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What's the best 120mm case fan?

Which Fan to Buy

From our extensive testing of these 22 fans, we can narrow your choice of fan to just two for air-cooled cases:

The Best 120mm Fan For Air-Cooled Cases

Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm
UK price (at time of review): £13.21 (inc VAT)
US price (at time of review): NA
If you want a 120mm fan that moves enough air to keep your PC cool without having to worry about excessive noise or vibrations, the Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm is near perfect, as it’s capable of moving 36cfm while emitting a near inaudible 20.7dBA.

Scythe Gentle Typhoon D1225 C12B4AP-14
UK price (at time of review): £13.00 (inc VAT)
US price (at time of review): $17.99 (ex tax)
The Scythe Gentle Typhoon is noisier than the Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm, but moves a lot more air. What’s more, when slowed down with a rheostat (not supplied) to a similar noise level to the Sharkoon, it still moves a lot more air.

The Best 120mm Fans For A Water-Cooling Radiator

We also wanted to determine which is the best 120mm fan for mounting on a water-cooling radiator. This isn’t necessarily the same choice of fan as the fan you’d buy for an air-cooled PC, as the fins in a radiator are much more densely packed than they are on heatsinks or fan grilles. This means that a radiator fan not only has to have a high airflow (cfm), but also needs a lot of static air pressure to push the air between the fins.

To determine which fans were best for water cooling, we hooked up the two best 120mm fans, the Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm and Scythe Gentle Typhoon D1225C12B4AP-14, plus the two Feser Triebwerk fans, which are marketed as ‘the ultimate radiator fan’, to a Hardware Labs Black Ice GTX 120 radiator and our black sack airflow monitor. We then proceeded to measure each fan’s airflow pushing through the radiator. You can find the results of these tests in the table below.

 Standard Airflow (cfm)Airflow Through Radiator (cfm)Drop in cfmPercentage DropNoise (dBA)
Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm36162056%20.7
Scythe Gentle Typhoon D1225C12B4AP-1461303151%28.6
Feser Triebwerk TK-1213429515%34.5
Feser Triebwerk TK-122101554646%46.0

As you can see from the table, the Feser Triebwerk TK-122, Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm and Scythe Gentle Typhoon D1225C12B4AP-14 all suffered from a significant loss of airflow when blowing through a radiator, while the Feser Triebwerk TK-121 did a much better job of maintaining its airflow.

However, both Feser Triebwerk fans are very loud and produce an annoying tonal noise. As such, if you’re looking for a 120mm fan to mount to a radiator, we’d recommend buying the Scythe Gentle Typhoon D1225C12B4AP-14.

Winner: Scythe Gentle Typhoon D1225C12B4AP-14
UK price (at time of review): £13.00 (inc VAT)
US price (at time of review): $17.99 (ex tax)