Best case fans

Top 10: Best 120mm Case Fans 2018

In Best Of, PC Components by FrankLast Modified: / 5 Comments

I think it’s safe to say that being able to relax for a long gaming session is one of the best things in the world. Being able to immerse yourself in virtual worlds for hours on end, and escape the worries of the real world, is really a great way to cap off a busy day.

Too bad that intense gaming sessions can also heat up your gaming computer if you don’t have the right components. And if your system overheats, you are looking at computer crashes or worse. But overheating shouldn’t be something you have to worry about if you have a good fan.

Fans are important to have in your gaming rig, as without them, your components could heat up and in turn cause harmful damage to your gaming computer. Seeing how important these fans are, it’s essential to have the best one possible, and that’s why we made this list today.

In this list, we will take a look at ten of the best computer case fans for your PC, which will keep your system cool and you gaming longer. Along the way, we will look at the pros and con of each fan so you can better understand the best fan for you.

If you’re looking for a case fan with even more airflow and size, check out our posts on the best 140mm case fan and the best 200mm case fan.

Did I say this was a top 10?… well I lied it’s actually a top 11!

11. THERMALTAKE RIING 120mm Computer Case Fan

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Thermaltake RIING 120mm Fan
  • Twin Pack x 120mm Red LED Computer Case/ Radiator Fans
  • Noise Reduction Level by 24% from 24.6 dBA to 18.7 dBA.
  • High Airflow: 12/14 40.6/51.1CFM.
  • Concentrated Compression Blade: the CCB is engineered to focus the inner weaker circle of air outwards, allowing the outer section to pressurize and compress the air.
  • Anti-vibration Mounting System: In-mold injection anti-vibration rubber pads provide hassle-free usage for 80% protection coverage, including all four corners.

Chances are, when you are buying fans for your computer case, you are going to want to get more than one, as it helps to maximize cooling. That makes the the Thermaltake RIING fans a good place to start, as every purchase of these fans come in packs of two.

Not only will you get more for the money you spend, but these fans let off a high amount of airflow (up to 51.1 CFM). It does this using the Thermaltake’s “Concentrated Compression Blades”, which optimizes the direction of airflow for the best performance possible.

Despite the power of these fans, the RIING runs very quietly, barely emitting any sound while in use. And using the RIING’s anti-vibration mounting system, these fans are easy to use and can fit perfectly into most computer cases.

Should you want a single fan, the option is available to purchase these solo. However, if you do buy the duel pack, it should be noted that there has been a few issues where the “duel pack” has only come with one fan. While this may not be an issue with the fan itself, it would not leave the best taste in your mouth if you paid for two fans and only got one.

If you want a quiet fan that keeps your system cool, the Thermaltake RIING is a great choice. And with the ability to fit into most gaming cases, it’s certainly a purchase you won’t be disappointed with.

10. NXZT FZ-120mm AIRFLOW Computer Case Fan

NXZT FZ-120mm Airflow Fan
  • Dimensions 120 x 120 x 25 mm / Voltage 12V DC / Current 0.21A (rate), 0.30A (safety) / Input Power 2.52W (rate), 3.60W (safety) / Speed 1200+/-200 RPM /Air Flow 59.1 CFM
  • Air Pressure 0.71 mmH₂O / NOISE 26.8 dBA / Bearing Long Life Bearing / Life 40,000 Hours
  • 59.1 ~ 65 CFM (120MM) and 83.6 CFM (140mm) for extreme airflow / 13 fan Blades provide quiet operation of 26.8 dBA (120mm) and 24.54 dBA (140mm)
  • Long-life bearing provides better reliability and extends life span surpassing 2 year warranty
  • Optimized for extreme airflow 120mm fan with minimal speeds of 1200+/- 20% RPM

Our next best 120mm case fan, from NZXT Technologies, is the type of fan for those gamers who want more out of their fan, but may be on a tighter budget.

This is because the NZXT series of fans all run fairly cheap. Ranging anywhere from $13-17 dollars, these fans are some of the most affordable computer case fans available. Don’t let the cheap price fool you – despite the affordable price point, these fans are super durable. These fans have power that will last for years, making that little amount of cash you spent stretch even further.

In terms of specs, this fan is capable of cooling an entire system all by itself. With a minimal airflow of 1200 +/- 20% RPM, this fan puts out a high level of airflow (up to 65 CFM), and does so while maintaining a low decibel level of around 26.8 dBA, making the fan quiet as well. And if all this isn’t enough, the NZXT is available in a variety of LED colors, allowing you to match up with the color fan that fits your system best.

Granted, while this fan isn’t very loud, it is louder than a good portion of other fans on the market. On top of that, while it may not be too much of an issue for everyone, the LED color lights on the fan tend to sometimes be dim.

Besides these relatively small issues, a gamer will love everything else about the NZXT fan. With great price, durability, and airflow, what’s not to love?


9. HBT+ AXE 120mm Computer Case Fan

HBT+ AXE 120mm AIRFLOW Case Fan
  • High Performance system case fan with LED light
  • Fluid Dynamic Fan Bearing for ultra durability and better noise reduction
  • Auto-adjust PWM fan controller + Anti Vibration pads for a silent system environment
  • Unique Blade Design for better air flow and less noise
  • "Sleeved power cables improve durability and give your power supply cables a nice sleek look"

In my opinion, one of the coolest looking fans that you could get for your gaming case is the HBT+AXE 120mm computer case fan. But while this fan does have a cool, sci-fi look, this fan is much more than just a pretty face.

To begin with this fan’s features, the HBT+AXE is made with a fluid-dynamic fan bearing. This bearing allows the fan to both run quiet, and increases the fan’s durability. Adding to this, the design of the fan blades help to increase air flow, and you have the perfect storm for what makes a great computer fan.

And the price? I can’t believe they’re as inexpensive as they are – what’s not to like about that.

To make this fan even more quiet, the HBT+AXE comes with anti-vibration pads around the screws, as well as a noise limiting adapter. These features help to make this one of the most quiet fans available, leaving you with less noisy distractions while gaming.

As of right now, there are not many negatives to speak of about the fan, so you won’t have many regrets buying one. For a nearly flawless, and quiet, fan, HBT+AXE has got you covered.

8. ROCKSOUL Cool Killer 120mm Computer Case Fan

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ROCKSOUL 120mm (120x120x25 mm) Blue LED...
  • Gaming Pc and Normal Pc Cooling Fan with 4 scews included
  • Optimized for extreme airflow 120mm fan with minimal speeds of 1800+/- 10% RPM.
  • Low noise level of 25 dBA with exceptional airflow at 64.6 CFM.
  • Bearing Type: Long Life Bearing.
  • Fan Dimension (L x W x H): 120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.72" x 4.72" x 0.98")

To look at the Rocksoul fan, you may think the fan is as generic as they come. It don’t come in many colors, and the transparent look leaves a bit to be desired. But if you can get past the aesthetics, you will find a fan that can live up to the competition.

Easy to install, the Rocksoul comes in a 120x120x25 mm frame, which allows it to fit into most gaming builds. And should this fan be in your gaming build, you will have little to worry about in terms of cooling. This is thanks to the minimal fan speed of 1800 +/- 10% RPM, which allows for extreme airflow (up to 64.6 CFM), keeping your gaming rig cool while in operation.

What makes all this even better is the super affordable price of the Rocksoul. If you are a gamer building on a budget, then you will be more than pleased with the price of the Rocksoul, which you can see above. This means you can get a good gaming case fan for barely more than a Starbucks coffee.

While it is affordable, some of the features of this fan are just as cheap. The fan, for example, can be quite noisy while in operation in comparison to others, and sometimes the LED lights in the fan just flat out don’t work.

Don’t let the lower star rating fool you, with only a single 1 star review dragging the rating down (LED lights not working); the overall sentiment is very positive.

If these aren’t big issues to you, however, and you are short on cash, then the affordable and high performing Rocksoul 120mm fan is what you are looking for!

7. COOLER MASTER JETFLO 120mm Computer Case Fan

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COOLER MASTER JETFLO 120mm Fan
  • Ultra-thin yet extremely strong fan blades - 800 to 2,000 RPM (PWM) +/- 10%
  • High performance motor and fan blades - generating up to 95 CFM airflow +/- 10%
  • Long-lasting and durable - Cooler Master's unique, self-lubricating polyoxymethelene (POM) bearing provides a lifespan up to 160,000 hours
  • Stylish design with both LED (red, white, blue) and non-LED (black) options
  • Powerful performance, graceful silence - registering in at maximum of approximately 36 dBA thanks to vibration and sound absorbing rubber pads and steel threads

If you are trying to build a gaming computer using a smaller computer case, your options for fans may not be as great. But luckily, should this be the case, we have the Cooler Master JetFlo 120.

The JetFlo is designed to save space, with the fan and the blades ultra thin design. This design means that the fan won’t take up any room in your gaming case, leaving more room for any other parts you may be putting into your computer. Despite this small design, the JetFlo is capable of pretty good airflow (generating up to 95 CFM), with a range between 800-2000 +/- 10% RPM.

The JetFlo is also extremely durable for a small fan, and can even resist dust and water damage, giving you a fan that will last a long time. Should something get caught in your fan’s blades, you won’t have much to worry about, as the auto-resume function of this fan makes it go back to working normal after said obstruction is removed.

On the downside, there are complaints about these computer fans being loud. This is something that can be quite the distraction to some – but what can you expect from a fan that can push out such a huge CFM? This computer fan noise ranges from 12-36 dBA.
You can also fix the fan speed at 1600 RPM (28 dBA) or 1200 RPM (19 dBA) to limit the sound with the included silent mode adapters.

Despite the noise, the Cooler Master JetFlo picks up the slack in nearly every other area. The JetFlo is small and powerful fan that will be sure to last as long as your gaming computer does.

6. ASIAHORSE SOLAR ECLIPSE 120mm Computer Case Fan

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ASIAHORSE Solar Eclipse Fan
  • 1.Asiahorse PWM MIRAGE model white Led Fan for Computer Cases, Long Life CPU Coolers
  • 2.The size of 120mm, compatible with various types of chassis, suitable for CPU type water-cooled radiator radiator. The speed of 800-1800RPM + 10%, multi channel inlet design, collocation innovation aerodynamic inlet design fan and LED lights, very cool operation.
  • 3.STANDARD 12CM SIZE-Compatible with all types of chassis,Suitable for water cooling,Cold discharge light effect, CPU radiator, side through version of MOD light efficiency of fan position in cabinet,Different angles and light show different visual effects.
  • 4.ASEISMATIC DESIGN-Silent noise reduction,That 8 damping silicone pads fixed on both sides of the fan frame is to reduce the noise of the polarization motor vibration.(We also added shock absorber rubber screws, for you to reduce the number of more convenient installation options)
  • 5. Variety of color choices from Asiahorse:A variety of functional options Meet your different needs

Other than the Logo (which can be peeled off!) I have to admit that the Asiahorse Solar Eclipse is a sight to behold. Anyone who’s looking for a case fan that’s just outright mesmerizing should check this out.  The Eclipse comes in four colors, blue, green, red, and white. So whichever color scheme you’re going for should be covered here.

First of all, there are many colors to choose from – my preference is either the blue or red. This allows you to really create the look you want for your computer build.

While all of these aesthetics are amazing, they are little more than fluff. What we really need to know is the performance of the fan. The fans are set at 1200 RPM, but you’re able to easily adjust this to fit whatever you want. The Eclipse is also very silent compared to most other mainstay fans out there. With silence typically comes with lower airflow, however, and these fans generate up to a max of 48.6 CFM. As a result you won’t keep your build as cool as others on this list.

You also get a choice of either a 2 pack or a single fan purchase option – in case you only need one fan.

All in all, you get a quiet stylish fan that’s hardly going to break the bank. For anyone looking for a great 120mm case fan that’s going to take their build to the next level, this is a good choice.

5. CORSAIR AIR SERIES AF120 Computer Case Fan

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CORSAIR AIR SERIES AF120 Case Fan
  • Fan Size 120mm x 25mm
  • Noise (dBA) 25.2 dBA
  • Airflow (CFM) 52.19 CFM
  • Static Pressure (mm/H2O) 0.75 mm/H2O
  • Power Draw (at +12V) .40 A, 1500RPM

There is an old adage that says “Variety is the spice of life”. If this is the case, then the Corsair Air Series AF120 may be one of the spiciest fans available…pardon my humor.

The AF120 line of fans come in almost any color LED light imaginable. From red to purple, to even no light at all, whatever the user’s preference in color choice is, they can find it with the AF120. Not only that, but each color is sold in packages of either one or two fans, allowing you to mix and match your fan colors if you so choose.

But what is color in comparison to performance? Luckily, the Air Series are made to do that as well, as these fans are made for high-volume cooling. This means you can game for hours on end without the worry of overheating. It performs this feat thanks to it’s ultra thin blades, which also help to reduce the fans noise and vibration (they provide a max CFM of 52).

There are little to no hardware issues with the Air Series either, except for a few issues with some users and the brightness of the fan’s LED lights. This issue really is an isolated one, however, as it seems to be something that has only afflicted a select few.

With the rarity of that issue, this fan is nearly flawless, making the Corsair Air Series AF120 one of the best 120mm case fans money can buy.


4. ARCTIC F12 PWM REV. 2 120mm Computer Case Fan

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ARCTIC F12 PWM REV. 2
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN ENABKES QUIET AND EFFICIENT VENTILATION: The innovative design of the fan blades improves the air flow and facilitates a highly efficient ventilation. The impeller was designed with a focus on minimzing the noise level yet delivering the desired airflow and pressure.
  • PERFECT CASE FAN REGULATION WITH PWM: The PWM function allows the motherboard to run the fan precisely at its necessary speed. This guarantees the required cooling and minimizes the noise level.
  • TWO WAY INSTALLATION: Blow warm air out of the case. Draw cool air into your case.
  • LONG SERVICE LIFE: The Fluid Dynamic Bearing comes with an oil capsule that avoids lubricant leakage. Thus this bearing is as quiet as a sleeve bearing but comes with a significantly higher service life.
  • 4-Pin PWM fan with standard case.

Want to keep you computer ice cold? Well… probably not, because that could damage your computer. But if you want to keep it just cold enough, what better name to trust then one called Arctic?

With the Arctic F12 PMW Rev. 2, you get a fan that runs between 500 and 1350 RPM. This makes the fan a great way for cooling down your case during gaming sessions. However, this is also lower than a lot of other fans available, so it may struggle a bit if you have a system that gives off a lot of heat.

For most gamers with a custom computer build, this amount of airflow can be more than adequate (a respectable 53 CFM). The Arctic is not only more than capable of cooling your system, but does so while remaining as quiet as a mouse while in operation (22.5 dBA). Not only that, but thanks to to the fluid dynamic bearing that the fan is made with, your fan will remain in operation for years to come.

That value is even further magnified when taking into account the price. The Arctic is one of the most affordable fans on our list. And should the worst happen and the fan does malfunction, the fans come with a six year warranty, making them easy to replace if need be.

While maybe not as cold as it’s name implies, the Artic F12 PWM is still an amazing fan. And at an unbeatable value, the Artic is worth every penny spent.

3. THERMALTAKE LUNA 120mm LED Computer Case Fan

THERMALTAKE LUNA
  • Anti vibration mounting system
  • Long life bearing
  • Double curved fan blades designed to provide higher air pressure at low noise
  • Larger frame opening, higher air inflow
  • 3 color LED to choose from

For the second time today, Thermaltake takes their place on our top ten list. But it isn’t without good reason, because the Luna is not only one of the best 120mm case fans, but best looking fans available.

To start is the Luna’s anit-vibration mounting system. This system allows the fan to fit snugly into place in almost any computer build, while eliminating any vibration that not only emits noise, but can damage the fan. The frame of the fan is also enlarged, which allows for greater airflow going to your computer (50 CFM), and preventing overheating.

The Luna fans are not just great to keep the temperature low, but they are also beautiful to look at. The design of these fans is, simply put, stylish, and with a variety of colors, they may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing fans available.

Unlike its brother, the RIING, the Luna can run a bit noisy. This is the only drawback to an otherwise great fan, which is also very durable thanks to the Luna’s self lubricating hydraulic bearings.

Yet another great fan by the people at Thermaltake. No matter if you choose the Luna or the RIING, if Thermaltake is in the name, you are sure to get a quality fan.

2. Noctua NF-F12 120mm Computer Case Fan

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Noctua NF-F12
  • The NF-F12's stator guide vanes are set out in Varying Angular Distance and feature Vortex-Control Notches.
  • Custom designed for the new Focused Flow frame and to work in tandem with the eleven stator guide vanes, the NF-F12's seven blade Heptaperf impeller has been carefully optimised to achieve a perfect balance between power and quietness.
  • Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads. Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads made from extra-soft silicone minimise the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard mounting systems and fan clips used on heatsinks.
  • The NF-F12 is the first fan to feature the further optimised second generation of Noctua's renowned, time-tested SSO bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilisation, precision and durability.
  • Low-Noise Adaptor. The NF-F12 is supplied with a Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) that reduces the maximum fan speed from 1500 to 1200rpm. The L.N.A can be used either to run the fan at a fixed speed of 1200rpm or to cap the maximum speed when using automatic PWM control.

This list wouldn’t be complete without giving a nod to the Noctua brand of computer case fans. You don’t get the flashiest fan, but with the lack of color, you get almost everything else.

Professional without all the flash, the Noctua just gets down to business. It is difficult to find many negative things to say about this fan – and I couldn’t find many poor reviews about it elsewhere either.

The name Noctua just sounds silent, which is one of the big features this fan has going for it. The Noctua F12 has a low noise adapter than can reduce the fan speed as low as 1200 RPM if you choose. Continuing with the silent features, the Noctua F12 has Integrated silicone anti-vibration pads to ensure the only sound you hear is the hum of the motor. So what does that mean in terms of decibel rating? The range is between 18.60 and 22.40 dBA.

Reliability is another factor with this fan – Noctua is continuously striving to perfect their fan. In this generation, Noctua has changed the location of the magnet, which is supposed to make the fan more stable (and further reduce noise) and I believe they have succeeded.

Noctua’s focus on air flow has also not gone unnoticed. This is a “heptafan” which is just a fancy way of saying it has 7 fans which help push the air out with minimal RPM. The fan is able to push out a reasonable 44 – 55 CFM, which is impressive given the low RPM this fan produces. You’ll notice that the Noctua case fan has stator guide vanes which are designed to direct the air in different directions. By pushing air in different directions you can create inefficiencies in the airflow as mini vortices can be created. The Noctua fights these mini cyclones by using what they describe as “vortex-control notches” – which are meant to reduce the turbulence the direction changes produce.

All in all, this is a great fan – it’s probably more like a 1b in the list – you will not be disappointed with this wicked computer case fan.


1. CORSAIR ML120 PRO LED Computer Case Fan

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CORSAIR ML120 PRO LED
  • Magnetic Bearing: harnesses magnetic levitation technology to provide lower noise, higher performance, and a longer lifespan
  • Custom Rotor Design: delivers the perfect balance between high static pressure and high airflow, operating flawlessly in the most challenging environments
  • Extensive Control Range: A 2,000 RPM control range gives you total control between silence and absolute performance
  • Color Customization: Replaceable corners mounted to anti-vibration rubber dampers allow you to match your fans with the rest of your build (Available separately in Red, White, and Blue)
  • Radiating LED Lighting: Frosted translucent blades and four vivid LEDs for a striking look

If you’re looking for pure quality then it’s going to be hard to beat the Corsair ML120 Pro computer case fan. Not only do these fans just look absolutely amazing, but they also fan performance that is next level. The fan comes in four different colors, blue, red, white, and black. So they really cover most bases, when it comes to design, but what about performance?

These fans have magnetic bearings which simply put, makes the fans better and longer lasting.
You’re also able to customize your fan’s RPM – ranging from as low as 400 RPM all the way up to 2,400 RPM which is essential to any good fan.
Furthermore, with this range of RPM options the CFM ranges from 12 – 75.

How about noise? Again with such a RPM range this fan is able to be one of the most silent computer fans out there (16 dBa), at the highest RPM this fan goes up to 37 dBa which is equivalent to a babbling brook or a library – but noise is to be expected at a higher RPM.

With you getting all of this stuff, you’re going to be paying a hefty dime, which is to be expected as they’re just amazing. There isn’t a fan I’d pick to cool down my gaming PC build over these. If you want the best, then I’d definitely give the ML120’s a look.

Conclusion…

With so many options, finding the right case fan can feel overwhelming, but I can assure you that if you get any one of these 120mm fans you’ll be in good shape.

While my top choice would be the The Corsair M120 Case Fan  a very close second is the Noctua F-12 Case Fan , every fan on this list is more than good enough to cool your gaming PC build.

Looking for the fan with the highest airflow/CFM? Choose the The Cooler Master Jetflow 

Looking for the fan with the most color options? Choose between the Corsair AF120 or the The Asiahorse Solar Eclipse

Again, If you’re looking for a case fan with even more airflow and size, check out our post on the best 140mm case fan.

If you think I’ve excluded any really good fans or just want to talk about case fans, leave a comment below and let’s discuss! Otherwise, if you have any friends who’d like to hear about these case fans share this post on social media.

Top 10: Best 120mm Case Fans 2018 was last modified: January 15th, 2018 by Frank

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Fertxo
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Fertxo

I found your lack of Noiseblockers disturbing. 😀

Michael Tan
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Michael Tan

I recently found out about the Thermaltake Riing 14 LED RGB 256 Colors Fan (3 packs) and it’s really cool. But many people said that it’s supposed to be installed with a radiator (water cooling system). Can I just install it as a normal airflow fan?

Javier
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Javier

I think you left out noctua’s case fans, they should easily enter this top 10