Best Computer Fans Windows Central 2021
With a wide variety of PC fans out there, how can you know which ones will keep your system nice and cool? Are you fed up with the inside of your desktop PC being so hot it may as well have opened a summoning portal to the very depths of fiery hell itself? Keep cool and carry on quietly with our favorite fan out there, the Noctua SNF-S12B Redux. It's suitable for being used as both a CPU fan and a case fan as long as you don't mind the lack of lighting. It provides excellent airflow and operates almost silently - once installed, you'll never even know that they are there!
- Best Overall: Noctua SNF-S12B Redux
- Best for RGB: Corsair LL120 RGB Fans
- Best Value: Thermaltake Riing Series
- Best for Airflow: Noctua NF-A12 Series
- Best for Attractive RGB: NZXT AER RGB 2 140mm
- Best for Bigger Cases: Cooler Master MegaFlow 200
Best Overall: Noctua SNF-S12B Redux
This budget offering from Noctua is guaranteed to satisfy any case related cooling demands that you may have. It sports an optimized airflow blade that has been specifically designed to reduce noise and shift as much air as possible in any given space. Wherever you put this fan to use, it should impress. These fans are quiet; I can't state that enough. They will only ever reach a maximum of 18 decibels while under load. To put this in perspective, leaves rustle at around 30 decibels - under no circumstances will you think that your desktop is about to fly away.
- High performance
- Not expensive
- Outstanding airflow
- Very quiet
- No LED's or RGB
Best for RGB: Corsair LL120 RGB Fans
The ultimate in RGB fans, these fans can be configured individually through Corsair's customization software. Any setup that you can imagine can be configured, from the standard rainbow configuration to your favorite sports team's colors. If you can think of it, you can do it with these fans. They are also reasonably quiet and proficient in cooling any case as well as being very, very bright so much so that you may want to use sunglasses! They can be mounted both ways as they also look good from behind.
- 16 independent RGB LED's in each fan
- Ability to customize each fan independently
- Control RPM manually
Best Value: Thermaltake Riing Series
These budget LED fans from Thermaltake are guaranteed to put some color into your case and still leave your bank balance feeling relatively healthy. Available in both 120mm and 140mm versions, these fans also come in some unusual colors such as yellow and orange which are not often seen in a single color LED configuration. The airflow is more than acceptable; they come with anti-vibration mounting pads built-in. Even while operating under a reasonable load, they don't generate much noise either.
- Exists in both 120mm and 140mm versions
- Anti-vibration mounting system included
- RGB option is expensive
Best for Airflow: Noctua NF-A12 Series
Unlike the cheaper Noctua fans, this premium fan also comes with a ton of accessories. You get integrated anti-vibration pads, fan screws, extension cables, a radiator gasket and a y-cable which can be used to run two fans on the same motherboard header. As expected, it also runs incredibly quietly. It's capable of creating a mini typhoon in terms of airflow - if you need as much cooling as a jet engine, then these are the fans for you.
- Moves a LOT of air
- Very quiet
- Suitable for both CPU and case cooling
- Includes a lot of accessories
- No LEDs or RGB
Best for Attractive RGB: NZXT AER RGB 2 140mm
In comparison with the Corsair RGB fans which are without a doubt the brightest RGB fans on the market, these fans offer a similar but far more subtle effect which is not likely to blind you in the middle of a gaming session. These fans are beautiful and will lend a really refined look to any case out there. The downside is that while they do provide a reasonable amount of airflow, they are not particularly on the quiet side.
- Good airflow
- Not so quiet
Best for Bigger Cases: Cooler Master MegaFlow 200
Looking for something on the bigger side? Then take a look at these massive fans from Cooler Master - even though they operate at a relatively low RPM, the size of these beasts means that they can shift a lot more air than a smaller sized fan and subsequently do not need to run so fast - this also helps to keep the fan's operating noise to a minimum. They only come in a few LED colors but instead make up for this by being tremendous value for money for fans of this size.
- Not expensive for a 200mm fan
- Decent airflow
- Reasonably Quiet
- No RGB
The best fan overall is the Noctua SNF-S12B Redux due to its sheer power and almost inaudible operation when it comes to cooling in any scenario. The aerodynamically designed blades will not let you down no matter wherever you choose to put them to use.
These fans are like ninjas, so stealthy and silent, you'll never know they are even there. That said, they still pack quite a powerful punch in the airflow department and also come with a six-year warranty direct from the manufacturer. There is no RGB included in these fans. But there is absolutely nothing stopping you from putting some LED Lighting Strips in your PC case.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Natalie Houghton is an avid gamer and has been gaming for as long as she can remember - specializing in Japanese and quirky games on both console and PC formats. In her spare time, she can be found cycling, working out, or relaxing with her cat. Find her on Linkedin
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.