Computer Hardware Reviews - ThinkComputers.org

Corsair HD120 RGB Fans Review

Besides RGB LED strips the next big that you want to get to add some flash to your system is RGB LED fans. Corsair was one of the first to come out with RGB LED fans and currently they have four different RGB fan models to choose from. Today we will be checking out their HD120 RGB LED fans, which are designed as high static pressure fans with 12 independent RGB LEDs, 7 unique lighting modes, and a clear frame the really allows the LEDs to shine through your system. Corsair sent us the 3-pack kit with controller (CO-9050067-WW), so we have everything we need to get these fans installed and setup. Are these the perfect RGB fans for your next build? Read on and find out!

Special thanks to Corsair for providing us with the HD120 RGB Fans to review.

Specifications

Packaging
The HD120’s come in Corsair’s typical retail packaging, on the front you have a photo of the fans in action as well as some of the main features.

Flipping over to the back we have another picture of the fan, tech specs, and a list of features in a few different languages.

Opening the box up inside you will find the three HD120 fans, controller, mounting screws, and a user’s guide.

Corsair HD120 RGB Fans Overview
As I mentioned Corsair sent us the 3-pack kit with controller (CO-9050067-WW), but you can pick up these fans in 120 mm or 140 mm single packs as well as a dual 140 mm pack with controller.

Taking a look at the 120 mm x 25 mm fans we have a clear frame with white blades, this should really help show off the RGB LEDs. In the center of each fan you have a Corsair logo. There are two cables that come off each fan. One is to go to your fan controller or fan header on your motherboard, and the other connects to the supplied controller. The fans are designed at static pressure fans, which are ideal for radiator and heatsink use, as well as drive bay intakes and other locations where you’re mounting a fan directly adjacent to a heat source. These fans will spin anywhere from 800 – 1725 +/- 10% RPM, with a maximum airflow of 54.4 CFM, static pressure of 2.25 mmH20, and sound level between 18 and 30 dBA.

Embedded in the clear frame are 12 independent RGB LEDs, it actually looks like more of an RGB LED strip in there.

On each corner you have a piece of rubber, which basically will sit up against your case or what you are mounting the fan to. This will help cut down on vibration noise.

On the outside frame of each fan you will find arrows designating airflow, which is always good to have, especially for first time builders.

Taking at look at the included controller there are two main parts. You have the controller and control box. The controller has six ports to connect up to six different fans. The controller has buttons for speed, color, and mode. The cabling is long enough where you can have the control box deep inside of your case and the controller mounted outside or on a side panel.

Installation & Usage
Getting these fans installed is quite easy. We will be installing them inside of the mean:it 5PM Tempered Glass Case as it has tempered glass on the front of the case where we plan to install these fans. Popping off the front of the case I took out the included fans and mounted the Corsair fans. Be sure when you mount them that you follow the arrows on them so you have the airflow set correctly.

With the fans mounted you are going to want to connect everything. As I mentioned there are two cables that come off each fan. The first is a 4-pin fan connector which you can connect to either your motherboard or fan hub. The other cable connects to the included fan controller, which allows you to change colors, effects, etc. The ports on the controller are numbered and you are going to want to install your fans in order or certain effects to look right. Our fans are in a vertical position so our top fan is #1 and the bottom fan is #3. Both the fan controller box and remote have dual-sided tape on them so you can easily mount them inside of your case.

With everything connected and the panels back on the case just hit the power button to turn on your system. You’ll notice that the fans light up immediately. The default color is white. Taking a look at fans all lit up we can see that the 12 LEDs in the frame really light up the fins for a great effect.

To give you an idea of overall light coverage etc here is the Corsair HD120 side-by-side with an In Win Aurora RGB fan, which we recently reviewed.

And here are two shots, the first is a picture of the side panel with the fans off, and the second is with the fans on. This gives you an idea of how much light the fans will bring into your system if you have them mounted in the front.

There is no software with these fans, you do all the programming with the controller. The color is easily changed by pressing the Color button on the controller. Besides white you have red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

The Mode button will switch between the different effects, there is static, breathing, flashing, a mode where each fan 1-by-1 lights up in a circle fashion, a mode where the LEDs alternate, a mode where the fans change color in a spectrum fashion, and a mode that cycles through all different modes in order. You can use the Speed button to speed up or slow down the selected effect. Here is a shot of the fourth mode in action.

And some of the spectrum colors that are cycled through when you are in the fifth mode.

Final Thoughts
So Corsair’s HD120 fans enter into a very crowded market of RGB LED fans. So let’s talk about the lighting, as that is the main selling point of these fans. Each fan has 12 individual RGB LEDs which are embedded into the outer frame of the fan. Most of the frame of the fan is clear and the fan blades are white. This design allows for the LEDs to really illuminate the fan blades, making for a great look. These fans are definitely some of the brightest and more vibrant RGB fans available.

With the included control box and controller you are able to change colors as well as set different effects. You are able to select from white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. On top of that you have seven different modes or effects. All of these modes are great and look awesome. The physical controller is easy enough to use and can be easily mounted anywhere inside your case.

One thing I was a little surprised about was there was so way to actually turn the LEDs on the fans off and there were no brightness levels either. A lot of times we leave our PCs on and if your PC is in your bedroom you don’t want the lights on the fans on keeping you up. This kit also falls into the category of RGB fans without software, you have to change colors and effects using the controller. This limits the number of colors you can select to only seven. I would have thought with Corsair’s CUE or LINK software they could have made these fans compatible so you could control everything including speeds, lights, etc with software.

The kit we reviewed today is the three fan kit that comes with the controller as well. This kit is selling at our favorite online retailer for $75.99. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Corsair HD120 RGB Fans an 8 out of 10 score.

Pros:
– Super bright and vibrant
– Kit is easy to install
– The different modes look great
– Controller allows for 3 more fans to be connected

Cons:
– No way to turn the LEDs off
– No brightness settings
– No software control