There’s nothing that spiffies up your computer then adding a fan with an RBG light configuration. Revolving colors helps your computer stand out from the rest. When you want the best light experience, it’s the RGB fans you are looking for.
While you may think that RGB fans are expensive, in reality, they are quite affordable. The really good news is that you have plenty to choose from.
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|1. Corsair LL120RGB||
|2. Cooler Master MF120R A-RGB||
|3. NZXT Aer RGB 2 120mm||
|4. Corsair ML140 Pro RGB||
|5. Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB||
|6. upHere RGB LED 1206-5||
|7. Deep Cool RF120M 5IN1||
|8. Thermaltake Riing Plus 12 TT||
Designers of RBG fans have one goal in mind: Provide the best performance while giving you an amazing light show.
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In this article, we are going to look at some of the options you have for purchasing RGB fans on a budget.
Our Best Budget RGB Fans Reviews and Comparisons
1. Corsair LL120RGB
Corsair has been the leader in computer cooling systems for quite a while, so it’s no surprise a Corsair fan is listed as the top leader in the RGB fan market.
- Top tier RGB lighting
- Quiet, even at full speeds
- Lighting both from the rotor and a separate ring of lights
What We Like About Corsair LL120RGB
It’s quiet. Even when operating at full speed, there is nary a peep from this fan.
This fan also exceeds the RPM of its closest competitors, Noctua.
What We Don’t Like About Corsair LL120RGB
Compared to other fans in this category, it is considerably expensive. The resell package is bundled with three fans, and you must buy all three to receive the bundled Corsair Lighting Node Pro, which helps control the lighting patterns and enhances the visual effects of the fan.
- Very quiet
- Stellar lighting results
- 300 more RPMs than its closest competitor
- The included Corsair Lighting Node Pro makes the experience even more amazing
- You are committed to purchasing 3 to include the bundled Node Pro
- Additional fans are expensive
- Compared to the competition, the price for an initial set of fans is quite expensive.
2. Cooler Master MF120R A-RGB
Yet another well known cooling system manufacturer, Cooler Master brings us this neat fan, which is packed with features.
- Yet another well known cooling system manufacturer, Cooler Master brings us this neat fan, which is packed with features
- Silent cooling technology
- Hybrid design
- Jam protection
What We Like About Cooler Master MF120R A-RGB
This unit comes with adjustable lighting, meaning that you can choose how the lights display and what colors will show.
The transitions are nice and very smooth. The lights are also bright, and bring out the fun in your gaming.
What We Don’t Like About Cooler Master MF120R A-RGBProduct Name
It’s loud. Very, very loud. When operating at its 2000 RPM maximum speed, this fan is really hard to bear. To have an enjoyable experience, you will need to max out the fan at 1500 RPMs max.
- Lots of features built into this unit
- You can save as much as $100 when choosing this fan over the Corsair LL120RGB
- The airflow is strong and is a gamer’s dream for proper cooling of the case and CPU
- Very loud when working at maximum speed
- The speed must be limited to help reduce the noise level
3. NZXT Aer RGB 2 120mm
This RGB fan comes loaded with unique design and features and is significantly less expensive than any of the other fans we have reviewed.
- Static pressure fans
- Winglet tips on the blades to minimize drag
- Fluid dynamic bearings
What We Like About NZXT Aer RGB 2 120mm
This fan features a unique design that allows for great air dispersion and stunning visual effects.
The winglet tip design allows for much better performance overall and minimizes drag which enhances the performance.
This fan comes with fluid dynamic bearings. Unlike other fans that run on ball bearings, this fan comes with a special bearing made of copper. This allows for consistent lubrication, which reduces noise.
What We Don’t Like About NZXT Aer RGB 2 120mm
While the previously reviewed fans did have some noise associated with them, the noise aspect was only noticeable at top speeds. However, this fan is noisy even at lower speeds, even though it comes built with fluid dynamic bearings.entum.
- The visual display is stunning
- The controller, which can be seen through the window of the case, is much more attractive
- Fluid dynamic bearings reduce bearing noise
- Fans and controller are sold separately
- Noisy even at low speeds
4. Corsair ML140 Pro RGB
Once again, Corsair presents an attractive, yet a very functional fan. With vivid lighting, the four center-mounted lights give you an upper edge when you want your computer to shine.
- Dynamic RGB lighting
- Comes included with Corsair Lighting Node Pro
- Allows pinpoint fan control
- Magnetic Levitation Bearings
What We Like About Corsair ML140 Pro RGB
This product is an overall fantastic product and offers a ton of features.
While most maglev fans are a bit noisy, this particular fan is missing the noise factor. This will be affected if placed in a fan filter that sits close to the fan blades. In testing, it was found that, at top speeds, this fan only puts out 32 dB of noise.
The vibration of the fan is also tempered, especially considering maglev fans tend to vibrate more than ball bearing fans.
The white blades provide an additional nice effect. This effect is truly enhanced by the lightning Node Pro, which allows up to six fans to be connected to a single controller. The LINK software, which you can download from the Corsair website after installation of the fans, gives you the option of having a single color or having all of the colors displayed.
What We Don’t Like About Corsair ML140 Pro RGB
The cost. It is truly a considerable factor in the decision to purchase this fan.
If you are looking to outfit your gaming rig with five of these fans it gets very expensive to pay for a suite of RGB fans.
This fan also has a 1200 RPM limit on its rotation. While it seems to be efficient in cooling the chassis, other fans in this class have much higher RPMs of between 1500 and 2000 RPMs.
- Advanced control over the lighting
- Airflow has been increase
- Maglev bearings are more efficient than regular ball bearings
- Very quiet for Maglev
- Cost is a major factor
- Static pressure has been reduced from previous models
5. Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB
It’s no surprise that of the various products we have reviewed, three of the best ones are manufactured by Corsair. The QL series is yet another winner in the RGB fan competition.
- 34 individual RGB LEDs and four lighting zones
- Up to 1500 RPMs
- Vibration buffers
- Blades engineered for quiet operations
What We Like About Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB
This fan offers an amazing amount of airflow as compared to others in its class. There is enough pressure to allow the airflow to stay behind a filter.
This fan offers what may be the best display in the RBG fan business.
What We Don’t Like About Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB
Once again, the price of a Corsair is significantly higher than the competitor. In this case, the price is significantly higher than the Aer RGB 2.
There is also a noise concern when operating at full speed. Despite the quiet blade construction, this fan does make a noticeable amount of noise when operating at full speed.
- Unprecedented control using the NODE software
- Able to connect multiple RGB and light devices with the included controller
- Very high airflow, but just the right amount of pressure to work behind a dist filter
- This is a very expensive fan
- Even with “quiet blades, this fan makes a noticeable amount of noise
6. upHere RGB LED 1206-5
This fan caught our attention because of its hefty feature package, which is extremely unique and fully loaded. The price is also very attractive for this feature-loaded fan.
- RF Wireless Remote for easy switch fan speed and choose lighting effects
- The two-way installation allows the fan to be used to pull cool air in or blow warm air out
What We Like About upHere RGB LED 1206-5
For the very reasonable price that you pay you are getting an amazing piece of hardware.
The LEDs are extremely bright. The RPM count is not terrible, and tests show that this fan pushes a sufficient amount of air with just the right pressure to make it a high-performing fan.
This fan is also quiet. Very quiet. During testing, this fan only released 14.8 dB.A noise output. Compared to other fans in this market, this is the lowest noise rating we have seen yet.
The manufacturer has also gone through great lengths to ensure this fan can live a long life. The life of the fan is further extended by being designed with hydraulic bearings, which are self-lubricating and are tuned for low operating volumes.
What We Don’t Like About upHere RGB LED 1206-5
There’s not much to like about this fan. If we had to pick one detriment, it’s that the fan only runs at 1100 RPMs, compared to 1500 RPMs or more for other fan models. But in this case, it’s not a problem, as the fan works perfectly even with the lower RPM count.
- Designed for a long life. A lot of thought went into making this fan work for users
- It won’t break the bank – you can buy a number of these for what it costs for one for some other models
- Low noise. Very low decibel count, especially compared to other fans we have reviewed here
- It’s not from a well-recognized company. In this case, this doesn’t matter.
- Blades do feel a bit flimsy to the touch. However, visually, these blades do work as designed, and when viewed through the case window, appear to be of high quality.
7. Deep Cool RF120M 5IN1
Another low-cost winner in the lower-priced fan selection. This fan is simple but does offer a significant advantage over its competitors.
- Multiple control modes controlled through the RGB SYNC motherboard software
- The unit plugs directly into the motherboard, no controller needed
- Intelligent PWM (Pulse-width modulation) function allows for flexible cooling demands
What We Like About Deep Cool RF120M 5IN1
It’s a simple fan. But the RGB Sync motherboard software spiffs it up and makes it something special.
The intelligent PWM functions also is an additional plus for this fan unit. It allows the fan to adjust under different operating conditions and provide the proper cooling needed in any situation.
What We Don’t Like About Deep Cool RF120M 5IN1
Users are reporting that the daisy chain cable is extremely short as compared to the RGB cables. For users with large gaming rigs, this could pose a big problem in hooking up the fan if the port on the motherboard is not near the fan seating area. Some users are also reporting that the cables don’t feel taught and the terminations very loose.
- Unique color options, including purple and cyan
- Setting up the colors you want them is easy
- Users say that quiet operation continues even after a long time of usage
- Needs a 4pin 12v RGB headers on your motherboard or a 4pin lighting control hub for this fan to work
- Some minor design flaws leave users feeling that the fan is flimsy and not a great build
8. Thermaltake Riing Plus 12 TT
A simple RGB fan with little in the way of features that will wow you and the software it comes with for this fan is a bit eye-catching.
- Bundled with a controller which allows as many as 5 fans to be attached, and even more if the cables are daisy-chained.
- Downloadable software wit a number of interesting settings available
- Fan speed ranges from 500-1500 RPM
What We Like About Thermaltake Riing Plus 12 TT
It’s simple, yet built for looks. With 12 fan blades and 12 individually addressable lighting zones, they up the ante on an otherwise bland product.
The software that works with this fan is one of the highlights of this fan. It offers many features such as lighting presets, fan speed options, and a really neat feature – for iOS phone owners, Thermaltake allows voice commands.
What We Don’t Like About Thermaltake Riing Plus 12 TT
It’s simple. That’s the whole of it. You will pay the same for this fan as you would for another comparable fan with double the features.
Although bright, the RGB display on this fan is okay, but nothing to rush and tell your friends about. The design allows the individual LEDs to be seen even while spinning but will work nicely behind a dust filter.
- Bright lights operation
- Quiet operations
- The fan controller is bundled with the package
- Cable production was well thought through and provides for different connections and power option options.
- Price is not great for a bundle of three fans
- While the cabling is well thought through, there is so much of it that in the cramped quarters of a small computer chasis it may be too much
This fan is from a lesser-known manufacturer but comes with lots of enhancements to ensure that this device lasts a long time.
- 16.8 million colors LED allows unlimited color transformation
- Dynamic speed control with a range from 300 to 1600 RPM
- PWM Control
- 21 addressable LEDs allowing for a 16.8 color spread
- Hydraulic bearing capability
What We Like About EZDIY-FAB
The number of light combinations caught our attention. This fan comes with a 1.8 million color LED design, which allows for unlimited color transformation. Pretty cool in our books.
Testing also showed that this fan lives up to its promise of high performance. During testing, this fan delivered high airflow, large volume cooling and was very quiet, especially when contrasting this fan with other fans.
What We Don’t Like About EZDIY-FAB
This fan requires a motherboard that has an addressable RGB or controller. Unfortunately, this limits the rigs that can accept this fan. Of course, if you buy the wrong motherboard for this fan, the only options are to buy another motherboard, another fan, or suffer from a poor and unexciting performance.
- Long-life: this fan is rated to last 20,000 hours
- Can be connected with up to 6 other case fans
- 6 PIN interface provides the fan with safe and reliable power out, and gives the lights a bright and colorful appearance
- This fan must be connected in a specific manner during installation for the RGB function to work
- Some users indicate that, upon arrival and directly out of the box, the fans work but the LEDs don’t.
There are lots of great choices here. Manufacturers of RGB fans spend much time ensuring that their RGB solutions are the best they can be, putting their efforts into creating visual eye-candy for its owners.
To be honest, we are a bit surprised at the Thermaltake fan we reviewed above. With Thermaltake being a well known cooling component designer, we would have thought the Riing 2 would have been more exciting. We have rated the Riing 2 at the bottom of our choices. The main complaint is the lack of features that would spiffy up the fan, and the relatively expensive price tag for not so much to show for it. Had Thermaltake added another row of LEDs, the results would have been considerably more exciting.
Coming in strong are the Corsair fans, which is not a surprise. Corsair has been the leader in fan manufacturing for many years.
A bit more surprising is the relatively decent performance of the NZXT Aer RGB 2 120mm and upHere fans. Two low cost and smaller manufacturers have made a dent in the market, and can potentially change the fan game in their direction, thanks to the exemplary product they are manufacturing.
In our view, the upHere fans were superior to even the Corsair fans and lead the top of the list of RBG fans, even with a slightly lower RPM count than the NXZT.
The NXZT fans come in a close second.
Both have similar features, and both operate as advertised. Both of these fans come bundled with some serious bling that makes these fans exciting and easy to manage. The price point is easy to stomach, and excellent as compared to other Corsair fans.
Both of these fans come with everything needed to run your RGB fans in the most optimal manner.
We only rate the NZXT in second place due to the noise factor. Noise can be heard even when running at slow speeds, while the upHere fans are relatively silent in comparison. Even with this fan, though, adjusting the speed to a lower RPM still provides a highly performing product.
If you are looking for a budget RGB fan for your gaming rig or computer with a window in the case, we rate the NZXT Aer RGB 2 and the upHere fans as the ones that give you the most bang for your buck, as well as exemplary performance and results as promised.
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