5 Best RGB Case Fans for Cooling Performance & Aesthetics



Category: PC Case

It's pretty easy to see why the best RGB case fans have become more popular than ever. We all know that proper cooling makes a whole world of difference to your PC's performance. But with RGB and tempered glass becoming more affordable, it's become more accessible to get that push in performance while also giving it a stylish edge.

The best RGB case fans aren't only the most colorful, but they are also quite reliable. You can also consistently count on them for tons of airflow to keep your top-of-the-line hardware cool and keep it running at its best.


Which are the best rgb case fans?

1. Best Overall: Thermaltake Riing Quad

Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm 16.8 Million RGB Color (Alexa, Razer Chroma)...
354 Reviews
Thermaltake Riing Quad 120mm 16.8 Million RGB Color (Alexa, Razer Chroma)...
  • 16.8 MILLION COLORS: - Featuring 4 LED rings with 54 addressable RGB LEDs for...
  • NEONMAKER: - Take full control and personalize Riing Quad LEDs with a color...
  • TT RGB PLUS Software, App: - Control fan speed and lights easily with a click,...
  • WORKS WITH ALEXA: - Pair with an Alexa-enabled device (not included) and control...

The Thermaltake Riing is probably the best 120 mm case fan lineup with RGB on the current market. The Quad epitomizes how the company finds the fine balance between form and function.

These fans have a great level of airflow, the 120mm variant producing a 41.13 CFM. Thanks to a whopping four RGB loops, they also produce remarkably brilliant illumination! More so, these fans are impressively user-friendly, with the introduction of a 9-pin USB connector to power both the fan and RGB. So, say hello to less mess?

Thermaltake has also introduced the "RGB PLUS Ecosystem," a feature that allows you to sync the fans up with a smartphone, then tweak around various settings entirely via voice commands. For example, with a mere "Hello TT," you can adjust the light modes, brightness, speed, or even turn them off. Additionally, you can also sync the fans with Amazon Alexa to reflect the current weather in your area!

These TT fans have a maximum rotational speed of 1500 RPM. So you'd expect them to be quite loud. But since they use a hydraulic bearing to reduce friction, this leads to a low max noise level of 25 dBA. The only downsides to these fans are that they come in a pack of three and are quite expensive. That said, it's definitely worth it with all the features and lighting.

  • Pros
  • Controllable via smartphone
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Syncs with Razer Chroma
  • "Quad" RGB loops
  • Requires fairly less cable
  • Cons
  • Quite pricey
  • Only available in a triple pack

2. Best Runner Up: Corsair LL Series

Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB 120mm Dual Light Loop RGB LED PWM Fan 3 Fan Pack...
4,934 Reviews
Corsair LL Series LL120 RGB 120mm Dual Light Loop RGB LED PWM Fan 3 Fan Pack...
  • 16 independent RGB LEDs in every fan, split between two separate light loops....
  • Software control and customize RGB lighting effects with the included Corsair...
  • PWM fan control allows for dynamic speed adjustment between 600 rpm to 1, 500...
  • 120 millimeter fan Blade engineered for Low-Noise operation without sacrificing...

These RGB fans might not produce the highest airflow CFM, but they still perform remarkably well and deliver some of the best static pressure. If you're looking for RGB fans to blast air through obstacles, the LL series from Corsair is worth the look.

These fans come with two RGB loops on the exterior to produce a halo effect and an inner one that shines RGB light onto the fan blades. The loops feature eight discrete lighting zones, which can be customized using Corsair's iCUE software. In addition, the software lets you sync your lighting effects with any other peripheral from Corsair.

The LL series can be bought individually, dual or triple pack, in two size options; 120 mm and 140mm. This gives you a couple of different airflow configuration options. The performance is quite decent, producing a 1500 RPM speed and a reasonable 24.8 dBA maximum noise level. Additionally, the fans come with two 4-pin connectors, making installation quite straightforward.

  • Pros
  • Premium quality
  • Low noise level
  • Brilliant design
  • Easy installation
  • Cons
  • Need to pay extra for the flashy lights

3. Best High-Static Pressure Fans: Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo 3in1 Duo-Ring ARGB 3-Pin LightingFan

Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo 3in1 Duo-Ring ARGB 3-Pin Fan, 24...
4,288 Reviews
Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo 3in1 Duo-Ring ARGB 3-Pin Fan, 24...
  • Duo-Ring Addressable RGB Lighting 24 Individually Controlled ARGB LEDs for a...
  • Performance Engineered Hybrid Static Pressure blade design to tackle resistances...
  • Silent Cooling Technology Noise Reduction Technology and Sound Absorbing...
  • PWM Fan Controly, Dynamic speed adjustment between 650 rpm to 1 800 rpm...

Have a white case? You can also head online and get these three white high-static pressure fans from Cooler Master at an affordable price. Of course, if you'd rather have a darker color, you can also choose three black alternatives. But that's just for aesthetics, as is the powerful Duo-Ring Addressable RGB Lighting you will get from the fans. Each fan has 24 Individually Controlled ARGB 3-Pin LEDs to light up your gaming area.

Other than colors, these 120mm Cooler Master RGB case fans come with a Hybrid Static Pressure blade design for tackling resistance. They also operate with high speeds between 60 and 1800 RPM. Despite the efficiency, the fans do not make much noise; the 30dAB is quiet enough for you to concentrate on your gaming.

The package is affordable, while these best RGB case fans also use a 3-pin power connector. Other than that, they are also compatible with Addressable RGB capable motherboards like Aura, Mystic Light and Polychrome Sync.

  • Pros
  • Excellent design for cooling
  • Dou Ring RGB lighting30dAB noise level
  • Durable intake and exhaust fans
  • Available in different colored casings and fan sizes
  • Fast fan speed
  • 47CFM and 1.6mmH2O
  • Compatible with Addressable RGB capable motherboards
  • Cons
  • Not the easiest installation

4. Best 200mm: Thermaltake Riing Plus 20

Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 RGB TT Premium Edition w/Controller 200mm Software...
691 Reviews
Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 RGB TT Premium Edition w/Controller 200mm Software...
  • Paint Your Build with 16 8 Million Colors Play lights with your choice of 16 8...
  • Set Lights Effortlessly Control lights easily with the tap of a finger via the...
  • Fun with TT AI Voice Control Give you full control over the lights fan speeds...
  • Made for Silent yet Efficient Operation Feature hydraulic bearing...

If you want the biggest and best RGB case fans, Thermaltake Riing Plus 20 are the ones you should be looking at. These fans are pretty huge and, unsurprisingly, pump massive amounts of air into your system.

With a 117.96 CFM, you better make the most out of these beastly fans at the front of a case. They might not be the quietest, at 29.2 dBA max. noise level, but the raw airflow power and brilliant RGB lighting more than make up for it. Thermaltake also includes the flexibility of using these fans with or without a fan controller. This also includes proprietary software, which allows you to tinker with various RGB options.

The RMP, at 1000, is certainly not the highest, but it definitely gets the job done. More so, using the self-lubricating hydraulic bearing reduces friction significantly and overall improves their thermal efficiency.

  • Pros
  • Plenty of airflow
  • Reasonably quiet considering size
  • You can buy it with or without a fan controller
  • Great design
  • Cons
  • Expensive

5. Best Quiet Case Fans: GIM KB-23 RGB Case Fans

GIM KB-23 RGB Case Fans, 3 Pack 120mm Quiet Computer Cooling PC Fans, Music...
2,223 Reviews
GIM KB-23 RGB Case Fans, 3 Pack 120mm Quiet Computer Cooling PC Fans, Music...
  • Cool RGB Light: GIM RGB case fans allow you to enjoy the beautiful and cool RGB...
  • 3 Music Modes: To further optimize your gaming experience, the fans are designed...
  • RF Wireless Remote: A wireless control is included for convenience and easier...
  • Synchronizable RGB Lighting via Motherboard: It allows you to control fan...

If you need some of the quietest RGB fabs, these best PC fans from GIM come with a measured maximum noise level of 15dAB. Couple that with the hydraulic bearing that minimizes friction, and you will have a super quiet unit so you can concentrate on your gameplay.

The RGB fans allow DIY color choosing with 16.8 million custom lighting effects. In addition to that, each unit has three music modes when you want a completely immersive experience. You also get synchronizable lighting through your motherboard, and the fans are compatible with different motherboard software like ASUS Aura, Gigabyte RGB FUSION, and MSI Mystic Light Sync.

The fan blades on each 120mm fan offer the best cooling with 33.5 CFM. In addition, the revised curve blade design allows better airflow and air pressure, plus the design also improves the lighting effects you choose. The fans can rotate at the highest sped of 1300RPM. The unit also comes with a 6-pin controller that can connect up to 10 fans, a SYNC cable, a remote, and mounting screws.

  • Pros
  • Ample lighting features
  • You can customize the colors you want to work with
  • Noiseless operation
  • You can synchronize the RGB fans with your motherboard
  • 1300RPM and 33.5 CFM
  • The package comes with multiple fans
  • Easy installation
  • Three music modes for an immersive gaming experience
  • Cons
  • You can only control the speeds using the remote control
  • Connecting more fans to the 10-fan hum reduces voltage, thus making the fans slower

6. Best All-Rounder: NZXT Aer RGB 2

NZXT AER RGB 2 - HF-28120-B1 - 120mm - Advanced Lighting Customizations -...
2,602 Reviews
NZXT AER RGB 2 - HF-28120-B1 - 120mm - Advanced Lighting Customizations -...
  • Performance engineered: These PWM static pressure fans are designed with a...
  • Uniquely Shaped: Custom engineered light guide creates stunning visual effects,...
  • Winglet tips: Winglet designed fan blades minimize drag and further enhance fan...
  • Fluid dynamic bearing: Using patented fluid dynamic bearings(FDB) made of...

NZXT might be more popular for their cases, but they are no slouches in the RGB case fan department either. In fact, their Aer fans deliver some of the highest CFM featured on this guide.

Each Aer fan consists of winglet-tip blades that optimize airflow, thus doing a brilliant job of pumping sufficient air into your system. Furthermore, these fans use fluid dynamic bearings to reduce friction, meaning near-silent operations. Unfortunately, they only feature one RGB loop. However, it's designed uniquely to produce some great aesthetics.

These fans require a controller or an NZXT "i" case for the lighting to work, which is inconvenient if you only need one of these. However, the HUE 2 lighting controller allows you to connect and sync up to five fans, producing the ultimate RGB light show. It's worth then mentioning that the Aer RGB 2 fans can be bought individually, in a dual or a triple pack.

  • Pros
  • Great airflow
  • Solid build quality
  • Cons
  • Pricey
  • Needs software to light up

7. Best Budget: upHere RGB

upHere RGB Series Case Fan, Wireless RGB LED 120mm Fan,Quiet Edition High...
2,008 Reviews
upHere RGB Series Case Fan, Wireless RGB LED 120mm Fan,Quiet Edition High...
  • 1.RGB Case Fan: Unlimited color transformation, One key to change RGB color.
  • 2.High Airflow: 120 mm fan tuned for high-airflow and large volume cooling.
  • 3.Super Quiet: Equipped with rubber pads and hydraulic bearing, which greatly...
  • 4.6Pin interface to provides RGB FAN safe and reliable power output,Make the...

If you are looking for the best RGB fans on a budget, the UpHere RGB might be right up your alley. These are basic fans that still get the job done pretty well.

For starters, the 120mm RGB fans produce a more than decent 1100 RPM. They only create a mere 17.6 dBA of noise, thanks to the hydraulic bearing and rubber bands to dampen noise. You might not have too much flexibility, but you'll certainly get proper cooling on your system.

These RGB fans don't come with the software but rather a remote control to change colors and effects. Nevertheless, they are undoubtedly an attractive option if you want a huge volume cooling on a budget.

  • Pros
  • Good value
  • Quite quiet
  • Comes with a remote control
  • 3-fan pack
  • Cons
  • Colors might not be as vibrant
  • Undefined CFM

8. Best Colors: DEEPCOOL RF120M 5IN1 RGB PWM Fans

DEEP COOL RF120M 5IN1, 5x120mm RGB PWM Fans with 2 Fan Hubs, Compatible with...
3,121 Reviews
DEEP COOL RF120M 5IN1, 5x120mm RGB PWM Fans with 2 Fan Hubs, Compatible with...
  • RGB plugs of these fans can be daisy chained and the last one can be plugged...
  • Multiple control modes: breathing, static state, or multi-color cycling
  • Support up to 6pcs of DEEPCOOL RGB devices, including: GAMMAXX GT/GT BK, Captain...
  • Intelligent PWM functions to meet system cooling demands

These case fans come with semi-transparent fan blades to distribute the best color effects for better gameplay ambiance. While they do not come with a controller, you can daisy-chain all five and only connect the last one to your motherboard using the 4-pin connector. As such, they are easy to install and use.

While the fan blades allow better colors, these PC case fans also have various control modes: static state, breathing, and multi-color cycling. In addition, they work with a maximum fan speed of 1500 RPM and a PWM intelligent cooling feature, plus a 56.5 CFM airflow to keep your PC cool for optimal performance.

  • Pros
  • Good budget
  • Great multi-color cycling
  • Excellent cooling
  • Low 27DAB noise level
  • Easy to connect to the motherboard
  • Cons
  • Loud at the maximum spin rate

9. Best for Sufficient Airflow: InWin Sirius Loop Addressable RGB Triple Fan Kit

InWin Sirius Loop Addressable RGB Triple Fan Kit 120mm High Performance Cooling...
2,078 Reviews
InWin Sirius Loop Addressable RGB Triple Fan Kit 120mm High Performance Cooling...
  • Larger blades and thinner frame allows the fan to generate more air, Which is...
  • The circular addressable lighting effect is complemented with black fan blades...
  • Connect Sirius loop ASL120 directly to the motherboard's addressable header. If...
  • By simply connecting Sirius loop ASL120 to the Motherboard, the fan speeds can...

Are you looking for a durable kit of RGB fans? These WiWin Sirius Loop AGRB fans come with the best design to cool and light up your system. The fans come with large blades and thinner frames designed into a sickle shape. Thus, they create more airflow and air pressure determined to keep your PC cool. In addition, the center of the fans also has perfect ventilation holes which cool the bearings for longevity.

They are black fan blades that also come with circular addressable lighting to improve your gaming ambiance. The kit also comes with a controller for easier installation on your motherboard. You will find the fans easier to control when connected to your motherboard.

The case fans come with four shock-proof rubber stands to eliminate vibrations when installed, while they also work with a low 27dAB noise level. The fans have dual accessible loops, intelligent PWM cooling, and easy installation. They also come at a budget price under $50, making them an ideal buy. In addition, the fans spin at the minimum and maximum rates of 500 and 1800 RPM, respectively. They will last you long with the sleeve bearing, and they have a 3-pin connector for easy installation.

  • Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Excellent spin rates for the best PC cooling
  • The kit comes with a controller for easy pairing with the motherboard
  • They are ARGB fan cases for an immersive gameplay environment
  • Sleeve bearing plus rubber stands to minimize noise and friction
  • Cons
  • Not enough screws
  • Could use better lighting

10. EZDIY-FAB 120mm Addressable RGB Fan with Fan Hub and Remote-5 Pack

EZDIY-FAB 120mm Computer Case Fan,Motherboard Aura Sync Fan,High Airflow,Speed...
543 Reviews
EZDIY-FAB 120mm Computer Case Fan,Motherboard Aura Sync Fan,High Airflow,Speed...
  • With 16 ultra-bright RGB LED lights, provides full lighting for your build,...
  • With EZDIY-FAB Fan Hub X and 21-key remote:You can instantly adjusting LED...
  • Center design addressable RGB LED offered best lighting effect: Center LED...
  • Synchronizable RGB lighting via motherboard (AURA, Mystic, Fusion):Support M/B 3...

This 5-pack of RGN fans is affordable and packs quite the power with RPM between 500 and 1300. The package comes with a 21-key remote control with the same frequency as other remotes, so it will work with other PC fans you have. Unlike other RGB fans, you can only control the fan speed here using the remote control.

There is minimal noise when these fans are running, while the rubber pads and hydraulic bearing also reduce vibrations significantly. According to the manufacturer, the fans will operate with a 25dBA maximum noise level. The RGB fans come with a 3-pin power connector.

In terms of lighting, the fans have center-designed addressable RGB LEDs that light up brightly to connect up to 10 fans. The 12-blade impeller is perfect for balanced airflow and air pressure to keep your case cool at all times. The fans support 120/240/360mm radiators, and they are easy to install (the pack comes with all components, including screws), and they work with DC12V power voltage.

  • Pros
  • Budget pack
  • 25dBA maximum noise level
  • Comes with a 21-key remote control
  • Center-designed RGB LEDs
  • Balanced airflow and air pressure
  • Comes with all components for installation and use
  • Cons
  • You can only control fan speed using the remote control
  • Undefined CFM

Key Factors for the Best RGB Case Fan

Before you go ahead and buy the RGB case fan which suits you best, you need to keep in mind a couple of things. Most importantly, the last thing you want is to unpack your new product only to find it's not the right fit, incompatible or mediocre quality.

1. Airflow

Airflow is incredibly vital to any gaming PC build. It ensures that your PC components still function smoothly and optimally, no matter the tons of heat your hardware produces. There are two different types of fans:

a) Airflow Fans

These deliver the best performance when there are no obstacles in the way of the airflow. Generally, these fans pump air at a higher CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). With more efficient natural flow, airflow fans are more suited for cases with plenty of open space.

b) Static Pressure Fans

These fans dissipate air more evenly than AF fans. So while they might not pump as much air volume as their counterparts, they are much more suited for cooling when they are obstacles in the way of airflow. This makes static pressure fans ideal for a CPU heatsink or a cooler radiator.

2. Compatibility

RGB case fans come in a couple of different sizes, mainly 120mm, 140mm and 200mm variants, making it important for you to find the right fit for your case. Fortunately, plenty of cases support most, if not all, fan sizes, although some can be exclusive. Make sure you check out the correct dimensions before buying.

The best RGB fans come with controllers, which allow you to have several fans running in one unit. Therefore, mixing and matching different sizes isn't that much of an issue. For instance, some people have two 140mm fans at the front and a 120mm at the back, which creates a positive pressure setup. Having mentioned this, if you want to check your pressure direction quickly, amp up the CFM of each intake and exhaust fan, then infer from your observations.

If your option lacks controllers, you'll need RGB headers on the motherboard to work this out. There are normally two types of such headers; 5V 3-pin for addressable RGB LED devices and 12V 4-pin for non-addressable. Remember that plugging into the wrong header can damage your fan or the RGB lighting.

3. Case Fan Placement

Placement is just as important to fan performance. The goal is to configure your fans in such a way they can generate positive air pressure. This restricts the amount of dust entering the system, making it easier to clean and maintain your best gaming PC.

However, this is not to say that a negative pressure setup doesn't work. On the one hand, it exploits air holes in the case, meaning dust accumulates in most gaps. Then, on the other hand, this configuration can push hot, stagnant air out more efficiently, thus improving cooling.

4. Noise

Loud fans are bygones in this day and age. Nowadays, fan noise levels range from as low as 10dBA to only about 40dBA. For context, 10dBA is the sound level for a pin drop or breathing: 40dBA would be the equivalent of a babbling brook or a soft conversation.

It's worth noting the higher the Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) in a fan, the more the noise. Faster equals louder. Since both are crucial aspects of a great RGB case fan, the key is finding an option that balances the two reasonably well. In which case, getting an RGB fan with adjustable speeds is definitely a plus.

Fortunately, the case fans we've featured on this list aren't particularly loud, with the highest recording a max noise level of around 25 dBA.

5. Design

When it comes to RGB case fans, people mostly tend to focus on lighting and performance. There's nothing wrong with this, though it means the design is often overlooked.

Design is key for two things. One, it determines how stylish your PC looks in the end. Second, it also determines the convenience of use. A well-designed fan should be straightforward to mount and fairly easy to maintain. Furthermore, if the design is really intentional, the RGB case fan will likely sport some pretty nifty features, such as rubber pads for more durability.

6. Price

RGB fans can range anywhere from $30-$300 or even higher. However, the key thing to understand is that the price doesn't always reflect the performance. This means a cheap RGB fan might not necessarily be bad; at the same time, an expensive one doesn't imply it's the best or the one for you.

However, it would be remiss if we failed to mention pricier models do tend to come with more features than cheaper ones. Therefore, you'll need to budget accordingly, depending on your particular needs and preferences. That being said, you can always find basic features on an affordable, up-to-par RGB fan.

How to Install the Best RGB Case Fans

When building a new PC, the best heatsinks and fans help dissipate heat for optimal performance. However, at times, you will need to install more fans than those provided with your PCs, which is where RGB fans and non-RGB fans come in.

As you know, RGB is a form of lighting that improves the aesthetics of your setup and is famous with gamers who need extra lighting for better playability. Let us discover how to install the best case fans to keep your PCs cool for the best performance.

a) Identify the need for new case fans

As you look to dissipate hot air, the first thing is to identify the need for new fans. Do you need to replace or buy new fans altogether?

In some cases, you might have just one malfunctioning fan from a setup using multiple fans. If this is your case, you might find it easier to buy a single fan to replace the faulty one with. However, it is best to ensure the fan is compatible with your entire PC setup. Get the same size as other fans you have installed, so it is easier to configure the settings. To understand if there is a faulty fan, open the system case while it is running and observe all the fans without touching them. If you find a fan emitting strange noises or running slower, check to see if it is a problem you can fix and if not, replace it.

In other instances, you could install new fans when building a new system. Buying fans for this purpose is easier as you can find budget packages, each coming with several case fans. It will also be easy to configure your fan speeds and RGB LED lights.

One last instance you might need to consider; when all your installed fans are running properly, but you still end up with hot air that affects your system's performance. In this case, you will only need to add a few more PC case fans to draw cooler air.

b) Understand how PC case fans are installed

If you have noticed an urgent need to install a new case fan, it is ideal to understand how to install the fans.

Generally, you can find at least four fans inside a system. These will include an intake fan, an exhaust fan, a power supply unit (PSU) cooling fan, and a central processing unit (CPU) cooling fan. CPU and PSU cooling fans will have their respective components where you mount them, while an intake fan can be installed around the bottom area to draw in the coolest air. An exhaust fan is best installed at the back or top of the case to draw about the heat.

c) Choose the right case fans

You can choose the best RGB case fans using the tips shared above, starting with the correct size, compatibility with the system you are building, the best airflow measured in cubic feet per meter (CFM), low noise level measured in decibels (dBA), and more.

Depending on the system you are building, it could be best to get large fans where one or two can suffice or get smaller 120mm fans to install more than four. Any fan size is ideal in terms of performance as you only need to cool your system. Smaller fans are ideal for new systems, and they are high airflow fans since they rotate at higher speeds. Larger fans (now available in 230mm) have a slower spin speed, but they also draw as much air as several small fans.

You will also need to pick the best RGB lighting for your needs. For example, you can choose between standard RGB case fans, which offer a one-colored LED strip or go for ARGB case fans that have several strips offering different individual colors.

With these tips in mind, let us jump right into installing new case fans for a cooler system.

d) Power off the PC

You need to guarantee your safety when installing new case fans. So, turn the PC off and;

  1. Proceed to remove faulty case fans if you want to replace them. The process is easy and often includes unscrewing the old case fan to take it off. You can also reuse the screws to replace the new case fan.
  2. Start mounting new case fans.

How to mount the best case fans

  1. Hold the case fans in place by aligning the holes for the screws and those on the case.
  2. Then, insert the screws to keep the case fan in place.
  3. Attach the fan to the correct header. Often, these are keyed for the best connection. Some fans come with a 4-pin connector, while others can have 3-pin connectors. If you have a 3-pin fan connector and a 4-pin slot on your header, you can still connect the fan to that header. However, you will lose control over the fan speeds.
  4. Route your fan cables, so they don't hit the fan as it spins.

How To Connect the Best RGB Case Fans To Motherboard

When you want to take your system to a whole new level, you can connect the RGB fans to the motherboard. However, there are a few considerations here before you get started.

Firstly, there are three types of RGB case fans that you can connect to various motherboards. These are;

  1. 3-Pin RGB fans
  2. 4-Pin RGB fans
  3. RGB fans on a motherboard without the headers

This guide will cover the steps you can follow to connect any of these fans to your motherboard.

a) Connecting a 3-pin RGB fan to your motherboard

Firstly, these fans are also called DC fans as they are controlled by voltage. But, while they tend to make more noise, these fans are also more affordable and easier to install. They also have the smallest of all RGB fan connectors. Not sure if you have a 3-pin case fan? The fans should have three holes on the connector with three cables at the back of the connector.

If your motherboard features a 4-pin connector, you can still connect your fan to it as it will work. Ready to connect a 3-pin case fan to a motherboard? Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Go through the manufacturer's manual to get every step right
  2. Open your PC case.
  3. Once you access the motherboard, look for marked RGB slots as that is where you will connect the case fans.
  4. Once you connect all your case fans to the header, you will also find another cable that connects the header to the correct port on your motherboard. Connect it.
  5. You have successfully connected your case fans to the motherboard.
  6. Mount the case fans in your case, and your setup is ready.

b) Connecting a 4-pin RGB fan

The second type of connection is the 4-pin case fans. These are also called pulse-width modulation (PWM) fans and are more powerful than DC case fans. As such, they will offer a higher RPM, hence keeping your PC cooler when gaming.

While they have a better noiseless operation, these case fans might also come at a higher price, but the installation method to a motherboard is quite similar to the 3-pin connectors. If you are unsure if you have a 4-pin connector on your case fans, look out for four holes on the connector joined by four cables at the back.

Before we start connecting these case fans to your motherboard, understand you can also install them to a motherboard with three pins on the connection port. However, if you do so, you can lose the option to control speed as the fans will spin at the highest speed.

  1. Read the manufacturer's manual carefully.
  2. Open the case to determine where you will place your RGB case fans.
  3. When you access the motherboard, locate the RGB-marker slots, as this is where you will connect your fans through the connector.
  4. Connect your RGB fans to their header
  5. Plug in the connector to the recommended slot on your motherboard. Ensure your press tightly, so the connection is not loose.
  6. Now that the connection is complete, you can go ahead and design your whole case and set it up for use.

c) Connecting your RGB case fans to a Non-RGB motherboard

You will take a different approach in this connection since there is no RGB slot on your motherboard. Now, without an RGB slot, you need an RGB wired controller with a splitter cable for a successful installation.

Understand that you can also connect case fans with 3-pin or 4-in connectors using this method. Here are the main steps to connect your case fans to the motherboard.

  1. Connect the case fans to their header.
  2. Connect the case fan RGB connectors to the female connectors on one end of your splitter cable.
  3. Then, locate the SYS_FAN1, 2, and 3 or CHA_FAN1, 2, and 3 ports on your motherboard. Once you find any of them, plug in your fan connectors.
  4. Plug the other end of the splitter cable into the connecter.
  5. Plug the connector into a power source
  6. Finish setting up your case, and check whether the RGB fans work.

Frequently Asked Questions about RGB Fans

a) What is ARGB?

It stands for Asynchronous-RGB. This means the fans run out of sync, consequently producing dedicated and unique colors.

b) How do I create the rainbow effect using ARGB fans?

You don't have to. ARGB fans are tuned to produce the rainbow effect automatically.

c) What kind of connectors power an RGB fan?

There are three main types of connectors to power a fan:

  • 4-pin connectors: Full fan speed control, typically using third-party software.
  • 3-pin connectors: Can be tweaked in BIOS for full speeds, although not all motherboards support this.
  • Molex: Constantly run at full speeds and lack adjustability. 

d) Are there Noctua NF RGB fans?

You might know Noctua NF fans as they are the quietest of most fans. Unfortunately, Noctua does not sell RGB fans, which is quite a bummer if you want to build the best system. Luckily, if you are an experienced builder, you can add RGB frames to your best Noctua NF fans to custom-make your Noctua NF RGB fans.

Image source: unsplash.com