller and software including ASUS Aurasync and Gigabyte RGB Fusion. That being said make sure your case can actually fit one of these beasts before you buy one.
- Includes 5 fans
- Costs very little; Great Value
- Not software controlled
- Not as durable as the other fans
RGB fans can be very expensive, and the price tag of some of the options on our list was probably even a bit startling to some as the bundles can easily reach over $100. Well, a company called upHere has decided to put an end to the outrageous prices surrounding RGB fans and offers a five-pack of fans at an incredible price. This is the best budget RGB fan in our list.
For less than the cost of a single LL-series fan from Corsair, you can get your hands on one of these budget-friendly powerhouses and light up your rig like never before. For one thing, getting five fans is a ton, especially for this price. Five fans are more than even some high-end gaming machines will ever have.
What’s even more impressive though is the fact that these fans have pretty similar performance specs to the much more expensive Corsair LL fans. In fact, these fans from upHere have more airflow and nearly as much static pressure while being even quieter than the LL series fans.
This is where the savings come in. In order to make them so affordable, some corners had to be cut when making these fans. These fans are controlled using a wireless remote rather than software, meaning you will have less control over the color and pattern of the lights.
Features and considerations
As recently as a few years ago the reality of noisy case fans was inescapable; screaming fans at startups were the norm. Nowadays, however, many of the fans on the market not only offer excellent cooling performance but are also super quiet.
Almost all of the fans on our list are practically silent with most of them having decibel levels of around 25 to 30 which is a little quieter than the noise of the average library.
If you’re looking for the quietest fans possible though, then the upHere wireless RGB fans are a great option. However, they might not have the best build quality or longevity due to their budget nature. Another great option for those looking for a silent PC, but who are looking for a bit more quality out of their purchase, are the Corsair LL series fans. Corsair makes very quiet fans that offer good performance and look amazing, so you really can’t go wrong with these.
The other major specification that is important to look at when shopping for fans – and which is not mentioned quite as often– is static pressure. Static pressure is a measurement of how hard a fan blows the air and is measured in mm H2O.
This is important if you’re planning to use the fan to cool a radiator or a heatsink since these put a direct barrier in the path of the airflow. This means that the fan has to push the air through or around the radiator or heatsink, which reduces the total airflow.
Fans with higher static pressure can more easily force air through radiators and heatsinks. If you plan to use your RGB fans for this, then we suggest using the Corsair LL 120 fans as these offer the best static pressure of any of the fans in our roundup.
The first and probably most obvious thing that people think of when they think of fans is airflow. Airflow can be measured a number of ways but for our purposes, we kept everything to cubic feet per minute. This is an empirical measurement of the volume of air that the fan can move when running at its maximum fan speed.
The more airflow a fan has the more air it will be able to push through your case or across your heatsink to keep your hardware cool. If you’re looking for the best airflow possible, then the NZXT Aer is a great option. This fan comes in either a 120mm or 140mm size with the 140mm option offering the highest airflow on our list.
That being said, these fans are loud– or at least louder than other options– when pushing this much air, so if you’re going for maximum airflow then the Cooler Master MF200R is also a viable option. This massive 200mm fan pushes almost as much air as the 140mm NZXT fan, but does so with much lower RPM, and consequently noise, thanks to its larger size.
Which company makes the best RGB fans?
The manufacturers of the best PC fans are the best place to start. We’d opt for the companies included here, so the likes of Corsair, NZXT, Thermaltake, and Coolermaster. UpHere is well-known for RGB fans, but it also produces regular fans.
Do RGB fans cool?
Yes! Well, the ones on this list certainly do. We’re not sure why anyone would make RBG fans that don’t cool: there’s little point in taking up more space in a case with some lights on a fan that doesn’t help keep temperatures low. Not when there are great options that do both – like the ones we feature here.
Are RGB fans worth it?
Well RGB or ARGB fans offer no performance value when it comes to its ability to cool your CPU. However, the lighting effects definitely bring a whole new vibe to your gaming setup. Typically, RGB fans are more expensive than their plain counterparts. So, in all honesty, they are only worth it, if you want to create an aesthetic and immersive gaming environment.
In our view, the Corsair LL120 are the best RGC fans available for anyone looking to add color to their system. Not only are they effective at pushing air and helping airflow, they look good and they’re quiet too.
Corsair cooling is renowned for a reason. And it’s great to see a product from a top manufacturer pair sizeable amounts of style with substance too.