Corsair RS120 MAX 120 mm Fan Review (2024)

Corsair RS120 MAX 120 mm Fan Review (1)11

Performance Testing

Please refer to this dedicated test setup page as it applies to this review as well.

Corsair rates the operating with a fan speed range of 425 to 2000 RPM, although you would only know the lower number if you read this online guide. Incidentally, that is also where you are informed this fan has a zero RPM mode (0% PWM duty cycle), although it must be noted that a lot of fan controllers simply can't get lower than 10% PWM duty cycle. So there is a chance you may not see the fans turn off at all. Regardless, we see that the provided three fans go from an average 2012 RPM at 100% PWM down to 413 RPM at 20%. We can see the RS120 MAX has an effective control range of 20-100% along with a big RPM range of control, so needless to say this is plenty for PC cooling applications be it for someone who prioritizes noise or those who want better cooling. The RPM response curve is also extremely linear, making it all the easier to set up custom fan curves. Sample variation could be better, although two of the three were quite close to each other, and it was the third which threw things off. Context is needed to talk more about the fan's relative performance and noise, so I have comparison charts below for some fans tested at set RPM values, or as near as they can get to those.

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The charts above help compare the Corsair RS120 MAX with other fans at different chosen RPM values reflecting usage scenarios most popular with watercooling, although some fans go higher as is the case here. The charts are to be considered for comparison within this result set only and are not to be compared with results from another test elsewhere owing to different testing conditions. Note that these are average values for all samples of each fan and do not reflect any sample variation, and I also suggest looking at RGB fans separately from the others given they tend to sacrifice some performance by having LEDs take up space where the rotor blades could have been pushing more air through. With more fans choosing to deviate from the 25 mm thickness norm, there is an additional caveat to be considered here. As it stands, the 30 mm thick RS120 MAX is clearly one of the best performing fans in pushing air through a radiator and, in a pleasant surprise from Corsair, doesn't happen to sound like a wind tunnel either. The positioning in these charts clearly shows the RS120 MAX is shaping up to be Corsair's best performing fan tested to date, as well as the best from a performance-to-noise basis. I will also confirm there was no perceived vibration or bearing noise during testing, including at lower fan speeds.

Instead of having CFM/dBA charts that can potentially be taken for more than they really offer, I am going to show three other fans as a comparison for further context. These include the subject of this review—the Corsair RS120 MAX—in addition to three other high performance LCP fans of varying thickness including the Phanteks T30-120 (30 mm thick), the Lian Li UNI FAN P28 (28 mm thick), and the Thermaltake TOUGHFAN 12 Pro (25 mm thick). Congratulations to Corsair for finally putting out an excellent watercooling fan, even if arguably here the props must be given to Thermaltake for hanging in there despite featuring a 25 mm thickness. For those wondering, the 25 mm thick Noctua NF-A12x25 also does well here, but I've opted to remove it from this chart given its age and my limit of four fans only.

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Corsair RS120 MAX 120 mm Fan Review (2024)
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