Best PC Case Fans in 2021 (Including 80mm, 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm)

Keeping your PC case efficiently cooled just got a whole lot simpler

best fans

When it comes to equipping your PC case and its components with adequate airflow, you are going to need the best PC case fans available. There are a ton of different case fans to choose from, all of which come to the table offering a variety of sizes, noise levels, and airflow. It’s even more important if your case is filled with high-end hardware like large GPUs and powerful CPUs that, on average, tend to produce much more heat. If those components aren’t cooled properly, your PC can increase the ambient temperature of your room and stop working in an efficient manner. Furthermore, additional heat can even lead to a reduced lifespan on certain hardware as well. That’s why we like to use only the best case fans available.

So, if you’re looking for the best 80mm,120mm,140mm, and even 200mm case fan, then don’t worry – we have you covered. Below is a list of the best case fans currently available this 2021. They have all been tested for performance, efficiency, noise levels, and airflow.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the main contenders.

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Pick
The Best Case Fans In 2021
02
Runner Up
Best RGB Case Fans
03
The Best Noctua Alternative Case Fan
The Best 80mm Case Fan

Best Case Fans: First Look

01
Editor's Pick
The Best Case Fans In 2021
Noctua NF A14

Noctua NF-A14

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Noctua is highly regarded for quality, acoustic performance, and cooling – making their case fans the best at what they do.

The Noctua NF-A series boasts incredible dBa levels when running at max RPM and also comes with anti-vibration mounts to keep thta noise down further.

At 1500 RPMs, this thing delivers 82.5 CFM at a noise level of 24.6 dBA, making this one of the best all-round case fan options on the market.

02
Runner Up
Best RGB Case Fans
Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm

Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm

0 /5
Editor's Rating

If RGB is more your thing, the Thermaltake Riing Quad’s won’t let you down. These fans not only make your case look stunning, but the airflow they provide will also keep your components nice and cool.

These fans add some fantastic lighting options into your case whilst also keeping that hot air pumping out of the machine. Even when operating at 1500RPM this fan generates only 25 dBa

This fan also comes in a few different sizes but only in packs of threes, giving you a complete set for your case!

03
The Best Noctua Alternative Case Fan
The Best 80mm Case Fan
Noctua NF A8 PWM

Noctua NF-A8 PWM

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Don’t let the looks (and size) fool you – whilst this may be a mere 80mm fan, it still packs plenty of airflow compared to its other equally diminutive competitors in this category.

This fan features Noctua’s Advanced Acoustic Optimization (AAO) frame and sophisticated aerodynamic design. Topped with the award-winning Self-Stabilising Oil-Pressure version 2 (SSO2) bearing and 4-vibration compensators, making this case fan not only extremely quiet but very efficient as well.

This 4-pin PWM (Pulse-Width-Modulated) fan can also be controlled on-the-fly using a 3rd party software. Should you wish to stay within lower RPMs without messing around with a 3rd party software, it also comes with a low-noise adapter (LNA).

04
The 200mm Pick
The Best 200mm Case Fan
Cooler Master MegaFlow 200

Cooler Master MegaFlow 200

0 /5
Editor's Rating

This gentle giant may be big but it’s surprisingly silent. The noise levels are not far off the Noctua NF-A8.

If you prefer a large fan for a higher CFM but at a significantly lower RPM, this is one of the better options around. With a noise level of only 19 dBA, you get a huge 110 CFM in return.

05
The Silent Pick
The Best Silent PC Case Fan
Cooler Master Silencio FP 120

Cooler Master Silencio FP 120

0 /5
Editor's Rating

If you require the ultimate in noise reduction, the Cooler Master Silencio FP 120 is the perfect candidate. With a noise level of 14 dBA at max, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear anything at all.

Thanks to Cooler Master’s Silent driver IC technology, the fan produces less torque impulse which means there is minimal vibration and ultra-low noise. It’s also designed to deliver a balanced between static and airflow performance.

How We Choose

Whether we’re reviewing new monitors or the best GPU on the market, choosing the right hardware can always be a tricky task.

It requires hours of product research, performance benchmarking, and reviewing user feedback to get anywhere close to a definitive conclusion on what to recommend.

If you aren’t tech-savvy and struggle to put the time aside to go through the above requirements, you may end up purchasing a case fan that simply doesn’t suit your specific needs.

Fear not though, friends! Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of research away, and transform the whole process into an easy-to-follow, complete buyers guide. That’s right, our team of PC enthusiasts has done all the hard work for you!

How We Test

Testing the products we recommend is a huge part of the overall selection process in our best of guides. It’s a way to make sure what we recommend is, without a doubt, the best option in its specific category.

To be sure a product is “the best” it must show excellent performance in our tests, and display better qualities and features than the competition it faces.

Most of the products we recommend here at WePC have gone through a strict testing process that involves everything from the price and performance, to build quality, efficiency, and aesthetics.

Doing this enables us to provide you with the most accurate review of how the product performs and, ultimately, whether it’s worth your consideration.

Things To Consider

You need to consider the following factors when buying the best PC case fans to ensure they will not only fit inside your system but also keep it sufficiently cool as well.

So, let’s jump into the most important things to consider when looking at the best case fans of 2021.

Static Pressure Fans or Airflow Fans?

The first thing you have to consider is whether you’re better off getting a fan with high static pressure or a fan with high airflow. This is determined by the actual shape of the fan blades. Yes, that’s right. You can get the exact same shape and model of a fan, only with different fan blades.

You don’t need to go through the spec sheet to tell if the fan is either a Static Pressure or an Airflow type.

Simply look at the fan face on and look at the distance between the fan blades. If the spacing between the blades is small, it’s a Static Pressure type. If the distance is large enough for your index finger to go through, it’s an Airflow type fan.

Static Pressure Fans vs Airflow Fans Air Pattern

Airflow Fans

These work best if there are no restrictions in front or behind the fan. For instance, if you have a case that has plenty of open space, these fans should give your case a more efficient airflow.

Static Pressure Fans

Static pressure fans disperse air more evenly. This means they are not as powerful in a direct line, but that they can do a good job when there are obstructions such as components and radiators.

Static Pressure Fans vs Airflow Fans

CFM Meaning (Cubic Feet per Minute)

So, what is CFM? Well, a fan’s airflow is measured in CFM or cubic feet per minute. This determines the volume of air the fan can cycle through in a minute.

Generally, the higher the CFM rating, the better. However, when dealing with hardware obstructions, static pressure can be more efficient with less CFM.

The ideal CFM for a PC can change on a case to case basis because there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. Factors such as case size, design, the amount of heat your CPU pumps out, the type of CPU cooler you have, the GPU fans (whether it’s an open-air or a blower type), and the number of case fans you can install.

Size (mm)

Why would you want larger fans? Well, it is pretty basic: they literally move more air.

In case you’re not sure which size fits your case, simply check your case manual. You can also visit the manufacturer’s website to see the dimensions and specs of your case. And if all else fails, simply grab a measuring tape and measure the fan inside your case.

Below are some of the most common fan sizes along with the distance between their screw holes:

Speed (RPMs)

A fan’s speed is measured in RPM (Revolutions Per Minute). The higher the RPM, the more air is pulled into the system. RPMs have a direct effect on a fan’s noise level because the faster it spins, the more noise it produces.

This might also affect the size of the fan you want. While you might be able to use a small fan at a fast speed, it will likely be louder. So, instead, you can use a larger fan at a slower speed.

To get the right RPM for your setup, simply set the fans at max speeds using a 3rd party software like SpeedFan and drop the speed by 25% until the fan isn’t too loud and temperatures are acceptably cool.

Bearing Type

There are three basic bearing types used in most case fans today and they are as follows:

  • Sleeve Bearing
  • Double Ball Bearing
  • Fluid Dynamic Bearing and Hydrodynamic Bearing

Sleeve Bearing

This type of bearing is the cheapest and is expected to last around 40,000 hours of usage run at 60°C (140°F).

The fan speed is designed to be low-maintenance and have low operating noise. These types of fans are recommended to be mounted vertically, which is said to be quieter.

However, it should be noted that these tend to break down without any warning despite having low operating noise.

Double Ball Bearing

The double ball bearing is more expensive than sleeve bearings, but they do last longer; up to 60,000 to 75,000 hours run at 60°C (140°F).

Unlike sleeve bearings, these can be mounted in any position and are also louder. This is why it’s not recommended for home usage, but are perfect for server farms.

Fluid Dynamic Bearing and Hydrodynamic Bearing

These are the premium bearings. They tend to last the longest, reaching up to 100,000 to 300,000 hours of usage run at 60°C (140°F).

Like the double ball bearing, they can be fitted in any position. They also have the lowest noise levels of the three and are fit for both server and home usage – though they are preferred mostly for home use since they are a little more pricey.

Noise (dBA)

Fan noise is measured in A-weighted decibels (dBA). A-weighted decibels is a way we can measure how loud a sound is to the human ear. Almost all case fan manufacturers include the noise level of the fan.

Some factors that contribute to fan noise includes:

  • Type of bearing used
  • The distance of the blades from one another and the outer ring
  • How the blades are designed
  • How fast the blades spin (Speed/ RPMs)

Generally, it ranges anywhere between 10dBA to 36dBA. Regardless, you’ll want a case fan with the least amount of noise for obvious reasons. Here is a scale of how loud these noises are compared to everyday sounds:

Power Connectors

There are three types of fan power connectors:

  • 4-pin connectors let you control the fan on-the-fly using a third party software like SpeedFan.
  • 3-pin connectors can only be adjusted by altering the voltage in the BIOS. But not all motherboards support this feature.

Running the 3-pin connectors at a low voltage may lead to problems or may not run the fan at all. So make sure you know exactly what you’re doing when doing this.

  • MOLEX connectors will run at full speed at all times and cannot be adjusted in any way.

Connector types affect compatibility so check your motherboard’s connector type before purchasing.

Aesthetics

Case fans can be customised to improve how your PC looks with either colour rings or RGB lighting. When it comes to fans we tend to place more priority on function as these will help the longevity of your system’s lifespan.

Intake/Exhaust

When installing fans into your case, you will need to choose whether each fan is going to be an intake or exhaust fan.

Ideally, you want to make sure you have at least one intake and one exhaust but don’t worry about the ratio too much.

Some terms to be familiar with are:

  • Neutral air pressure – Equal amount of air goes in and out of the case. You will technically never reach a perfect state of equilibrium, but you can get close.
  • Positive air pressure – Fans pull more air into the case. This can cause air to be brought in through smaller holes that don’t have filters or fans. This means that you will get dust deposits in unpredicted places.
  • Negative air pressure – Fans push more air out from the case, creating a vacuum.

Obviously, you’d want to have neutral air pressure, and a good way to accurately get this right is by measuring the total CFM of all intake fans and CFM of all the exhaust fans.

You get a positive air pressure if the intake CFM is greater and negative if the exhaust is greater. An equal number of CFM means you have roughly neutral air pressure. Do note, that if a fan is obstructed, then it will not be netting its max CFM.

It’s also worth noting that fan placement can be tricky to get down. So it can be best to pay attention to where the majority of your dust builds up. If you feel it’s causing problems, then you can adjust your fan placement accordingly.

If you aren’t sure whether your fans are blowing in or out, then the next section will help you with that.

Determining the Air Flow of the Fan…

When installing case fans, it’s also important that you know which direction the air is blowing.

Air Flow of the Fan

Most fans have arrows on the sides as an indication. If yours doesn’t, find the grille side (side where the plastic holding the middle hub is), because in general, air is blown out away from this side.

Airflow Direction

How To Choose The Best Case Fan For Your Rig

Knowing all these key terms, how do you choose the best case fan for your rig? You’ll want to look at the following:

Know your needs and wants. Make a pre-evaluation of your needs and prioritize what your PC really needs. Are you having problems with a specific area or are you on the lookout to find a decent case fan for preventive measures?

Don’t forget to check your PC’s connector type. Before shopping, make sure you check your motherboard’s available connectors to avoid compatibility problems.

Measure the sizes. Refer to your case manual or website to see the exact measurement of and the number of compatible fans.

Is noise going to be an issue? If you need a case fan that’s silent, consider choosing one with the least amount of noise. On the other hand, if noise isn’t an issue, chances are you’ll find one that’s not as silent, but still performs well for less money.

How do you want to control your fan? Get a fan with a 4-pin connector if you want to control the fan speeds on the fly via a third-party software. Otherwise, most average users will do fine with 3-pin fans.

Best Case Fans In 2021

01
Editor's Pick
Noctua NF A14

Noctua NF-A14

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

24.6 dBA/1500 RPM

Size/ Dimension

140mm/140x140x25 mm

Airflow (CFM)

82.5 CFM

Connector Type

4-pin

02
Runner Up
Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm

Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm

Max Noise Level (dBa) Rotational Speed (RPM):

24.8 dBA / 1500RPM

Size Dimension:

120mm/ 120mm x 25mm

Airflow Cfm:

40.9 CFM

Connector Type:

1 x 9-pin USB 2.0

03
The Best Noctua Alternative Case Fan
Noctua NF A8 PWM

Noctua NF-A8 PWM

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

17.7 dBA/2200 RPM

Size/ Dimension

80mm/80x80x25mm

Airflow (CFM)

32.66CFM

Connector Type

4-pin

04
The 200mm Pick
Cooler Master MegaFlow 200

Cooler Master MegaFlow 200

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

19 dBA/700 RPM

Size/ Dimension

200mm/200x200x30 mm

Airflow (CFM)

110 CFM

Connector Type

3-pin

05
The Silent Pick
Cooler Master Silencio FP 120

Cooler Master Silencio FP 120

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

14 dBA/1400 RPM

Size/ Dimension

120mm/120x120x25 mm

Airflow (CFM)

44 CFM

Connector Type

4-pin

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Pick
Noctua NF A14

Noctua NF-A14

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

24.6 dBA/1500 RPM

Size/ Dimension

140mm/140x140x25 mm

Airflow (CFM)

82.5 CFM

Connector Type

4-pin

Pros

Very quiet

High quality, award winning case fan

Includes anti-vibration mounts

Cons

Has a premium price

Design splits opinion

When it comes to sprucing your gaming PCs aesthetics up, there are few easier ways than installing an RGB fan, or for that matter, how about a set of three? The Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm fans are highly regarded as being the best RGB fans on the market and this is largely down to their vibrant 4-way lighting, reasonable airflow, and acoustic performance.

As you can tell from the name, these fans are 120mm, with a depth of 25mm. These PWM fans come in with a CfM of 40.9, one of the lowest on this list but feature a max noise of 25 dBA. The bearing type for the fan is Hydro-dynamic and the addressable RGB is something top be marveled at.

In terms of buying options, these are only available in a triple pack for both the 120mm and 140mm variants. Thermaltake also offers a 200mm option that comes as a single unit.

Whether you’ve got a Thermaltake case or not, these Riing RGB fans are going to spice up your build to no end and even come with a mini fan controller to make your life easier, great fans.

02
Runner Up
Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm

Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm

Max Noise Level (dBa) Rotational Speed (RPM):

24.8 dBA / 1500RPM

Size Dimension:

120mm/ 120mm x 25mm

Airflow Cfm:

40.9 CFM

Connector Type:

1 x 9-pin USB 2.0

Pros

High Quality

Quad RGB

Works with ALEXA and Razer Chroma

Cons

Costly

When it comes to sprucing your gaming PCs aesthetics up, there are few easier ways than installing an RGB fan, or for that matter, how about a set of three? The Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm fans are highly regarded as being the best RGB fans on the market and this is largely down to their vibrant 4-way lighting, reasonable airflow, and acoustic performance.

As you can tell from the name, these fans are 120mm, with a depth of 25mm. These PWM fans come in with a CfM of 40.9, one of the lowest on this list but feature a max noise of 25 dBA. The bearing type for the fan is Hydro-dynamic and the addressable RGB is something top be marveled at.

In terms of buying options, these are only available in a triple pack for both the 120mm and 140mm variants. Thermaltake also offers a 200mm option that comes as a single unit.

Whether you’ve got a Thermaltake case or not, these Riing RGB fans are going to spice up your build to no end and even come with a mini fan controller to make your life easier, great fans.

03
The Best Noctua Alternative Case Fan
Noctua NF A8 PWM

Noctua NF-A8 PWM

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

17.7 dBA/2200 RPM

Size/ Dimension

80mm/80x80x25mm

Airflow (CFM)

32.66CFM

Connector Type

4-pin

Pros

High CFM, but low RPM

4-pin connector for manual control

Very quiet; Comes with Low-noise adapter (LNA)

Static fan

Cons

Not recommended for larger cases

Noctua is a name you can trust when it comes to cooling solutions. With the Noctua NF-A8 80mm case fan, you get the best performance in the 80mm category.

The NF-A8 features a sophisticated aerodynamic design measure and advanced acoustic optimization (AAO) that’s responsible for keeping the noise level as low as possible. In fact, this runs a maximum of 2200 RPMs (with the 4-pin PWM setup) and still provides a mere 17.7 dBA noise level – pretty impressive!

Another contributing factor to this very silent fan is the SSO2 (self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing version 2) that Noctua has implemented in this fan. They claim it offers higher precision and better longevity than conventional bearings.

The 4 vibration compensator rubber fan screws also contribute to its silent profile. This comes with a sleeved 4-pin-Y 30cm extension cable should you wish to have full control over the speeds. Being a static fan makes it perfect for promoting airflow in tight areas.

On the other hand, it also comes with a Low-noise adaptor (LNA), but only use this if you are going to make manual adjustments and keep in mind that this will limit the RPM of the fan to only 1750 RPM.

04
The 200mm Pick
Cooler Master MegaFlow 200

Cooler Master MegaFlow 200

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

19 dBA/700 RPM

Size/ Dimension

200mm/200x200x30 mm

Airflow (CFM)

110 CFM

Connector Type

3-pin

Pros

Very quiet

4-pin controller for manual fan control

Affordable for a 200mm fan

RoHS compliant

Cons

Needs a third party software to turn lights off

The Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 is one of the best fans in its respective category.

It may run the conventional sleeve-bearing model but it also makes up by being the most efficient and the most affordable. For the price, you have a 200mm fan that delivers a whopping 110 CFM to keep your system cool round the clock. Plus, you won’t even need to ramp up the RPMs to over a thousand to reach this because it gets there even at 700 RPM.

While it’s the biggest fan on our list, it’s still fairly silent (19 dBA) and almost as silent as the Noctua NF-A8 (17.7 dBA). Unfortunately, the color themes are fairly limited, only offering black, red, and blue versions. Furthermore, Cooler Master have used environmentally friendly materials in the making of this fan, meaning it is fully ROHS compliant.

05
The Silent Pick
Cooler Master Silencio FP 120

Cooler Master Silencio FP 120

Max Noise Level (dBA) & Rotational Speed (RPM)

14 dBA/1400 RPM

Size/ Dimension

120mm/120x120x25 mm

Airflow (CFM)

44 CFM

Connector Type

4-pin

Pros

Very quiet; it’s almost non-existent

Also great as a radiator fan

Cons

Only available in black (non-LED)

The Cooler Master Silencio FP 120 PWM really lives up to its name: Silencio.

At first, you’d mistake this as a standard 120mm fan but if you look closely, this black case fan has a very distinct sickle-looking blade. This is what makes the fan operate silently at high pressure.

On top of using a Loop Dynamic Bearing (LDB), this also uses the Silent Driver IC technology which provides a smoother spin and less torque impulse for minimal vibrations and ultra-low noise.

Even though you can manually control the fans via a 3rd party software like SpeedFan (thanks to the 4-pin connector), you won’t necessarily have to in order to keep noise levels down. Other contributing factors that make this fan silent are the 4 metal screws and 4 anti-vibration rubber screws that it comes with. A great silent pick!

Final Word

There you have it, the best PC case fans for your PC build. We have made sure to include several different options to cover quite a wide variety of different consumer needs. Each fan has been tried and tested with several different case options to ensure we recommend the very best when it comes to case fans.

If you’re going to need a 140mm fan that doesn’t just promise performance but also does so silently, nothing can compete with the Noctua NF-A14. This is easily one of the best PC case fans on the market.

In the 120mm territory, the Thermaltake Riing Quad fan pack is an RGB option that would look brilliant inside any tempered glass case. It’s a high-performance fan with relatively low noise levels and does a good job of increasing the aesthetic appeal of your build.

We personally recommend the Noctua NF-A8 PWM case fan if you have a case that requires an 80mm fan – Thermaltake Core V1. It delivers an astonishing amount of CFM without being too loud. But remember that this doesn’t have RGB and all that.

Should you need a large fan to keep things cool, the Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 with its high CFM and a very low noise level is hard to beat.

And if you’re crazy about wanting a really silent case fan, the Cooler Master cm Silencio FP 120 PWM is one of the quieter fans out there.

Now that you know how to pick a case fan that’s right for your needs and you’ve had a look at some of the best case fans available for 2021, what fan are you interested in?

Why not drop us a comment in the section below, along with any questions you might have on case fans. Better still, why not head on over to our Community hub where you can discuss everything PC case fan-related with like-minded individuals.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Content Creator
at
WePC
Shaun is a gaming enthusiast and computer science graduate who has been working with computers for the last 15 years. He took a shine to competitive FPS back in the mid-2000s and hasn’t looked back since.

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