Back in November Corsair launched their QL series of fans and I had the chance to take a look at them. The QL series of fans are similar to Corsairs Light Loop fans, only with almost double the number of LEDs recently got their white version of the same fans and in my experience, a lot of OC components look even better in white so today I’m going to take a look at them. Because I covered them previously and the only thing that has changed is the color of the fan, it will be a much quicker look but I figured some of you might be interested in seeing what the QL120’s look like in white!

Product Name: Corsair QL120 White RGB Fans

Review Sample Provided by: Corsair

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Fan Color

White or Black

Fan Size

120mm x 25mm

Bearing Type

Hydraulic

Flow Type

Static Pressure

LED Color

RGB

Operating Voltage

7V - 13.2V

PWM Control

Yes

CORSAIR iCUE Compatibility

Yes

Fan Model

QL Series

Weight

0.49

Package Quantity

3

Speed

2200 ±10% RPM

Sound Level

36 dBA

Power Draw

0.30 A

Static Pressure

3.0 mm-H2O

Adaptive Sync

RGB

Fan Airflow

63 CFM

Fan Warranty

Two years

 

 


Photos and Features

The white QL120’s came in the same packaging as the black QL120’s that I previously took a look at, no shocker there. It is cool though that the picture on the front does match the white color of the fans. A lot of times variations like this are lucky to get a sticker that shows what color they are. The front picture shows the fan, the unique frame design, and the dual ring lighting that can be seen from multiple angles all in one shot. There is another picture on the back of the box that shows both the front and back view. That sits next to the specifications and a list of everything included in the three fan kit. Then below that, they have a shortlist of features that are repeated over and over in multiple languages.

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Inside the three fans, all come in their own tray and then there is a small yellow box that has all of the documentation and other accessories. For documentation, the main thing is the user manual, but there is also all of the other documentation that you never look at like a paper on not throwing electronics out, one with the certification on it, and a factory paper that shows things were inspected.

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For the other accessories, you have three bags of fan screws and the included Lighting Node Core. All of the fan screws are black which is notable, most fans come with basic chrome screws.

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So here is the Lighting Node Core, this is how Corsair controls all of the lighting in the three fans. While you get the three fans the Lighting Node Core does have hookups for 6 RGB products in total so you can expand things later with any of Corsairs other products or if you want to run a push pull setup and need 4 or 6 fans it is possible here. The QL fans have twice the number of addressable LEDs so while a few of Corsairs other controls will also work with them, some will be limited to a lower amount of devices when hooked up to the QL fans which makes the Lighting Node Core a good choice even if it wasn’t included in this kit. It has a SATA power connection and a USB 2.0 header for the data connection. They also include one pad of 3M double-sided tape for installation as well.

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Here is the white version of the QL120 and I have to say that while this is the exact same design as the black model I took a look at launch the white looks a LOT better. The black fans still have the translucent white fan blade and the lighting ring on the outside so there is a lot of contrast. Here everything is white except the rubber fans on the corners so it all goes together a lot better, not to mention white components always look amazing. For connections each fan does have two cords, one is to hook up to the Lighting Node Core to control the lighting and the other is a standard PWM 4 pin fan plug. This is where I mentioned in my original review where I thought things could be improved. When you start adding a lot of these into a system I think I would prefer all of that be on one plug with one cord. Not only would controlling the fans speeds in Corsairs software be nice, but doubling up on the cords gets to be a big mess, not to mention some motherboards aren’t going to have enough headers once up get up past 3.

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The frame design for the QL fans is dictated a lot by the dual lighting rings. Corsairs LL or light loop fans are nice but adding a second loop on the back isn’t nice unless you can see it. So they changed the frame design to this X like shape so that from all of the sides you can still see both the inside and outside outer rings. They did still keep the rubber vibration pads, however, though it would have been cool if those were white for this model as well.

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Then you have the actual fan itself which is a 9 blade design with the translucent fan blade. The front has a silver cap on the center with the Corsair logo etched onto it and the rear is similar but with a smaller cover. The reason for that is because not only do the QL fans have addressable LEDs all around the outside ring on both sides, there is inside lighting as well. You can see the ring on the back and the front is the center of the fan blade. So each outside ring has 12 addressable LEDs then the read ring has 6 and the front has 4 for a total of 34 LEDs.

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Here is a look at the three fans you get with this kit. You can get the QL fans in white in the 3 pack and individually in both 120mm and 140mm sizes. The three pack covers what most cases will need with a dual fan radiator and a rear exhaust and with the included Lighting Node Core it is the best way to get up and running, leaving the individual packs mostly just for adding more to your system or for adding a QL fan into one of Corsairs past setups.

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Lighting and Software

The main feature of the QL fans is their lighting, specifically the having two light rings on both the inside and outside facing sides of the fans. But there are a lot of cheap fan options out there. What sets some of the best RGB fans apart is the software that controls them. Easy control with lots of effects is important and some programs to put it nicely are a drain on your system. Corsair uses their iCue software for their fans and any other Corsair product which keeps things simple for their big ecosystem. So when you open it up, all of your devices are listed with photos and you can open each up. For the QL fans, it is actually the Lighting Node Core controller that comes up, because that is what controls all of the lighting.  There are just two tabs for this, one is the lighting setup page which lets you tell the controller what fan type you are running and the total number of fans. This is important because the controller needs to know the LED counts for addressable LEDs to know where each LED is.

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The lighting channel page is then where you set up all of your lighting. You can see that the three QL120 fans are shown, one box per fan with each side of the fan shown. The drop-down menu lets you select from a long list of effects and each effect has its own individual controls. Rainbow, for example, has the speed and direction, but some you can pick the colors used as well. You can get even more complicated because you can select which LEDs you want to run each effect. So you could have the inner rings doing a rainbow effect and the outers do a different effect or a sold color even. You can layer in as many as you want, going as far as setting each LED with its own effect.

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Beyond the software, the lighting itself is, of course, the whole point, right? I loved the black QL fans, but I have to say that the white QL’s look even better when lit up. The side profile look at the fans with the V-shaped frame allows you to see both sides lighting at the same time, so even when the fans are used on a radiator, for example, you can still use the lighting on both sides. Having 34 LEDs in total helps keep the entire ring lit up well. You can still see the hot spots where the LEDs are, but there aren’t any areas in the diffuser that are low on lighting.

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Overall

Just like with my original QL fan review with the black model, I had a great time playing around with the lighting effects with the dual-sided dual ring addressable lighting. Now be sure to check out my full review of the QL fans in my original review. But I will say that Corsair only improved things with the all-white frame. Now even when the lighting is off the fans actually match the white RGB light diffusers which looks even better and the white helps the lighting pop even more as well. Now Corsair isn’t the only company with addressable LED fans, nearly everyone has them, but their software does a good job of allowing for lots of control and the ability to tie everything in with the rest of your components. Of course, the lighting is still the QL120’s best feature with it being on both sides and with inside and outsight light rings and a total of 34 addressable RGBs.

My complaints from the original review are all still the same as well. Wiring everything up can be a mess, three fans with two long wires each and the lighting controller as well. I would love to see Corsair tie in the fan control itself into their controller seeing as no one is going to hook their expensive RGB fans up without the lighting. Which leads me to my other complaint, the three-pack of fans is going to cost you $139.99 which ends up being more than a lot of people spend on their case and a good portion of a lot of the other components. Without a doubt, these aren’t for budget builds. I do still like the fan design, especially with the bright white frame!

 

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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