Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans

Manufacturer: Corsair Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans

When it comes to moving some air, Corsair has been at it for quite a while and keeps tuning up their fans and air flow accessories with performance improvements and cool visual features. Check out the latest here with their new 120mm and 140mm SP RGB Elite fan series, where we take them for a spin. See what I did there?

Corsair sent us their two multi-pack main kits in both sizes for evaluation. The whole family is in the picture above!

For complete manufacturer specs, be sure to open up the Product Specifications section right below.

Product Specifications
  • SP120 RGB Elite
    • Rated Current: 0.30A
    • Dimensions: 120mm x 25mm
    • Speed: 550 – 1500 ±10% RPMs
    • Airflow: 16.91 – 47.73 CFM
    • Static Pressure: 0.28 – 1.46mm-H2O
    • Sound Level: 18 – 26.5 dBA
    • Connection Cable: 4-pin PWM and proprietary Corsair RGB
    • Warranty: 2 years
  • SP140 RGB Elite
    • Rated Current: 0.30A
    • Dimensions: 140mm x 25mm
    • Speed: 450 – 1200 ±10% RPMs
    • Airflow: 23.07 – 68.11 CFM
    • Static Pressure: 0.26 – 1.66mm-H2O
    • Sound Level: 18 – 26.8 dBA
    • Connection Cable: 4-pin PWM and proprietary Corsair RGB
    • Warranty: 2 years
SP120 RGB Elite: $24.99ea
SP120 RGB Elite triple pack: $79.99
SP140 RGB Elite: $29.99ea
SP140 RGB Elite dual pack: $69.99
Manufacturer Description
“The CORSAIR iCUE SP RGB ELITE Performance RGB Fans boasts eight bright, individually addressable RGB LEDs on each fan, alongside CORSAIR AirGuide technology with anti-vortex vanes for concentrated cooling.”

Bright & Beaming

Well lit fans draw the eye, so please try and get it right. Corsair knows how to make some of the best eye-catching RGB fans in the business. They have packed each fan with eight really bright and individually addressable(!) RGB LEDs. Electrically the fan motors are all standard PWM, with motherboard style 4 pin connectors, while the RGB LED lighting wiring is separate. Each kit of three 120mm or two 140mm fans will include a lighting controller – The Lighting Node CORE RGB specifically. A Corsair lighting controller is necessary to gain full RGB mastery I’m afraid.

At this time, Corsair lists compatible controllers as their Commander CORE, Commander Pro, Lighting Node PRO and of course the included Node CORE RGB.

Incidentally, it appears that one of the very latest cases from Corsair, the 5000X RGB, could be shipping with the new SP RGB Elite fans already. We reviewed the 5000D Airflow version just a short while ago, and it’s a very nice case.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 15

Corsair Makes It Easy

With all the wiring, it might appear somewhat complex – but it’s not really. The lighting controller makes for an out of the way central location within your case to run all your fan RGB wiring, and the Node CORE controller will run up to 6.

The reason the connectors are numbered on the Node Core controller is so that as you program lighting effects in the Corsair iCue software, you can smoothly move the action from one fan to another based on their number, in sequence. This makes figuring out wiring far easier, as it does not matter where they are physically in your case. It’s easy to rearrange the ordering at the controller rather then within a more typical RGB daisy-chain that wire to the motherboard headers.

When it’s time to light them up, you can keep it simple with one of the many built in presets or get as complex as you want because the iCue software makes each fan addressable, and then each LED within each fan.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 16
Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 17
Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 18
Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 19

The Node CORE Controller

The lighting controller included with the SP RGB Elite kits are powered via a SATA connector. The commands for directing RGB patterns and vivid lighting actions come in via a standard motherboard style USB 2.0 link. It’s the same form of connection that most USB 2.0 case headers utilize to connect with your main board. If your board only has one of these headers, and you want to keep using your case’s USB 2.0 ports, splitters are available.

Construction and Materials

The SP Elite fans have impressively rigid frames, and surprisingly the same for the blades. For some reason I expected the semi-translucent blades to be softer – but no, absolutely not. Very little flex in any of it. If I really torqued on the 120mm, I could get the tiniest bit of frame flex out of it, but I have high confidence that frame distortion should never be a problem.

The wiring itself is flat ribbon style and a bit springy, making routing slightly annoying. Braided sheath would be a nice, but lack of it is understandable given the reasonable price point within Corsair’s cooling lineup.

AirGlide Technology

Check out the back side of these new fans. The motor supports are molded and shaped as air directing blades. Corsair labels them as their new anti-vortex vanes to direct airflow and improve cooling no matter how the fans are deployed. Intake, exhaust or mounted to a radiator or even a heatsink. It’s truly difficult to know if it’s working as described, but I can say I had a pair of the 140’s on an AIO and ran hot benchmarking tests through a 10700k with absolutely no issues.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 20

They also can be had in a very clean white look.

Controlling with iCue

How do you control all this spinning light? What is the final piece you need for RGB mastery? (Ok, a little thick I know).

In order to get these well lit blowers to behave like the whirling eye dazzlers you know you want, you are going to have to install and run the Corsair iCue software. After having used several vendor’s RGB control software packages, iCue is reasonable for what you’re doing and seems to mostly just work. Setting up and controlling lighting functions is generally a mildly painful experience, especially across vendors. The Corsair iCue software is far more polished then most, but can be tricky to get juuuust right with all different features and options.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 23

Within iCue lighting control, there are plenty of presets available. It has capabilities to sync or de-couple devices, and ways to get right down to individual LEDs if you want and the accessory supports it. As of today, the latest version is major revision 4.9. iCue is also used by Corsair to delivery firmware updates to their entire component and accessory product line, as applicable.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 24
Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 25


I was impressed with how quiet the SP Elite RGB fans were, and just how much air they seemed to flow. But that was based just on sticking my hand in the breeze. Let’s see what we can measure.

Note that any airflow measurements are purely relative to this test and cannot be considered absolute in anyway, meaning the results are only comparable as ratios to each other and cannot be used outside of these test values for comparison. Room level noise was 35.7dBa background. Foam core shields were put in place between the open-air PC components and the fan being tested prior to sound measurements.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 26

These charts are the raw collected numbers showing two variables at a time each. Noise vs relative air movement, noise vs RPMs of the fan and RPMs vs relative CFM. All this data is only comparable between each other, and only useful as a relative comparison.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 27

Some additional charts for comparison clarity. It is a bit tricky to present this multi-tapped data (at 4 different RPM percentages) in an easy to read chart.

Corsair SP120 and SP140 RGB Elite PWM Fans - Cases and Cooling 28


At first, it might seem somewhat pricey at $70-$80 for a fan and controller kit, but realize that Corsair brings a full, well developed package to the table with the SP Elite RGB kits and that its delivered as a part of large accessory system that works well together. It is in their best interest to keep all that running smoothly. Also, if dividing out the cost within a fan kit, there is an acceptable discount over the individual parts. In the case of the SP RGB Elite fans, they bring fancy spinning RGBs, quality construction, reasonable software and a 2 year warranty. If you feel the need for bit of bling (and you can turn down the RGB to “subtle”, yes) fans are probably the most eye-catching addition you can make. With the SP RGB Elites, Corsair makes that reasonably affordable and easily controllable. In use, these fans were much quieter then many others, while cooling performance stayed satisfactory.

I can give it the gold award today as there were no real issues in performance or construction, and I would have no trouble recommending one of these kits if you’re in the market.

pcper gold award

Review Disclosures

This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.

How Product Was Obtained

The products are on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The products remain the property of Corsair but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Corsair had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Corsair for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Corsair has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

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About The Author

Brett VanSprewenburg

Years of geek-ism in programming, digital image processing, capture, compression and other online application work has landed Brett here - amongst his many endeavors - webmaster and contributor @ PC Perspective. Whether its wrenching on race cars, dune buggies or web sites, only the size and shape of the tools are different. The solution always starts in your head.

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