Water cooling has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with enthusiasts looking to keep their high end rigs cool. However, for those without an extra room to store a full-sized water cooler, radiator fans are the best choice for cooling an existing or new system.

Today we will look at what’s best for cooling a Water Cooling loop in the future, in the year 2021. We will be looking at all the 120mm & 140mm fans that are available right now, and what has changed about them since the last article. I’m doing this to make sure people can actually buy these fans, and not get too much good stuff, and not get the wrong stuff.

Watercooling is becoming more and more popular nowadays. And it’s not only due to the fact that it’s cooler than air cooling. Watercooling offers a lot more benefits than air cooling. Water cooling is becoming increasingly popular for its many advantages over air cooling. Watercooling delivers more cooling power, compared to an equivalent amount of flow rate. It also provides more flow rate than air-cooling for water-cooled components, because there is no restriction in flow like there would be in an air-cooled system. Watercooling provides considerably better protection for components. It’s also very easy to install.

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Without a doubt, liquid cooling is the greatest method to get the most performance out of your PC. Even liquid cooling, however, will need the use of fans to keep your radiators cold. This may be difficult since the best radiator fans aren’t always the same as the fans you’d choose for an air-cooled system.

To assist you with your construction, we’ve compiled a list of the ten finest radiator fans available in 2021, with 120mm and 140mm fans available. All of the fans on our list are PWM, which means they can be regulated and changed by your motherboard depending on current heating needs.

Round-Up of the Best Radiator Fans in 2021

The table below summarizes our picks for the top ten radiator fans presently on the market. Simply click on ‘review>>’ in the appropriate row to read the whole review.

       

1. PWM Noctua NF-F12

“Overall, the best radiator fan”

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2. LIAN LI UNI SL120 Fan

“The most effective RGB radiator fan”

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3. PWM Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 Noctua NF-F12

“The most efficient radiator fan”

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PH-F120MP (Phanteks PH-F120MP)

“The best low-cost radiator fan”

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5. Keep your mouth shut! 3rd installment of Silent Wings

“The quietest radiator fan available”

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Corsair ML120 Pro (No. 6)

“Corsair’s best radiator fan”

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“Editor’s choice” ThermalTake TOUGHFAN 12

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Scythe Kaze Flex Slim (#8)

“Slimmest radiator fan”

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“Honorable mention” for the ARCTIC P12 PWM

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“Honorable mention #2” NZXT AER P

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1. PWM Noctua NF-F12

120 x 120 x 25 mm | Speed: 300–1500 RPM | Airflow: 55 CFM | Static Pressure: 2.6 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 22.4 dBA | Warranty: 6 years

Noctua NF-F12 PWMREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • For liquid cooling, a high static pressure is ideal.
  • Even at greater speeds, it is quite quiet.
  • Construction of high grade
  • Most radiators and casings are compatible.
  • Only 0.5 watts are used.
  • A 6-year warranty is included.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • No RGB
  • When utilizing low-noise mode, the static pressure is reduced.

Our score is 9.9 out of ten.

If you’re going with a liquid-cooled system, you probably want your fans to be as quiet as possible. That translates to small, efficient fans that take up little space and produce little to no noise. That’s why the Noctua NF-F12 PWM, which has won many awards, is at the top of our list.

The finest radiator fans, whether 120mm or 140mm, will be mounted in square frames that will form a kind of seal (for want of a better word) over your radiator, allowing any air that travels across or around it to pass through the fans.

Most radiators on the market are 120mm broad and either 240mm or 360mm long, necessitating the use of a 120mm fan, which is by far the most common option for most setups. The Noctua NF-F12 PWM is 120mm square and just 25mm (approximately 1”) thick, so it will fit in with most top radiators on the market and won’t take up much more room in front or behind.

Static pressure, or the amount of air it can displace through or around objects, such as your radiator or radiator fins, is the most significant parameter in radiator fan performance.

Wide, flat blades with minimal space between them characterize fans designed for static pressure rather than airflow. The best radiator fans produce an excess of 2-3 mm H2O in static pressure, which is often measured in mm H2O.

The Heptaperf design, which consists of seven perfectly oriented fan blades above eleven stator guiding vanes, is used by the Noctua NF-F12 PWM. This results in a maximum static pressure of 2.6 mm H2O, placing it at the top of the list of cooling fan choices. It’s also Noctua’s first product to use their SSO2 magnetic bearing, which provides more power and stability.

It consumes very little electricity for such a strong fan, consuming just around 0.5 W.

Because your fan’s RPM determines a significant portion of static pressure, greater static pressure fans are typically (but not always) louder. If you choose liquid cooling because you wanted high levels of performance without the noise of fans, this may be a deciding factor in which fan to purchase.

Thankfully, Noctua has taken this into account. The fan blades are oriented to provide optimum static pressure while generating the least amount of noise. In addition, silicone pads are installed in the corners of the fan to minimize vibration.

The fan is practically whisper-quiet while running at full power, with a maximum noise level of 22 decibels. If that’s still too much noise for you, the fan comes with a low-noise adaptor that lowers the fan’s power and decreases the noise to 18.5 decibels. Performance will suffer as a result, and the static pressure will be decreased to about 1.8 mm H2O.

The fan comes in a variety of colors, including black, grey, and a literary beige and brown, although none of them contain RGB. It comes with a 4-pin y-connector, a 30cm (11.8 inch) extension cable, 4 vibration compensators, and 4 fan screws in addition to the low noise adaptor.

It costs more than a basic case fan, as do most radiator fans. The NF-F12 PWM, on the other hand, is one of the most inexpensive radiator fans on the market, and should still cost less than your radiator (s). Even better, it comes with a six-year manufacturer’s guarantee, which is one of the best on the market.

In the end, the Noctua NF-F12 will be precisely what most people need for a liquid-cooled setup. It will fit on most radiators and provide great performance while producing very little noise. It’s not very attractive, and if you’re going for an air-cooled build or want to show off your fans, that, along with the absence of RGB, may be a deal breaker.

However, if you’re going liquid-cooled, you’ll most likely want strong cooling without any visible fans. The Noctua NF-F12 does this flawlessly while remaining reasonably priced.

Visit Amazon for more information.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Best Water Cooling Cases

2. UNI Fan SL120 by LIAN LI

120 x 120 x 25 mm | Speed: 800–1900 RPM | Airflow: 58.5 CFM | Static Pressure: 2.54 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 31 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

LIAN LI UNI Fan SL120REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Excellent performance
  • Excellent construction quality
  • Daisies-in-a-row are a kind of modular daisy-chain structure.
  • Stunning RGB
  • There are many sizes and colors to choose from.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Power usage is high.
  • An RGB controller is not included with single fans.

Our score is 9.8 out of ten.

Lian Li, a Taiwanese computer accessory company, is well-known for its high-quality products. We’ve been eyeing several of their cases for their potential to show off your build, and what better way to compliment a beautiful liquid-cooled build than with these stunning, high-performance fans?

The SL120 and SL140, which are 120mm and 140mm respectively, are two variations of their UNI Fan series. With a static pressure of up to 2.54mm H2O, the 120mm radiator, which is the more typical size for radiators, is the more potent of the two. That falls into what we believe to be the optimum radiator fan range. At 1.67mm H2O, the 140mm is still fairly strong.

The fan now has a hybrid bearing system with a fluid dynamic core and magnetic bearings, allowing for greater power while also improving stability and longevity. It’s additionally supported by rubber vibration pads on all four corners, allowing it to be attached to your radiator firmly.

These aren’t exactly quiet fans, with each one peaking at about 30dba when operating at full power. When you consider that the SL120 only goes up to 1900RPM and the SL140 only goes up to 1500RPM, there’s a lot of noise. The power and elegance are worth a little more noise if you can put some space between you and the fans or find a method to mask the sounds.

The inclusion of RGB components makes them a bit more power-hungry than usual, with the SL120 using 5.2 watts and the SL140 drawing somewhat less at 3.6 watts.

The construction and RGB components are what truly set these fans apart. Whereas many fans have LEDs integrated in the blades, the UNI SL features LED strips along the edge of the case, creating a geometric cyberpunk appearance that doesn’t attract as much attention to the fans themselves.

Furthermore, the fans are built to be modular and may be daisy-chained simply by sliding them together. A single central controller may control up to 16 fans when fitted.

The fans come in two colors: black and white, giving you additional options for matching your build’s aesthetics.

The fans may also be sent separately or in a multi-pack. They come with just the fan, cord, and mounting screws when purchased separately. A multi-pack includes three SL120s or two SL140s, as well as the screws, wires, and a controller with addressable RGB components.

It’s difficult to find a balance between beautiful RGB and de-emphasizing the fans themselves, but Lian Li’s SL series succeeds. They’re stunning fans that will make a lasting impression on your build display. They’re a little more costly, and the multi-pack doesn’t come with a discount since the controller is included, but if looks are as important to you as performance, you’ll appreciate what these fans can accomplish.

Visit Amazon for more information.



ALSO READ: The Top 360mm AIO CPU Coolers

3. PWM Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 Noctua NF-F12

120 x 120 x 25 mm | 750–3000 RPM | 109.9 CFM | Static Pressure: 7.6 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 43.5 dBA | Warranty: 6 years

Noctua NF-F12 iPPC 3000 PWMREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Extremely effective cooling
  • Static pressure that is unrivaled
  • Sturdy and tenacious
  • Suitable for industrial applications
  • A 6-year warranty is included.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Extremely loud, particularly for usage at home.
  • There are no color modification options available.

Our score is 9.7 out of ten.

The Noctua NF-F12 iPPC seems to be the same fan as the PWM above at first look. It has the same heptaperf design with seven angled blades on top of eleven stator guiding vanes to produce a strong air vortex.

It’s the same 120mm square by 25mm thick standard, but it’s made of fiberglass reinforced polyamide for more stability. It’s also water and dust resistant, with an IP52 rating.

The additional sturdiness, on top of Noctua’s already sturdy design, is due to the fact that this fan is receiving a lot more power. Even though it utilizes the same SSO2 magnetic bearing design for the three-phase motor, the overall power output is six times higher than the one above.

The additional power allows for up to 3000 RPM and a huge static pressure of 7.6 mm H2O. Keep in mind that anything over 1 is technically acceptable, and 2-3 is often regarded ideal. This fan can effectively remove heat from your radiator, allowing you to get the most out of your liquid cooler no matter what you’re doing with it.

Unfortunately, no amount of engineering can make a 3000RPM fan seem quiet. It generates 43.5 dBA at maximum speed, which is quieter than most home appliances, but not by much. In comparison to the other fans we looked at, the relationship between noise and power is more or less linear.

The black structure with burgundy corners (silicone insulators) for decreased vibration is eye-catching, but it’s still a plain-looking fan. There are no RGB or other color choices.

It comes with a built-in 4-pin cable but no extra accessories except the fan screws.

It is not substantially more costly since the additional power is mainly an issue of power input. You’re paying a little bit extra for the higher-quality materials used in the construction, but that’s all. It comes with a 6-year guarantee, same like the rest of Noctua’s products.

This is probably more fan than you need. You may be enticed by the significant increase in power for a relatively modest price increase, but the noise will be a big distraction, particularly if you use a speaker system rather than a headset. These fans, on the other hand, will offer unmatched performance if your computer is a workstation for high-demand activities or if you’re a serious overclocker.

Visit Amazon for more information.



BEST SILENT COMPUTER CASE RELATED ARTICLE

4. PH-F120MP by Phanteks

120 x 120 x 25 mm | Speed: 500 – 1800 RPM | Airflow: 53.3 CFM 10% | Static Pressure: 1.72 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 25 dBA | Warranty: 5 years

Phanteks PH-F120MPREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Budget-friendly
  • For the price, this is a good performance.
  • Quality is still extremely good.
  • There are many color schemes to choose from.
  • Surprisingly long warranty period

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • For the power, there is a low static pressure.
  • It wasn’t as quiet as I had anticipated.
  • Options for cable management are inadequate.

Our score is 9.6 out of ten.

There’s no getting around the fact that liquid cooling is costly, so spending hundreds of dollars on fans may be a drag. It’s particularly essential to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth if you’re attempting to stick to a budget.

With that in mind, we recommend the Phanteks PH-F line of radiator fans for those on a budget. Both the 120mm and 140mm fans are functional fans with nothing special to offer except a price that is $5-$10 less than usual.

To begin with, the fan has a typical square design that fits snugly against the radiator. Extra stability and noise/vibration dampening are provided by silicone cushions at the major points of contact.

The seven wide, angled blades lie on top of four stator guide vanes, producing 1.72 mm H2O in the 120mm and 1.62 mm H2O in the 140mm versions. This is on the low end of the radiator fan scale, although anything over 1.0 should enough for radiator cooling.

The Phanteks, like other higher-end alternatives, utilizes a magnetic motor for silent, frictionless power, which means it’ll last longer and only generate 25 dBA at maximum power. It’s a noticeable level, but it’s not annoying and can be turned off simply. Only a half-decibel difference between the 140mm from the 130mm.

Although the power consumption isn’t excessive, 2.4W is a little high, particularly for a fan with magnetic bearings.

Cable management will be a significant drawback, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise for such a low-cost choice. If you wish to daisy link your fans together, you’ll need to buy more wires. The default PWM cable contains much more insulation than is required, resulting in a large and unsightly connection.

Insofar as black and white are colors, you have a few options for color. The 120mm and 140mm come in all black, all white, or white blades in a black casing. Regrettably, none of them support RGB.

If you’re worried about the price, keep in mind that it comes with a 5-year guarantee against manufacturer defects, which adds to the value.

Sure, there are some drawbacks to this fan. It’s neither the most powerful nor the quietest fan available. None of this should come as a surprise from a low-cost alternative, yet it works. If you’re attempting to save money on your build by skimping on fans, this is a decision that won’t cost you in the long run.

Visit Amazon for more information.



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5. Keep your mouth shut! 3rd installment of Silent Wings

120 x 120 x 25 mm | Speed: up to 1450 RPM | Airflow: 50.5 CFM 10% | Static Pressure: 1.79 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 16.4 dBA | Warranty: 3 years

be quiet! Silent Wings 3REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Exceptionally quiet
  • Build quality and sturdiness
  • Power and noise levels are well balanced.
  • Power and size options are available.
  • Even at high speeds, high-speed versions are still extremely quiet.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • The default models aren’t very good.
  • There are no RGB variants of the fan available.

Our score is 9.5 out of ten.

Be quiet, German maker! is renowned for manufacturing high-quality fans, coolers, power supply units, and cases that all operate at a whisper-quiet level. The Silent Wings 3, which comes in 120mm and 140mm sizes, is an excellent illustration of this.

To begin with, both the 120mm and 140mm generate just around 16 dB at maximum speed, which is approximately the same as someone talking across the room. High-speed versions are available, which raise the noise level to almost 30 dBA (the equivalent of someone whispering over your shoulder) while also improving performance.

Please keep your voice down! To accomplish this effect, various features are used, beginning with a rubberized fan housing and anti-vibration mountings. This enables the fan to rest firmly on your radiator, reducing noise and wear and tear.

There are a few tiny gaps in the corner of the frame where it doesn’t reach all the way to the edge, leaving a little portion of your radiator exposed. This isn’t ideal, but it won’t have a significant impact on performance. Furthermore, the seven fan blades are slanted and grooved to reduce noise at higher speeds.

All Silent Wings 3 models now include a six-pole motor with fluid-dynamic bearings, which offers silent, variable power, and long-term reliability. However, in order to achieve that quiet, you must give up some strength. The 120mm variant has just 1.79 mm H2O, while the 140mm version has only 1.08.

The high-speed (louder) versions are much better. The 120mm reaches 3.37 mm H2O, while the 140mm settles for 2.17 mm H2O.

The power consumption varies significantly across versions, ranging from 1.44W on the 120mm to 4.44W on the 120MM high-speed, and 3.6W to 6W on the 140mm.

The fan comes with two adaptors: a 3-speed SATA adaptor and a 20-inch extension wire for greater control from your motherboard.

The dimensions of all sizes and speeds are the same: 120mm or 140mm square and 25mm thick. They all have the same appearance (aside from the size difference): matte black with no RGB.

Please keep your voice down! ‘s fans are a few dollars more costly than the norm, but they aren’t the most expensive on the market. It also comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

There’s a reason to be silent! The word “fans” appears in the name. Because liquid cooling already handles the majority of your cooling, if you need a method to keep air silently flowing over your radiator, this is the solution.

However, if you’re going liquid-cooled because you’re overclocking or otherwise generating a lot of heat, these fans may be insufficient.

Visit Amazon for more information.



READ ALSO: The Best 120mm Radiators

Corsair ML120 Pro (No. 6)

120 x 120 x 25 mm | Speed: 400 – 2400 RPM 10% | Airflow: 75 CFM 10% | Static Pressure: 4.2 mm H2O | Noise level: Up to 37 dBA | Warranty: 5 years

Corsair ML120 ProREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • LEDs are available as an add-on for further visual customization.
  • There is a lot of static pressure and airflow.
  • Blades and rotor that are well-engineered
  • Excellent construction quality
  • A 5-year warranty is included.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • On the brink of being too loud
  • Not very cost-effective.
  • There are no cables included.
  • LEDs are not programmable.

Our score is 9.4 out of ten.

If you’ve been holding your breath for an LED alternative, now’s your chance. Even without the LED, the Corsair ML series is a little more costly and noisy than it needs to be, which is why they’re a few places below our top choice. These, on the other hand, should be at the top of your list if you want strong, aesthetically stunning fans to match your liquid-cooled system.

The ML series comes in two sizes, 120mm and 140mm, and has a square frame for radiator cooling. For optimum static pressure and airflow, the seven fan blades and four stator guide vanes have been meticulously designed.

A levitating magnetic bearing is also used in the fan, which minimizes motor friction. This optimizes the fan’s power consumption, noise output, and wear.

In terms of actual performance, the ML120 has a maximum static pressure of 4.2 mm H2O, which is far beyond what most house builders would need. The ML140 has a lower H2O rating of 3.0 mm, yet it is still one of the most powerful fans on our list.

You’ll see that the relationship between power and noise is almost linear once again. Both the 120mm and 140mm generate approximately 35 dBA when operating at maximum. Of course, with a 2000 RPM control range, it won’t always be at maximum speed, but it will during startup and during high-performance activities.

Depending on your tastes and surroundings, the noise level is just on the edge of bothering you. Some reviews complain about how loud these fans are, while others praise how quiet they are.

The power consumption is reasonable, ranging between 2.5 and 3.75 W depending on the size and whether or not the lights are included.

In addition to being the first fans with selectable LEDs, the Corsair ML series offers a limited but reasonable color palette. You have the option of selecting blue, red, white, or “colorless,” which is a metallic black.

It’s worth noting that if you select the LEDs, they’ll only come in those colors, and just the frame will be blue or red, leaving the blades white if you don’t want them.

Finally, the fan just comes with the screws needed to install it; you’ll have to purchase the PWM wires separately. This isn’t a big cost, but it’s the one that puts this fan at the top of our list. Corsair’s warranty, on the other hand, covers the fan for up to five years, making this a good overall deal.

If you’re a die-hard Corsair fan or treat your computer like a Christmas tree, this is the “must have” choice for you. They’re well-made fans with enough power to handle the top limits of what you’d be doing with a home build, but there are better choices for the money if you’re not big on lighting or don’t need to display your fans in your build.

Visit Amazon for more information.



ALSO READ: The Best White Case Fans

TOUGHFAN 12 by ThermalTake

120 x 120 x 25 mm | 500 – 2000 RPM | Airflow: 58.4 CFM | Static Pressure: 2.41 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 22.3 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

ThermalTake TOUGHFAN 12REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • High performance with little noise
  • There are a variety of sizes and power choices available.
  • Multi-packs make it more cost-effective.
  • Excellent construction quality
  • Reasonably priced

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Warranty duration is limited.
  • Power usage is quite high.
  • Visual modification is limited.

Our score is 9.3 out of ten.

The ThermalTake TOUGHFAN is dangerously close to being overbuilt. It looks more like a jet turbine than a case fan because of the nine overlapping fan blades. The blades have a brushed metal look, but ThermalTake is keen to point out that they’re made of liquid crystal polymer.

These fans would be ideal for you if you like components that have a more rough appearance. If not, it’s a larger, more industrial appearance for fans that don’t outperform the most minimalist-looking fans on our list.

The TOUGHFAN comes in three different sizes: 120mm PWM, 120mm Turbo, and 140mm. The thickness of all three is the usual 25mm (about 1 inch).

In terms of performance, the overlapping fan blades will provide a little more static pressure than the 2000 maximum RPM would suggest (2500 for the Turbo). 2.41 mm H2O is produced by the 120mm, 3.78 mm H2O by the Turbo, and 3.54 mm H2O by the 140mm. The particular blade design shines most at 140mm.

All three also use a second-generation hydraulic bearing, which is basically an improved form of a dynamic fluid bearing.

Surprisingly, these fans aren’t too loud. You would expect a fan that looks like a jet engine to sound like one, but they’re no louder than fans that produce the same amount of power, if not slightly more.

The 120mm is whisper quiet at 22 dBA, while the Turbo is a little louder at 28 dBA, but still extremely quiet. At 33 dBA, the 140mm pushes into what you could term “loud,” but it’s still respectable considering the power.

On the downside, the 120mm models use a bit more power, at 1.4 and 2.6 Watts, respectively, while the 140mm uses a total of 4 Watts. There’s also not a lot of customizability since there’s no RGB and the fans are only available in black or metallic grey.

On the plus side, the fans come with connection screws, rubber corners, and a 4-pin connector cable that is longer than usual, allowing for simpler cable management. The 120mm PWM and 140mm come in a two-pack, which saves you money if you need a lot of them (which you typically will).

Finally, the guarantee is just two years, which is a little concerning for a company that seems to be based on reliability.

Given these considerations, the 140mm TOUGHFAN is one of the best 140mm fans presently available. The 120mm performs well, although it will mostly be a matter of personal taste. If you want a more industrial look, they are more memorable than the Noctua and less expensive than the Corsair while still delivering excellent performance.

Visit Amazon for more information.



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Scythe Kaze Flex Slim (#8)

120 x 120 x 15 mm | Speed: 300 – 1800 RPM minus 10% | Airflow: 50.8 CFM | Static Pressure: 1.35 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 30 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

Scythe Kaze Flex SlimREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • The slim form is ideal for small projects (120mm)
  • The frame makes good use of the available area.
  • There is an RGB version available.
  • Construction of high grade
  • Budget-friendly

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • It’s a little noisy, particularly considering the amount of power it has.
  • The design seems to be simple.
  • The static pressure in the 120mm variant is quite low.

We give it a 9.2 out of 10 rating.

The Scythe Kaze Flex, which comes in 120mm and 140mm variants, has a few key features to recommend it.

For starters, it’s on the low-cost end of the spectrum. These are a fantastic option if your radiators are already providing most of the cooling and you need to keep a little air flowing across them but don’t want to spend too much money.

The 120mm fan is also significantly slimmer than other case or radiator fans on the market. The 120mm radiator fan is just 15mm (0.6 inches) thick, compared to the bulk of radiator fans, which are 25mm (about 1 inch) thick or more.

Because of their low profile and dark grey hue, they’re simple to hide as part of your construction. The additional 10mm of space may be a lifeline if you’re attempting to use liquid cooling with a mATX or mini-ITX design. Although the 140mm version of the fan is 25mm thick, you’re unlikely to utilize 140mm fans in a small design.

Both fans’ rotors utilize a dynamic fluid bearing, which means a temperature-resistant lubricant keeps the fan moving smoothly. It’s a little less effective method of reducing friction, but it’s still perfectly useful.

Aside from that, the fan’s frame will rest flat against your radiator, leaving no gap, and the rubberized edges will enable you to attach them securely and vibration-free.

You’ll note that the 120mm fan has more fan blades than most of the other choices on our list, and that they’re thinner and wider spread, but they’re still angled like other radiator fans. This indicates that an effort has been made to achieve a balance between airflow and static pressure.

With 1.35 mm H2O flowing at maximum speed, it still generates enough static pressure to serve as a radiator fan. That’s coming close to the smallest amount of static pressure possible while still being functional. The 140mm radiator fan features the same 7-blade, minimum gap configuration as the majority of the other radiator fans you’ll encounter, and it generates an amazing 2.8 mm H2O at full speed.

Power consumption is reasonable, ranging from 1-2 watts depending on the model.

Neither fan, unfortunately, is silent. Because of the hybrid design, the 120mm has to work harder, while the 140mm has a larger surface area to apply pressure on. As a consequence, the 120mm emits 30 dBA, which is very loud for the relative pressure, and the 140mm emits 45 dBA, which is slightly quieter than a running refrigerator.

If you want to save money on performance while still getting the RGB look, there is also an RGB version available.

Both fans come with the necessary mounting screws, a four-pin connection, and vibration-reducing rubber corners. It also comes with a two-year guarantee, which is on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to most fans.

With that stated, if you’re searching for a low-cost alternative that maximizes space, the 120mm Scythe Kaze Flex is the fan for you. The 140mm variant is also a good value for money 140mm alternative. You’re giving up some power in exchange for a lot of noise, so if you’re going to be running your PC at high settings all the time, you may want to look into a quieter and/or more powerful alternative.

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PWM ARCTIC P12 nnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

120 x 120 x 25 mm | Speed: 200–1800 RPM | Airflow: 56.3 CFM | Static Pressure: 2.2 mm H2O | Noise level: up to 35 dBA | Warranty: 10 years

ARCTIC P12P14 PWMREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • For the price, this static pressure is excellent.
  • Extremely cost-effective
  • There are many color choices to choose from.
  • The best warranty available on the market

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • There are no anti-vibration pads.
  • Fans that produce more noise than fans that function similarly.
  • Construction that is rather dubious.

Our score is 9.1 out of ten.

The polar P12 and P14 are, dollar for dollar, the finest fans on the market if static pressure is the only measure used.

To begin with, the five massive scooping blades provide static pressure equal to fans costing twice as much. You can purchase them in a 5-pack for the price of a single premium fan, enabling you to equip two 240mm radiators and a rear 120mm radiator for the price of a single premium fan.

In terms of maximum performance, the P12 and P14 PWM are quite comparable. Both utilize fluid dynamic bearings, which is to be expected for a low-cost alternative. Both produce more than 2 mm H2O. The 120mm reaches a maximum of 2.2 mmH2O, whereas the 140mm reaches a maximum of 2.4 mmH2O.

Some cheap alternatives only provide the bare minimum (1 to 1.5 mm H2O), however the Arctic P12 and P14 work well enough for all but the most demanding setups.

You pay a price for that static pressure per dollar tradeoff in other ways. For starters, they’re built on the cheaper end of the spectrum. True, they sit flat against the radiator, but they lack the vibration-reducing feet that most radiator fans (indeed, most fans) have.

In addition, these supporters aren’t very silent. The majority of the company’s published specifications indicate the loudness in 0.3 sones rather than the decibel equivalent: 35 dBA. That’s not unbearable, but it’s a lot of noise for a 2.2 mm H2O fan spinning at 1800 RPM. Many people have also reported strange whining or buzzing noises at lower frequencies, which may be annoying.

On the plus side, there are more customization choices than you’d think for a cheap fan, a total of six, but they’re all variations of the black or white casing and black, white, or transparent blades. There is no RGB option with this series, which is unsurprising.

The fan comes with the necessary hardware as well as a 4-pin cable. If you get the 5-pack, you may use the supplied cables to daisy chain them together. Finally, the manufacturer’s guarantee covers the fans for a period of up to ten years, which is presently the best warranty available.

Overall, these fans provide great static pressure, particularly for the price, but they have significant flaws in other areas. If you need significant cooling but have already gone over budget on your setup, these are the fans to buy.

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NZXT AER P 10

120 x 120 x 26 mm | Speed: 500 – 2000 RPM | Airflow: 73.1 CFM 10% | Static Pressure: 2.93 mm H2O | Noise level: 21 – 36 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

NZXT AER PREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Radiator fan with excellent performance
  • Construction of high grade
  • Affordable
  • Trim that can be customized
  • Vibration dampeners built-in

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • It’s being hidden by a loud fan.
  • Power-hungry
  • Only a limited warranty is offered.

Our score is 9.0 out of ten.

The NZXT AER P isn’t exactly a low-cost choice. It’s a less costly alternative, but it’s still a few dollars above than you’d consider “budget.” The good news is that you won’t have to make any significant performance compromises to get there.

Both the 120mm and 140mm are precisely square and fit nicely on your radiator, plus they feature built-in vibration dampeners to minimize noise and fan wear and tear. They are officially 26mm thick, not the typical 25mm thickness for most radiator fans, which may be a problem if you have extremely tight space constraints.

Let’s speak about performance, since both the 120mm and 140mm fans are very strong. The 120mm generates 2.93 mm H2O at its highest, while the 140mm produces 2.71 mmH2O at its maximum, solidly in the top limits of what you may require for radiator fans. It makes use of an unique multi-bearing fluid dynamic rotor, which is less efficient than levitating magnetic rotors but also less costly.

The 120mm draws 3.8W and the 140mm draws 4.2W, which is a bit high for a 2000 RPM fan.

Much of the marketing for this fan claims that it operates at 21 dBA, making it one of the quietest fans on the market. In fact, that is the quietest mode of operation. It reaches a maximum noise level of 36 dBA (38 for the 140mm), which is on the louder side of things.

When you consider that most fans with a peak in the 20-25 range run considerably quieter than that the most of the time, you get the impression that this is a very loud fan. It’s not a deal-breaker, particularly at this price, but it is aggravating.

The fan doesn’t feature RGB in terms of design, but you may alter the trim color with a separate accessory box. It comes with a 500mm 4-pin sleeved cable with enough of slack for cable management. Finally, the guarantee is just two years, which is the very bare minimum in the radiator fan industry.

Overall, the NZXT AER P is a fantastic fan if you’re wanting to save a little money while still getting a lot of power in your setup. It has a lot of performance, a beautiful design, and solid build. However, for the price, you’d expect it to be a bit quieter and less power demanding.

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Final Thoughts

The static pressure will always be the most essential parameter when choosing a radiator fan. That isn’t to say that a greater number is always better. You can frequently get away with less depending on the number of fins per inch on your radiator.

Higher static pressure generally means higher fan noise, which is one of the reasons you switched to liquid cooling in the first place. If you’re performing a lot of overclocking or require a lot of cooling, you may want to consider moving your tower away from where you normally sit to minimize noise.

The finest radiator fan for you will always be one that meets your requirements. Depending on your needs and levels of performance, this may take on a variety of forms. These are the finest radiator fans for 2021, but the one that’s perfect for you may be different from what’s right for everyone else.

Water cooling is an increasingly popular way of cooling your components in your computer or in your home. It is especially useful in overclocking computers in order to achieve the most stable and efficient temperatures for your computer. A radiator is an external component in your computer that is used to move hot air away from components inside the computer.. Read more about best silent radiator fans and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best 120mm case fans?

The best 120mm case fans are the Corsair Air Series AF120 and the Noctua NF-A12x25.

What is the most quiet 120mm fan?

The most quiet 120mm fan is the Corsair Air Series AF120 Quiet Edition.

Is 120mm radiator enough for CPU?

The 120mm radiator is enough for the CPU.