Best PC Cooling Fans of 2017 for Your New or Current Build

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When choosing a single PC cooling fan or a set of computer fans for your next build, you need to make sure that you're looking for the most balanced airflow-to-noise ratio (CFM/dBa @ RPM). CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, which is used by PC fan manufacturers to showcase how much air their products can move per minute -- and here, moving air is important.

The best PC fans will have high CFM and low dBa, meaning that they can move lots of air without producing too much noise. These numbers should help you identify the best airflow-to-noise ratio, and make a decision on which fan(s) to purchase.

If you'd like to spice up your PC case with some RGB LED lighting, then there are a few interesting options, too. From cheap PC fans to expensive PC coolers and RGB options, this list of 10 computer fans is sure to have something to suit your fancy. 

ARCTIC F12 PWM PC Fan

Price: $8.02
Buy it on: Amazon 

Here is a cheap yet smart PC cooling fan that is quiet and effective enough to cool down even the most hard-working machines. Its PWM feature is designed to help motherboards use the fan only to a necessary degree so it doesn't consume extra energy and resources.

ARCTIC will serve you well for a long time due to its use of the Fluid Dynamic Bearing, which comes with an oil capsule that avoids lubricant leakage. Together with the PWM technology, the F12 PWM will serve longer than any other fan of similar design.

ARCTIC F12 PWM Specs: 

  • Air Flow: 53 CFM
  • Noise: 22.5 dBA (at 1,350 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Start-up Voltage: 6.0V DC
  • Connection: 4-pin socket

Noctua NF-A8 PWM PC Fan

Price: $15.95
Buy it on: Amazon

This little fan is a masterpiece of Advanced Acoustic Optimisation technology, which makes it one of the quietest PC cooling fans on the market right now. The SSO2 anti-vibration bearing system combines the oil-based hydrodynamic bearings with an additional magnet, which makes it super stable.

SSO is a patented Noctua technology that you will not find from any other computer fan manufacturer. If this sounds right to you, then be sure to grab a few for your mini-ITX case.

Noctua NF-A8 PWM Specs:

  • Air Flow: 32.4 CFM
  • Noise: 17,7 dBA (at 2,200 RPM)
  • Size: 80 mm
  • Power consumption: 1W
  • Connectoion: 4-pin PWM

AC Infinity HS1238A PC Fan

Price: $14.99
Buy it on: Amazon

Now here's something completely different. If you don't care about noise, but do need to move as much air as possible, then consider getting an AC Infinity computer fan. This fan is much louder than the previous two models, but it will cool down even the most overclocked machines.

This hard-working fella is quite durable as well, even with all the power it invests into cooling. It is based on long-life dual-ball bearings, which guarantee continuous use for up to 67,000 hours.

AC Infinity HS1238A Specs:

  • Air Flow: 110 CFM
  • Noise: 47 dBA (at 2,600 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Power consumption: 18W

Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 PC Fan

Price: $22.60
Buy it on: Amazon

This low-RPM cooling fan is huge! It was designed as an additional cooler for a graphics card, and it has to be installed on the side panel of your ATX case. Despite working at 700 RPM max, it moves a lot of air in an absolutely noiseless fashion.

It also has a soft red glow that makes it look extra-cool inside a transparent PC case. If you need to add extra cooling to your gaming machine with a nice design, then be sure to check out this offering from Cooler Master.

Cooler Master MegaFlow Specs: 

  • Air Flow: 110 CFM
  • Noise: 19 dBA (at 700 RPM)
  • Size: 200 mm
  • Power consumption: 3.36W
  • Connection: 3-pin

Corsair Air Series SP120 PC Fan

Price: $15.39
Buy it on: Amazon

Corsair offers several types of PC fans for their customers, such as this SP model. It is designed for restricted airflow, unlike non-restricted exhaust fans that are used at the back of the case. This means that this specific type of cooler is installed on drive bays or radiators for more effective air dissipation.

Also, this computer fan is almost noiseless, which makes it a special case in the niche of fans designed for restricted airflow.

Corsair Air Series SP120 Specs: 

  • Air Flow: 62.74 CFM
  • Noise: 35 dBA (at 2350 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Operating voltage: 7-12V

Antec TrueQuiet 120 PC Fan

Price: $9.19
Buy it on: Amazon

This fan may run at a low RPM, but if you don't want to hear a hint of noise from your coolers, then the Antec TrueQuiet is the best choice for you. It comes with a special connector that allows you to manually adjust its speed, which may result in as little as 8.9 dBA at 600 RPM, which is virtually the quietest computer fan you will find on the market today.

This has become possible due to a very special fanblade design that creates as little friction with the air as possible.

Antec TrueQuiet 120 Specs:

  • Air Flow: 35.8 CFM
  • Noise: 19.9 dBA (at 1000 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Power consumption: 1.4W (high), 0.7W (low)

NZXT Aer RGB120 PC Fan

Price: $29.99
Buy it on: Amazon

Now let's enter the territory of RGB LED PC fans! Here is one of the most balanced solutions in terms of price and quality from NZXT. The Aer computer fan models allow you to select and modify more than 10 lighting effects with ease using CAM’s software interface, which means you can connect several of these bad boys and make your PC case light up like a Christmas tree.

In addition to the bright color effects, you get a decent airflow to noise ratio, which would already be a good deal on its own.

NZXT Aer RGB120 Specs:

  • Air Flow: 52.44 CFM
  • Noise: 33 dBA (at 1500 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Connection: 4-pin PWM
  • Voltage: 12V

Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB PC Fan

Price: $34.99
Buy it on: Amazon

This Corsair model offers 16 Independent RGB LEDs split between two separate light loops that allow for nearly endless manual lighting customization. The RGB effect on this computer fan is super soft and will not irritate your eyes -- even in complete darkness.

It also comes with the PWM system that allows you to control the intensity of the airflow, but even at its maximum speed, it is as quiet as it gets.

Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB Specs: 

  • Air Flow: 43.25 CFM
  • Noise: 24.8 dBA (at 1500 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Connection: 4-pin

Asiahorse Wireless RGB LED PC Fan

Price: $36.99
Buy it on: Amazon

Don't let the no-name manufacturer make you pass on this great computer fan. It has a decent airflow to noise ratio and includes a remote control for changing the color scheme of the 256 color RGB LED system, hence the "wireless" label in the title.

Sure, this cooler doesn't have fancy PWM technology like the most of the previous models, but it is based on hydraulic bearing technology, which will make it last for 20,000 hours at the very least.

Asiahorse Wireless RGB LED Specs: 

  • Air Flow: 38 CFM
  • Noise: 32 dBA (at 1500 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Connection: 4.6-pin

Corsair HD Series HD120 RGB LED PC Fan

Price: $55.49
Buy it on: Amazon

The HD series of Corsair RGB LED computer fans, unlike the LL series, has only 12 independent LEDs and seven lighting schemes, but it moves a lot more air. It also has a slightly different design, allowing more light and transparency to extend to its outer frame.

This cooler's higher airflow rate is possible due to its thinner fanblade design, which also ensures less vibration and noise as a result. If the price doesn't scare you, then this is definitely the best choice in the RGB LED computer fan niche.

Corsair HD Series HD120 RGB LED Specs: 

  • Air Flow: 54.4 CFM
  • Noise: 30 dBA (at 1725 RPM)
  • Size: 120 mm
  • Voltage; 7-13.2V

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Have you found the right kind of PC fan for your next computer build? Make sure to leave your feedback in the comments below. 

Published Nov. 13th 2017

Correspondent

Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin. Sergey doesn't own consoles because a PC is all he needs.


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