Following the release of its non-RGB ML fans in 2016, Corsair has now announced the new ML Pro RGB fans that bring RGB LED lighting to the series. The new fans finally marry RGB lighting with Corsair’s magnetic-levitation bearing technology.
The defining aspect of Corsair’s ML series of fans is its use of a magnetic bearing. We spoke with Corsair about this technology at Computex 2016. In short, the magnetic bearing levitates the fan stem in the fan hub so that there is no surface-to-surface contact. The resulting reduction in friction gives the fan an exceptionally long life and wide RPM range.
The new ML Pro RGB fans add RGB lighting to the mix. They have four lighting zones that emanate from the fan hub and diffuse across their frosted fan blades. Like all of Corsair’s RGB products, the ML Pro RGB fans tie into Corsair’s lighting ecosystem, which is extensive and fairly confusing.
Corsair’s RGB fans have separate connections for LED and motor control. The latter, which works like it does for any regular computer fan, is attached to a motherboard or fan hub. On the other hand, the LED control uses a proprietary connector that goes to a Corsair RGB LED Hub which in turn goes to one of Corsair’s many different RGB lighting control modules. Among the basic ones available are the HD Lighting Controller, which has physical switches to cycle among pre-programmed patterns, and the Lighting Node Pro, which has a USB connection for control from Corsair’s Link driver software. There are also more advanced options such as the Commander Pro that ties everything into one unit, vastly reducing cable clutter.
Back to the ML Pro RGB fans themselves, they are largely the same as their non-RGB counterparts. They're available in 120mm and 140mm versions, and their “Pro” designation means that they have interchangeable rubber corners. There is one very important difference, however: lower maximum RPM on the RGB fans. The 120mm and 140mm RGB fans go to 1600 RPM and 1200 RPM respectively, as opposed to 2400 RPM and 2000 RPM for the non-RGB ones.
Corsair is not the only company that uses magnetic bearings, nor is it the only company making advanced RGB LED fans, but there aren’t many competitors tying the two together. Further, the ML Pro RGB fans are not Corsair’s most advanced in terms of LED lighting. Its LL series of fans feature a lit fan hub and a lit band that's embedded in the fan frame. However, that has a more conventional hydraulic bearing with a lower life span. It has only a two-year warranty, compared to the ML series’ five-year warranty.
The 120mm and 140mm ML Pro RGB fans are available individually now on Corsair’s site at $35 and $40, respectively. Multi-packs (these include an RGB Lighting Hub and Lighting Node Pro) of three 120mm fans and two 140mm fans are also available for $120 and $100, respectively.
|ML120 Pro RGB||ML140 Pro RGB|
|Corner Color||Black (changeable)||Black (changeable)|
|RPM||400 – 1600||400 – 1200|
|CFM||12 - 47.3||17 - 55.4|
|Static Pressure||0.2 - 1.78||0.2 - 1.27|
|Noise (dBA)||16 - 25||16 - 20.4|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years|
$120 (triple pack including RGB Lighting Hub and Lighting Node Pro)
$100 (double pack including RGB Lighting Hub and Lighting Node Pro)