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Corsair Launches ML Pro RGB Series Fans With Magnetic-Levitation Bearings

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 RGBML140 Pro RGB
Pack Quantity1Or31Or2
Rubber CornersYesYes
Corner ColorBlack (changeable)Black (changeable)
RPM400 – 1600400 – 1200
CFM12 - 47.317 - 55.4
Static Pressure0.2 - 1.780.2 - 1.27
Noise (dBA)16 - 2516 - 20.4
Warranty5 years5 years
MSRP$35 (single)Or$120 (triple pack including RGB Lighting Hub and Lighting Node Pro)$40 (single)Or$100 (double pack including RGB Lighting Hub and Lighting Node Pro)
  • muelo1000
    Screw Corsair and their proprietary hub/controller... No Asus Aura, No Corsair !!
    Reply
  • thundervore
    Wow!

    I called it last month as I knew how this was going to go. Time to milk the customers again!!
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3541359/corsair-intros-series-rgb-fans-dual-lighting-zones.html#20265911

    Now we just have to wait for dual zone maglev RGB fans lmao in 6 months when they run out of ideas.
    .

    20386449 said:
    Screw Corsair and their proprietary hub/controller... No Asus Aura, No Corsair !!



    I completely agree with this. Propriety connections need to stop, especially with corsair. All these RGB fans and lighting strips need to use the standard 4 pin 12 volt connections that all motherboards are now using to control RGB. There is no reason for Corsair to come up with their own pin connection limiting users to buy only their stuff and when something goes wrong have to go to that horrid forum plagues with users having tons of issues (I'm one of those users on that forum with flickering Corsair RGB AIO and lighting strips)

    Reply
  • TadashiTG
    what other fans use mag lev?
    Reply
  • ko888
    Enermax sells one: https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=108&cp_id=10804&cs_id=1080401&p_id=2886&seq=1&format=2
    Reply
  • Zaporro
    Did Tom's Hardware actually check what kind of connector it uses or they named it "properitary" and called it a day?

    I if you are doing a review of RGB fans i suggest you to rip one of them appart and dig into it to see what kind of LED's are inside.

    There is high chance that they use WS2812B or similar addressable leds which, with release of Z370 motherboards, can be controlled with Asus Aura, Mystic light, Fusion as many new motherboards have header for addressable leds.

    For one i know that NXZT AER fans use WS2812B and you can screw the dedicated controller and just switching pins in connectors plug them in straight to motherboard.

    It may be same with corsair.
    Reply
  • steve.osorio
    More proprietary BS. We as consumers have to vote with our wallets and boycott companies that try to force customers into locked ecosystems. Yes, Corsair makes many peripherals but they don't make motherboards. And since they don't make motherboards, there is no good reason they continue making non-standard RGB components that don't use 4-pin, 12 volt connections that all motherboards are now using to control RGB lighting and synchronization other than pure greed.
    Reply
  • Jay_29
    Give me RGB tempered glass panel and RGB screws bruh...
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    I love my Corsair ML bearing fans. Much quieter at high speed than fluid bearing fans from BEQuiet that I tried.
    Reply
  • Aeacus
    I wonder why Corsair decided to cap the max RPM speed on their new ML Pro RGB fans.

    If Corsair would've kept the fan RPM range as same as with ML Pro non-RGB series fans then i would've considered them to replace out my ML Pro non-RGB fans. But with reduced max speed, the performance drop isn't enough for me go with ML Pro RGB fans.

    20386884 said:
    what other fans use mag lev?
    Lepa BOL bearing is also one variation of mag-lev bearings,
    further reading: https://www.techpowerup.com/200902/lepa-unveils-four-new-barometric-oil-less-bearing-fans
    Reply
  • muelo1000
    I have a Asus Mobo and just to find a fan with decent specs was a bi***ch, either the fans had crappy specs or they where just ugly. The way I went around this was finding a white fan that had great specs and buying Phantek's RGB halos

    Damn that freaking sucks you buy some "quality fans" and then get flickering. I mean its gonna happen you might get a defective unit but when you have to use proprietary connectors you wonder ...

    one last thing... Corsair if it aint broken DONT FIX IT !!
    Reply