Building a custom PC today almost always involves something with RGB lighting. It's not for everyone, but a splash of color can bring a whole new life to your build, especially if it's got a nice big window on it.
Some manufacturers, like Corsair, are building out an entire product range with RGB. The LL120 is one of the company's RGB fans, and it is pricey, they'll make a huge impact on your build.
Corsair LL120 setup
The kit I have contains everything you need to get fully set up. In the box you get:
- Three 120mm fans.
- A fan hub.
- Corsair Control Node Pro.
- Mini USB cable.
Essentially, the fans connect to the fan hub, which then passes to a single input on the Control Node Pro. The hub can accept six fans, and the Control Node Pro can accept two hubs, so you have the capacity for pretty much anything. The Control Node Pro attaches to a USB 2.0 header on your motherboard with the included Mini USB cable for interacting with Corsair's iCue software.
The hub and Control Node Pro combine as a simple way to control the RGB. The fans themselves attach to a regular fan header on your motherboard. It provides a mild cable management challenge, since you have two cables per fan and they're going to different places.
The two boxes aren't very big, though, and Corsair chucks in some adhesive pads and cable ties to help you get organized. I had no problem attaching both to the rear of the motherboard tray. It's a good idea to make sure they're easily accessible, though, wherever you mount them.
Corsair LL120 software
The iCue software isn't necessary, but it gives you additional control over the fans. The operation is controlled by the motherboard, just as with regular fans, so you don't have to worry about your system getting too hot.
But if you're looking for any kind of customization, or particularly if you have or plan to invest in additional Corsair RGB hardware, it's something you should get. You can download it from Corsair here.
The first thing you have to do is get set up, and in the case of this fan kit, I'm not overly impressed. Maybe I was expecting too much in thinking the software should have detected the Control Node Pro automatically. But that wasn't the case. You have to tell the app exactly what you're running first, then how many fans you have.
It isn't the greatest app, but it does what it needs to. You can easily set the pattern and color of the fans, with individual control over each specific zone on each fan.
It's also useful for more mundane tasks, like updating the firmware, and the more Corsair gear you have the more use you'll get from it. As with some other systems, like Razer Chroma, Corsair's system can sync to some games, like Far Cry 5, so your RGB hardware reacts to in-game events.
Corsair LL120 performance
The LL120 is a terrific piece of hardware. Each fan is very well made, the blades are nice and thick, and it screams quality from the moment you open the box. The fact that the blades are white makes the RGB effect pop, and they look amazing.
Add in the amount of different effects and colors you can create, and if you're an RGB enthusiast you'll have a great time using the LL120.
More importantly for a case fan is how well it actually operates as a fan. The LL120 is whisper quiet under normal load, and doesn't get much louder when you're pushing your system to the limit.
They also produce great air flow. You only need to place a hand behind one to feel what it's doing. I have two drawing air into the system on the front and one on the rear, and things are usually nice and cool.
The elephant in the room is the price. When in stock they sell for around $95 right now for the full set, including the Control Node Pro. And for three fans, that's an awful lot of money. They're great fans, and it's a very easy to setup lighting system, but it's going to cost you.
Bottom line on Corsair's LL12 fans
These are brilliant case fans. They look amazing, they're easy to install, well made and very quiet when running. If you want a quality RGB fan setup for your PC, this is it.
The problem is the price. Touching $100 for three 120mm fans is a big ask.
- Look amazing.
- Quietly produce good airflow.
- Well made.
- Easy installation.
- Manual setup in the software is a pain.
This is a very good product. But if you're not in the Corsair RGB ecosystem you can probably save a decent bit by looking elsewhere if you just want the lighting without caring who it comes from.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine