Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Ali Hamza

Modern PCs support both 140mm and 120mm fans. There are some differences between 120mm and 140mm fans that make them more useful for certain users. Fans of both sizes are usually made by the same fan manufacturer, which can lead to confusion.

All your doubts and worries are gone. This article will give you all the information you need to make a decision between them. You’ll see the perks and quirks in both sizes of PC case fans. The basic factors of spin speed, airflow, noise level, and so forth will be the most important.

Have faith in me, and follow my instructions. You’ll be guided through every step.

These are just a few tips. There are many fan sizes available on the market. It is important to understand the requirements of your case before you choose a fan.

The current cases have 80mm, 1200mm, and 140mm fans. There may be exceptions. Some panels can house fans up to 200mm in diameter, while others are restricted to 40mm.

A manual or guide will usually come with your case. This guide should provide all the information you need about compatibility. If you are a little more skilled, you can simply measure the fan’s size using the distance between the mounting holes.

Modern cases may require horizontal mounting. It doesn’t really matter if you mount horizontally or vertically. Keep in mind which type of bearing you are using.

The Difference That Definingly Different

Don’t worry. We will get into the specific feature-based differences later. Let’s start with the most basic question. What is the difference between 140mm and 120mm fans? To get a better understanding of each fan, it is important to identify them individually.

Let’s now get to the basics.

120mm Fans

The most widely available and popular 120mm case fans on the market are currently 120mm fans. Although there are many other sizes, this size is the most popular. The 120mm versions are sufficient for most laptop cooling requirements and PC builds. Make sure that the fans are of high quality.

Do not buy cheap knockoffs.

These fans are smaller. It’s possible to mount the fan in a variety of ways inside the case. These are great for low-profile builds. You might not get the best cooling deal.

The average dimensions for 120mm cooling fans are 120mm x 120mmx 25mm. There might be slight differences between the models, but they are not going to cause any problems. RGB fans can be a little different in their size. However, they are not very different in size.

140mm Fans

Gamers and PC enthusiasts are likely to prefer the case fan 140mm version. Users who use heavier applications will appreciate and accept it more. These are preferred by editors, architects, content creators, and editors.

These fans are best used in large cases. This is due to their size. They can be mounted in smaller quantities than 120mm fans and cover a larger area.

These fans measure 140mm x 140mm and 25mm in size. As I mentioned, RGB variants may have different dimensions. You can make 140mm fans larger by adding a lot more lighting. They are also heavier.

The Clear Comparison: 140mm Fans vs 120mm Fans

Each feature will be discussed in detail. Let’s take a closer look at the differences.

Key Factors120mm Case Fans140mm Case Fans
Spin SpeedMaximum 1200 RPMMaximum 1000 RPM
Sound FrequencyIt all depends on the modelIt all depends on the model
Airflow CFMCFM LowerHigher CFM
Common Dimensions120x120x25mm140x140x25mm
No Limit on the Number of Slots3 Slots2 Slots
Price rangeAffordableVery Low

Let’s now discuss each feature individually.

  • Comparison of Spin Speed

When it comes to keeping your computer cool, spin speeds are critical. The spin speed of 120mm fans can reach 1200 RPM. This is great for computers with high-end hardware and gaming PCs. The components should cool faster if the spin speed is higher.

140mm fans spin at an average speed of 1000 RPM, which isn’t bad. This spinning speed is enough to cool any system. However, 120mm fans are clear winners in terms of spinning speed.

Read More: Are 140mm fans better than 120mm fans?

  • Sound Frequency Comparison

You want to keep the sound frequency as low as you can. The 140mm and 120mm fans both produce less noise. However, it is clear that there is a difference.

120mm fans produce less noise because they have smaller spins. They offer smooth operation and good airflow at low noise frequencies.

However, 140mm fans are a different story. Due to their larger size and spinning power, these fans produce higher sound frequencies. A higher dBA means that you will hear more noise when performing heavy tasks. This can be decreased by selecting models with a better design.

We find that the 120mm fans are victorious in both the dBA and the sound frequency departments.

  • Comparison of Airflow CFM

Airflow CFM literally stands for cubic feet per second. Both the 120mm and 140mm fans are very close in terms of static pressure and airflow. However, CFM can be measured precisely and there is a significant difference.

It’s not worth much. This is where the 140mm fans win. The 120mm fan’s CFM is lower and they don’t offer as much airflow as their larger siblings. 140mm fans are the best choice if you want better cooling and more airflow.

  • Dimensions and required slots

The dimensions have been discussed before. Due to their size, both versions cover different slot numbers.

Let’s suppose your top panel and front panels have three slots each. You will need either three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans to achieve the ideal airflow.

The 140mm fans have a larger diameter and provide more airflow. They can also be used in smaller quantities. The opposite is true for 120mm fans. This is all there is to it.

  • Price Comparison

Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact price. However, 140mm fans can be a bit more costly. This is due to the extra material and size. On the other hand, 120mm fans can be quite affordable. Remember that RGB lighting will bring up the cost.

Last words

It’s better not to complicate the subject. It’s not a neck-to-neck battle between 140mm and 120mm fans. I have made clear the differences and stated clearly which fan can best serve each purpose. If you are ever asked which fan is best for what, I can help you decide. You’ll probably have a lot to say.

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