Corsair ML Series vs QL Series RGB Fans: Test & Review

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When it comes to the Best RGB Fans we’ve already established that Corsair makes very good fans. However, now they have two amazing RGB (ARGB) fans, the ML Series and QL Series. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to see which ones you should get for your next gaming build.

In this review, we’ll be taking a look at a few different things with the ML Series vs QL Series. What is the differences between the two? Performance? Which ones should you get?

While these are both premium high-performance RGB case fans, there are significant differences. And, they can affect how your computer performs in games as well as performance in general.

Corsair ML Series Fans (ML120 PRO)

Corsair ML120 PRO 120mm Premium Magnetic Levitation RGB LED PWM Fan with Lighting Node 3 Pack,CO-9050076-WW (Personal Computers)

Features:
  • Magnetic Levitation Bearing: Dramatically reduces bearing friction by magnetically levitating the fan blade, producing lower noise and higher performance. Air flow – 47.3 CFM. Noise level – 25.0 decibels
  • Dynamic RGB Lighting: Four independent ultra-bright center-mounted RGB LEDs output a vivid blast of light and color
  • Control, Customize and Sync: The included CORSAIR Lighting Node PRO enables stunning dynamic lighting effects, or synchronize with other CORSAIR LINK supported devices
  • Complete PWM Control: Dynamically control fan speed from 400 RPM to 1,600 RPM to minimize noise or maximize airflow
  • Built to Last: Long lifespan with a five-year warranty

List Price:
$129.99
New From:
$108.52 In Stock
 

So, what’s so special about the Corsair ML Series Fans (ML120 PRO)? Well a lot of stuff, but we’ll be going over it all.

Features

Starting off with the ML120 PRO fans features is their most unique magnetic levitation operating. Corsair saw a problem with typical bearing-style fans. They were too loud and unreliable. So, they created a magnetic levitation bearing to dramatically cut down friction.

ml140-pro-rgb-fan

This means, less friction equals less noises, more performance and better reliability. They can spin anywhere from 400-2400 RPM for the 120mm fans and 400-2000 RPM for the 140mm fans. Additionally, they add special rubberized vibration dampers so whether you’re running at 400 or 2400 RPM, the noise is very low.

corsair-ml-series-fan

Corsair also uses hub-mounted RGB LED’s so that you can completely control the look and style of your fans. The ML120 PRO fans create 4.2 mmH2O of static pressure and 75 CFM of airflow all at 25 dBA.

You can use the Corsair Lighting Node Pro to enable dynamic RGB lighting effects that sync up with the rest of your system. Finally, these fans are equipped with a five-year warranty straight through Corsair.

Performance

corsair-ml-series-rgb-fan

As far as performance goes, Corsair doesn’t disappoint with these ML series fans. They are unbelievably powerful and quiet. Once you have them all hooked up, and get iCUE setup, then you’re ready to go! There is nothing that can stop these fans.

You can set the PWM control curves and let your computer run cool for days. These are perfect for AIO cooler radiator fans or as high-flow case fans. You can easily cool down pretty much any components with a combination of the ML120 PRO’s and ML140 PRO’s.

The biggest downside we found is that you have to use Corsair’s proprietary connections, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The kit does include all of the necessary connections and you can avoid any hassle trying to get your motherboard software to work with these fans.

The RGB built-in is bright, color accurate and provides an adequate amount of effects. However, if you are an RGB nut and are going after the best-performing RGB fans, then keep reading!

Corsair QL Series Fans (QL120 RGB)

Corsair QL Series, Ql120 RGB, 120mm RGB LED Fan, Triple Pack with Lighting Node Core (Personal Computers)

Features:
  • Triple fan kit with four lighting Zones and 34 individually addressable RGB LEDs per fan radiate spellbinding colors and effects on either side
  • Use the included compact iCUE lighting Node Core to easily control RGB lighting via Corsair iCUE software cutting down cable clutter with simple USB 2 0 and SATA connections
  • Create mesmerizing animated lighting effects with powerful Corsair iCUE software bringing your system to life with dynamic RGB lighting synchronized across all your icue-compatible products and immersive integrated lighting with compatible games
  • Keep your system cool with powerful fan speeds up to 1 500 RPM pushing up to 41 8 CFM of air, Sound Level – 26 dBA. Static Pressure – 1.55 mm-H2O
  • A low-noise semi-transparent 120mm fan blade is engineered for quiet operation while also allowing your RGB lighting to shine through

List Price:
$139.99
New From:
$126.99 In Stock
 

Features

corsair-ql-series-120mm-rgb-led-fans

If it’s RGB lighting that you’re looking for, then the Corsair QL Series QL120 RGB Fans are 100% one of the best you can buy. They come in 120mm and 140mm and either black or white and look absolutely incredible in both.

If you’ve never seen these fans in person before, then you need to! The RGB lighting is incredibly bright, vibrant and color accurate. And, they have four lighting zones with 34 individually addressable RGB LED’s. We did a full article on addressable-RGB vs non-addressable RGB, but basically these are awesome.

They use Corsair iCUE software to connect via the lighting Node Core. Once connected, you can easily control all of the RGB lighting zones with hundreds of effects.

corsair-ql120-rgb-fan

While the main focus of the QL Series fan is RGB, they aren’t any slouch when it comes to performance. They can go up to 1500 RPM and push 41.8 CFM of air. At max RPM’s they sit around 26 dBA and have a static pressure rating of 1.55 mmH2O. They can easily be used for radiator support.

Performance

corsair-ql-fans-performance

As I said before, if you’ve never seen the QL Series fans in person, then you need to! They are incredible. If RGB is what you’re looking for then these are definitely the fans for you.

There isn’t a whole lot of companies that compete with Corsair when it comes to RGB and they’re just proving it with these QL120 Fans. But, in addition to RGB, the actual cooling performance of these fans is pretty good. When comparing them to more budget RGB fans, they absolutely destroy the competition.

The 4 zone addressable RGB lighting is so fun to play with. If you have a setup that has a lot of Corsair equipment, then you can connect it all through iCUE and sync it together. Additionally, even if you don’t have other Corsair stuff then you can definitely sync your QL Fans with other RGB LED components. They have so many effects that you’ll be sure to find one that matches.

As far as white lighting goes (which can be a big topic), the LED’s are very pure white. So, that means that they don’t have a super-blue tinted look when compared to cheaper LED chips.

QL Series vs ML Series Fans: The Differences

corsair-ql-vs-ml-series-fans-comparison

While there is more unique differences, the main difference between the Corsair QL and ML Series is performance. The QL Series fans are all about RGB lighting performance. And, the ML Series fans are all about actual airflow performance.

So, you can definitely choose which you prefer. It will depend on each gamer’s individual needs and gaming setup.

Corsair QL vs LL Fans

When it comes to the QL vs LL fans, the difference is that the QL fans have more LED’s on the back side of the fan. This means that when the LED’s are illuminated, there is more light from both sides of the fan. Also, the LL fan speed’s is 600-1500 RPM, while the QL’s speed is 525-1500 ±10% RPM.

And the final difference between the Corsair QL and LL fans is what lighting hub comes included. The QL fans come with the new Lighting Node Core (Lighting Node Pro + RGB fan hub). While the LL fans come with two separate pieces, the Lighting Node Pro and a separate RGB fan hub.

If you’re still confused, this video gives a good explanation of the different hubs that Corsair offers.

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