The 7 Best RGB Fans in 2022

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Jun 21, 2022

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best rgb fans

Love it or hate it; there’s no denying that RGB is here to stay. What seemed like a flash in the pan a few years ago has become an everyday part of gaming rigs. Every PC part you can think of has been given the RGB treatment, and fans are no exception. In fact, we’d argue that having the best RGB fans in your PC is almost essential these days if you’re building a colorful rig.

Whether you want the prettiest lights, the best performance, or a balance between the two, there’s an RGB fan out there for you. You could wade through all the product listings on Amazon or Newegg to find it, but we know that’s time you’d rather spend gaming. Instead, let us point you in the right direction with our list of the best RGB fans for your current (or next) build.

Our Picks for Best RGB Case Fans

1. Arctic P ARGB Series (120 mm / 140 mm)

Best RGB Fans Overall

RPM Range0 - 2000 RPM (120 mm) / 0 - 1900 RPM (140 mm)
Maximum Airflow48.8 CFM (120 mm) / 68.9 CFM (140 mm)
Maximum Static Pressure1.85 mm-H2O (120 mm) / 2 mm-H2O (140 mm)
Noise Level0.3 Sone / 22.5 dBA* (120 and 140 mm)
Connector4-pin PWM and 3-pin motherboard ARGB

* Arctic uses Sone for their noise ratings, and conversions to dBA are approximate at best.

Arctic’s P12 PWM PST ARGB and P14 PWM PST ARGB are some of the best value RGB fans available. They’re not the most eye-catching RGB fans out there, but they offer great overall performance at an affordable price (as far as RGB fans go).

These fans are the ARGB versions of the company’s excellent P-series fans, which top our list of the best case fans. The main difference is that the ARGB fans swap the solid fan blades for translucent blades that showcase and diffuse the RGB lighting from the 12 ARGB LEDs in the fan hub.

The different fan blade design reduces performance compared to the non-RGB versions, which is a slight shame. But they’re still decent performers as far as ARGB fans go, with both versions posting above-average numbers for airflow and static pressure. The P12 PWM PST ARGB is particularly noteworthy with its 68.9 CFM of airflow and 2 mm-H2O of static pressure.

Arctic P12 PWM PST ARGB

An Arctic P12 PWM PST ARGB. Source: Arctic

Of course, performance isn’t the primary criteria for ARGB fans; aesthetics matter too, and that’s where these Arctic fans fall short slightly. Don’t get us wrong, they’re not bad looking at all, but you may want to look at other options if if you want flashy LED rings and complex lighting setups.

But the upside is that these are relatively affordable for RGB fans. The P12 will set you back less than $20, while the P14 is just shy of $25. In addition, these Arctic ARGB fans connect directly to your motherboard ARGB header, so you don’t need to pay extra for a pricey proprietary controller to control the lighting.

The “PST” in the name stands for “PWM Sharing Technology,” which means that each fan has a second female 4-pin slot for daisy-chaining multiple fans. It’s a welcome bonus that should help keep your motherboard headers free.

Overall, the Arctic P12 PWM PST ARGB and P14 PWM PST ARGB are solid ARGB fans that strike a great balance between performance, looks, and price. They’re not the most eye-catching ARGB fans, but they’ll still add a great splash of color to any system. The Arctic P12 PWM PST ARGB is available in black and white.

2. Corsair QL Series (120 mm / 140 mm)

Best RGB Fans for Lighting

RPM Range525 - 1500 RPM (120 mm) / 550 - 1250 RPM (140 mm)
Maximum Airflow41.8 CFM (120 mm) / 50.2 CFM (140 mm)
Maximum Static Pressure1.55 mm-H2O (120 mm) / 1.4 mm-H2O (140 mm)
Noise Level26 dBA (120 and 140 mm)
Connector4-pin PWM and 4-pin Corsair ARGB

If you’re buying RGB fans, then you want them to be spectacular. While there are a ton of great-looking RGB fans out there, Corsair’s QL fans are worth recommending above most others because of their dual-sided RGB rings.

Unlike most competing RGB fans, which only have a single RGB ring, Corsair’s QL120 and QL140 have RGB rings on the intake and exhaust side. The main benefit of this design is, of course, full RGB visibility from front and back, no matter where you install the fans.

The Corsair QL fans feature 34 RGB LEDs in total, arranged in 4 zones. The semi-transparent blades pick up and diffuse the lighting from the rings and central hub, creating stunning lighting effects once you have everything up and running.

Corsair QL120

Corsair QL120 in white. Source: Corsair

Performance isn’t the QL fans’ strong point, but that’s not surprising. The lighting is the priority here, and that’s what you’re buying these fans for. These fans won’t hurt your system’s cooling performance, but they’re certainly not designed for those who are extremely picky about cooling and temperatures.

The other downside is the price. A triple-pack of the QL120s alone will cost you more than $100, which climbs to nearly $190 if you need a Corsair Lighting Node Core to go with it. Individual fans aren’t cheap, too, with each costing between $30 and $45, depending on the size.

So these aren’t cheap fans to run. But the expense might be worth it if you’re building a showpiece rig and need high-end RGB lighting to complete the build. Overall, the Corsair QL120 and QL140’s dual-sided RGB and relatively high LED count make them the best-looking RGB fans right now.

The Corsair QL120 is available in black and white, as is the QL140.

3. aigo AR12 Pro

Best Budget RGB Fans

RPM Range800 - 1600 RPM
Maximum Airflow74 CFM
Maximum Static PressureNot listed
Noise Level28.6 dBA
Connector4-pin PWM and 3-pin motherboard ARGB

RGB fans are generally pricey; even our value fans still cost around $20 each, which is a lot if you’re building a budget-oriented PC. That’s where the aigo AR12 Pro fans come in. While they’re not without sacrifices, these budget RGB fans can help you add a welcome splash of color to your rig without breaking the bank.

Despite the low price, you’re getting bonafide ARGB here, with a standard 3-pin ARGB connector alongside the 4-pin PWM connector on each fan. Each AR12 Pro has 9 LEDs, a decent amount even if it’s not quite on par with pricier RGB fans. You also get an infinity mirror design on the fan hub, which will add extra bling to your front intake fans.

aigo ar12 pro rgb fan

Source: Newegg

The aigo AR12 Pros are also quite impressive performers, with a claimed maximum airflow of 74 CFM. This puts it up there with some of the best 120 mm fans, impressive company for fans this cheap. Sure, this comes with the cost of a higher noise output compared to our pricier picks, but 28.6 dBA should still be quiet enough for most users.

Overall, the aigo AR12 Pros are surprisingly good fans that offer more than you’d expect for their price. The lighting isn’t quite as smooth as pricier fans, but that’s easy to forgive when a three-pack costs less than $20.

4. Enermax SquA RGB

Best 120 mm RGB Fan for Airflow

RPM Range300 - 1500 RPM
Maximum Airflow68.27 CFM
Maximum Static Pressure1.898 mm-H2O
Maximum Noise23 dBA
Connector4-pin PWM and 3-pin motherboard ARGB

Enermax’s SquA RGB fan’s unique selling point is its combination of affordable price and excellent all-around performance. How affordable, you ask? A three-pack of the SquA RGB costs about half of a three-pack of Corsair’s QL120 fans, all while boasting admirable airflow, static pressure, and noise ratings.

While the SquA punches above its weight when it comes to cooling, it falls a bit short in the looks department. While it shares the single LED ring configuration of NZXT’s Aer RGB 2, the ring on the SquA RGB looks a bit muted in comparison. It’ll add a splash of color to your rig, sure. But compared to some of the other fans on this list, it lags behind in the looks department, at least to our eyes.

It’s hard to hold this against Enermax, especially given the SquA RGB’s relatively low cost. It’s cheap to run, too; the SquA RGB plugs directly into your motherboard’s addressable RGB (ARGB) header. No proprietary controllers are needed here.

Enermax makes up for the single LED ring with a circle of tiny pinholes in the rear housing. It’s not much, but it lets some of the light from the front-mounted LED ring shine through. It’s a nice touch and something more manufacturers could stand to implement in their own designs.

If you want a high-airflow 120 mm fan and don’t mind giving up a bit of flash, the Enermax SquA RGB is a solid choice. Add the low price to the mix, and you have a really compelling fan that’ll fit in most budgets. And it comes in white, too!

5. NZXT Aer RGB 2

Best 140 mm RGB Fan for Airflow

RPM Range500 - 1500 RPM
Maximum Airflow91.19 CFM
Maximum Static Pressure1.52 mm-H2O
Maximum Noise33 dBA
Connector4-pin PWM

The NZXT Aer RGB 2 fan is one of the best 140 mm RGB case fans on the market, with its 91.19 CFM airflow rating. On the other hand, the static pressure is decent, but nothing to write home about. This is an exhaust fan through and through.

NZXT seems to agree, as the RGB LED ring on the Aer RGB 2 is solely visible on the fan’s intake side. In other words, you’ll only be able to appreciate the Aer RGB 2’s lighting effects when they’re used as exhaust fans. That makes sense, as that’s where high-airflow fans are best used.

The lighting is provided by eight RGB LEDs with a “custom-engineered” light guide that, in NZXT’s words, “creates stunning visual effects, with uniform light dispersion.” It doesn’t quite make up for the one-sided RGB and lack of lighting on the blades themselves, but the RGB ring does at least look pretty good to our eyes.

Like the Corsair QL fans, the RGB lighting on the Aer RGB 2 can only be controlled via NZXT’s own RGB lighting controllers. The two- and three-packs come bundled with a controller, at least, but you’ll need to get one separately if you only want to install one Aer RGB 2.

Performance-wise, the NZXT Aer RGB 2 is a solid choice. But you’ll have to decide whether the extra cost and cabling for another RGB controller is worth it for exhaust fans alone.

6. EK-Vardar EVO 120ER D-RGB

Best 120 mm RGB Fan for Static Pressure

RPM Range500 - 2200 RPM
Maximum Airflow77 CFM
Maximum Static Pressure3.16 mm-H2O
Maximum Noise33.5 dBA
Connector4-pin PWM and 3-pin motherboard ARGB

EK is well known as a manufacturer of water-cooling components, including radiators. So it’s no surprise that their EK-Vardar EVO 120ER D-RGB fans excel at static pressure. The 3.16 mm-H2O rating of the EVO 120ER makes it the perfect 120 mm RGB fan for radiators and filtered intakes.

The 77 CFM airflow rating is pretty impressive too. Unfortunately, it’s a bit noisy: 33.5 dBA is a bit on the loud side. It’s not too bad, though, and if you’re rocking thick radiators in a custom water-cooling loop, the EK-Vardar EVO 120ER is a solid choice. It’s hard to pass on that sort of static pressure performance.

We like EK’s decision to place the EVO 120ER’s nine LEDs in the motor housing itself. The upshot of this is that the lighting is visible from both sides of the fan. Couple this with the white fan blades, and you have quite a beauty as far as RGB case fans go.

Like graphics card fans, the EVO 120ER can be configured to stop spinning below specific temperatures. This can help prolong the fan’s life and reduce dust buildup on your radiators.

EK’s EVO 120ER connects to a standard ARGB header on your motherboard. You can also daisy chain EVO 120ERs together, allowing you to control multiple fans through one motherboard header.

If you want RGB in your rig but don’t want to sacrifice cooling performance, the EK-Vardar EVO 120ER D-RGB looks to be an excellent choice. They come in both black and white to suit any color theme.

7. Fractal Design Prisma AL-14/PWM

Best 140 mm RGB Fans for Static Pressure

RPM Range500 – 1700 RPM
Maximum Airflow103.85 CFM
Maximum Static Pressure2.38 mm-H2O
Maximum Noise34.1 dBA
Connector4-pin PWM

Fractal Design is best known for its sleek, high-quality PC cases. They do make some decent fans, though, and the Prisma AL-14/PWM is one of them. Fractal’s relatively late to the RGB game, having introduced their Prisma fans only in 2019, but we’re glad they came around eventually.

The Prisma AL-14/PWM is a solid all-around option, and it’ll do well as both an intake and exhaust. We think it’d work best as a static pressure intake fan, though, as there aren’t many 140 mm RGB fans on the market with a comparable static pressure rating.

The most noticeable downside of the AL-14/PWM is the lower LED count. Fractal chose to only build six LEDs into the motor housing. While the white blades help disperse the light nicely, they won’t make up for having fewer LEDs to start with. Your gradients likely won’t be as smooth with the AL-14/PWM; how important that is, is up to you.

Fractal Design Prisma RGB fan example build

Source: u/PengTV

Like the EK and Enermax fans, the Prisma AL-14/PWM connects to your motherboard via a 3-pin ARGB header, saving you from having to spend extra on a controller. Daisy-chaining multiple AL-14/PWM fans together is an option, too.

We’ve used other Fractal Design fans in some of our rigs before, and they’ve always been reliable and fuss-free. Their products are always a solid choice, and the Prisma AL-14/PWM looks to continue that tradition.

How To Choose The Best RGB Fans

We’ve covered everything you need to know before shopping for case fans in our best case fans buying guide, so check that out if you need to brush up on things like fan sizes, airflow vs. static pressure, and PWM. However, there is one special consideration that relates to RGB fans only that we’ll go into here.

RGB Control

When shopping for RGB fans, it’s critical to know how you’ll control and address the RGB lighting. Some fans, like NZXT’s Aer RGB 2 fans, must be connected to the company’s own RGB controllers. This, of course, adds to the cost of running those fans and locks you into using the company’s products. It also means a couple of extra cables for the RGB controller’s power and data.

Example of an RGB controller

Corsair Lighting Node Pro. Source: Corsair

On the other side of the fence, fans like the Enermax SquA RGB and Fractal Design Prisma AL-14/PWM connect directly to the addressable RGB (ARGB) headers on your motherboard. This saves you money on a controller, but you’ll need to have a motherboard with an ARGB header to control the lighting through software such as MSI Mystic Light or Razer Chroma.

You can also get non-addressable RGB fans, which will only show one color at a time. Make sure you don’t mix addressable and non-addressable RGB headers! ARGB headers output 5 volts while non-addressable headers output 12 volts. You’ll fry any ARGB fans that you plug into a non-ARGB header. The headers should be labeled very clearly, like so:

ARGB headers on a motherboard

RGB headers on an ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F GAMING. Source: ASUS

Closing Thoughts

In our opinion, it’s a great time to be building an RGB rig. While fan manufacturers like Noctua still rule the roost in outright performance, RGB fans like the Arctic P ARGB series have caught up reasonably well. You’re now no longer sacrificing your cooling performance in the name of aesthetics and cool lighting effects.

Who says form and function can’t coexist? The best RGB fans show that you can do both. Now get cracking on that build!

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