In this guide, we’ve taken a look at seven of the best fan controllers currently available.
If you’ve built your own extreme gaming PC and you’ve spent a ton of money on a high-end CPU cooler and a bunch of case fans to help keep your system cool, one component you might want to consider adding is a fan controller.
A fan controller will give you a manual option for controlling the speed of the fans in your system and, with some fan controllers, an easy way to monitor the temperatures on your computer’s processor and graphics card. And, in this guide, we’ve covered seven of the best fan controllers currently available to help you find an option that meets your needs.
A Quick-Look at the Best PC Fan Controllers
If you just want a quick look at the best PC fan controllers on the market, the table below shows our picks for the top fan controller overall, the best value option, the best knob-based option, and the best budget fan controller.
*To read about the fan controllers listed in the table above, click on “Read Review »” to check out our overview on that controller. You can also see our Honorable Mention picks by scrolling down on this guide.
Extreme Fan Controller:
- Touch Screen Display
- Single 5.25″ Bay
- LCD Screen
- 3 & 4-Pin Support
Maybe money is not an issue for you when you are looking for a new fan controller. If so, the ~$75 NZXT Sentry 3 might be a good pick for you. It is the most expensive item on this list, but don’t worry, it has several features to supplement its cost. The most obvious is that this fan controller has a touch screen. It is huge so you won’t be making mistakes when clicking on options.
The Sentry makes altering fan speed more user-friendly, and it has a nice catchy design as well. This screen also monitors the exact temperature of your computer in real-time. Like the Thermaltake Commander F6 (listed below), it has an alarm that will notify you if things get too hot.
It is also one of the most durable fan controllers on the market as well. It has a steel casing and multiple layers of ABS plastic. Unlike other fan controllers on this list, the NZXT Sentry 3 can manage up to 15 fans, three for each of its five connectors. The only downside to having this many fan connect is that it limits the amount of wattage for each. It is approximately 7 inches by 2.5 inches and can be attached with its 3-pin and 4-pin connectors.
Best Value Fan Controller:
If you really want a touchscreen fan controller, but you don’t want to pay the steep price than comes with the NZXT Sentry, you should take a look at the Aerocool Fan Controller.
At about $55, it’s quite a bit lower than the Sentry while still offering you an amazing touch screen. It allows you to read information and make changes without any problems. You are able to see each fan, its current temperature, and how fast it is spinning. This large screen does make this product the biggest on this list at 6.7 inches by 8.4 inches. It requires double the amount of room inside your computer’s hub, so keep that in mind.
The Aerocool Fan Controller can only manage four fans. However, it does its job so well and gives you the ability to customize fine details that this isn’t as much of a drawback as you would think. It comes with a heat alarm, which is typical of mid-range products. This will let you know if something is overworking and you will be able to fix it before lasting damage occurs. Installation is simple and can be done within 10 minutes. It has 3-pin and 4-pin connectors which easily bridge the gap between your computer and its fans.
Best Knob-Based Controller:
The Thermaltake Commander is another fan controller with a higher price tag (comes in at ~$55). While it doesn’t come with as durable of a build quality as the Lamptron FC2 (listed below), the Thermaltake Commander F6 fan controller has a few more features.
The first one of those features is the “Warming Alarm”. This could be a lifesaver if you are a person who is very diligent about their computer’s temperature or you regularly push your computer’s limits. The alarm will let you know when things are becoming too hot and allows you enough time to shut down applications or your whole computer before something gets damaged.
The second feature that the Thermaltake Commander F6’s has is short-circuit protection. This makes sure nothing is fried if there is a blackout or something similar. And, the third feature standout feature for the F6 is its RGB LCD Screen. It shows you fan speeds and temperatures and you can change it between 16 different colors.
Like other fan controllers on this list, the Commander F6 will allow to use its dials to set custom speeds for up to six individual fans. Installation is a breeze with standard Molex 3-pin and 4-pin connectors. Be sure to check the size of your computer’s hub because this fan controller is also fairly big at 7 inches by 4.5 inches.
Budget Fan Controller:
The Kingwin FPX-001 Fan Controller offers you a few more options than the ZRM&E fan controller (listed below) without adding too much to its price. At just under $20 it is very affordable, and it has a lot to offer considering its low cost.
This fan controller comes with four dials instead of a switch. These dials control a single fan and allow you to alter said fan to whatever speed you wish. It is not a simple three-speed setting. It does not come with an alarm like other fan controllers on this list. However, as long as you aren’t pushing all four fans to their max settings for long periods of time you shouldn’t have a problem.
The Kingwin FPX-001 Fan Controller is easy to use and easy to set up. It has 3-pin connectors that plug right in and then it is ready to go. This makes it a great choice for those who don’t need anything to complicated but still want the option to customize how their fans run. While it is bigger than the ZRM&E, it is still reasonably small by fan controller standards at 4 inches by 3.7 inches. It should have no trouble fitting into the hub of your computer but always check before buying.
Honorable Mention #1:
The Lamptron’s FC2 fan controller is another option in the ~$50-$60 price range that will give you a bit more control over budget options like the Kingwin FPX-001, Noctua NA-FC1, and the ZRM&E controller.
While it only has connectors to manage six different fans, you have the ability to tweak them individually. Each fan is controlled with a dial instead of a switch, so you will be able to customize each fan’s speed this way. Each fan can have up to 45 watts of power. There are LED lights partnered with each of the six fans. The light given off by these LEDs will increase with how fast its partnered fan is rotating.
The FC2 is a medium size compared to other fan controllers on this list, and you should make sure it can fit inside your computer’s hub before buying it. It measures in at about 6 inches by 2 inches.
The FC2 is also made out of CNC solid aluminum that makes it fairly durable. It comes with 4-pin Molex connectors that will hold it steady. The FC2 is an overall decent controller fan that is highly rated among users. It offers you greater customization of fan speed without becoming too overpriced.
Honorable Mention #2:
If size is an issue for you, there aren’t too many fan controllers that are smaller than the Noctua NA-FC1. It is less than 2 inches by 1 inch, but it still gives you decent control of your computer’s fans.
It comes with 4-pin fan connectors and a 3-way splitter cable which gives you the choice to hook it up to one fan or to three. While this isn’t the best option if you know your computer has serious heating issues, it is just fine for someone who wants something simple.
Just like the ZRM&E, it has one source of control that affects all the fans in the same way. However, it is not a switch, it is a dial. This gives you more options. The Noctua NA-FC1 also has two modes if you choose not to manually change it.
Its automatic mode that will control your fans how it needs to, while its “no stop” mode will keep your fans running at 300rpm. Its compact design makes it hard to break, but if something does go wrong this product comes with a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty. Its price of $20 and features make it a fan controller that you won’t regret buying.
Honorable Mention #3:
This is one of the least expensive items on this list at $10, but do not let its price fool you. The ZRM&E is a small fan controller that is easy to install and can be used to split power to eight different fans.
This means that a single fan will not be overworked trying to cool your computer. It also means that this product works better if you have more fans at your disposal. The ZRM&E fan controller has metal and plastic components. It is only about 2 inches by 2 inches making it one of the smallest options available.
Its size makes it easy to fit into the majority of computers without any difficulties.
You will be able to connect it to your fans and the central unit of your computer with Molex or 4-pin connectors and a little bit of glue to ground it. After that, it is ready to go.
The ZRM&E fan controller also has three simplified speed settings to control your fans: off, low, and high. This is a good basic fan controller if you are on a budget. If you are looking with something with more features, the ZRM&E might not be the item for you.
Which PC Fan Controller is Right for You?
If you are in the market for a new computer fan controller, please note that the information above lists only a few of the numerous options available. While they are some of the best products available on the market today, they each have their own pros and cons. This means that they might not fit the specifications that you are looking for. But, you can use them as a good starting point.