Phanteks PH-TC12LS 120mm CPU Cooler Review. Today we examine another CPU Cooler from Phanteks, just recently we reviewed the Phanteks PH-TC14S, which was awarded both value and design. This model is still based around compatibility but also switches focus to cater for those working in a small or space limited setup, and is targeted at mini-ITX users. It’s a top down blower design with a 120mm fan to keep the temperatures in check. Being a Phanteks product it’s not just about the features and specification, as their clear is a emphasis on visuals too, with an all-black appearance.
Pricing on the day of review is around the £30 mark (Available at OverclockersUK) It’s time to tackle the all-important question, is it any good?
Let’s find out…
Phanteks PH-TC12LS- Specification & Features
Phanteks’ PH-TC12LS, a low profile thermal radiator designed specifically for HTPC case. Requiring only 74mm of vertical clearance, PH-TC12LS is a suitable low profile heatsink for compact computer cases. PH-TC12LS uses six 6mm diameter C-type heat-pipes to deliver thermal conductivity more efficiently. For a better cooling performance, the PH-TC12LS is equipped with Phanteks’ new PH-F120MP fan. The new PH-F120MP provides exceptional static pressure and airflow through the heatsink. For cases with limited amount of space, PH-TC12LS is a great choice.
|Patented. P.A.T.S (Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield) will greatly increase the cooling performance and reliability while deflecting other thermal radiation from other heat sources, such as the GPU, South Bridge, North Bridge, etc. P.A.T.S, ran at a long period, will display significantly better results in an enclosure, closed environment, than a tech station, open environment. In extreme conditions, PATS is able to withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius. P.A.T.S is environmental friendly and non-toxic.|
|Phanteks PH-F120MP PWM Premium fans uses UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) bearing, Seven blades and MAFO (Maelstrom Air-Fort Optimization) drive system to achieve massive airflow and perfect dynamic balance. The PH-F120MP fans with the support of the anti-acoustic rubber pad produces low level dB(A) and eliminates vibration. With PWM functions built in, PH-F120MP fans allows you to set speed adjustments for either performance and/or silent operation.|
|SoliSku universal mounting kit provides broad socket compatibilities for Intel LGA 2011/1150/1155/1156/1366/775 and AMD FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 (Stock back-plate required).|
|Phanteks PH-NDC is made of high purity Nano diamond-like particles to improve the thermal conductance between components. The PH-NDC is a superb quality thermal compound for heat-sinks. Heat generated by CPUs will transfer to the heat-sinks without reduction in efficiency and resistance.|
– Compatibility: Intel LGA 2011/115x/1366/775 AMD FM1/FM2(+)/AM3(+)/AM2(+)
– Color: Black
– Materials: Copper (Base and Heat-pipes), Nickel Plated, Aluminum Cooling Fins with patented P.A.T.S.
– Fan Model: PH-F120MP PWM High Static pressure Premium Fan
– Fan Size: 12025
– Bearing Type: UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing
– Blade Geometry: High Static Pressure with Seven Blades Design – Black
– PH-F140MP PWM Spec: 500- 1800 ± 250 RPM
– Max Air Flow: 53.3 CFM
– Max Air Pressure: 1.72 mmH2O
– Acoustical Noise: 25 dBA
– Input Power : 2.4W
– Current (Ampere): 0.2A
– Rate Voltage: 12V
– MTBF: >150.000 hr.
– Heatsink Dimensions (LxWxH) without Fan: 4.7 x 4.1x 1.9 inches
– Heatsink Dimensions (LxWxH) with Fan 4.7 x 4.7 x 2.95 inches
– Heatsink Weight without Fan: 0.7 lbs
– Heatsink Weight with Fan: 1.1 lbs
– Package Dimensions: 7.48 x 6.49 x4.56 inches (LxWxH)
– Package Weight: Gross : 2.14lbs Net: 1.81 lbs
– Scope of Delivery 1x PH-TC12LS 1x PH-F120MP PWM High Static pressure Premium Fan
Courtesy of Phanteks for more information please visit the Product page
The box style is very neutral, no over the top colours or popping logos, slogans or images to be found. A grayscale approach isn’t that common but it does intrigue the user to read all the same. Each side delivers key information and features, in a neat and concise manner.
Inside we find a good amount of padding, to keep the product safe. Underneath the first sheet of Styrofoam we find the cooler and accessory box.
Bundled are two separate mounting kits for both AMD and Intel, as well as a further mini kit for socket 2011. Instruction’s for fitting are spread across four individual fold out documents, to cover the most common languages, that said the images are clear enough and Phanteks have their own video guide for those that may need it.
The cooler is just 4.7 x 4.7 x 2.95 inches in size (LxWxH) and weighs less than a pound. The main body is finished in a trademark of Phanteks, a sleek black. On top of the heatsink we find the 120mm fan is already fitted, which is stated as being able to push 53.3 CFM @25db. The fan will need to come off, via the four screws in order to mount the product down. A welcome addition is rubber padding underneath each to dampen vibrations.
Flipping the heatsink over, and looking at the heatpipe configuration. We a total of 6, the base is polished with a mirror finish. Notice it lacks any prefitted mounting arms. We’ll cover that in the install guide.
Video courtesy of Phanteks
A nice and simple procedure on the PH-TC14s a backplate fits from the underside and four pins push through.
Four black spacers sit over the pins, and then the main mounting arms over them.
You should experiment with a horizontal or vertical orientation, checking for clearance around the DIMM slots. Vertical will suit an ATX setup
Finally to fasten the product down, a mounting arms must be placed across the base and secured with two bolts. These type of systems can be a nuisance often causing what I refered as a “See-Saw” effect, however I found the install burden free.
Clearance and observations
The product is more suited to micro and mini-itx systems, but could certainly be used any the likes of ATX too, the small and compact dimension offers 100% ram compatibility, with no concerns to mention
Proudly Powered by our Dimastech Mini V1.0 Test Bench
Intel® i5 4670K
|Memory:||Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz 8GB|
|Motherboard:||MSI Z97 GAMING 7|
|Video Card:||MSI Radeon 270X Gaming|
|Hard Drives:|| |
SSD – Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB
M.2 -Kingston M.2
|OS:||Windows 8.1 64-Bit|
CPU coolers and test method is an area that causes much confusion and debate. We should point out that many sites test in different ways, but the majority share the same core idea that a simple math equation should be used. So that a consistent value can be recorded and re-used against other products
This simple equation of [recorded result] [minus] [ambient room temperature] = Delta
This test method simply means no matter how warm or cool the testing room is, the data is comparable. There will always be a degree of error in such testing. There are so many variables such airflow, testing location and such. So we perform all our testing on the same hardware and in the same location.
- Our procedure is to fit the cooler and allow a 24 hour period before any testing, allowing the thermal paste to settle. The system is booted and allowed to sit idle for 15 minutes. We take our first recording. Then using a selection of software forcing the CPU to run at 100% load. We then take our load temperatures.
- This process is repeated 3 times and the results are converted to an average.
- We provide delta temperature [Load temperatures minus ambient room temperature].
- This allows us to provide consistent results no matter the room temperature.
Many factors can skew results and to ensure accuracy we repeat all of the above three further times. Including refitting the cooler, this compensates for factors such as burn in time, amount of thermal paste and such.
* Our test CPU is ran at default clocks and voltage for stock testing. For overclocking it’s not the best around and requires 1.375 volts to operate at 4.6 GHz. All results shown are at these settings unless otherwise stated*
I must point out that we do not manipulate and force the fan to run at 100%, it is something we had considered in the past and if we had done, most of the products in the chart would appear to have better results.
However what we present is a fair representation of how a product will perform out of the box. With this in mind what we tend to find, in our stock testing is that the fan does not always hit 100%.
The main competition here is the Thermalright AXP 200, and the be quiet! LP, both sharing very similar designs. The be quiet! being priced nearest, with the AXP 200 being the most expensive of the three. The PH-TC12LS sits neck and neck with the more expensive Thermalright AXP 200, which incidentally has a 140mm fan in its arsenal
In terms of noise output the PH-TC12LS peaked at 34db.
The test that matters more for Overclockers… we applied a heavy overclock, which requires lots of vcore. Keep in mind this is a high compatibility type of product, and was never built for serious overclocking. I will be honest, I just couldn’t understand why it was not performing as I had hoped. The cause lies with the fan in my opinion; it’s to underpowered to deal with an overclock like this. For reference sake I dialed back the overclock to 4.0GHz and the product was much more in its comfort zone. Anyhow, we won’t should digress too much, heavy overclocks were never something that Phanteks said it could handle.
No major change in noise output between the stock and overclock testing, (35db) and that’s tied in with the fan not increase much (RPM)
That said, I’ve nothing but praise going forward. Visually I’d prefer the PH-TC12LS over any of the others we’ve reviewed in the past. Both the black heatsink and black/white fan would be enough to sway me, vain perhaps but I and many other consumers want something that looks the part, and will take a hit on the performance in some situations.
Take the punishing overclock out of the mix, which isn’t logical anyway for this type of product. What you’ll find is a nice looking product that runs quiet and delivers good performance. With an easy to use mounting system, lots of clear documentation and a very competitive price tag. Those working in a space limited case should definitely consider the PH-TC12LS
Purchase from OverclockersUK