NZXT AER RGB 140 Review /w NZXT Hue+ Controller

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Introduction & Closer Look

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Although not the first RGB fans to grace the market, the NZXT AER RGB 140 140mm fans certainly do look like some of the best from all of the fancy marketing; but is that the case in the flesh? Lately, every company seems to have added RGB to their products in the hopes of enticing consumers to go with them and in doing so, making profits galore. Of course, there are many benefits and reasons to go for RGB fans over static LED or non-LED fans. The main one is the countless colour combinations that can be made! This means that you could keep the same range of fans and transfer them into a new build, even if the colour doesn’t match; they are customisable in that regard after all. It seems to be a common trend that users want their system to look as good as it performs and that’s why companies like NZXT have been pushing the limits so users (including myself) can benefit from the best of both worlds; stunning aesthetics, but without sacrificing performance.

Now NZXT does offer different options available in terms of size which does require support from their NZXT Hue+ system. They offer single packs, double packs and triple packs with the fans on their own in 120mm and 140 varieties, as well as twin packs including the NZXT Hue+ itself; this is required to use the fans RGB functionality.

We have the twin pack of 140mm AER 140 RGB fans which do include the NZXT Hue+ unit in with the bundle and this retails pricewise for around £89.99 in the UK. Pretty expensive for a set of 140mm fans, but given their unique customisation, design and the fact a £49.99 NZXT Hue+ comes included in the box, you can save yourself some money on purchasing them separately.

Starting off with the accessories, the NZXT AER RGB 140 twin pack with Hue+ controller comes with a plethora of cables included. These include a USB header to USB mini power cable to power the NZXT Hue+ controller, screws for the fans, longer fan cables with in/out on them which correlate with the rear of the Hue+ controller and an instruction manual.

We actually reviewed the NZXT Hue+ controller a while back (can check it out by clicking HERE) and it scored very well; after all, it’s a fantastic product for customising the look of your system and we rate it very highly here at Play3r. The Hue+ comes in this particular package we have been sent with 2 x NZXT AER RGB 140 fans, but you can purchase the fans separately without the bundled Hue+. Please be aware you need the NZXT Hue+ controller to work the RGB functions on the AER RGB fans in collaboration with the CAM software.

Looking at the fans themselves, the AER RGB 140 are pretty much as they say, 140mm in diameter and size. There are 120mm AER RGB fans available, so make sure you get the right ones which are compatible with your case. The rule of thumb is bigger fans require less speed to generate the same airflow, so 140’s are usually quieter than 120’s.

The AER RGB fans feature a plastic trim which should help enhance the lighting on the fans better while not protruding too much into the overall design. Each fan features 9 blades and a 4 pin PWM header for support for motherboards that support pulse width modulation. To enable the RGB features, these must be plugged into the NZXT Hue+ controller while using the CAM software program, although they will work as regular fans without…but why would you buy them not to use them for their intended purpose?

Like most regular case fans, the NZXT AER RGB 140 fans are 25mm thick and also feature anti-vibration rubber pads in each corner for installation; fewer vibrations = less noise.

Each of the fans features a Fluid Dynamic Bearing which has a 6-year life span according to the NZXT specifications (see down the page for the full specifications). The fans themselves are also backed with a 2-year warranty, perfect for those who plan to use them for years and want peace of mind from mechanical failure.

Here we can see the in and out ports on the fans themselves. The Hue+ will support up to 5 fans per channel meaning 10 fans can be supported from 1 controller. This allows for daisy chaining and connection to each fan and the controller itself; hence the in and out.

To demonstrate the NZXT AER RGB 140’s functionality and settings via the Hue+ controller/CAM software, I have decided to do a short video test to best show off the lighting types. I believe that video is much better than static images in this case. I hope you find it informative, helpful and helps make your mind up…but first, the specifications!

Specifications

Dimensions Aer RGB120: 120 x 120 x 26mm
Aer RGB140: 140 x 140 x 26mm
Material Plastic, rubber, PCB
Weight Aer RGB120: 183g
Aer RGB140: 213g
Fan Rated Voltage 12V DC
Fan Speed 500-1,500 RPM
Fan Airflow Aer RGB120: 17.48 – 52.44 CFM
Aer RGB140: 30.39 – 91.19 CFM
Fan Air Pressure Aer RGB120: 0.15 – 1.35mm-H2O
Aer RGB140: 0.17 – 1.52mm-H2O
Fan Noise Level Aer RGB120: 22 – 33 dBA
Aer RGB140: 22 – 33dBA
Fan Life 6 years
Fan Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB)
Fan Connector 4-pin PWM
Model Number RF-AR120-B1 (Aer RGB120 Single Pack)
RF-AR120-T1 (Aer RGB120 Triple Pack)
RF-AR140-B1 (Aer RGB140 Single Pack)
RF-AR140-T1 (Aer RGB140 Triple Pack)
UPC 815671013033 (Aer RGB120 Single Pack)
815671013071 (Aer RGB120 Triple Pack)
815671013026 (Aer RGB140 Single Pack)
815671013064 (Aer RGB140 Triple Pack)
EAN 5060301693269 (Aer RGB120 Single Pack)
5060301693313 (Aer RGB120 Triple Pack)
5060301693252 (Aer RGB140 Single Pack)
5060301693306 (Aer RGB140 Triple Pack)
System Requirements HUE+ is sold separately and is required to unlock Aer RGB’s full lighting features.
PC with open internal USB 2.0 port
Windows® 10 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 7
Internet connection is needed to download CAM
Warranty 2 Years

 

Performance & AER RGB 140/CAM Demonstration (Video)

Conclusion

While this particular NZXT AER RGB 140 twin pack with included NZXT Hue+ controller does come at the rather costly price of £89.99 in the UK and $93.98 (Scan Computers & Amazon.com respectively), the AER RGB isn’t exactly the most cost effective option for RGB fans on the market. Of course, you need to understand that NZXT hasn’t priced them on the basis of value, but mainly on their performance, unique design and highly customisable nature. You can get cheaper RGB fans from other brands such as Thermaltake, but do they really compare in terms of quality? Well, take it from me (no disrespect to Thermaltake), they don’t…

The NZXT AER RGB 140 fans are the best example of an RGB fan I have ever seen and when they launched with such fancy images on their marketing/point of sale, I was intrigued to know if it was just good photoshopping or they actually did look that good. Well, I can safely now say that they not only look good, but they are actually very powerful too! Included in the box are 2 x PWM reducers so they won’t run as fast. At maximum speed, they do sound very loud, but given each of the 140mm AER RGB fans kicks out around 91cfm of air, it’s to be understood that the included voltage reducer will be used by most in regular systems.

I think the main kicker for most people comes down to needing the Hue+ controller to operate the RGB function. This actual pack does include one and you can save a nice bit of money opting for the complete pack (2 fans and 1 Hue+), but individual AER RGB 140 fans to add-on cost £39.99/$34.99 which is rather steep. If you don’t already own the Hue+ controller, it is a fantastic piece of kit and can really change the look of your system combined with the AER RGB fans and NZXT RGB led strips; all are widely available for multiple retailers across the globe.

If you’re in the market to pimp up the aesthetics of your system and you want the best RGB fans money can buy, then the NZXT AER RGB 140 140mm fans are the perfect companion. Paired with the NZXT Hue+ controller and the CAM software, they really do the business and have a wide variety of lighting settings to perform a light show for all your mates.

When it came to dishing out awards (if any at all), it was a tough one to call! They deserved more than silver as the design is superb, but the value aspect really brought the score down; £39.99 for 1 fan is absurd pricing, but you have to remember that it’s a very unique product to the market in terms of style. I decided seeing as how I believe the AER RGB to be the best RGB fan on the market currently (in my opinion), I have opted for our Platinum award. The performance is there, airflow is good although a bit loud and they look phenomenal. What more could you ask for?…Except for a big reduction in the price!

Huge thanks to NZXT for sending the AER RGB 140 140mm RGB fan pack in for review!

Note: Our Platinum award ignores the value aspect as the best products on the market generally cost more than most.

 Awards image 4

ASUS GTX 1060 STRIX Review 3

 

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:

- Best looking RGB fans currently on the market
- 140mm version pushes a good amount of air
- Includes voltage reducers for those demanding silent performance
- Widely available within the UK
- CAM software is easy to use/configure

Cons:

- Very expensive pricing
- CAM software stability is hit and miss

3.3
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