Today we are going to check out the newer Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB PWM white fan series. The white variant is the newer one since Corsair already released a black variant last year. If you haven’t noticed, the company is slowly rolling out white versions of their components and products. Another example is the recently released Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 in matte White. If you are building a white-theme gaming PC, check out our Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB PWM white fan review below.
Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB Fan Review
The Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB fans are primarily designed to “elevate the aesthetics” of your build. It’s basically not the high-performance type with a (very) fast RPM rate or high static pressure. But it can still do a good job at keeping your system cool, on top of making it aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
Older RGB fans from Corsair, like the ML fan series, only have one side or area with lighting. So, it’s either the RGB lighting is on the inner area or at the outer (rim) area of the fans. After that, Corsair released the LL RGB LED series fans, with RGB lighting on both the inner and outer area or loops of a fan.
But the Corsair didn’t stop there! Perhaps putting RGB lighting on the inner and outer loops wasn’t enough for some gamers / users. Meanwhile, on the new iCUE QL RGB series fans, not only that they put RGB lighting on the inner and outer loops, but each loop has a separate front and rear RGB lines. There are basically 4 layers of RGB lighting loop on each fan. Crazy right?
Corsair installed a total of 34 individually addressable RGB LEDs on each QL fan. The outer loop consists of 12 RGB LEDs on the front and 12 at the back. And the inner loop has 4 RGB LEDs on the front and 6 RGB LEDs at the back.
With the sheer number of RGB LEDs on each fan, the Corsair iCUE QL series fans are “uniquely capable of intricate, bright and detailed lighting effects”. Aside from the black variant, the QL series is available in 120mm and 140mm fan sizes. However, due to the difference in size, some of their specs are slightly different from one another. See specifications table below.
Corsair iCUE QL RGB Fan Specifications
|Fan Model||QL Series||QL Series|
|Fan Size||120mm x 25mm||140mm x 25mm|
|Flow Type||Static Pressure||Static Pressure|
|Operating Voltage||6V - 13.2V||6V - 13.2V|
|CORSAIR iCUE Compatibility||YES||YES|
|Package Quantity||single or 3-pack||single or 3-pack|
|Speed||525 - 1500 ±10% RPM||550 - 1250 ±10% RPM|
|Sound Level||26 dBA||26 dBA|
|Power Draw||0.30 A||0.30 A|
|Static Pressure||1.55 mm-H2O||1.4 mm-H2O|
|Fan Airflow||41.8 CFM||50.2 CFM|
|Fan Warranty||Two years||Two years|
Packaging and Closer Look
We have here the QL120 triple fan kit version and this one includes the iCUE Lighting Node Core in the packaging. You will need the Lightning Node Core to control the RGB lighting on the QL fans. You can connect up to six Corsair RGB fans that uses the same termination for RGB lighting.
If you don’t have a Lighting Node Core yet, DO NOT BUY the single fan variant. The single fan pack does not come with a Lightning Node Core. Without it, you can’t power the RGB lighting on these fans. Although, you can technically use the fan since the fan header has a separate termination. But what’s the point if you can’t use the RGB lighting, right?
If you have the Corsair Commander Pro, you still need the Lightning Node Pro (unfortunately). You can’t directly connect the RGB lighting cable to the Commander Pro, it’s not compatible. And it’s basically impossible or very difficult to buy just the Lightning Node Core. So, do not make the mistake of not buying the triple fan kit if you don’t have the Lightning Node Core.
The Corsair QL120 RGB fans have an almost all-white appearance. The frame and the fan blades are color white. The only thing that is not white are the rubber dampers, the cables and the logo accent on the center of the fan.
The fans blades have a semi-transparent body, allowing the RGB lighting to shine through. It’s also designed to deliver low-noise while in operation. The rubber dampers, which are permanently attached to the frame, act as an anti-vibration pads that reduces or eliminates vibration that could create noise.
At the center of each QL120 fan is a Corsair logo with a metallic accent. The cables aren’t sleeved, but they are flat and black. It shouldn’t be noticeable on a black casing. But if the case you are working on is white, you may need to be a little bit creative to hide those cables.
Below is a video guide from Corsair on how to install and configure the iCUE QL120 RGB fan series.
Hot To Install and Configure Corsair iCUE QL RGB Fans
Corsair iCUE Software
Installing the Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB fans is easy, but configuring the RGB lighting effect may take some time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean it’s difficult to configure. But since there are basically a lot of lighting effects and styling to choose from, you really need to spend some time in setting it up to suite your preference.
The more complicated the lighting effect is, well the more time you need to spend tweaking and setting up those effects. Luckily, the Corsair iCUE software is easy to use. And if you have other Corsair components and/or peripherals installed in your system, you can easily sync them.
Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB White Fan Gallery
Admittedly, these photos do not do justice to its full potential. You can see more lighting effects from the two videos above.
By the way, when I reviewed the Intel Core i7-10700K together with the Asus ROG Maximus XII Formula, I was using two QL120 fans to cool the radiator of the H100i RGB Platinum. It’s not an in-depth test about the performance of the QL120 fan, but here is the result I got.
The system was set at stock configuration, with all cores running at 4.7GHz. The temperature was just hovering at around 68° Celsius.
Price and Availability
The Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB PWM White fan series is now available. It comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $139.99 USD or €114.90 EUR for the triple-fan pack. Meanwhile, single fan retails for $44.99 USD or €32.90 EUR. Corsair is also offering a two-year warranty for these fans. Kindly check out the links below for the latest pricing and availability.
Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB PWM White Fan Review Conclusion
Corsair makes great and solid fans. It’s one of their forte after all. And these new iCUE QL120 RGB white fans are no exception to that. The frame of the fan is robust and sturdy. There are cut-outs and symmetric accents that gives the QL fan series a stylish look and premium feel.
RGB lighting on these fans are no slouch as well. You get a total of 34 individually addressable RGB LEDs, arranged in four layers. You get an inner loop and outer loop on the front, and another inner loop and outer loop at the back. I think that’s plenty enough of RGB LEDs to satisfy any RGB-aficionado enthusiast or gamer.
When it comes to performance, the QL120 fan is good. It’s not great, it does produce a little bit of audible noise at higher speeds. But it is good enough to cool an AIO liquid cooler’s radiator; provided that you are not doing some (crazy) overclocking. It’s basically a multi-purposes fan, so you can use it as an intake and/or exhaust fan as well.
I don’t see and issue or major faults in this product. Perhaps, they could use a white cable in the future. But that’s just me being nitpicky. However, these fans aren’t cheap. It does come with a bit of a premium price compared to other (RGB) fans in the market. But I don’t think you can get a similar level of customization and number of RGB LEDs on other fans.
So, if you are building a white-themed (gaming) system and you need white fans with RGB lighting to go along with your build, Corsair got you covered with their iCUE QL120 or QL140 RGB PWM fan series.