For some desktop PC owners, the need for the best fan controller becomes evident when you need a lot of fans to keep your desktop PC running smoothly.
Fans can be rather finicky to connect to a motherboard, and your motherboard may only be able to support a few fans. But with the PC fan controller, installing fans become much easier, and you can add even more fans.
In fact, you can also gain a lot more control over your PC fans. This capability will make sure you’re able to keep your PC from overheating!
Table of Contents
- Top PC Fan Controller – Comparison
- Best Fan Controller – Reviews
- 1. Thermaltake Commander FT Touch Screen 5 Channel Single 5.25″ Bay Cooling Fan Controller
- 2. AeroCool Touch-E Fan and Temperature Controller
- 3. Thermaltake Commander F6 RGB LCD 6 Channel Single 5.25” Bay Fan Controller
- 4. iCUE Commander PRO Smart RGB Lighting and Fan Speed Controller
- 5. Lamptron FC2 Fan Speed Controller 45W x 6 Channel
- 6. Kingwin Fan Controller 4 Channel w/LED, Controls up to 4 Sets of PC Computer Fans
- 7. SilverStone Technology 8-Port PWM Fan Hub/Splitter
- 8. Phanteks Universal Fan Controller
- 9. Noctua NA-FC1 4-Pin PWM Fan Controller (Black)
- 10. DeepCool Fan Hub Control 4PWM Fan Speed
- Best PC Fan Controller Buying Guide – Things to Consider
- Benefits of Fan Controllers
Top PC Fan Controller – Comparison
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Best Fan Controller – Reviews
Here’s a quick look at our recommended fan controllers:
1. Thermaltake Commander FT Touch Screen 5 Channel Single 5.25″ Bay Cooling Fan Controller
It seems unfair to list this fan controller first, because all the other fan controllers may seem drab and uninspired after you see the rad touchscreen on this unit. This looks absolutely cool, since it boasts a rad design on a huge 5.5” touchscreen display.
Some say this is the best touch fan controller, but it’s not just great because of its looks. It also comes with a lot of cool features, including the ability to brighten or dim the lights on the display.
The list of terrific features starts with a reliable temperature sensor probe, and you’re also able to adjust the fan speed up to 9,990 rpm. That way, you’re able to cool down even hardworking PCs.
There’s an auto/manual toggle here, so you’re able to switch between adjusting the fan speeds manually or just letting the fan controller do it for you. You also get temperature checks quickly, so that you can see for yourself that the PC temp is within normal parameters.
You can even just switch between performance mode when you’re currently playing an intensive game, to silent mode when you’re trying to come up with the Great American Novel with your word processor.
- 5 channels with 10 watts per channel
- Five 3-pin and 4-pin connectors
- Perhaps the largest fan controller display
- Easily fits in any 5.25-inch bay
- Reliable temperature probe
- Up to 9,990 rpm
- Looks absolutely cool
2. AeroCool Touch-E Fan and Temperature Controller
This is another fan controller that’s affordable, but it offers a lot of bang for your buck. It looks great, and functions well too.
First of all, it super-simple to install. It’s basically plug and play, as you won’t have sensors to mount and too many wires to fiddle with.
This comes with a touchscreen for the display and controls, and you can set the look with any of the 7 different LED colors for the backlighting. Just touch a button to change the backlight, or you can turn off the backlight completely.
This lets you control up to 4 fans individually, with its four 3-pin connectors. You’re then able to monitor 4 fans, which should be enough for most PC systems.
You can also set the fans to any of the 3 speed settings (high, medium, low), or you can even turn off any of the fans if you want.
This is a no-frills fan controller, but it sure looks cool. It’s simple to install and use, but it adds a techy look to your PC.
- Touchscreen display
- 7 LED backlighting colors
- Control 4 fans (3-pin)
- 3 speed settings for fans
- Easy to install
3. Thermaltake Commander F6 RGB LCD 6 Channel Single 5.25” Bay Fan Controller
Now this one comes with a set of features that ultimately gives you complete control over your PC fans, even while you enjoy its retro looks.
The design starts with an RGB LCD display, and you have 16 screen display colors to choose from.
you can then quickly see the fan rpm setting, the volts, and the temperature for each channel. You get 6 channels here (for 6 fans), with 30 watts for each channel.
Under each individual display section, you also have a knob for your voltage controls. These knobs let you adjust the output voltage up to 12 volts, with increasing increments of 0.1V.
Your kit also comes with 6 temperature sensors, so that you’re able to check the temperature.
But you don’t have to constantly watch these readings, since the unit also comes with a warning system to go with its short-circuit protection system. The warning alarm will immediately alert you when your temperature reaches dangerous levels, or if a fan stops working.
The fans can reach up to a speed of 9,990 rpm, so you can be sure your PC just won’t get too hot.
- 16 screen display color options
- Display shows rpm, voltage, and temperature for each channel
- Temperature readings can be in C or F
- Knob controls for voltage
- Short circuit protection
- Warning alarm for fan failure or overheating
- Fan speed up to 9,990 rpm
4. iCUE Commander PRO Smart RGB Lighting and Fan Speed Controller
This lets you control up to 6 different PC fans, and that includes 2 RGB fans for a fantastic color display.
It also works with the Corsair iCUE software, so that you basically have total control over your fans.
With its six 4-pin ports, you’re now able to control the voltage and the pulse width modulation for each of your fans. You also have 4 temperature sensors (which you can reposition for maximum effectiveness) so you’re able to accurately gauge the temperature throughout the whole PC.
The external USB fan controller also features 2 USB 2.0 headers, so you can connect the internal USB devices you want. These include the power supply unit and the motherboard front panel.
With this and the Corsair software, you have a single interface that lets you control just about everything. You can monitor the temperatures and adjust the fan speed accordingly, and you can go in full auto mode and let the PC adjust the fan speeds for you.
You can even adjust the RGB fan colors the way you like them. In fact, you can even adjust the fan lighting colors to change according to the PC temperature, so you have a visual warning if things are getting too hot!
- Controls up to 6 fans
- Can control 2 RGB fans (including the lighting)
- Features 2 USB 2.0 headers
- Comes with 4 temp sensors (which you can reposition)
- Works with Corsair iCUE software, with full auto mode available
5. Lamptron FC2 Fan Speed Controller 45W x 6 Channel
This doesn’t have LCD displays, aside from a blue LED light that becomes brighter the higher the fan rpm gets. You have knobs here for control, and you have 6 channels with 3-pin connectors.
What makes this great is that it’s rugged build is utterly reliable for years to come. It’s not complicated, which means there are fewer things that can go wrong.
Basically, you have 6 knobs that let you adjust the fan rpm, and that’s it. It’s easy to set up, and super-easy to use. The blue lights under each knob does add to the cool look, but the brightness of the lights tell you when you’ve increased the rpm setting for a particular fan.
This is the ultimate no-frills fan controller that you can expect to last for years to come. Just use your PC software to check the internal temps, and then adjust the fan speed accordingly.
- Easily sets into any 5.25-inch bay
- Works with 6 fans
- 45 watts per fan
- Connects to 3-pin fans, with a 4-pin molex connector to the power supply
- Knobs for rpm adjustment
- Blue LED lights intensifies as rpm increases
6. Kingwin Fan Controller 4 Channel w/LED, Controls up to 4 Sets of PC Computer Fans
This is another no-frills fan controller, when you just want the simple ability to control the fan speeds yourself. This will fit into your 3.5-inch bay without any trouble, and it’s set to let you control up to four 3-pin fans.
Once you’ve connected your fans, you’re good to go. The blue LED lights around the knobs tell you that the fan controller is working.
Each knob then lets you control the rpm of each fan. just turn the knob clockwise and you increase the rpm.
It’s so simple, but it sure works nicely.
- Works with 4 fans
- 3-pin connectors
- Knobs control the fan rpm
- Blue LED lights around each knob
- Fits in the 3.5-inch bay
7. SilverStone Technology 8-Port PWM Fan Hub/Splitter
This unit is so tiny at 54mm (W) x 19mm (H) x 40mm (D) that you don’t even need to set it in a 3.5-inch or 5.25-inch bay. In fact, when you buy this you also get 3M adhesive so you can just tape this anywhere.
This works best for 4-pin fans, and with this you can control up to 8 of them. While this will also work with 3-pin fans, you just get these particular fans working at maximum speed.
But with the 4-pin fans, you get accurate speed detection and speed control for the fans.
You just need to boot right after the installation, so that the motherboard will then recognize the fan controller. Set the BIOS setting to auto mode for the fans, and the fan controller will then adjust the fan speed according to the temperature.
- Up to eight 4-pin connectors
- Still works with 3-pin fans, but in maximum speed only
- Very compact (comes with 3M adhesive)
- Offers stable voltage
- Everything’s in auto mode
8. Phanteks Universal Fan Controller
With this fan controller’s low profile, it’s easy enough to install inside the case. This doesn’t have the fancy lights, but it sure has useful labels for everything.
First you have the SATA port, where you just put in the 400mm SATA power cable to power the fan controller.
Then you have the 3 ports for the 3-pin fans, and then 4 ports for the 4-pin fans. The last port is for the FAN1.
Finally, there’s the port for the input, so you can put in the input cable that lets you switch from manual control to automatic motherboard control.
This comes with a button remote. With this button remote, you can set the fan speed for the fans for silent mode, performance mode, or balanced mode.
All in all, it’s a plug and play fan controller that lets you control the fan speed for up to 8 fans. That should solve any overheating issues easily.
- 8 channels
- Works with 3-pin and 4-pin fans
- Allows switching from manual to motherboard control
- Offers silent, balanced, and performance mode for fans
- Compact and easy to install
9. Noctua NA-FC1 4-Pin PWM Fan Controller (Black)
This is such a tiny thing, as it measures only 21 x 25 x 48 mm. Yet this works well with various 4-pin (PWM) fans, and especially well with the Noctua 5V PWM and 12V PWM fans.
This comes with a 3-way splitter cable (the best PWM fan splitter for this unit), so you’re able to work with 3 fans to control all of them at once. You can even add more fans if you get Noctua fans, since a lot of them also comes with NA-YC1 splitter cables.
Or you can just get the NA-SYC1, which is the best PC fan splitter kit for this unit.
You can opt to use this in conjunction with your motherboard, when it’s set to automatic fan control. That way, the PC itself decides the fan speed depending on the temperature.
But if you want manual control, you got it. The lone knob on this tiny unit allows you to set the rpm speed yourself.
This even comes with the “no stop” mode, which means your fans won’t go below 300 rpm. That way, you can avoid any issues with your BIOS controls.
- Extremely compact
- Can work with at least 3 fans at once
- More fans can be added with optional accessory kit
- Fans don’t go below 300 rpm
- Single knob allows manual control
10. DeepCool Fan Hub Control 4PWM Fan Speed
This hub supports up to 4 fans, and it supports the 4-pin design with the PWM function. However, it also works with the 3-pin design as well.
Because it’s so compact, it doesn’t need a bay for installation. Your purchase even includes double-sided tape so you can just stick it to the case.
Since it’s meant for PWM fans, there are no controls for this thing. Just let the motherboard do the work and adjust the fans for you.
All you need to do is to plug in the 4 PWM fans in the ports, and then stick this in the PC case. It’s that simple, and it’s really that easy.
- Supports up to 4 PWM fans
- 3-pin fans can work with this too
- Compact and comes with double-sided tape
- All fans go at the same speed
- Plug and play
Best PC Fan Controller Buying Guide – Things to Consider
How do you know if the fan controller is any good? Which fan controller best suits your needs?
To answer these questions, you have to read the product specs and reviews. While you do so, make sure you pay special attention to the following factors.
The number of pins determine what kind of features and controls you enjoy with your fan controller. Older models tend to have only a 2-pin design for current flow (positive and negative).
With newer fan controllers, you may be able to handle 3-pin and 4 pin designs. A 3-pin design gives you rpm monitoring capability, while the 4-pin also adds pulse width modulation.
Auto or Manual
This refers to how you can control the fan speed. If you have to do this manually, then that means using the software that comes with the fan controller to adjust the setting for the fan speed.
But some fan controllers also offer auto fan speed setting. That is, the fan controller monitors the temperature and then adjusts the fan speed to compensate. That way, you can continue your PC activities without having to worry about whether it’s getting too hot in the PC.
Many fan controllers come with an LCD display, though others have knobs to let you adjust the settings.
The channels refer to how many fans you can control with your fan controller. If you have a 4-channel fan controller, that means you’re able to control 4 fans.
Some fan controllers may be designed for a particular type of computer, such as a Mac. Make sure that the fan controller you can is actually compatible with your PC.
Number of ports
These are the ports you use for your 3-pin and 4-pin fans. Again, this determines the number of fans you can control.
Speed Control Options
Just how are you able to control the speed of the fans? What kinds of speeds are available?
Lots of built-in fans for PC tend to run on a minimal speed setting, which isn’t great when you’re working your PC really hard through gaming or video editing. It’s best if you can then compensate by being able to increase the fan speed to match your need to keep your PC healthy.
Your fan controller may be able to monitor several factors that you ought to know about, so that you can make sure that your PC is working properly.
Fan controllers may be able to monitor such factors as the temperature inside your PC, the voltages, and also the current speeds of your PC fans.
Other fan controllers may also check the temperatures of specific PC components, such as the CPU, the GPU, and the hard disk. They may also monitor the FPS, the memory usage,
This is about the look or aesthetics of the fan controller. Some owners of gaming PCs like to go with fan controllers just for the look, since they add to the overall “coolness” of the PC.
One of the reasons why you want fan controllers in the first place is that you may be able to balance the need for cooling the PC with the need to keep things from getting too noisy.
If the fans in your PC are always on maximum rpm, then you can end up with quite a ruckus. That can be annoying, especially when you’re just trying to finish writing something and you need to concentrate.
That’s why you want to be able to control the speed of the fans, so that you can reduce the fan power if the PC isn’t working all that hard.
Benefits of Fan Controllers
When you’re using your PC for rather intensive activities like video editing or playing graphics-heavy games, your CPU and GPU can go bonkers and generate more heat. To keep the temperature down (and minimize the risk of damage to your PC components, you need fans to cool things down.
The problem is that when you add more fans to the PC system, it’s too much of a hassle trying to set up your fans with your motherboard. That is, if that’s even possible.
With the fan controllers, you don’t need the motherboard to control the fans you have on your PC. It’s a much easier setup.
In addition, it also offers increased capabilities for monitoring temperatures (and other factors) and for controlling the fan speed. You’re then able to make sure to power up the fan when you’re working the PC hard, and you can power down the fans when you’re just using a word processor to create a document for school or work.
How can I control my PC fan speed?
There are several ways to do this manually.
One way is to go through the motherboard BIOS. This is rather inconvenient, especially when you have change PC fan speeds while you’re working with your PC.
Another way (that’s much easier) is to use software, such as the software that comes with your fan controller. There you can adjust the setting for the PC fan speed as you see fit.
There may also be some manual controls you can use right on the fan controller itself, such as knobs or even a touch screen, to help you control the fan speed.
Differences Between 2, 3 and 4 Pin Fan Controllers
Some fan controllers today can deal with several different types of fan pins. They may be able to handle both a 3-pin or a 4-pin design.
In the old days, you had to do with 2-pin design. These 2 pins were for positive and negative current flow.
But the 3-pin design added the new feature of rpm monitoring. Now you’re able to check on the how fast your fans are moving, to see if they’re working as they ought to be. If your PC is working intensively, then you’ll want to see the rpm rising accordingly.
With a 4-pin design, you also get PWM, which stands for pulse width modulation. This is basically an on/off switch, and it continuously cycles through on and off states to regulate the power for the fans.
That means your PC can then automatically regulate the speed of the fans, to match them with the temperature readings.
Is this crucial? Perhaps it’s not absolutely necessary for regular case fans, as they can just rotate at a particular rpm speed should be enough for most circumstances. But for CPU and GPU coolers, this function can help a lot in keeping your PC components happy.
Besides, even your case fans can become more power-efficient with this feature. And it also helps things go quieter, when you don’t need the fans blasting when it’s not needed.
Are fan controllers worth it?
For the most part, yes. The fan controller makes it easier for you to set up and use your fans.
Also, you’re then able to adjust the temperatures your PC works in, which then allows you to improve the lifespan of your PC. So, it’s a worthwhile investment, since you can get more working time with your PC.
What is normal CPU fan RPM?
The “normal” CPU fan rpm depends on several factors, including the size of the fans and also what you’re currently doing with your PC.
In general, you just have to match your CPU fan speed (the rpm) to keep the PC from overheating. That means the normal temperature you’ll want to maintain is about 40 to 65 degrees.
Should I run my PC fans at full speed?
If you’re doing a lot of intensive work with your PC, then your PC temperatures will rise. For really hard work, like complicated games or using Adobe Premiere, then your PC should run at a faster speed to compensate.
After all, the basic equation here is that more rpm = more cooling.
But if you’re just using a word processor or reading news articles online, you don’t need to run the PC fans at full speed.
Don’t forget, more rpm = more noise!
Do you need a fan controller for case fans?
A fan controller isn’t absolutely essential for case fans. But then again, the fan controller can make these case fans more power-efficient, while it also keeps the noise down.
Does the motherboard control case fan speed?
Ordinarily, yes. To adjust the case fan speed yourself without a fan controller, you have to go through the motherboard BIOS.
Do you need a controller for RGB fans?
That depends on whether the RGB fan works with your motherboard. Some RGB fan kits already come with their own controllers, along with proprietary connectors.
If you’re adding a new RGB fan for your PC without its own controller, then having a controller for it makes it easier for you to monitor and adjust.
With lots of people these days installing numerous fans on their PCs, it’s simple enough to understand the need for a fan controller to make sure that all these fans are working properly. In fact, a fan controller makes it easier to install these fans in the first place.
Just get the best fan controller you need, and then you can make sure that your PC doesn’t overheat!
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