When it comes to building your dream PC, we understand how crucial it is to find the right fit for every space. When most people think about building a PC for themselves, they only focus on the processors, graphics cards, and other major aspects. But other than those, gamers also have to think about other seemingly insignificant parts in a PC that holds just as much importance in building your perfect machine. And a gaming fan is one of those little pieces fundamental for a flawless well-built PC.
A Little Bit About Corsair
Corsair is one of the most popular names among gamers to provide quality gaming fans. Their products are typically very well-made and come with various features to appeal to a wide range of gamers. The Corsair ML series was launched back in 2016 when it caused quite the stir in the gaming community. It was and still is, one of the best gaming fans in the market. A year later, in 2017, Corsair launched their LL series of fans which again stood out in the market and quickly became a best-seller.
These fans do not vary a great deal when it comes to their cost or their performance. So it is easy to get confused about which one to buy for your PC. This is where the Corsair ML vs. LL debate kicks in. We have tried to help make this decision easier by comparing and reviewing these fans based on features, aesthetics, and overall performance.
Corsair ML Vs. LL: Features
The ML Series
The Corsair ML fans entered the market in 2016 with their new bearing system that caused quite the stir among users. But what does ML even mean?
ML is an acronym for “Magnetic Levitation.” This term refers to a novel bearing technology in gaming fans. Before this technology, when traditional bearing fans were widely used, people used to think that the bigger the performance of the PC, the louder the noise would be. When the RPM gets increased, the temperature drops quickly, but the noise level rises substantially.
But the magnetic levitation feature has changed this scenario. This technology cuts down fans’ friction, resulting in a quieter RPM range. This means less noise and, more significantly, that these fans will serve a long period.
The key features of Corsair ML fans are:
- Size: 120mm x 25mm
- Weight: .606 lbs
- Speed: 400-1600 RPM
- Bearing Type: Magnetic Levitation
- PWM Control Range: 400-2400 RPM (120MM), 400-2000 RPM (140MM)
- Noise: 25 dBA
- Airflow: 76 CFM
- Static Pressure: 4.2 mmH2O
This fan series guarantees outstanding performance for years to come, with a five-year warranty and an MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 200,000+ hours.
The Corsair ML fans have a mean time between failures or MFBT of more than 200,000 hours. These fans also come with a five-year warranty, which you usually will not see in gaming fans.
The LL Series
The Corsair LL fans are most popular for their stunning RGB setup and amazing customization features.
The LL series refers to light loops. This series of Corsair fans focus more on the aesthetics than the performance of the fan. This means that it has slightly fewer features in terms of performance, but it is in no way an under-performing fan. The remarkable magnetic levitating technology is not available in this series of Corsair. Rather it uses the hydraulic bearing, which causes slight friction in the fans, but the overall performance of this fan does not fall that short from the ML series.
The key features of the Corsair LL fans are:
- Size: 120mm x 25mm
- Weight: .49 lbs
- Speed: 600-1500 RPM
- Bearing Type: Hydraulic
- Rotation speed: 600-1500 RPM
- Airflow: 43.25 CFM
- Lighting: RGB (12 LEDs on the outer loop, 4 LEDs on inner loop)
- Noise: 24.8 dBA
These fans have a less guarantee period than the ML fans. They come with a two-year guarantee, but due to their brilliant design, there are very few reported difficulties, making them an excellent choice for anyone working on a visually appealing rig. Although they are not as robust as other fan options, they can last you a long time if you can put in the time and care for these fans every once in a while.
Corsair ML Vs. LL: Aesthetics
The ML Series
The Corsair ML fans were created to focus on their performance and their new innovative magnetic levitating technology. This is why not much thought was put into the appearance of this high-performing fan. The only thing stopping this Corsair fan from being the perfect fan out there was the missing RGB feature. That is to say, you will get a high-quality performance, but the aesthetics would be subpar.
The Corsair ML Pro series comes with a selection of four colors for corner caps. These caps complement most components and cases right out of the box without being garish. Even if you are someone who likes covert sleeper systems, you will enjoy their stealth black look. The soft rubber construction of the covers dampens vibrations before they reach the chassis, which prevents additional sound issues from occurring. The ML fans do include lighting functions. However, there are just four LEDs on the fan, the shades are less vibrant, and personalization options are quite restricted.
The ML Pro LED series has a quad-LED design that spreads hub-mounted light all around the impeller with a vivid pattern to show through braided cables, thick metal grills, or black Lucite panels for added flair.
Later, Corsair even listened to customer feedback and chose to add RGB support to the Corsair ML series after receiving multiple user requests. Their ML Pro RGB fans have four hub-mounted RGB lights and showcase dynamic lighting with a powerful setup. They also have replaceable corner caps for anyone willing to buy those separately.
The LL Series
The Corsair LL series is built with the key focus of revamping the RGB fan in the gaming scene. This series offers infinite customization opportunities with 16 RGB LED lights and iCue software, all in place to give you a visual joyride.
There are two RGB light loops on this series. The RGB lighting on the inner, as well as the outer band of the fans, is a distinctive feature of the LL series. There are 12 RGB LEDs on the outer loop of the fans and 4 RGB LEDs on the inner loop. Different color combinations of these two light rings will allow you to personalize your fans. Another addition to these lighting fans is the smart iCue software that controls and customizes the lighting effects. The Corsair Lighting Node Pro and Corsair Link Software are also included in this bundle. The diffuser also ensures that the LL series fan’s RGB illumination is consistent.
Corsair ML Vs. LL: Performance
Above everything, performance is the key deciding factor when it comes to buying fans for gaming PCs. The performance of gaming fans is judged on a few criteria, including speed, sound, blade type, size, type of airflow, etc. We have already noted their specifications on the features tab. Now we will dig into the specifics for each Corsair fan.
The Corsair ML series fans produce 25 dBA noise while the Corsair LL series fans produce 24.8 dBA noise. Both of these are pretty low, making these amazing fans gamers who prefer low noise. The difference isn’t stark if we make a comparison, but the Corsair LL series produces lower noise than the ML series does. Nonetheless, unless you’re testing at minimal speeds, it isn’t easy to see the difference between the two fans running at maximum speeds.
The Corsair ML series fans have 7 big blades in their fans. The number of bigger blades on these fans is ideal for magnetic levitation bearings. The magnetic levitation bearings on the Corsair ML fans exert very minimal stress on the blades. Corsair engineered these fans in their Corsair ML series with fewer blades for better rotation and increased their length to compensate. On the other hand, the Corsair LL series fans have 9 relatively smaller blades that blow air rapidly and easily into the fans. The hydraulic bearings in these fans are well-engineered to keep these fans running smoothly.
In terms of speed and overall performance, the Corsair ML series is the better one. The unique bearing system in the ML series is what makes it stand out in the performance range. But the Corsair LL series is not that far behind either.
Both the Corsair ML and LL series fans are solid gaming fans packed with high-performing, amazing features. The only slight difference between these two is in their lighting features. So if performance is your priority, we suggest you go for the Corsair ML fan which will last you longer and give you the best gaming experience you can get. And if aesthetics is what you’re looking for, then the Corsair LL fans are your thing. You will get an amazing-looking fan that is sure to make everyone go crazy over your PC, and you get all this at a slightly reduced performance key.
That concludes our debate over the Corsair ML Vs. LL fans. No matter which one you pick for your dream PC, you surely won’t be disappointed with these gems.
I’m Jaskaran Singh, a passionate tech enthusiast from Delhi, now based in Ahmedabad. My five-year journey as a tech writer has culminated in my role as the Editor in Chief at TheWorldsBestAndWorst, where I continue to explore and share the myriad facets of technology with my audience. Beyond writing, I also run a YouTube channel, with a community of 50,000 subscribers.