Buying case fans can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. You can just slap in any old fans and not think about them ever again, or you can do your research and find the best 140 mm case fan for your needs. The problem with the second approach is that it can get overwhelming due to the tons of choices out there.
Fret not, though. We’ve gone through the most popular 140 mm case fan options on the market and picked out a handful of excellent choices. There are a couple of all-around performance fans, an excellent RGB option, and an ultra-silent 140 mm fan for the silence fanatics out there. Let’s get started.
- Best 140 mm Case Fan Overall: Arctic BioniX P140 offers amazing performance at half the price of premium rivals.
- Best Premium 140 mm Case Fan: Noctua NF-A14 PWM is a quiet, high-performance fan with an excellent package.
- Best 140 mm RGB Case Fan: Lian Li Uni AL140 V2 sets a new standard for RGB fans with excellent performance and appealing aesthetics.
- Best Value 140 mm Case Fan: Phanteks M25-140 perform amazingly for the price, albeit at the cost of increased noise.
- Best Silent 140 mm Case Fan: Noctua NF-P14s redux-900 is a whisper-quiet fan that manages to perform decently despite its low RPM.
Our Favorite 140 mm Case Fans
|RPM Range||200 - 1950 RPM|
|Maximum Airflow||77.6 CFM|
|Maximum Static Pressure||2.85 mm-H2O|
|Maximum Noise||0.45 Sone*|
* Arctic uses Sone for their noise ratings, and conversions to dBA are approximate at best.
Arctic’s BioniX P140 is the company’s latest and greatest 140 mm case fan, and it’s the upgrade we all hoped for. It’s a noticeable improvement over the already-great P14 PWM that, while more expensive, continues to be a great value proposition.
The headline figures are impressive. The BioniX P140 has an improved 77.6 CFM of airflow and 2.85 mm-H2O of static pressure. These are significant improvements over the P14 PWM’s 72.8 CFM and 2.40 mm-H2O, respectively.
Noise levels are slightly higher at 0.45 Sone (vs. 0.3 Sone), but the new BioniX fans don’t have any of the resonance issues of the old P14 PWM. So these run slightly louder at maximum speed, but will be more consistently quiet through the rest of the range.
Unfortunately, all these improvements haven’t come for free. The BioniX P140 fans will set you back around $17, a slight increase over the $13 the P14 PWM fans still sell for. But while a price increase never feels nice, the BioniX fans are still significantly cheaper than Noctuas while coming even closer to their levels of performance and quality.
Sure, you don’t get any of the fancy extras you get with a Noctua fan. But the Arctic still packs a six-year warranty, which is what counts the most. Overall, the Arctic BioniX P140 fans are an excellent option and should be the default choice for most users, especially those who don’t want to spend too much on their case fans.
|RPM Range||300 - 1500 RPM / 300 - 1200 RPM (with low noise adapter)|
|Maximum Airflow||82.5 CFM / 67.9 CFM (with low noise adapter)|
|Maximum Static Pressure||2.08 mm-H2O / 1.51 mm-H2O (with low noise adapter)|
|Maximum Noise||24.6 dBA / 19.2 dBA (with low noise adapter)|
As far as fans go, Noctua’s NF-A14 PWM is something of a classic. And while it no longer sits at the top of the 140 mm case fan pile on its own, its still-excellent cooling performance and exhaustive extras make it a worthwhile buy for those who want to splash the cash.
The Noctua NF-A14 is a jack-of-all-trades fan capable of occupying every fan mounting spot in your rig. The 82.5 CFM maximum airflow is excellent for an all-rounder fan, and the static pressure measurement is still impressive at 2.08 mm-H2O. We’d still probably recommend a cheaper airflow fan if you only need an exhaust fan, but this will do the job fine if that’s how you roll.
Like most Noctua fans, the NF-A14 PWM sets itself apart from the competition is the packaging and the extras you get with each fan. On top of the usual four fan mounting screws, each NF-A14 PWM also comes with a low noise adapter (more on this later), a four-pin Y-cable, a 30 cm (11.8-inch) four-pin extension cable, and four vibration-compensating rubber screw alternatives.
It’s a great set of extras, but the most interesting is probably the low-noise adapter. It goes between the fan and your motherboard header and slows your NF-A14 down. Of course, this reduces performance, but you get a significant reduction in noise levels down to a virtually silent 19.2 dBA in return. We’d be hard-pressed to imagine most users needing a quieter fan than that.
As if these extras weren’t enough, you also get some of the best packaging we’ve seen for a computer part and an outstanding six-year warranty to boot. Combine everything, and you’ll see why the Noctua is our pick for a premium 140 mm case fan. The Noctua NF-A14 PWM has it all: excellent performance, a great bundle, and next-level warranty support.
There is one downside, though. At just over $30 per fan, these Noctuas don’t come cheap. But that’s the price you have to pay, and we’re sure some of you will be more than willing to do so.
Not keen on Noctua’s classic brown color scheme? Check out the NF-A14 chromax.black.swap, which comes in black with swappable multi-color anti-vibration pads.
|RPM Range||250 - 1600 RPM|
|Maximum Airflow||81.6 CFM|
|Maximum Static Pressure||2.80 mm-H2O|
|Maximum Noise||26.8 dBA|
Lian Li’s Uni AL140 V2 fans prove you don’t have to sacrifice performance for aesthetics. Sure, they’ll cost you a pretty penny, but that’s a small issue when you can truly have your cake and eat it with these fans.
The AL140 V2 fans have excellent airflow and static pressure performance that outstrips even Noctua’s highly-regarded offerings. With 81.6 CFM of airflow and 2.80 mm-H2O of static pressure, these are some of the best-performing 140 mm fans on the market. These offer efficient cooling performance throughout their speed range, not something we can take for granted with RGB fans.
Lian Li hasn’t had to crank the fan speeds to obscene levels, either. These AL140 V2s max out at 1600 RPM, resulting in a more-than-acceptable 26.8 dBA of maximum noise output. These aren’t silent, but they’re nowhere near as loud as high-performance fans have been in the past.
Of course, the star of the show is Lian Li’s proprietary edge connectors. These allow you to connect up to six AL140 V2s together, with a single cable running back to the controller unit (included in three-pack purchases). You control the fans via Lian Li’s new L-Connect 3 software, which lets you adjust RGB and fan speeds all in one place.
The RGB is excellent, combining smooth RGB lighting for the blades with thin RGB strips in the corners and frame edges. It’s a classy look and is probably our favorite RGB fan design. We think the AL140 V2 fans look especially great in white.
Lian Li has set a new standard for 140 mm RGB case fans with the AL140 V2s. Yes, they’re pricey at around $80 for a three-pack, but they’re worth it and then some.
|RPM Range||500 - 1800 RPM|
|Maximum Airflow||104.62 CFM|
|Maximum Static Pressure||2.80 mm-H2O|
|Maximum Noise||36.57 dBA|
Phanteks has yet to release a 140 mm version of its amazing T30, but the M25-140 comes mighty close to hitting those same heights. But instead of being a premium, $30/piece fan, the M25-140 are budget-minded fans that offer excellent value, especially in a three-pack.
The M25-140 fans push a ton of air; 104.62 CFM, to be precise. Static pressure is amongst the best, too, with 2.80 mm-H2O rivaling even the best 120 mm fans as far as pressure goes. These are impressive numbers at any price, let alone the roughly $10/piece these will set you back.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch: the M25-140 fans are loud. They max out at around 36 dBA, which is noticeably louder than many other 140 mm fans. But that’s the price you pay if you want this much performance at this low price.
You don’t have to run the Phanteks M25-140 fans at maximum speed to get all the benefits, though. With that much airflow and static pressure potential, you should be able to slow them down (via PWM) to 50% or so and get great performance at much more tolerable fan speeds.
We’re still waiting for a genuine 140-mm version of the Phanteks T30, but the M25-140 fans do a decent job in the meantime. They’re much noisier than their inspiration, but their value-friendly price should help soften that particular blow.
|RPM Range||900 RPM|
|Maximum Airflow||49.2 CFM|
|Maximum Static Pressure||0.77 mm-H2O|
|Maximum Noise||13.2 dBA|
Sometimes, even 20-25 dBA of fan noise is too loud. When near-silent operation is more important than cooling performance, you want the Noctua NF-P14s redux-900. It’s essentially as quiet as you’ll get without going with a fully passive setup.
The NF-P14s redux-900 is one of a handful of P14s variants in Noctua’s cost-reduced Redux range. It’s a three-pin non-PWM fan designed to run at a fixed 900 RPM for near-silent 13.2 dBA operation. For context, that’s just over half the noise levels from Noctua’s NF-A14 PWM, which is already relatively quiet for 140 mm fans.
Despite the ultra-low noise levels, the redux-900 still records decent airflow numbers. The 49.2 CFM airflow is only slightly lower than the much noisier Corsair QL140, which is impressive. Static pressure isn’t great, but that’s not surprising given the low RPM and airflow-focused design. You shouldn’t consider these fans for radiator cooling anyway.
Since it’s part of Noctua’s lower-cost Redux line, the NF-P14s redux-900 doesn’t include any of the excellent extras that come with Noctua’s standard fans. You still get a nice box, but all you get in it are the usual steel mounting screws that come with all other case fans. You get a much nicer two-tone gray color scheme in return, though, so it’s not all bad.
Besides, the low RPM and silent running make the low-noise adapter and vibration-compensating rubber mounts irrelevant. So the barebones package isn’t much of a negative at all. And the standard six-year warranty still applies, so you’re not losing out on the most important part of the Noctua owners’ experience.
Overall, the Noctua NF-P14s redux-900 is the best 140 mm case fan for those who value silence above all else. It’s a niche product, for sure, and one that’s impossible to recommend to most users. But if you really must have the quietest 140 mm fan available, look no further.
Before You Buy
Computer case fans are relatively straightforward, but there are a few topics that we can touch on for those of you who are new to buying fans.
120 mm vs. 140 mm Fans
The general wisdom is that you want to use 140 mm fans wherever possible, as they can move more air at a given RPM than 120 mm fans. However, 140 mm fans aren’t always a clear-cut upgrade over 120 mm fans, and choosing between the two depends on what you want.
Let’s take Arctic’s 140 mm BioniX P14 and 120 mm BioniX P12. The P14 boasts 77.6 CFM of airflow and 2.85 mm-H2O of static pressure at 1950 RPM. The P12, on the other hand, offers 67.56 CFM and 2.75 mm-H2O at a slightly higher 2100 RPM. On paper, this will allow you to run the P14 PWM at a slower speed (and thus with lower noise) while maintaining similar performance to the maxed-out 120 mm fan. If you’re interested in noise-optimized setups, 140 mm fans make a lot of sense.
However, some 120 mm fans can perform better than 140 mm fans. Phanteks’ T30, for example, boasts a massive 3.3 mm-H2O and a still-respectable 67 CFM. Sure, they cost about three times as much as an Arctic BioniX P14, but they show you don’t always have to get a bigger fan if you don’t want to.
Static Pressure vs. Airflow
There are two types of PC case fans: static pressure fans and airflow fans. Static pressure fans excel at pulling or pushing air through restrictions such as dust filters, radiators, and drive cages. On the other hand, airflow fans work best at moving air as fast as possible, at the cost of reduced performance through the restrictions mentioned above.
Manufacturers often indicate the fan type on the packaging, but a good way to identify fan types at a glance is by looking at the blades. Airflow fans have nine or more fan blades, while static pressure fans generally have five or six. Blade shape also differs: static pressure fans have curved fan blades, while airflow fans tend to have slightly straighter ones.
The usual rule of thumb is to use static pressure fans for radiators and filtered intakes, while airflow fans are perfect for unobstructed exhaust fans. And while you won’t go wrong with this setup, it’s also fine to go with an all-airflow or all-static pressure configuration. The best fans, like our top two picks, excel at both and will work fine anywhere you install them.
If you just want to game, the potential one- or two-degree Celsius temperature differences between the fan types probably won’t matter to you that much. In that case, go with whichever fan type suits your budget and aesthetics.
Spend any time shopping around for case fans, and you’ll probably notice the abbreviation “PWM,” which stands for “pulse width modulation.” Without getting too technical, PWM allows for fine-grained control of fan speeds without manipulating fan voltage. So PWM fans still get the standard 12 volts and use circuitry to control fan speeds.
The significant advantage of PWM beyond the more refined fan speed control is that it lets you slow fans down and even stop them without any adverse effects. Most DC fans will stall below 5 volts, which stops them from working at ultra-low speeds. So PWM is important for achieving those 200 to 500 RPM speeds that silence enthusiasts want.
PWM fans use four-pin adapters, while DC fans use three-pin connectors. Fans and fan headers are interchangeable, meaning you can connect a three-pin DC fan to a four-pin PWM connector (or vice versa). However, you need to connect your fan to a matching four-pin motherboard fan header to use PWM fan control software.
How Many Case Fans Do You Need?
Figuring out how many fans to install can be tricky, especially if you’ve ever browsed Reddit or PCPartPicker and seen the levels of fan overload some builders go for. Having eight fans (or more) in a rig may look cool, but you may not get as much from those fans as you might imagine.
Hardware Canucks tested a few fan configurations in a be quiet! Pure Base 500DX and found that a two-intake, one-exhaust fan setup was good enough for their Intel Core i7-8700K and RTX 2060 Super. These components ran at 75 and 73 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Adding two top intakes reduced CPU temperatures by a single degree and raised GPU temperatures by the same amount, although that may just be run-to-run variance. Even if it isn’t, a single degree Celsius reduction in CPU temps isn’t worth the additional cost of two extra fans.
The main takeaway is that you don’t need to waste money filling out each of your case’s fan mounts. It won’t hurt your rig, but there are better places to spend the money.
There are a lot of 140 mm case fans out there, many of which will perform adequately and cool your gaming PC without issue. But not all 140 mm fans are equal: some move more air, some are near-silent, and others offer above-average RGB lighting. So it’s still worth taking some time and picking out the best 140 mm case fans.
Most users will be more than satisfied with the Arctic P14 PWM fans for pure cooling performance. Their affordable price and top-tier performance make them an excellent value buy. The Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans are fantastic too, but you’re paying more for the extras (and warranty) than significantly improved performance.
Whichever fan you go for, though, remember to set your fans up properly for optimal airflow!