I would be lying if I said I originally didn’t care about RGB in my PC case. I simply wanted products which would perform and keep my expensive machine running at tip top shape. So imagine my happiness when I realized Cougar’s new RGB equipped 120mm triple fan cooling kit provided both RGB lighting and fans that kept my neurotic fear of overheating in check. The Cougar Vortex RGB HPB 120 PWM HDP Cooling Kit might be some of the best fans I’ve ever put into a case, and I definitely don’t say that lightly.
- Model: CF-V12SET-RGB
- Product Name: VORTEX RGB HPB 120 Cooling Kit
- Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25mm
- Bearing Type: HDB (Hydro-Dynamic Bearing)
- Speed: PWM 600-1500 R.P.M
- Air Flow: 43.54 CFM 73.94 m3/h
- Air Pressure: 1.17mm H2O
- Fan Voltage: 12 VDC
- LED Voltage: 5 VDC
- Acoustical Noise: 26 dBA
- Cable Length: 600mm
- LED Lights: 18
- LED Power Consumption: 1.8W
- VORTEX RGB HPB 120 x 3
- RGB Core Box/Core Box v2* & Power Connector
- Wireless Controller
- 4 Pin Fan to PSU Connector x 3
- 5V Addressable Header Adapter* x 3
- Fan Screws
- User Manual
The Cougar Vortex cooling kit has some of the beefiest fans I’d ever used. I also really liked how each fan felt durable, unlike the stock Corsair fans my liquid cooling kit came with. The design of the fans, which Cougar is claims its frame is shaped to make the airflow form a vortex to keep the PC cool is incredibly attractive, and in my opinion works. My normal idle temperature before installing these fans was around 32C, now it typically sits around 28C.
Installation is actually pretty easy, which makes sense since we’re really only installing case fans. However, it was a little annoying not to have direction indicators on the fans themselves to show the airflow. However, after trial and error, I got the three fans set up on my rig as a push-pull configuration, drawing air through the case and radiator and out the back.
The RGB Core box is also pretty easy to set up, and it actually provides for multiple different RGB sources, not just the fans, this way you can coordinate any other LED strips or RGB sources in your case to maximize your setup’s look. I appreciated as well the magnets at the bottom of the box, allowing me to simply keep the box attached to the upper wall of my case, though I’ve yet to find a way without ripping my components out to manage the cables coming down from the controller.
The Cougar fans are also remarkably silent. Before, my Corsairs, even when clean, would make a lot of noise. However, even during gaming sessions when the fan speeds tend to kick up to match the cooling needs, I cannot hear them. My two RTX 2070 fans make more noise than the three case fans combined, and that to me is incredible.
Unfortunately, the cooling benefits I’ve seen while sitting idle are lost in gaming - typical temperatures sit in the 78-82C, which mirrors the range I saw with the stock case fans, but the Cougar Vortex feel a lot more efficient when doing so, and they stay silent throughout the entire ordeal.
The RGB lighting is likely one of the main features drawing many people towards these fans, however. And while the light options themselves are limited - there are only 10 selectable colors in its range - there are quite a few animation styles you can choose from. Thankfully, the way each light is situated on the fan means there really isn’t a bad viewing angle, thanks to it’s tri-directional design. The video below showcases both the different animations as well as the near-silent operation.
The wireless controller also allows for changing colors into a solid color, changing the brightness, speed and the direction the light travels. Cougar’s Vortex lights also are compatible with motherboard connections, giving access to programs such as MSI Mystic Light, ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion and ASRock Polychrome Sync, allowing you to sync all of your devices up into a system-wide RGB light show.
The Cougar Vortex RGB HPB 120 Cooling Kit will set you back around $70 on Amazon, but in my estimation they are worth it. It’s a quick, easy way to add some color to your set up, and the fans themselves are well built. While I was hoping for more of a benefit to cooling during gaming situations, it’s nice to know these are keeping my system just as cool with minimal noise. And while the RGB colors are limited, they are striking to look at from across my office.
- Easy to install
- Great RGB viewing angles
- Deathly silent operation
- Doesn’t keep my PC cooler than stock fans
- Limited RGB colors