Fans in the tech world have several uses. They are mandatory because they keep the CPU cool. They have applications in low-profile cases, heatsinks, and coolers. Regular fans are around 25mm thick and consume a standard amount of space. But there are 15mm variations known as the slim 120mm fans that are smaller and do not need so much space. If that’s what you are looking for, this article will interest you.
Best Slim 120mm Fan – Buying Guide
PC fans are not like ceiling fans except for the fact that they cool the atmosphere they are in. PC fans are not generic. They are made specifically for certain computers or CPUs and you should buy one accordingly. To find the best slim 120mm fan, here are the factors to keep in mind:
- Check the connector type – there are 3-pin and 4-pin connectors. Of course, adapters are available to interchange but it’s always a good idea to buy a fan that’s directly compatible.
- You will need a good fan case for your slim 120mm fan. There should be enough room to allow the blades to spin freely.
- See if you prefer high static pressure or high airflow. They both serve different purposes.
- Choose a fan that has good quality ball bearings. The cheaper ones usually compromise on this aspect, leading to problems in the long run. Fluid bearings are the best, but they are also expensive.
- If you prefer, you can also choose fans with LED lights.
Now that you are clear about the factors to keep in mind while choosing a slim 120mm fan, let’s discuss the best options available today. All these come straight from our experts, in whom you have always put your trust.
1. Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM – Premium Quiet Slim Fan
If Amazon loves it, our readers love it. That’s why we are starting with an Amazon’s Choice product that has been widely recommended thanks to its premium quality. Below are some important details:
- This is a 4-pin fan with a maximum rotational speed of 1400 RPM.
- It is a quiet fan, especially when you consider the fact that it is very slim. The maximum noise you will hear from it is 23.9 dB.
- The Noctua fan is an award-winning product for its A-class design. It has an advanced acoustic optimization frame and flow acceleration channels.
- The fan is perfect for low-space applications and low-profile CPUs. You can also use it in ITX builds and HTPCs.
- It has an automatic speed control thanks to its headers.
- The fan comes with fan screws, anti-vibration mounts, a Y-cable, and an extension cable.
[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]The fan curves are smooth
Long-lasting and reliable
[/i2pros][i2cons]The colors are not aesthetic
It is slightly noisier when you don’t use a low-noise adaptor
2. Ultra Slim Case Fan 120mm with Long Sleeve Bearing
The Ultra Slim Case Fan is a low-profile product with 15mm thickness. It is very popular because of its premium build and low price. Read on to find out more:
- It has a long sleeve bearing with an RPM range of 600 to 1600.
- It can clock airflow of 54.55 CFM.
- The fan has a noise level of 11 to 30.32 dB.
- It comes with screws and the other necessary hardware.
- It has a good build and has varied applications. You can use it as a case, CPU cooler, water cooling radiator, exhaust, and intake.
[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Good performance
Very easy to install
[/i2pros][i2cons]Can get quite loud when it is running at highest speed
3. SilverStone Technology Professional Slim 120mm Fan
Here’s another deserving product that we advise you to consider. It is fairly priced and comes with all the features you are looking for. Some of the important ones are as follows:
- The fan has optimized blades that provide good airflow and air pressure.
- It comes with the necessary computer screws.
- It has an air-inlet that reduces turbulence and provides quiet cooling. It has optimized aerodynamics.
- You can use the fan in small cases and other applications where space is a restriction.
- This is a 3-pin fan with 32.6 CFM.
- The noise level is around 23.5 dB.
[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]It keeps the CPU cool and does its job as expected
Excellent static pressure
[/i2pros][i2cons]A few users have experienced grinding noises
4. ARCTIC P12 Slim PWM PST – 120mm Case Fan
The ARCTIC P12 Slim Fan is one of the best options available today. It is also among the cheapest! It comes with a 4-pin connector and 4-pin socket along with the following specifications:
- This is a static pressure fan as opposed to a high air flow fan. It gives excellent air resistance and delivers great cooling.
- You can control the fan speed with PWM PST.
- It is ideal for radiators and heat sinks because of its efficient cooling.
- It has an upgraded design that contributes to a better engine and excellent performance.
- The RPM is around 300 to 2100.
- The noise level is minimum at 0.3 sones.
[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Good design
5. Scythe Kaze Flex 120mm Slim Fan
The last recommendation on our list is the very popular Scythe Kaze Flex fan. It is ultra-slim and quiet, with some very good features:
- It has 2 cooling methods – air and water.
- Its noise level is around 30 dB.
- The maximum rotational speed is around 1800 RPM.
- Its default thickness is 15mm but if you use an anti-vibration rubber, it will reach 17mm.
- Any small form factor will be able to accept this fan with ease.
- It has an upgraded fan design that optimizes air flow and reduces noise significantly.
- The bearing is made of high precision compressed material along with a temperature-resistant oil film.
- You will experience less wear & tear and smooth operation with this fan.
[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Very smooth
Perfect installation without modifications
[/i2pros][i2cons]No mounting screws
Buying the right fan will take away a lot of stress from your CPU. You can choose the standard fans if you have room or buy one of these slim 120mm fans that are designed for small form factors. All of them are recommended by our experts and have proven to be efficient choices. If you have any more doubts, please reach out to us.