One way to prevent your computer from overheating is to upgrade or install case fans. Case fans keep your PC cool by blowing hot air away from your PC case or drawing cool air into it. If you do heavy tasks like gaming or editing on your computer, you’ll probably need a couple of these.
Picking the right case fan for your PC, especially if you’re on a budget, might be quite a challenge. In this article, however, we will be giving you tips on how to choose the best case fan for your needs! This article also features a ranking of the 10 best budget case fans that are available online, so keep on reading!
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Case fan sizes are often measured by the length of its frame or by the diameter of the fan blades and are expressed in millimeters (mm). The most common fan size in modern PC cases is 120mm, but there are also ones measuring 80mm, 140mm, and 200mm, among others. Before purchasing a case fan, check the compatible size for your PC case first.
Another important thing to note is that larger fans are not necessarily more powerful than smaller fans. These two generate almost the same amount of airflow at similar power consumption and speed levels, but larger fans typically spin slower due to the additional weight. Because of this, they also tend to be quieter than smaller fans.
There are three common types of bearings in case fans: sleeve, ball, and hydraulic. The utmost function of fan bearings is to reduce friction as the fan blades rotate. Your case fan’s cost, noise level, and lifespan depend on what bearing type it has.
Sleeve bearings are typically used in cheaper case fans. They are usually made with a steel shaft encased in a brass sleeve. They are also quieter than ball bearings but tend to get noisier over time because they wear faster than other bearing types.
Because sleeve bearings are less durable, they are most suitable for low to medium-speed fans. The lifespan of sleeve bearings also ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 hours only. Moreover, they can only be mounted vertically, as they tend to easily fail when installed horizontally.
Because of their round metal beads that roll as the fan spins, ball bearings help lessen rotational friction more than other bearing types. This leads to longer operating time. Plus, they can be mounted in any orientation.
One downside is that they are noisier because of the rolling metal balls. They are also pricier than the sleeve and hydraulic bearing types. They have, however, a longer lifespan than sleeve bearings.
Also known as fluid dynamic bearings, hydraulic bearings are characterized by a herringbone pattern cut in their grooves. They use lubricating fluid and the fan’s rotational force to reduce friction and stabilize the moving parts in your case fan.
Hydraulic bearings combine the long-lasting feature of ball bearings and the low noise level of sleeve bearings. They can also be used in any orientation and are suitable for low- to high-speed fans. They may be on the pricier side, but they are the most cost-efficient option because of these features.
Before purchasing a case fan, check if its connector is compatible with your motherboard. There are two common connector types: 3-pin and 4-pin. The first wire in the 3-pin fan is for power, the second is for ground, and the third wire is for a speed sensor. With a 3-pin connector, your computer can recognize the fan speed and adjust it to balance its cooling performance and noise.
The 4-pin connector is essentially the same as the 3-pin one, except it has one additional wire for Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signal. It is compatible with most modern motherboards and is used to control or adjust the fan’s voltage and speed. Therefore, case fans with a 4-pin connector are pricier than ones with 3-pin connectors.
A case fan’s airflow is expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This indicates how much air your case fan can move in a minute. This means that the higher the CFM is, the better the cooling performance it delivers. For budget case fans, the recommended CFM is about 30CFM and up.
On the other hand, a case fan’s speed is expressed in revolutions per minute (RPM). This indicates how many times the fan makes a complete rotation in one minute; thus the higher RPM, the faster your case fan spins. The recommended RPM, especially if you perform heavy tasks on your PC, is from 1,200 RPM to 1,400 RPM.
Your case fan’s operating noise can be bothersome at times. Worry not, because there are budget case fans in the market that also sport a low-noise feature.
Case fans’ noise levels are measured in decibels (dBA). The most tolerable and safest option to go for is those that have noise levels that range from 19dBA to 25dBA. Just take note that the higher a case fan’s CFM and RPM, the louder its operating noise will be.
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RGB Case Fan
Get Intense Cooling Power With This Versatile Case Fan
Trio Chassis Fan
Boasts High Airflow That Suits Gaming PCs
A Durable Case Fan That Quietly Operates While You Work
Maris Pro Chassis Fan
Powerful Fan Speed for Optimum Cooling
Halo Series H4.0
Customizable Lighting for Great Visual Effects
Sirius Extreme Pure
A Simple Yet Sophisticated Fan for an Aesthetically Pleasing PC Build
Lets You Choose From 18 Light Effect Modes
Comes With Two Controllers for Adjusting Fan Speed and Lighting
Equipped With Dual RGB Rings to Brighten Up Your PC Build
A Simple and Affordable Case Fan With Great Airflow
Sporting a maximum airflow of 56.5 CFM, this product gives an excellent cooling performance. Moreover, its 12V 4-pin connector allows you to use its PWM control feature to adjust the fan speed. That way, you can achieve a perfect balance of airflow and air pressure. The PWM control also lets you switch the fan to silent mode for a quieter operation.
In terms of visuals, this fan comes with a cable controller, so you can manipulate its RGB lighting system according to your liking. Aside from the cable controller, you can also switch lighting effects through RGB SYNC motherboard software. It has three effect modes, namely breathing, static state, and multi-color cycling modes.
With a maximum airflow of 62 CFM and a speed of 1,500 RPM, this fan intends to give you more cooling power for your PC. It also cools down your computer's radiator and heat sink, therefore it is perfect for gaming PCs or if you're doing heavy tasks on your computer.
Another thing to love about this fan is its addressable RGB lighting that you can sync with motherboard through a 5V 3-PIN connector. It also comes with a wired RGB controller to customize its light color, even for non-RGB motherboards. Its fan blade is also specifically engineered to operate at low noise; plus, it has a hydraulic bearing for durability.
Not a fan of RGB case fans? We recommend Artic's case fan for you! This product might not have flashy lighting effects, but its specifications make it a great purchase. One of its main components is its fluid dynamic bearing which also comes with a lubricant capsule. This helps prevent oil leakage, leading to longer and quieter operations.
This case fan also has a 4-pin connector that supports PWM Sharing Technology. This lets the fan run at a precise speed, thus minimizing operation noise. It also does not disappoint when it comes to cooling performance because it runs with an airflow of 53 CFM and a speed of 1350 RPM at maximum. Satisfied users say that its great performance makes it really sulit!
Boasting a maximum speed of 2,000 RPM, this case fan promises to give your PC system better cooling performance. Reviews even say that this case fan gave their PCs a great temperature decrease because of its high-speed fan!
What's more, is that it is equipped with a hydraulic bearing for both a longer lifespan and a lower noise level. You'll also love its dual RGB rings and its customizable lighting feature for ASUS Aura Sync and MSI Mystic Light users. It sports an anti-vibration pad, too, so you'll barely feel or hear it while it's operating!
An RGB PC build is definitely a sight to behold, and this case fan from ALSEYE promises to make it even better! Having a double-halo design, this case fan exudes a 3D-like effect on both sides. Moreover, it has addressable RGB lights, so you can choose from different modes, effects, and colors by using the remote control that comes with it.
It also includes a controller, where you can plug in up to 10 fans and 2 light strips. And like other durable case fans, it also has a hydraulic bearing that supports longer operation and lower noise levels. Its fan speed also adjusts automatically from 800 to 2,000 RPM depending on your CPU's load, thanks to its 4-pin PWM connector.
What its users especially love about this fan from InWin is its sophisticated and unique design. It has a unique squoval frame with a thin RGB light traced on both sides of the frame, which does not look too bright or too dim for your setup. It also has 14 lighting modes that you can set up by either the one-click controller that comes with it or by connecting it to a 3-pin ARGB header.
Moreover, you can also opt to connect it to a 4-pin header for PWM control to adjust its speed up to 1,500 RPM. It is also equipped with a sleeve bearing that's designed for quiet operation and a longer lifespan versus other sleeve-type fans. Users love how it is so capable despite the budget-friendly price and is even comparable to high-end fans.
Make your PC setup more colorful with Sycat's RGB fan! This product comes with a remote control you can use to choose among its 18 light effect modes, including breathing, gradient, and meteor mode. It also supports various light control mainboards such as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and more.
It also comes with a control hub, where you can connect up to 10 case fans and 2 light bars. You can also use this controller to adjust fan speed, light color, and effects. Aside from that, it is equipped with a hydraulic bearing for durability and damping pads to reduce vibration.
If you're all about an aesthetically pleasing setup, Dark Flash's DR12 Pro may give you just that! It sports an addressable RGB light to give you more lighting options. Plus, it comes with a remote control that allows you to choose from its various lighting modes and effects. You can also adjust its fan speed and other aspects through the control hub.
Its performance is also on par with its appearance because it has a powerful airflow of up to 20.34 CFM, perfect for high-performing PCs. Reviewers vouch for this, on top of its beautiful lighting quality. It is also equipped with a rubber pad and hydraulic bearing for minimal operating noise. In fact, its noise level goes only up to 16 dBA!
Designed with illuminating RGB rings on both its front and back sides, this case fan from Fantech will make your setup twice as bright! It has multiple lighting effect modes that automatically change, so you don't need a controller to switch modes.
Another thing to love about this fan is that it has silicon pads attached to it to reduce vibration, thus leading to less operating noise. It also works fairly well for high-performing PCs, as it has a fan speed of 1200 RPM. Now that's a great deal for a case fan that's just less than Php 500!
If you like to keep your setup simple without sacrificing your PC's performance, this one might be a good option! Instead of RGB lighting, it is equipped with an LED light that comes in two colorsーred and blue. Users love how clean the color effect is, even if it's very inexpensive.
Despite its simple visuals, however, Inplay's case fan does not lag behind in terms of performance because it has a maximum airflow of 41 CFM and 1,200 RPM. The only downside is that it might be a bit noisier than other case fans in the market.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
For low-performance PCs, two case fans should be enough: one intake and one exhaust fan. For high-performance ones like gaming PCs, however, the minimum would be two intake fans and one exhaust fan. You can install the intake fans at the front and the exhaust fan at the back of your PC case for optimal airflow.
Contrary to expectations, more case fans do not mean better cooling. Stacking too many fans will cause an imbalance in airflow, and there might be less cool air to circulate in your PC case. To avoid this, try balancing the exhaust and intake fans instead of installing more fans in your PC.
The best budget fan cases with great airflow are DEEPCOOL's RGB Case Fan and ID Cooling's Chassis Fan. These two provide a maximum airflow of 56.5 CFM and 62 CFM, respectively. These are on par with more expensive case fans from brands like Noctua and Cooler Master, among others.
With a plethora of computer components and accessories available on the market, building your PC might be quite a challenge. To help you choose the best and most affordable items to equip your custom PC with, browse through these links below!
Author: Kate Basa
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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