When attempting to showcase the new NZXT AER RGB 2 fan starter kit, you might ask what better way to do so than to include it in a build with lots of other NZXT RGB goodness? That’s the conclusion NZXT came to… and so I did… so that’s what happened!
NZXT AER RGB 2 Fan Starter Kit Closer Look
The AER RGB 2 series of starter kits are designed to integrate into the HUE 2 setup from NZXT, compatible with all controllers and accessories in that range of products. At the heart of the kits are PWM fans in either 120mm or 140mm varieties, and come equipped with fluid dynamic bearings.
Add to that, NZXZ’s customary lashings of RGB goodness all driven by the included controller, and what you have is an out of the box solution to give any build that extra little something to make it a rig to be proud of.
The controller unit itself is powered by a molex adapter and connects directly to the motherboard, fans and other HUE 2 accessories, such as RGB light strips. With the ability to daisy chain the fans in your build with the included cables, you will never run out of ports on the controller.
NZXT AER RGB 2 Fan Starter Specifications & Features
|Dimensions||Aer RGB 2 120mm: 120 x 120 x 26mm
Aer RGB 2 140mm: 140 x 140 x 26mm
HUE 2 Controller: 76 x 100 x 15mm
|Weight||Aer RGB 2 120mm: 187g
Aer RGB 2 140mm: 222g
HUE 2 Controller: 741g
|Material(s)||Aer RGB 2: Plastic, rubber, PCB
HUE 2 Controller: Steel, plastic, PCB
|Output LED Quantity||8 LEDs each|
|Fan Rated Voltage||12V DC|
|Fan Airflow||Aer RGB 2 120mm: 17.48 – 52.44 CFM
Aer RGB 2 140mm: 30.39 – 91.19 CFM
|Fan Air Pressure||Aer RGB 2 120mm: 0.15 – 1.35mm-H2O
Aer RGB 2 140mm: 0.17 – 1.52mm-H2O
|Fan Speed||500-1,500 RPM|
|Fan Noise Level||Aer RGB 2 120mm: 22 – 33 dBA
Aer RGB 2 140mm: 22 – 33dBA
|Fan Life||6 years|
|Fan Bearing||Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB)|
|Fan Connector||4-pin PWM|
|Model Number||HF-2812C-D1 (Aer RGB 2 120mm x 2)
HF-2814C-D1 (Aer RGB 2 140mm x 2)
HF-2812C-T1 (Aer RGB 2 120mm x 3)
|UPC||815671014481 (Aer RGB 2 120mm x 2)
815671014498 (Aer RGB 2 140mm x 2)
815671014504 (Aer RGB 2 120mm x3)
|EAN||5060301694785 (Aer RGB 2 120mm x 2)
5060301694792 (Aer RGB 2 140mm x 2)
5030601694808 (Aer RGB 2 120mm x 3)
|System Requirements||PC with one available internal USB 2.0 header and Microsoft® Windows® 10 operating system with CAM installed (an internet connection is required to download CAM).
CAM is free to download and use; some features require a valid email address, acceptance of our current Terms of Service, and an active internet connection
NZXT AER RGB 2 Fan Starter Kit Review: The Build
Complementing the AER RGB 2 kit in our NZXT build is the Kraken M22 liquid cooler, and our choice of case was the H400i.
The Kraken M series is the budget orientated option to the more premium X series of liquid coolers from NZXT, but crucially retains the same RGB lighting effects on the CPU block. What’s more, this block is also pretty low profile, thanks to the fact that the pump isn’t contained within it like almost all other AIO liquid coolers. Instead, NZXT have mounted it on the radiator itself. Whilst the PWM fan doesn’t feature any RGB lighting, it does retain the fluid dynamic bearings, and has a range of 500 – 2000 RPM.
For the case, we went with the mATX option from NZXT’s H series. Since their launch they have been hugely popular with buyers, and when my colleague Bo reviewed the slightly bigger H500i earlier this year, it walked away with our Platinum award… our highest accolade!
With all this kit collected, all that was required was to put it all together. Making up the remainder of the build was as follows:
- CPU – Intel Core i3-8350k
- Motherboard – ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
- PSU – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 1000w
- GPU – GeForce GTX 1050 TI 4GT OC
- Memory – Micron Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB
The NZXT AER RGB 2 Fan Starter Kit Review: The Verdict
As expected, the NZXT H400i was a dream to build in. The space and cable management options behind the motherboard tray make it really easy to get all the cables looking neat & tidy with very little effort. The ability to mount the AER RGB 2 controller to an SSD bracket is genius, and by positioning flat behind the motherboard makes it really easy to connect up all the necessary cables.
Ideally I would have liked to use an mATX motherboard in the build, but as I didn’t have one to hand so I went with an ITX board… this caused a couple of headaches however! The first being that in order to not block the beauty of the Kraken light show on the CPU block, I was limited to where I could position the radiator. The second issue (and much more serious) was that the Kraken blocked the first RAM slot on the ITX board… something to be very mindful of if you are building a similar system for long term use.
Enough of all that though, this is a review of the AER RGB 2 Starter Kit after all! For the purpose of the build, I decided to mount both RGB fans in the front air intake position, given that the H400i provided lighting from the top & bottom of the build. The integration of the lighting in the build is flawless, and NZXT are really the forerunners in the market. There may be others that get close or match them, but no one betters them. Even the CAM software seems to work these days, which wasn’t always the case in it’s earlier versions.
One tip for anyone cramming in this much RGB goodness though… each individual element requires to be powered by a USB2 header on the motherboard. My build needed three, yet the motherboard only comes equipped with one! The solution? An NZXT internal USB expansion hub… job done!
- Integrates seamlessly with other Hue 2 products
- CAM software is easy to use (and finally works!)
- Supreme build quality
- The kit isn’t cheap… in fact, it’s quite expensive
At the time of writing, the AER RGB 2 Kit we have featured here, with two 120mm fans retails at around the £90 mark in the UK, so you are really paying a premium if you want to go down the NZXT route for your lighting needs. However the design and execution is flawless, and given that our Platinum accolade is awarded irrespective of cost, that’s what it gets. If money is no object, get this… if you are on a budget, there are cheaper options out there.
Thanks to NZXT for sending a sample of the NZXT AER RGB 2 Fan Starter Kit in for review.