Unboxing and Overview
CORSAIR operates a web shop in the USA, however the items used in the review came from a shipping hub separately so we begin with product packaging directly. As usual, click on any image to be taken to a full-size option.
CORSAIR’s product packaging has adopted the black and yellow scheme from their “CORSAIR Gaming” lineup to also the DIY components now, and this just takes it further with a more pronounced, and colorful, design. Taking off the plastic wrap, we see printed illustrations of two fans on the front that do an excellent job showing how these LL fans can look when powered on. This twin pack w/controller SKU has a fairly large box to accommodate the contents inside, and we see a note on the number of fans inside along with salient marketing and technical features on the front as well. This carries over to the back and sides where we see more specs and then the marketing features printed in multiple languages. There are seals on the top and bottom to help keep the contents inside in check. There is also a hang tab at the top which is a nice addition to the packaging.
Opening the box, we see the items included are packaged separately with the two fans at the bottom (or top, depending on how you opened it) and the accessories in their own yellow box. Alongside the fans, CORSAIR includes a multi-language quick start guide, a warranty manual for Australians with their specific warranty policy, two sets of self-tapping metal screws to help install the fans as case fans, a 6-fan LL140 RGB LED hub, and the Lighting Node Pro with an LED extension cable that goes from the hub to the Lighting Node Pro along with a male mini-USB to internal USB 2.0 header cable. As usual, the LED hub and controller are specific to these fans, so do not plan on using this with other RGB fans. The LED hub has six inputs marked so you have to use connected devices in order from 1 to 6 without skipping any, an outlet to where the controller goes, and also a full size SATA power connector to power the LEDs.
The Lighting Node Pro is a really small controller measuring in at 5.5 x 3 x 1.2 cm, and has two LED channels. Each channel supports up to four of their addressable RGB LED strips or up to 6 LL/HD/SP RGB fans via the fan LED hub (and extension cable). Thus you can control as many as 12 different LL140 RGB fans off a single Lighting Node Pro, for instance. There is a female mini-USB 2.0 connector on the back which uses the provided adapter cable, and thus you also need an available internal USB 2.0 header on your motherboard as well as another spare SATA power connector for the Lighting Node Pro.
The fans come in a cardboard blister inlay style packaging that will help keep them protected during shipping and handling in most cases. The cables are tucked in a lower compartment. You will notice immediately that the fan rotor is a frosted white, and not translucent in color as with most, if not all other, LED fans. We saw this on the other CORSAIR RGB fans as well, and it worked out great once the LEDs are powered on. The plastic used to make this rotor is very unique, and helps diffuse light very nicely. There has been a lot of thought that went into the design of these RGB fans, and it paid off. In addition, there is now a ring on the frame that houses the 12 LEDs here with another thing around the hub that houses the remaining four LEDs. These rings have the same frosted white color, are made of the same material, and will help diffuse light better and more uniformly relative to the other CORSAIR RGB fans that still had discrete light hotspots. The fans adopt a black and white color design which will go well with PC DIY builds to begin with, let alone after the customization available via the RGB LEDs. There are rubber pads on the corners, on both sides too, which is another point of differentiation from the SP RGB fans. The rotor has 9 blades, which appear to be similar to design to those on the HD140 RGB fans.
There are arrows on one side of the frame to show the direction of airflow through the fan and that of blade rotation. The corners are closed, so it’s a good thing that there are vibration dampening pads pre-installed. However, here we can see that these pads extend outwards from the frame and the total thickness of the fan at this point measured at 27.4 mm although there is some give here. The LEDs being located on the frame and hub means that the fan hub is larger in size than average, measuring in at 1.82″ in diameter. The ring on the frame also takes up room, and thus we end up with fan blades that are shorter than any of the other CORSAIR (or really 99% of existing case fans) today. This can hurt performance, and presumably explains the lower max performance numbers on the specs sheet. Each fan is rated for 0.3 A (3.6 W) which is the same as for the HD140 RGB despite the four additional LEDs here, although do note that the LEDs are powered separately and from the PSU (via the fan LED hub). In practice, each fan consumed a max operation current draw of 0.191 A (2.33 W). Peeling off the sticker, we can see the power distribution for the 12 LEDs and the 4 wires for the PWM motor here. There are two fan cables per fan here, and both are unsleeved and employ the flat, ribbon style wiring we saw before with other CORSAIR fans. The first is the fan power cable for the fan motor which runs the fan, this is 14″ long and ends in a standard 4-pin black fan header. This will go to any 4-pin fan header on your motherboard or fan controller capable of PWM control. The second is the LED cable that plugs into the fan LED hub, and this is also 14″ long. There is a hook at the end to be able to lock it in place and also help remove it by pressing down on the hook.