Confession time: the regular Noctua fans are ugly. They work great, sure, but you’ve probably reeled back in disgust the moment you unboxed it.
Here’s how to make Noctua fans look good:
You make Noctua fans look good by adding colorful accessories: Case, cord, RGB lights, accent rings, and heatsink cover. You can also dye the blades and case, paint or spraypaint the case, or purchase a Chromax and Redux model.
Read: Why Are Noctua Fans Brown? (Finally Answered)
7 Ways To Make Noctua Fans Look Good
There are seven ways to make a Noctua fan look good.
Most of these ways are simple but cost a few pennies. Other methods take time but your fan can come out looking great.
1) Contrast With a White Case
One way to make a Noctua fan look better is to use a white case.
The simple contrast of colors can make a huge difference in the appearance of your build.
You can use any case, but one I’ve tried is the case made by Phanteks. I also added two 140mm blue LED fans on the front side of the case as a cool effect.
By using a colored case—any color will do—Noctua fans can look better without much effort.
2) Add RGB Lights
You can also improve the look of a Noctua fan by customizing it with RGB LED lights.
RGB stands for red, green, and blue color lights.
These colors blend together to make a dazzling display. It’s a cool effect that can transform your dull Noctua fan into a piece of computer art.
If you want to add LED lighting to your Noctua fan, you need to know how they are installed so that you don’t affect the performance.
Check out this helpful video on how to custom-build an RGB Noctua Fan:
3) Use Color Accent Rings
Another way to upgrade your fan is to add color accent rings.
A case fan ring is a circular plastic ring that attaches around the center of a 120mm or 140mm fan. The rings can be added to almost any model of Noctua fans.
These simple rings come in different colors.
The most common are red, black, and white. But you can find other colors if you have more adventurous tastes.
4) Use Colorful Fan Extention Cables
Your fan extension cord is another opportunity to add color to your ugly brown Noctua fan.
PC fan extension cords come in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to make Noctua fans look good by matching up your fan cables with your case.
Since your Noctua fan is grossly brown, you can use another color for the fan cord that goes into the motherboard.
For example, you could go with a bright yellow cord or splitter, which is also plugged into a matching yellow fan connector cap on the motherboard header.
5) Use Color Heatsink Covers
Don’t underestimate the difference a colorful heatsink cover can make.
Any color infused into your build will help Noctua fans look better. Your heatsink cover can be any color. Choose whatever strikes your fancy and makes you happy.
When it comes to Noctua, there is no color that won’t improve the fan.
You can get heatsink covers from Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, and most online retailers.
6) Dye Your Noctua Fan
Believe it or not, you can dye your Noctua fan.
It takes a bit more effort, but it can be worth it for the final product. You’ll need to take your fan apart, dye it, and then put the fan back together.
I don’t recommend dyeing your fan unless you feel confident about the process.
Here are the main steps:
- Purchase dye (choose your favorite color)
- Take your fan apart (hint: separate the frame and blades)
- Boil a pot of water
- Once the water boils, lower the heat to maintain a consistent temperature
- Add the dye to the water
- Add your fan blades and frame to the water
- Leave the blades and frame in the heated water until they reach your desired color
- Remove the blades and frame from the water
- Polish the fan parts
- Put your fan back together again
A few pro tips from having run through the process a time or two:
- You can use liquid or powder dye (I tried both and they both worked well)
- The more dye you use, the brighter the color you’ll get
- Check the fans and blades every 20-30 minutes while they heat in the water
The entire dyeing process should take you no more than 2 hours (and maybe less time).
Another thing to consider is how the dye might unintentionally impact the performance of your fan.
In my experience, I haven’t noticed any significant change in noise or speed.
7) Paint Your Noctua Fan
You can also paint a Noctua fan.
Much like dyeing your fan, you’ll need to take extra caution to make sure you don’t accidentally damage your machine.
The good news is that you can paint your fan any color.
Imagine the way your fan will turn out when covered in a layer or two of colorful paint.
The logical next question is, “How do you paint a Noctua fan?”
Here’s the answer.
How To Paint Noctua Fans
You can wrap your fan in plastic and paint your fan with traditional paint.
You’ll need to make sure that you don’t mess up and get paint in the motor or impeller. Probably the main preventive step is to seal off the gap in the back of the fan.
Once wrapped in plastic and sealed, you paint the blades and cover.
Then, you let the paint dry, add another layer if you want, let that dry, and unwrap your fan.
However, there is an easier way: you can spray paint it.
How Do You Spray Paint Noctua Fans?
You can spray paint Noctua fans without taking them apart, which risks unintentional damage.
Therefore, the easiest way to spray paint your fan is to only spray paint the case.
Yes, you still keep the ugly brown blades, but you don’t even see the blades once the fan is installed in your PC anyway. The only visible part of the fan after installation is usually one side of the case.
So, by simply changing the color of the case, you change the color of the entire fan.
Here are the steps:
- Use painter’s tape and a sharp utensil (for cutting the tape) to cover the parts of your fan you don’t want to spray paint
- Cover the blades with plastic
- Protect the cable with painter’s tape
- Hang the fan in the air (for example, by the cord in your garage)
- Spray paint your fan on all sides (you can use any color)
- Apply two coats of spray paint
- Let the fan dry
Don’t forget to remove all of the tape and plastic before you install the fan into your computer.
Here is a good 2-minute video on how to spray paint your Noctua fan:
How To Make Noctua Fans Look Good: Get a Chromax or Redux Version
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of buying extra parts or painting your Noctua fan, there is another option.
Besides the standard brown fan, Noctua released a Chromax and Redux line of fans in different colors.
- Chromax fans come in black
- Redux fans come in gray colors and with fewer accessories
Why Are Noctua Fans Brown?
One last thing you might be wondering: If Noctua fans are so ugly, why did Noctua make them brown in the first place?
While there may be no definitive answer, here are two likely reasons:
- Marketing purposes
- To focus on performance not aesthetics
Final Thoughts: How To Make Noctua Fans Look Good
Now that Noctua has a Chromax and Redux line of fans in different color schemes, I highly recommend just getting one of these versions.
My favorite is the black Chromax version. I think they look sexy and very cool. They are now my go-to fans for all the computers in my house.
Best of all, they work just as well as the old, ugly brown fans.
- Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive? (Explained)
- How Many Noctua Fans Do I Need? (Answered)
- What Do Noctua Fans Come With? (11 Things You Need To Know)