The Best 120mm/140mm Cooler Fan Shootout, Feat. Arctic, Noctua & Thermaltake

By Ari Altman | Published October 27, 2020 | Updated October 27, 2020


This is our fourth in a series of videos focusing in on fan performance, and this time we’re going to name the very best 120mm and 140mm fans for use on coolers and radiators. We’ve previously named the best fans for use in cases. With each shootout, we get a better sense of which fans should be included, so this time we’re just testing six fans, two in the 120mm size class and four in the 140mm size class. On the bench are fans from Arctic, Deepcool, Noctua, Scythe, and Thermaltake.

The Test

Our test bench consisted of an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU, running in our be quiet! Pure Base 500DX case, and using the Deepcool Castle 280EX AIO Cooler. Here’s the full lineup of competitors, with prices noted:

As with all of our reviews at this point and going forward, this review appears exclusively on YouTube, which you can see below. That way you get to not only see the benchmarks, but hear the fans as well!

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Final Thoughts

Here’s the full list of winners:

  1. Best 140mm cooler fan: Arctic P14 PWM PST ($16) – this fan is simply unmatched as a radiator fan. Best in the business, at a great price. Also available as a value 5-pack!
  2. Best 120mm cooler fan: Thermaltake Toughfan 12 ($20) – if you’re looking for a 120mm fan, this is the one, matching the Noctua NF-A12x25 at a lower price, and with better colors too! Also available as the Thermaltake Toughfan 12 Two-Pack!
  3. Honorable mention: Deepcool Castle 280EX equipped with TF140 S fans – great all-around package, no need to upgrade the fans if you buy this cooler!

As always, check out our CPU Cooler Buyer’s Guide, updated quarterly, for all our latest recommendations.

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