We ask this question to the PC gamers who care a lot about their CPU operations, how well does the fan work?
Surely you have thought about the ramifications if the case fan stops working? This is every gamer’s worst fear, to be honest. A gaming CPU expels hot air in the room that is given.
However, simply buying the most expensive fan component does not necessarily mean you have got the top deal. So you will have to consider a lot of options besides the overheating elimination.
If you want to know which one is the best budget 120mm case fan for your computer, see below. We have selected some good ones from a mass of many to help you based on your budget. Let us not waste any more time!
ARCTIC F12 PWM Case Fan
5 Out of 5
Noctua NF-P12 redux PWM Case Fan
5 Out of 5
Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing Case Fan
4.5 Out of 5
Thermaltake Riing 12/14 LED Series Case/Radiator Fan
4.5 Out of 5
Corsair Air Series AF120 Twin Pack Case Fans, Red
4 Out of 5
Antec PF12 Series Case Fans, 5 Packs
4 Out of 5
120mm Case Fan Comparison Chart in 2021
ARCTIC F12 PWM
Noctua NF-P12 redux
Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing
Thermaltake Riing 12/14 LED Series
Corsair Air Series AF120
Antec PF12 Series
10 Best Budget 120mm Case Fan Reviews
With so many similar case fans cluttering the market, it does become a hectic job to find a suitable one. Do not worry, for our thorough research will aid you to the end. Shall we jump to the list, then?
1. ARCTIC F12 PWM Case Fan
What would you do if we tell you that you can achieve one of the best cheap case fans with high-quality performance? It is possible, all thanks to the renowned Arctic F12 PWM.
This is the kind of unit one should get to achieve second to none efficacy and functionalities. It has 1350 of maximum RPM, thus, generates a super-fast cooling system.
The airflow, on the other hand, is 53-CFM with the noise level at 0.3 Sone. It is roughly around 22.5 dB, which is okay if you consider the RPM starting from 300.
Even though it has a very plain black and white design that often blends with the CPU style, it will run for quite a long time. The fan offers static pressure of 1.0 H2O at 800RPM.
It means the thing will ensure the hardware on the inside does not get in the way of airflow. Any restrictions faced will not impede the obstacles in any way. Furthermore, it comes with Fluid Dynamic Bearings.
This type of bearings only extends the lifespan, all the while imposing fantastic service throughout the years.
Overall, the four-pinned F12 unit is somewhat between moderate and excellent. It might not be ideal for extremely powerful gaming PCs, but it will work tremendously with mid-grade CPUs.
Be attentive when adding more than one of these fans for gaming computers. You might have to readjust some wires.
- PWM Technology to reduce noise
- Fluid Dynamic Bearings for longevity
- Adequate static pressure to eliminate heat traffic
- High RPM speed with 53 CFM airflow
- Two-way installation for efficient ventilation
- Comes with 4-Pin connector
2. Noctua NF-P12 redux PWM Case Fan
This is a very plain, yet unique-looking cooling fan that has won over many hearts. The complete grey structure gives off a very industrial appearance, but many gamers prefer it over the black ones.
Its exceptional features alongside the durable build have marked it as the best budget 120mm fan on our list. Even the users have had a satisfying outcome after installing the product.
There will be, undoubtedly, a decrease in temperature in the interior once the fan is wired. It measures the airflow at around 71 CFM, making it the perfect solution for high-straining gaming systems.
That does not mean the device is too loud to focus on anything. It has only 25.1 dB that is hardly audible in a room with other neighboring sounds. Noctua is well-known for its superb case fan models, and this one is no exception as well.
It produces 2.83 H2O static pressure with a maximum RPM of 1700. This is a greater example for all the PC builders out there who seek high-end performance that minimizes the purchasing cost.
What we loved most about this unit is the pressure optimizing blades. These blades are designed, in a way that the noise, even at the 1700RPM, will be minimized. Moreover, you will hardly hear a thing when the PC is idle.
It comes with a four-pinned connection, which is quite a common form in most gaming CPUs nowadays. In short, you will practically admire this product after installing it!
- Higher levels of airflow and static pressure for better performance
- Pressure-optimized blades for extra-quiet operation
- 4-Pin connector type
- Ideal for air-based CPU or water cooling radiators
- Includes industrial-grade SSO bearings for durability
- Customizable frames to fit anti-vibration pads
3. Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing Case Fan
Why do most people change their case fans? It has a very simple answer, which is related to the higher temperature issues in the system. However, there is another motive behind such replacement.
It is the noise that keeps seeping into the brain even after the CPU is turned off. So is this product worth the effort? Absolutely, even when you are tight on budget, Cooler Master will be there for the rescue.
Many users did not expect the turn out of the low-priced case fan would be this positive. It has a noise level of 23.7 dB, which is surprisingly inaudible in the background.
That is why many consumers have bought the unit more than once and remained loyal to the brand. More importantly, it does the job of cooling the CPU case as efficiently as possible at the 1200RPM.
It has a CFM of 44.73 that explains the enhanced cooling action. The continuous operation will ensure a silent and excellent experience in the setting. Therefore, do not worry about the product's durability; it will go on for many months.
What is more, this package comes with four black case fans. It is an exciting option for the gamers looking for a dual fan setup!
Since the unit offers a three-pin connector type, some buyers have wondered whether it can be attached to the four-pin connection. Yes, you can, though you will lose the privilege of speed control.
- Silent operation due to 23.7 dB
- 44.73 CFM airflow for enhanced performance
- 3-Pin connector type
- Compatible with desktops and RV refrigerators
- Easy and quick installation method
- Includes 12 screws for the four fans
4. Thermaltake Riing 12/14 LED Series Case/Radiator Fan
If you are looking for an aesthetic appearance besides quality operation, then this is your stop. The product might not have all the greatest attributes, but it sure can handle an overheated CPU!
As a result, we have added the unit to our list for the users who are more into the design than the performance. Its main feature is the ring-shaped structure with the LED surrounding the frame.
The circular style is what sets it apart from the rest of the comparable case fans. You will be able to see the lighting from the outside, giving your CPU a stellar look. Of course, you can choose from a variety of colors based on a theme.
Despite many objections over the low RPM, we still consider it one of the most innovative models that deliver a futuristic vibe. It offers an overall 24.6 dB reduction of noise that at times reaches around 18.7 dB; it is quiet!
The static pressure in this model delivers a maximum of 51.1 CFM with 1500RPM. In short, it does the work of cooling the CPU case almost as awesomely as many high-end units.
Furthermore, the device has hydraulic bearings that assure a self-lubrication system. There is no need to worry about any leakage. However, the noise-reducing property tends to lose its touch after a certain period.
- Unique patented circular LED design
- Hydraulic bearings to reduce noise
- Anti-vibration rubber pads for hassle-free usage
- High static pressure design for optimized performance
- Available in verities of colors
- Built-in wind blocker frame
5. Corsair Air Series AF120 Twin Pack Case Fans, Red
This is not just for the striking LED illuminating allure but also for the superior cooling advantage. So if you wish to combine both and gain the best 120mm intake fan at a reasonable price, no one will stop you.
But first, you should learn all the significant attributes it brings. It offers a 25.2 dB noise level when running at 52.19 CFM airflow. Plus, the 0.75 H2O along with 1500RPM makes the device an invincible one.
We admit that this three-pin unit is a pretty difficult one to install. So if you are building a PC for the first time, do not let that frustration overcome you. In the end, you will achieve one of the coolest case fans that illuminate red lights as it runs.
The only drawback is the control system. Some units allow speed level variables that you can select via the desktop application. However, this one will have no such advantage.
If you do not mind the same steady pace at which the fan pulls and pushes air from the CPU, then you are good to go! Remember that this package contains two fans giving the case more room to breathe.
Some might think that the lower airflow is not sufficient to draw out enough warm air. But remember that it has moderate static pressure and high rotational power. When you combine these, this is one majestic fan with neon red LED blurs.
- Supreme cooling performance
- LED illumination with dramatic effect
- Custom molded blades to deliver a sheer volume of air
- Includes sleeved bearing system to minimize vibration
- Translucent and frosted texture for aesthetic appearance
- Generates only 25.2 dB noise at max
6. Antec PF12 Series Case Fans, 5 Packs
There is a very good explanation regarding why we have included this as one of the best budget case fans. If you are a gamer with a lot of strain in the graphics and other heat-emitting components, then this product will work like a charm.
Despite the standard white color fan with a black frame design, it delivers an impeccable ventilation system. The kit consists of a total of five case fans, hence the lower RPM and CFM measures.
However, the overall system gains high-performing airflow when the user installs them all. Their distinctive design on the back end of the fan blades is the secret behind such an efficient air cooling system.
It happens fast and makes no error when obstructed hardware parts are in the path. Now each fan comes with 30.5 CFM and 1000RPM. This rate of rotational speed allows the fans to be ultra-quiet, around 21.5 dB!
The product contains sleeve bearings instead of the fluid ones. They are known for providing long life and quiet operation for continuous runtime.
So you do not just attain superior airflow at a steady speed but also achieve inaudible fan service. Therefore, when you leave the PC idle during rest, it will not bother you at all.
It is due to the impelling low noise level that has gained many followers. The users with demanding CPU components can sigh in relief. Besides, the 0.65 H2O static pressure is another reason to go after this product.
- Premium airflow and pressure
- Distinctive fan design for efficient ventilation
- Lower noise level
- Sleeve bearings for a longer lifespan
- 3-Pin connector type
- Mechanical-looking black and white structure
7. Asiahorse FS-9002 ARGB Case Fan, 5 Pack
If the previous product seemed too ordinary for your taste, you could always choose something colorful; for instance, the FS-9002 model by Asiahorse. The package will have five of these case fans, all with LED light effect.
Even the overall design is unique with a frosted arc style that will simply enhance that CPU of yours. Moreover, if you seek some ARGB colors to give life to the whole system, this is your luck.
Each fan offers eight lights that will continue to display four preset colors. The LED bead is made from gold wires, making it run a long time without exhausting or reducing the brightness.
By now, you may have guessed this product is specifically designed for aesthetic purposes. Surely the fan does its job at keeping the system cool. However, it has a five-pin connector type that might not suit many CPUs.
Thankfully, there is an additional RGB cable with a four-pin connection, so you are saved there! Since the main focus is on appearance instead of performance, we do not consider the unit to be the perfect fit for high-end gaming PCs.
Besides, the set features hydraulic bearings for swift and silent operation. Nevertheless, we should inform you that the self-lubricating component is the potential to leak.
So, aside from the hundreds of LED modes and four-speed levels to illuminate your gaming station, there is nothing much else.
- 20 lights in the frame; 8 lights out frame
- Gold wire LED bead to reduce exhaustion
- Ability to switch between PWM and mainboard
- Remote control for versatile operations
- Lower noise functionality
- Synchronizes with various motherboard software
8. UpHere Double-Ring RGB LED Case Fan
Here is another fan that provides high-performing function as well as superior RGB color transformation. If you want that chassis to look incredibly aesthetic, this is a perfect choice.
Moreover, the RGB function will not compromise the first-class specifications that dominate the product. It has three case fans overall, giving you access to supreme airflow.
Speaking of which, the 46.3 CFM airflow along with 1100RPM does create a phenomenal cooling system. When you add all three to the case, the gaming station will speed up its progress like no other.
You can expect large volume cooling without harming any hardware components inside.
Each device comprises a 17.6 dB noise level. This means you will experience the quietest operation of all time. Plus, the unlimited color changing will clearly bring about stellar performance.
Furthermore, the fans feature rubber pads and hydraulic bearings. As a result, the user will not have to worry about any vibration or additional sound during operation.
So if you want a professional-grade, awesomely designed case fans, then this could be it. And when the fans have visible RGB LED illumination all day long without a fuss, who could say no to this product?
It improves the efficiency up a notch; therefore, we have added it to our radar for delivering reliable performance.
- One key to switch to unlimited color transformation
- High airflow with greater volume
- Rubber pads and hydraulic bearings for quiet operation
- 4.6-Pin connection to ensure safe power output
- Water cooling system
- LED ring maintains color brightness consistency
9. DS LEDdess Case Fans, 6pcs RGB
Honestly, it is difficult to choose among so many splendid units in the market, but we have found our best budget rgb fans eventually. The package contains six beautifully designed black case fans with RGB lighting.
It has an RF remote control that you can use to change the color speed, effects, etc. hence there is no hassle; with supporting an app or software. The kit also contains a DS 4th GEN hub box where the user can add up to nine RGB fans and two LED ones.
However, is it all about the colorful illumination? While it promises various lighting effects, the brand has not forgotten to add silent performance to the attributions.
Moreover, this 120mm fan set has high airflow of 38 CFM and a maximum 1500RPM. If you are looking for extremely high-end performance for heavy-duty gaming CPUs, this one will not disappoint you in the least.
Remember, this is no standard model. Therefore, expect some high-speed whirring noise at high RPM. The user will, at the same time, gain a full cooling effect to the chassis.
As for the connector cable, the SATA interface design ensures a safe connection with a four or five-pin type. What we love the most about the product is its capability of running strong and silent.
The fan blades are pretty thin in order to prevent vibration and turbulence. They also ensure minimal noise level, which gets around 23.5 dB at max.
We highly recommend it to the gamers who wish to add colors and enhance their hardware system to a level.
- Large volume cooling and better airflow
- LED RGB lighting effects
- Remote control to change fan speed, color, effect, etc
- High RPM for the quick cooling outcome
- 6-Pin connector type
- Includes extra cable for 4-Pin and 5-Pin connection
10. PCCOOLER FX-120 Case Fan, 3 in 1 Kit
We have reached the end of the product reviews, and the last one is yet another money-saving unit. It has everything a gamer often wishes to acquire at one purchase.
Our favorite feature of this item is the threaded blade design, which provides strong wind pressure. This is not only upkeep your system with a cooling effect but also give a distinctive appearance.
So do not be fooled by the simple white blades and black frame structure. Even the frame comes with shock-absorbing cushions on four corners to effectively reduce noise.
The 18 dB noise level, therefore, is something you will not even notice! The package contains three elegant case fans that provide LED colorful operation. Each unit has a hydraulic bearing for better performance over the course of years.
It has a maximum speed of 1200RPM with airflow ranging from around 31.68 CFM. So when you install the three of them to the CPU, you are getting an exceptional outcome overall.
Now you can connect the set directly to the motherboard fan interface or computer power Molex 4-Pin. The user gets to choose what fits the best.
There is only one tiny issue regarding the product. It does have colorful lights but contains only one effect. If you do not mind the same color display, then you have nothing to worry about.
- Includes both 3-Pin and 4-Pin connector type
- Nine threaded blade design for efficient cooling performance
- Each corner has shock-absorbing cushions
- Hydraulic bearings for self-lubrication
- Suitability for all kinds of chassis
- Cool RGB lighting effect
Budget 120mm Case Fan Buying Guide
It is not always an easy task to figure out how to choose a case fan within budget. Targeting a product by checking its maximum RPM is merely a fraction of the big picture. Let us see what else determines the quality performance.
Ease of Airflow
It is obviously apparent that the airflow is the main purpose to install good 120mm case fans. Therefore, keep in mind that the airflow has a measurement of cubic feet per minute.
Each case has a different volume internally, but the midway is about 1.5-Cu.Ft. Although larger fans of 200mm can effortlessly feed the hardware fresh air, a 120mm is no less in performance, either.
With the help of the higher RPM (Revolution per Minute), a 120mm case fan with 158-ft3/min can easily move the internal volume faster.
Know that the noise is usually measured in decibel (dB). While many users do not mind the whirring noise produced by higher RPM generated fans, some dislike the sound.
Since the good case fans 120mm units are small, they will require steeper RPM for better airflow and static pressure.
However, noise from 16.4 dB to around 28 dB is pretty much alright if you consider the ambient sound level in the surroundings. In that case, it will not be obnoxious enough to disrupt your concentration.
If you seek a quiet product, then we suggest opting for a low RPM model.
Ball or Fluid Bearings
A fan has, like any typical fan, a mechanical system. It is made to run for many years continuously. So there are two ways to separate the case fans. Some have ball bearings, while others consist of fluid.
Case fans with ball bearings are less expensive to acquire but often break down sooner. The fluid bearings, on the contrary, are one step ahead of the game. They are popular for longevity and high-end quality.
Just because it is a PC fan, it does not automatically mean all the units will have universal shape, size, and quality. Some are adaptable to higher-level gaming CPU, while others fit standard systems.
One must choose the best cheap pc fans to receive better performance and durable life of the CPU. Always check the specifications before purchasing to ensure the case fan will, indeed, reduce overheated air from the system interior.
Remember that the cooling for the gaming station is a vital concern for a PC builder/gamer at all times. So even when affordability is in question, one ought never to compromise the quality and fitment.
Also, do not forget to check the connector style to ensure they are adjustable to the speed.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Is it okay to use two fans for a gaming PC?
Yes, many users, as a matter of fact, set up two good cheap case fans to eliminate the increasing heat generated by the PC systems. One can work to move out the hot air, whereas the other brings in cool air.
Should I use more than two fans for better airflow?
Frankly, it might be successful in some aspects, but it is only a waste of money. We think two at max is sufficient for optimal efficiency when it comes to balancing the CPU temperature.
Are the bigger case fans work better?
This is a misconception many tend to believe.
The smaller case fans have similar functionalities to dissipate hot air as effectively as the bigger ones. Nevertheless, large fans are pretty quiet when operating than the smaller units.
What is a good RPM for case fans?
A good 120mm case fan should have around 900RPM, to begin with. It will create noise that is audible but meager enough to ignore. However, going higher from 900 will also increase the sound, respectively.
Is a higher CFM better?
The CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the way one measures the airflow of the fan. Usually, the higher it gets, the better, in a sense.
Nevertheless, if you consider the hardware obstacles, we think static pressure is the solution with less CFM.
Obtaining the best budget 120mm case fan means faster runtime and noncompromising functionalities. You can own the ideal product for your gaming system if you take a little break and read our buying guide.
There is nothing like the uninterrupted, noise-free, and smooth gaming session when you know what to get. Enjoy!