When it comes to a gaming computer, it needs to be reliable and, of course, sufficiently cooled. OK sure, when we think of adequate airflow solutions RGB usually would take a back seat but with everything featuring RGB and tempered glass being more and more affordable, it’s easy to see why RGB case fans are more popular than ever.
Airflow and max noise levels are crucial to any gamer’s PC build, but with a wide selection of RGB fans available, it is important we make the right choice for our build in 2021.
In this article, we have rounded up the best RGB fans currently available in 2021, with some offering excellent max noise levels and fantastic lighting options, without compromising too much on airflow. We are going to break down what you should consider before buying and have selected fans that cover your 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm needs.
Let’s jump in.
Our Top Picks
Best RGB Case Fans: First Look
The Thermaltake Riing fans are hands down some of the best RGB fans you can buy. These can be controlled by smart phone, work with Amazon Alexa, and are super vibrant.
This Riing trio of fans is the perfect way to make your next build shine. Thermaltake knows their cooling and these fans deliver in the most beautiful way. Aside from the fancy features above, these actually come with fewer cables than most and impressive max noise of 25 dBa.
Corsairs LL series RGB fans are some of the best on the market, with vibrant RGB and great airflow.
The Corsair LL series RGB fans are some of the best your money can buy. The great design and high-end performance make these perfect for your tempered glass case. These are available in a variety of sizes and can be bought as single fan options if you can afford them.
For the best 200mm RGB fan the Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 offers some unreal airflow without getting too noisy. Oh, and enough LEDs to light up a room.
It is unsurprising to see Thermaltake on this list twice as their Riing fans are some of the nicest RGB options out there. The Riing Plus 20 is the best 200mm RGB fan on the market and aside from its impressive looks, it features 118 CfM and quiet operation.
NZXT Aer fans are great for airflow and these RGB editions will make any case look fantastic.
NZXT produces high-quality cases, fans, and coolers, so they are no strangers to manufacturing reliable products. The Aer RGB 2 fans feature a unique square-like design and are great when paired with the brand’s HUE lighting kits.
The upHere RGB fan set gives you five fans for a very affordable price! They look great and are perfect for the budget-conscious builder.
Looking to enhance the appearance of your build without breaking the bank? Well the upHere RGB fans set gives you five fans for the price of one of the more premium fan options above. Just make sure you have a fan controller or enough fan headers to accommodate this amount of RGB fans!
Grabbing the best PC case is all well and good but without adequate airflow, your components could be in trouble and you may begin to see thermal throttling.
Regardless of the hardware, choosing the right product for your needs can often be tricky, after all, it requires research which in turn can be a minefield if you aren’t tech-savvy.
Don’t worry, WePC has done this for you, to bring you the very best RGB case fans available and stick them all in one place!
Here at WePC we like to get our hands on the products we recommend, it’s a huge part of our review process.
To ensure a product is truly “the best”, it must perform to our expectations as a minimum, beat the competitor fans across our test, and finally, be worth the investment.
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.
Before purchasing those flashing RGB fans, there are a few things to consider. The last thing you want is to unpack your new product only to find it isn’t compatible, doesn’t fit, or is of terrible quality.
As mentioned, airflow is of vital importance to any system and there are a few terms we should get to know before you buy your set of fans. Let’s take a peek at the different types of fans.
Airflow fans are at their best when there is nothing in the way of the airflow. Cases with a lot of open space will benefit from AF fans, thanks to a more efficient natural flow. These types of fans also tend to pump air at a higher CfM (Cubic Feet Per Minute).
Static Pressure Fans
Static pressure fans disperse air more evenly than their AF counterparts. They may not be able to pump as much volume of air but they are great when there is an obstacle in the way like a CPU heat sync or cooler radiator.
Case Fan Placement Is Key
The placement of your fans is more important than some people think, especially for the inexperienced. A popular way to configure fans is with positive air pressure. Setting them up this way will limit where dust is going to enter your system, which makes it easier to clean and maintain your PC.
Limiting the dust, or at least controlling where it enters your system, can only help keep your components healthy, but there are plenty of negative pressure examples that can work also.
It is worth noting if you plan to configure a negative pressure setup it will exploit any air holes in your case/system. This means dust can build up in most gaps of your case rather than gather in one area that may be covered by a dust filter. Dust is obviously the enemy of PC users in general, but that isn’t to say negative pressure doesn’t have an upside. With negative pressure, your configuration will be able to push that hot, stagnant air out more effectively, which can improve cooling.
Whichever you decide to go with, remember it is down to preference although I would recommend a positive air pressure for users with lots of gaps in their case or if you have dust filters where your intake fans would be.
Loud fans are a thing of the past, with a lot offering decent max noise levels. The fans on this list aren’t particularly loud, with some reaching max noise levels of just 25dBA.
Generally, fan noise levels range from 10dBA to 36dBA. Some gamers will want to keep these levels as low as possible, so here is a scale of how loud other noises compare:
|Sound Level||Noise at that Sound Level|
|10 dB||Pin Drop/Breathing|
|20 dB||Rustling Leaves/Whisper|
|30 dB||Bedroom at night|
|40 dB||Babbling Brook|
|50 dB||Normal conversation|
There are a few sizes available for RGB case fans, so it is important to know which size your case will support. The RGB fans in this list are 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm. Lots of cases have support for all the fan sizes, but some can be limited, so make sure you check before buying.
Mixing and matching sizes isn’t an issue; for example, you could have two 140mm fans on the front and a 120mm at the rear for a positive pressure setup. It is worth noting you can quickly check the pressure direction by adding up the CFM of each intake fan and exhaust fan.
A lot of these RGB fans come with controllers, allowing you to have multiple fans running through one unit, generally making things easier and tidier. Some RGB fans may not come with such luxuries, so RGB headers on your motherboard will be important to look for.
There are two types of RGB headers, 5v 3-pin RGB header for addressable RGB LED devices and 12v 4-pin for non-addressable. Do bear in mind you cannot plug the devices into the wrong header as it may damage your RGB fan or the lighting.
In terms of powering a fan, they will have a connector that can be plugged into the motherboard or fan controller header.
There are three types of connectors:
- 4-Pin connectors give you full control of fan speeds with the use of third-party software.
- 3-Pin connectors can only be tweaked in the BIOS, which not all motherboards support and this can often leave them running at full speed.
- Molex connectors will run at full speed at all times and cannot be adjusted in any way.
Despite the fact we are looking into RGB fans the primary function isn’t just “to look pretty,” we also have to ensure there is sufficient airflow. You could be looking into fans for your new all in one cooler so you would need some static pressure fans to push that air through the radiator.
You may have a system that is mostly one brand and all links through their software to unify the lighting between your case, components, and peripherals. So if aesthetics are important, you may want to match your current RGB setup with similar fans.
Our 5 Best RGB Fans 2020 & 2021
Can be controlled via smartphone
Works with Amazon Alexa
Syncs with Razer Chroma
“Quad” of RGB loops
Requires less cables than other brands
Only come in a triple pack
The Thermaltake Riing RGB fans are arguably the best on the list, and by quite some way too. These fans offer a good level of airflow while also providing the best RGB lighting I have seen on a fan before. The intense illumination comes from not two, not three but four RGB loops! If the extra RGB loop wasn’t enough, Thermaltake has made these fans incredibly user-friendly with the introduction of the 9-pin USB connector. Even though the Corsair LL series are brilliant, they have two connectors for each fan to power the fan and the RGB, which can get a bit messy!
These fans have some interesting features around what Thermaltake calls the “RGB PLUS Ecosystem”. You can actually sync these fans up with your phone and when you say ‘Hello TT’ you can control the light modes, brightness, fan speeds, and even switch them off entirely via commands. You can even set these fans to reflect the current weather condition in your area by syncing it up with Amazon Alexa!
Even though these fans feature a hydraulic bearing for friction reduction like the Corsair LL series, the TT fans offer a similar low max noise at just 25 dBA.
These fans only come in a pack of three so you will have to pay the top price for them but with an abundance of features and some of the best RGB lighting we have seen on a fan, they are worth it.
Low noise despite speeds
Easy to install
Pay extra for flashy lights
While these RGB fans from Corsair don’t offer the highest of airflow CFM, they do a reasonable job and offer great static pressure. These are arguably some of the best RGB fans you can buy for your case and are perfect for blasting air through obstacles.
These fans from Corsair have two RGB loops, one on the outside creating a halo effect, and the inner loop shining RGB light onto the fan blades. The RGB loops have eight individual lighting zones which can be personalized through Corsairs intuitive iCUE software. The software will allow you to match up your lighting effects with any other Corsair peripherals.
These RGB fans come in a multitude of options, you can buy them individually, as a dual, and a triple pack. You can also get the Corsair LL’s in 120mm and 140mm, giving you a few different airflow options.
Ultimately these fans would make any case look fantastic and you can rest assured knowing they are of good build quality too.
Huge amounts of airflow
Relatively quiet considering size
Can be purchased with or without a fan controller
These 200mm fans from Thermaltake are huge and, unsurprisingly, pump vast amounts of air into your system. The TT Riing Plus 20 fan is perfect for the front of a case and offers a CFM of 117. This may not be the quietest but, with a max noise of under 30 dBA, it is hardly loud plus you get the benefit of huge amounts of airflow and the fantastic RGB lighting from Thermaltake.
There is a bit of flexibility with this fan as Thermaltake has an option to include the fan controller, just in case you didn’t already have one. The friction is reduced with this thanks to its hydraulic bearing which self lubricates and actually increases thermal efficiency too.
The software is really easy to use from TT and it gives you countless options to tinker with in the RGB department and will even alert you to any issues with the operation of the fan.
Overall this beastly fan is top drawer and will give you all the airflow you could possibly want whilst also illuminating your system, a solid 200mm option!
Very good airflow
Great build quality
Requires software to light up
NZXT is known for their cases, and they are no stranger to fans or RGB lighting either. These Aer fans offer some of the highest CFM on the list and do a brilliant job of pumping air into your system while simultaneously illuminating it. The reason for the impressive CFM is because each Aer fan features a winglet-tip blade for optimal airflow. These fans work on fluid dynamic bearings for near-silent operation.
There is only one RGB loop on these though, which is a bit disappointing, but it’s uniquely designed squared off edges give it some great style points. The lighting on these fans only works if you have the controller or an NZXT “i” case which isn’t the best for anyone who was looking to add just the one fan to their case. When using the HUE 2 lighting controller you can connect up to five fans and synchronize the effects for the ultimate RGB light show.
Just like Corsairs LL series you can buy these as an individual fan, a dual pack, and a triple pack with only the individual pack not including the HUE 2 controller. The NZXT’s also come available in 140mm however only as a single or twin pack.
You can rest assured that NZXT produces quality products and the value for money on these fans, make the Aer’s a great option.
Comes with a remote control
5 fans included in the pack
Not the best quality
Not as vibrant as others
The upHere RGB fan set is our budget pick on the list, as this set of five fans offer a great amount of value to spruce up your PC builds aesthetics.
These are rather basic fans with a lower build quality than our top pick, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer. These 120m fans produce a meager 17.6 DbA which is very reasonable and their high airflow nature does a good job of cooling your system.
These are a little basic so don’t expect any software here, but they do include a remote control to change your colors and effects to match the rest of your system.
They use a hydraulic bearing and feature rubber pads to dampen noise, making these RGB fans a very attractive option for those looking for large volume cooling on a budget.
- Ensuring that the RGB fans are kept away from fluids, as exposure to any type of fluid can cause damage to their hardware and cause them to stop working.
- Trying to keep the RGB fans away from the impeller.
- Making sure that you keep the RGB fans away from any areas where temperatures can get very hot, such as positioned closely to other machines, as this can cause their performance to be negatively affected.
Can I plug RGB fans into the motherboard?
Yes, you can certainly connect RGB fans to the motherboard! The only catch is that you’ll need to make sure that the motherboard is RGB compatible. The good news is that, once you have ensured that the motherboard you own (or want to purchase) comes with the ability to support RGB, you’ll have the ability to choose from a wide variety of RGB fans, including both 3 pin and 4 pin types.
In addition, regardless of whether you have 3 pin RGB fans, 4 pin RGB fans, or RGB fans that come with no headers, there are a few different safety precautions you should take to ensure that you are able to safely install the RGB fans into the motherboard, (otherwise, you might cause damage), including:
Do RGB fans need RGB headers?
RGB headers are used to help connect the RGB fans to PC components such as the motherboard. Generally speaking, most RGB fans will only require either a 3 pin or 4 pin connector to function and be able to connect to the rest of the system. However, there are some RGB fans on the market that do not come with these types of connectors, meaning that the only way they can be plugged into the motherboard is via an RGB header, and these are found built into the motherboard’s design. Therefore, if you currently own a motherboard that doesn’t feature any RGB headers, then the easiest way to get around this problem is by purchasing RGB fans that come with their own connectors.
Why are Corsair RGB fans so expensive?
One of the main reasons as to why Corsair RGB fans are placed at such a high price point is mainly down to the fact that they are considered to be a premium brand. Regardless of whether you are a gaming whiz or you’ve never attempted a PC build in your life, everyone has heard of Corsair, and the brand name comes with a very good reputation.
On top of that, another reason why Corsair RGB fans are so expensive is that the quality of the raw materials they use to create their fans are of the highest quality, which in turn impacts the overall expenses of Corsair’s manufacturing process, and this is reflected in the shelf price.
Are 140mm fans better than 120mm?
Whether PC builds are your hobby, or you love to spend your spare time gaming, there’s no denying that your PC case will produce a lot of heat (especially because of that hardware filling). For this reason, it’s important to provide cooling so that it doesn’t overheat, which begs the question – are 140mm fans better than 120mm?
Generally speaking, the 120mm fan case is the standard option and will be suitable for handling heavy workloads with a pretty quiet operation. However, on a hardware level, the 140mm fans are able to provide a little extra power, which means that they have the ability to push air through the system more efficiently, all while offering a quiet workflow.
There is also much debate over whether three 120mm fans are better than two 140mm fans, so if you’re currently stuck in this predicament, here are some considerations to keep in mind. If you were to go with three 120mm fans, you could expect the fans to offer lots of air pushing, although this would be at the cost of big power consumption and a noisy operation. In contrast, the two 140mm fans would be able to push air slightly better than the 120mm fans, as well as offer a quieter performance. However, the difference between the two will make a very slight difference overall, so it’s important to consider the costs, and then work out from there which will offer you the best value.
Are RGB fans loud?
How loud you can expect an RGB fan to be will greatly depend on its size, as well as how well it has been manufactured. The RGB part of the fans has zero effect on the decibel level of the fan as it is simply a lighting system. A loud fan is a loud fan, regardless of whether it lights up. Most RGB fans do tend to operate at a quiet level, although they can tend to get louder when having to withstand heavier workloads.
Is a higher CFM better?
When purchasing a new RGB fan, it is very important to take into account the CFM of a fan. This is because a fan’s airflow is measured specifically in CFM, which means cubic feet per minute. When shopping around for a new RGB case fan, the CFM will help to indicate to you the volume of air that you can expect the fan to cycle through in a minute. Generally speaking, the higher the CFM level of the RGB fan, the better the overall performance will be.
What’s the difference between ARGB and RGB?
ARGB and RGB are essentially the same thing and have been designed to serve the same purpose, the only difference is that ARGB is a slightly more advanced version of the two. LED RGB technology has grown significantly over the past few years, which saw the introduction of ARGB. Unlike RGB technology which can only be one color at a time, ARGB can each be a different color. This means that ARGB fans offer more customization and can allow you to make your motherboard more colorful and cool, while RGB fans can only ever be one color.
How do I know if my motherboard supports RGB?
If you’re currently trying to figure out whether or not your motherboard supports RGB – don’t panic! The process is actually super simple. To do so, take a look at the manual that your motherboard would have come with upon purchase. Then, locate the RGB section and pinpoint what type of headers your motherboard has, and this will help you to figure out whether your motherboard supports RGB or not.
How much power do RGB fans use?
RGB fans do not consume more power than a normal case fan would, which is around 0.11amps. The LEDs of an RGB fan are lit by the power which is drawn from the rotation of the fan, so the best way to figure out how much your particular RGB fans will draw is by taking a look at the label/manufacturer manual, and this will provide you with the specific amperage that you can expect your fans to use while in operation.
Do RGB fans need SATA?
Whether or not your RGB fan will need a SATA cable will depend on the type of RGB fan you have purchased. There are some RGB fans that are created to only need one cable, RGB fans that have been made to require an RGB hub, as well as RGB fans that need the additional help of a controller. The easiest way to determine whether your RGB (or the RGB you are thinking of purchasing) requires a SATA cable connection is by checking in the information that the manufacturer has supplied on their website, as this will let you know what connectivity components the RGB requires.
As an example, all of Corsair’s RGB fans require that the RGB cables of the fans will need to be plugged into an RGB Hub, Then, the RGB hub will need to plug into a Lighting Node Pro, which will then need to be plugged into the rest of the system via a SATA cable, as well as a USB to the motherboard.
This has been our guide on the best RGB case fans for 2020 and 2021. We hope it’s helped you pick the right fan for your needs. Be sure to check out our other buyer’s guides on the right-hand side of this page and drop us a comment below if there’s anything you’d like us to cover.