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Matching Case fans to AIO question.


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I'm shopping for parts for a new build in an old case (Corsair Carbide Air 540). I'm looking to install my first AIO after years of air coolers for an LGA 1700 cpu.
I'm considering either

  • A) Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix
  • B) Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix

As I understand it both of these come with with an iCUE Commander CORE. The Air 540 came with three 140mm fans (2 front, 1 rear) and I figured with their age I might as well replace them at the same time. I plan to top mount either AIO (the case can accommodate 240mm or 280mm up top) and either get 3 x140mm fans again or 1x140mm (rear) and 3x120mm (front).  I'm hoping I could control all 5 or 6 fans (depending on configuration) with the Commander Core.

My problem is I can't seem to figure out which RGB case fans I should be getting to match either AIO. They both list the fans as ML120/140 PWM RGBs  but they look different than the ML120/140 RGB Elites. From searching in here a while it seems mixing fans types can be a problem so I presume I shouldn't be trying to mix QL or LL fans into the group. Or am I wrong about this? As someone looking into this the first time this is more confusing than I expected.

Thanks for reading and any insight is appreciated.

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The Elite Capellix AIOs all come with a 120 or 140mm version of the ML-Elite we sometimes refer to as "ML-Elite OEM".  It is an 8 LED center hub fan, but it does not have the fancy frame and guide fans found on the retail ML-Elite that was released about a year after the Elite Capellix hit shelves.  Those minor physical differences aside, you have three fan types to pick from that were designed to work together and are collectively referred to as "8 LED fan series" for lighting purposes.  They are all identical for lighting and a color tone match.  

  • ML-Elite OEM (what's in the box)
  • SP-Elite retail (8 LED) - designed to be the case fan match to ML-E radiator fan.  Slightly lower speeds, but plenty unless you like to run your case fans at 1500 rpm+ all the time.
  • ML-Elite retail (8 LED) - fancy frame and vanes as noted.  Higher speed than SP-Elite.  This is what you get if you prefer to run your fans at the highest possible speed.

All are available in both 120 and 140mm sizes.  The Commander Core and other Corsair controllers do not care about fan size or the differences on these fans.  It does not distinguish one from the other.  If you are shopping SP-Elite, make sure it says ELITE.  The older RGB and Pro models are DC motors and will not work on the PWM only Commander Core.


However, you are not limited to those options.  The Commander Core and XT controllers both have independent RGB headers.  This allows you to run mixed fan types.  That does not necessarily mean you should and there are physical limitations.  It can't make a center hub LED fan look like a LED ring fan and vice versa.  However, if you love the ring fans and want those on the case, you can use them and the software will try to adjust.  Be aware special ring patterns for QL and LL fan are not going to show on a fan with no ring.  You would run separate lighting patterns for ring vs non-ring fans to use those particular effects.  

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