Corsair QL vs LL: Complete RGB fan series comparison

Computer components improve every year, which increases energy consumption. Consumers generally face overheating problems, so they need to find a way to cool their computer components. This is why we have decided to compare the Corsair QL vs LL, two very powerful fans with RGB lighting. 

When comparing the Corsair QL vs LL, we have noticed that the QL fans have more LEDs on the back side of the fan than the LL models. Although the Corsair LL model has a higher minimum fan speed, it delivers less noise when compared to the QL model.  

Corsair QL vs LL – Quick Comparison

Before buying additional fans, you need to open your computer case and determine how many fans you can actually place inside of your case. Most importantly, you need to pay attention to fan dimensions. The Corsair QL and LL come in two dimensions, 120mm and 140mm. 

Both fans in this comparison support the same software solution for light customization. The ICUE program allows you to adjust RGB colors on each LED on the fan. This is a very useful feature that can help you make a nice ambient inside or outside your computer case.  

FeaturesCorsair QLCorsair LL
Flow TypeStatic PressureStatic Pressure
Fan Airflow41.8 CFM43.25 CFM
RPM525 – 1500 ±10%600 – 1500
PWMYesYes
RGB LightingYesYes
Sound Level26 dBA24.8 dBA
Dimensions120mm x 25mm
140mm x 25mm
120mm x 25mm
140mm x 25mm
SoftwareICUEICUE
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

Although the Corsair QL and LL have almost the same speed range, the LL models make much less noise. To find out other differences between these two fans, continue reading. 

Corsair QL

Corsair QL
Corsair QL

Pros:

  • Innovative design suitable for modern cases
  • Fan speed range 
  • Airflow pressure
  • Easy installation 

Cons:

  • Noise control
  • Slightly expensive compared to the LL model

Corsair LL

Corsair LL
Corsair LL

Pros:

  • Cooling capacity
  • Low noise
  • Higher minimum RPM for advanced configurations
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Slightly difficult installation
  • Additional device required for RGB lightning

Corsair QL vs LL: Features Face to Face

Airflow Pressure

Both Corsair QL and LL have the same fan sizes. You have two options, the 120mm version and the 140mm version. 

Before investing in a fan, you also need to pay attention to PWM. PWM stands for pulse width modulation. This technique changes the pulse width and creates duty cycles. To create a duty cycle, it turns power on and off. 

PWM Duty Cycles
Different Duty Cycles

As shown in the picture above, a duty cycle is how long the signal is turned on versus turned off. For instance, a duty cycle of 100% means the signal is always on.  

High efficiency and low power loss are the main benefits of using the PWM technique. This is why this technique is part of many analog electronic devices, including computer fans. 

Corsair QL and LL use pulse width modulation control. However, the Corsair QL has the fastest PWM, which further reduces the on/off switching. This actually decreases the duty cycle. 

Another thing to consider is static pressure. The static pressure is the ability of a fan to push air through different environments such as filters, radiators, etc. 

CFM or cubic feet meter is a unit for measuring the amount of air pushed by a fan through a specific area. The Corsair QL has a static pressure of 41.8 cubic feet meter, and the LL model has 43.25 cubic feet meter. The lower this number is, the better.  

Winner: Corsair QL

Lighting and Presets

The Corsair QL stands out in this section because of its innovative design and easy installation. The fan looks better from all angles than the LL model. 

As such, it provides more options for customization and lighting. LEDs are placed on both sides of the fan. So, you can illuminate both the inside and outside parts of your computer case

The Corsair LL comes with an RGB lighting node core. So, after setting up the fan, you also need to set up the lighting node inside your computer. In other words, you need to find a proper space and establish a cable connection between the fan and node. 

The Corsair QL and LL fans allow RGB customization via the ICUE software. After opening the app, you can select the 4-Pin Lighting Effects to set up the fans. The second option you can choose is the 3-Pin Lighting Effects. This one is for RGB stips. 

ICUE Software
ICUE Software

Next, you can press the Lighting Setup option and start adjusting colors. For instance, you can mix two colors and choose a lighting type like solid, gradient, ripple, or wave. 

The program allows you to set up not only each individual fan but each LED within it. The ICUE also allows you to light up the inner ring, outer ring, and little nodes inside the Corsair fans.  

To sum up, if you choose the Corsair LL, you have an extra device to set up. Therefore, the QL model prevails in this segment.   

Winner: Corsair QL    

Performance

RGB lights make your computer look better. But, in addition to RGB lights, there are a few key things to consider before buying a new fan. 

If you want to protect your computer components from overheating, you should pay attention to other things such as cooling capacity, fan speed, noise, etc. 

Cooling

If you want to determine a fan’s cooling capacity, you can rely on RPM. RPM or rotation per minute measures how many times a fan makes a full rotation within one minute. The higher the number, the better. 

The minimum RPM for the QL model is 525. On the contrary, the minimum rotation per minute for the Corsair LL is 600.       

Winner: Corsair LL

Noise Control

Keep in mind that high RPM could also mean high noise, although this is not the rule. Sometimes dust inside your computer case can cause your fan to rotate faster. Also, make sure your processor has enough thermal paste to dissipate heat properly.

Dust is the main obstacle to dissipating heat from components such as the processor or motherboard. In specific circumstances, these components become too hot, and fans start rotating faster to reduce the high temperature. This leads to higher noise levels.

When comparing the Corsair QL and LL official specifications, we see that the QL model delivers more noise. The Corsair QL sound level is 26 dBA. However, the sound level of the LL model is 24.8 dBA

Winner: Corsair LL

Speed

RPM range is the most significant factor in dissipating heat. When the heat is higher, the fans start to rotate faster. The real question is, what is the maximum rotation of the Corsair QL and LL fan? 

The speed of the Corsair QL fan ranges from 525 to 1500 RPM. In other words, if your computer components are too hot, the QL model will increase its speed up to 1500 RPM. The company says there could be an oscillation of ± 10% RPM when it comes to the maximum speed.

This fan speed range provides more space for dynamic speed adjustments. In other words, the fan controls its speed depending on the computer load. 

For instance, Corsair LL’s speed ranges from 600 to 1500 RPM. In this case, the LL model can lower RPM to 600 when the load is low. But, the Corsair QL can lower it to 525, which is better for energy-saving and noise reduction.

Winner: Corsair QL

Corsair QL vs ML: What’s the Difference

Performance

Lighting

The Corsair QL model has more lighting abilities. It has more LEDs on the back side of the fan. So, if you want to illuminate the interior of your case, this fan might be a better choice than the LL fan.

The Corsair QL looks better from both angles, so you have more options when it comes to RGB light customization. 

Winner: Corsair QL

Airflow

These two models are pretty similar when it comes to fan speed. The LL model has a speed range between 600 and 1500 RPM. Although the minimum speed is 600 RPM, the Corsair LL is not loud.

The sound level of the Corsair LL is 24.8 dBA. The Corsair QL has a higher sound level which is 26 dBA. 

Winner: Corsair LL

Setup

The Corsair QL is easy to set up since it doesn’t have a lighting node core. The Corsair LL needs to be connected to the node placed inside your computer case

Winner: Corsair QL

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Corsair QL stand for?

QL stands for a quad loop. The Corsair QL has two loops placed on each side of the fan. 

What does LL mean in Corsair fans?

LL stands for a light loop. The Corsair LL fan has two RGB bright loops. Each one is placed around the fan. One is on the outside while the other one is on the inside.

Are Corsair QL fans loud?

The Corsair QL is not loud. The sound level of this device is 26 dBA. 

Are Corsair ll fans good?

The Corsair ll fans deliver an amazing performance. They support RGB lights which can be adjusted via the ICUE software. Above all, they are rated as quiet fans since the sound levels are around 24 dBA.   

Conclusion

Let’s conclude this Corsair QL vs LL battle with the most interesting facts from this article. 

Before investing in a fan, make sure it is compatible with your computer case. The Corsair QL and LL come in two different dimensions, 120mm x 25mm and 140mm x 25mm

If you are worried about the installation process, you may want to consider purchasing the QL model. It has a compact design, doesn’t require additional devices, and you can install it yourself without professional help.  

If you want more lights inside your computer case, the QL model also has some advantages.   

It has more LEDs on the back side of the fan than the LL model. So, if RGB lights are the main reason for buying a fan, you should definitely choose the Corsair QL. 

Fan rotation speed is one of the most significant factors when investing in a new fan. RPM shows the exact speed of your fan. The higher the number, the more air goes through your fan, but also more noise is generated.  

So, you need to find the right balance between airflow and noise. In this case, the Corsair LL model might be a good option since its sound levels are below Corsair QL’s sound levels. Also, this model has an affordable price.

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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