In this article, I am going to list down some of the best PC case fans that are the best bang for the buck. As Cooling is one of the most important factors that lets your system perform efficiently on a constant load but it also ensures that your components like CPU, GPU, HDD operate for a long time.
If you have an awesome build like a $1750 gaming PC or even a budget build like $500 gaming PC, you still need appropriate cooling to make your system perform at its full potential. Many cases come with additional fan slots at the top, rear, front and at the bottom. They are present there for a reason which is only to use them to make cool air go in and hot air go out.
Now there are a lot of custom fans available in the market but you may have the question that which one is the best?
The simple answer is that the brands which you recognise and the world trusts go for only those ones. If you find a 120mm fan for only $5 and another 120mm fan costing $15, then, of course, the $5 fan is a crap and if you buy that thinking that what difference will it make, then you are thinking totally wrong.
Cheap fans have a low lifespan, higher noise, less cooling and sometimes less compatibility. Therefore I have made the list of best custom fans that are trusted by millions of users and have got thousands of positive reviews and you will never regret buying them.
Cooler Master Fans with sleeve bearings
Cooler Master produces some of the best sleeve bearing fans. Due to their awesome performance, they have got thousands of positive reviews and better ratings over other brands. Many will say that sleeve bearing fans may not be good and have less lifespan. But these fans are designed especially for long time operation.
As these are PWM fans, so you can control their speeds according to the temperature of your system. Many have even installed these fans into their cooler master hyper 212 EVO cooler as the second fan and have got much better results.
These fans have very low noise levels but as your system will heat more and the fans start moving faster you may observe some noticeable increase in noise levels. The maximum speed at which these fans run is 2000rpm which is still much lower than the stock fans that come with the CPU’s and therefore produce less noise and do more cooling.
These fans are present in different sizes and in different designs:-
Corsair AF and SP Fans
Corsair Air Series fans are one of the most expensive and solid custom cooling fans. The reason they are expensive is that they have high CFM i.e., Airflow. The average airflow of the Corsair Air Series Quiet edition is around 52 CFM as compared to that of cooler master fans which have air flow below 50 CFM.
The noise level is around 25dbA which is optimal and the fans are custom moulded for more airflow. The image on the left is not the image of the Corsair Airflow series quiet edition but the image of a performance series fan which has airflow up to 62.74CFM which is more than enough.
But yes with this much of high airflow you will be getting more noise and may reach up to 35dbA which is noisier but if your priority is cooling over silence then these will be good for you.
The other series is the SP series which is more silent and works best for radiators and for intake. These are the pressure fans which have wider blades and allow very little dust inside the case. The SP series fans are best when you put them at the front of your case or on a radiator. I use them myself and they are much silent than the AF series fans.
These fans are present in NON-LED as well as LED editions with colours as Red, blue, purple and white.
Noctua NF Fans
Not only the Noctua Cpu coolers are the best, even the custom fans for basic cooling has no competition whatsoever. The colour and the design is very good to fit in any case(just kidding). The best feature with the Noctua fans is that their fan blades have vortex control notches which help the vortices to be split into several small vortices to increase the air flow.
You can see the small lines drawn at the end of the fan blades which is really an outstanding technology to increase the air flow and decrease the noise levels too. I don’t want to go deeper in science now but I think you have got my point what I want to say.
These Fans are just fantastic and have fewer vibrations when spinning. Yes, these are the most expensive fans on this list but spending 4-5 dollars more will get you the best fans for your case.
Thermaltake 12 RGB TT Premium Edition 120mm
Thermaltake 12 RGB TT Premium fans are one of the most expensive fans out there. These fans are specially made for radiators and have a completely different method for displaying the colour effects. There is a Ring around the Fan’s body which has LED’s inside it. Now there are fixed one colour TT fans also but you can get the RGB one which looks much better. The colours may not be that much bright as that of Corsair AF or SP series fans but they will look good if installed on a front case radiator.
Cooling wise, I tested them myself and I consider them equivalent to the Corsair SP series because of how much silent they are and how much cooling they do. I swapped the cooler master Static pressure fans from my Cooler Master MasterLiquid radiator and also tested these by on a Deepcool Captain 240 radiator. These performed better than the stock Deepcool fans which were noisier.
The noise level is 19.8dBA to 24.69dBA which is very silent and there is a total of 256 different colours to choose from. The pack consists of 3 fans with a controller and will cost around $90 which is very expensive for a budget build, but for an enthusiast, this thing is really worth investing it.
Arctic dynamic bearing fans
Arctic fans offer a wide variety of different operations. These are present in three sizes: 80mm, 92mm and 120mm. Each having its own advantages and disadvantages. Every fan has 9 fan blades which help in removing more heat from the case even if the fan is spinning slowly.
The 80mm fan has a low air flow of the only 31CFM and is designed especially for low noise. If you want low noise and still want to get good cooling then it’s a great choice otherwise, of course, it’s not better than those fans that are from Cooler Master or Noctua.
But the 92mm fan and the 120mm are an exception. With 92mm fan you will get 43CFM of air flow and with the 120mm fan, you will get a very high air flow of 74CFM which we haven’t seen in any other previously mentioned fans.
Moreover, these fans are PWM as well use fluid dynamic bearing which has more lifespan than the ball bearing fans and therefore these fans have a warranty of 6 years.
Some cheaper options
Antec TriCool Fans
Antec TriCool Fans are not the best on the list but of course the cheapest best solution for your PC. If you have 5 bucks in your pocket you can get a standard 80mm fan without LED. May Antec fans are cheaper but they still provide very good features especially the three-speed switching option from which you can run these fans either on low, medium or high.
Among all the sizes 120mm fan is great and is available in blue, red and standard forms. On low settings, the fan spins at a speed of 1200rpm generating a noise level of 25db only. On medium, it spins at a speed of 1600rpm generating a noise level of 28db and on high it spins at a full speed of 2000rpm and generates a noise level of 30db.
But still, it’s less than that of Corsair fans and provides 79CFM air flow at full speed which is the best you can get on this list.
Rosewill Long life sleeve Fans
If you want a 4 fan collection to cool your whole case in cheap price, Rosewill provides this collection to you. Now, these fans are not high-pressure fans but actually made for silent operation. These spin at a speed of 1200rpm and generate a noise level of 22dbA which is almost non-hearable and will force you to strain your ears to listen.
All the fans are 120mm and will produce a good air cycle in your case if you put two for exhaust and two for intake. The best placement for intake is either front or bottom and for exhaust, the best places are top and rear.
These are a fine choice for budget builds and will cool your system without spending so much of money.