I happen to have 2 computers I’m maintaining, one machine is my girlfriends and one is my own machine. I figured it was time to upgrade the fans, but I couldn’t decide between the Corsair LL120 RGB Fans, or the Thermaltake Riing Plus Fans. So I figured I’d get both and see what happens!
Note: This article was not sponsored by Corsair or Thermaltake!
Corsair LL120 Fans
The Corsair LL120 fans have 2 rings of LEDs, one around the outside of the fan and one around the inside. There’s 12 on the outside ring and 4 on the inside. The fans have rubber vibration dampeners on them and they feel pretty solid.
The Fans have 2 cables each, one for the LED lighting and another that’s a standard fan connector. This allows you to use your motherboard to control the fans. This is good in that you can use your standard fan controlling software to control the speed of the fans, however the downside is you will need to cable manage your fans to reach the different ports on your mainboard (and they’re usually spaced out all over the board). If you have a cheaper mainboard, you may run into issues of not having enough fan plugs, this means you’ll need to get a PWM fan splitter, adding even more clutter to your case.
Included with the kit is 3 fans, an LED Splitter box and the Corsair Lighting Node Pro. There’s a separate SATA power connector for the splitter and the lighting node pro, as well as a little connector cable between the two and a microUSB to USB header connection for control.
The LED Splitter supports 6 fans, and the Lighting Node Pro supports 2 Splitters.
Here’s the Corsair Controller installed in my machine (with some moderately poor cable management!) Note that there’s two boxes instead of just one.
Thermaltake Riing Fan
The Thermaltake Riing Fans have 12 LEDs around the edge, and none in the middle. They have rubber vibration dampeners on them and they feel pretty solid.
The fans use a proprietary Thermaltake fan plug, this must be plugged into the Thermaltake fan controller and it controls both the speed of the fan and the lighting.
Included in the kit is the 3 fans and a fan/lighting controller. The lighting controller uses a floppy drive connector (it includes a molex adapter in the box for this) to power it, and a micro USB to USB Header plug.
Here’s the Thermaltake Riing fan controller installed in my girlfriend’s machine. Less cables, but the fan cables are thicker.
Hardware wise, I prefer the Corsair fans due to them having normal PWM control from your mainboard and the extra LEDs really make them shine (pun totally intended). This is way way more apparent when you see them in person, here’s a video I took of both the fans side by side.
Corsair LL120 Fans
I’m using the Corsair iCue software which is currently in beta at the moment (but it’s pretty bug free already).
The controls are fairly easy to use, and the fans update instantly as you change settings. There’s no options in the iCue software for adjusting fan speeds, however this is intentional as it relies on your motherboard PWM connectors.
One of the super cool features is the ability to sync the fans up with whatever game you’re playing, so far this only supports Far Cry 5, but hopefully soon we will see support for more games in the future. See here for more info!
It really feels like Corsair are onto something good with the iCue software and the way it integrates with the other Corsair Hardware. I’ve got 3 pieces of Corsair gear in my machine (RGB Ram, LL120 Fans and a Corsair Void Headset) and it’s good to be able to control everything from the one spot.
Thermaltake Riing Plus Fans
This is where the Riing Plus fans fall short. The TT RGB Plus software seems to get the job done, but it feels unintuitive and painful to use. It feels as though the Thermaltake fan controller software was an afterthought.
Because the fans are using proprietary connectors, you have to set the fan controls up within the Thermaltake software. If you’re not using a Thermaltake device that has a temperature sensor in it (eg. a water cooler), it will report the temperature as 0 degrees and thus you have to set all your fans to manual mode and pick a speed.
Configuring the lighting settings is moderately painful, though for the most part, once you’ve got them set, you’re done.
At the time of publishing, the 3 pack of fans with the controller for the Corsair LL120 is $149AUD, and the Thermaltake Riing Plus RGB is $129AUD.
If the Thermaltake Riing fans had better software, they could give the Corsair LL120 fans a run for their money
The specs are pretty similar, with the Thermaltake Riing Plus fans capable of a little higher max air flow. Sound, RPM and warranty are about the same.
Max Air Flow: 43.25CFM
Warranty: Two Years
Thermaltake Riing Plus
Max Air Flow: 48.34CFM
Warranty: Two Years
The Corsair LL120 fans look better than Thermaltake’s offering, however they are a little bit more expensive. The better control over fan speeds (using your motherboard software and PWM connectors) gives you way more flexibility in your setup, and the Corsair iCue software eclipses anything that that Thermaltake has built.
Bonus points, here’s how they look in my machine and my girlfriends machine! The photos make the Corsair fans look not as great because they’re so bright!