Phanteks PH-TC14s CPU Cooler Review. Today we examine a CPU Cooler from Phanteks, now we’ve seen a couple of Phanteks products over the last few months, from, fans, coolers to cases. They have really made an impact on me and they now fall into a specific category, that currently I have designated for only a few select companies. They’ve been consistently great, and odd as this is going to sound… in bizarre sort of way that could be bad news for them. Let me try to explain why, you see when brand is able to deliver a range of different products that always impress, they set the bar of expectations high.. So with each new product I examine, the pressure to match or better their own products comes into play.
At the centre of the Phanteks PH-TC14s is compatibility. While extreme coolers are still required, I’m very pleased that we’re now in the “smaller and more efficient” era. In turn we’re now seeing downsized products that are still able to deliver the cooling efficiency we need. On top of that, being a Phanteks product it’s visually another stunner. Pricing on the day of review is around the £39 mark ( Available at OverclockersUK ) It’s time to tackle the all-important question, is it any good?
Let’s find out…
Phanteks PH-TC14s- Specification & Features
Phanteks’ PH-TC14S incorporates the dual tower design and performance of the PH-TC14PE but in a slimmer form. The new slim form eliminates the possibility of incompatible RAM and the motherboard’s heatsink height. PH-TC14S’s Six 6mm heat-pipes are linearly aligned and developed to have the least amount of air and thermal resistance and allows for optimal heat diffusion on fins for faster cooling.PH-TC14S includes PH-F140HP PWM ultra high static pressure Premium fans with new PH-F140HP fan blade design and allows for expansion to three PH-F140HP or any other 12025 fan for higher performance and/or silent operation.
|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-F140HP 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-F140HP fans with the support of the anti-acoustic rubber pad produces low level dB(A) and eliminates vibration. With PWM functions built in, PH-F140HP 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.|
– Type: Slim Twin tower Heatsinks and Fan
– Compatibilities: Intel LGA 2011/115X/1366/775
– AMD FM1/FM2(+)/AM3(+)/AM2(+) (Stock back-plate required)
– Color: Black
– Material: Copper (Base and Heat-pipes), Nickel Plated
– Aluminum Fins
– Patented P.A.T.S (Physical Anti-Oxidant Thermal Shield)
– Fan Model: PH-F140HP II PWM Ultra High Static Pressure Premium Fan
– Fan Size 140x140x25mm
– Fan Compatibilities 140x140x25mm /120 x 120 x 25mm (2pcs)
– Bearing Type: UFB Bearing(Updraft Floating Balance)
– Blade Geometry: Colored Seven Blades with MVB II( Maelstrom Vortex Booster)
– Speed: 500- 1600 ± 250 RPM
– Max Air Flow: 68.1CFM
– Max Air Pressure: 1.62 mmH2O
– Acoustical Noise: 25.3 dBA
– Input Power: 2.4W
– Current (Ampere): 0.2A
– Rate Voltage: 12V
– MTBF: >150,000hr
– Heatsink Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.1 x 2.9 x 6.1 inches (without fans)5.6 x 2.9 x 6.3 inches (with fan)
– Heatsink Weight: 1.23 lbs (without fans) 1.63 lbs (with fans)
– Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 7.9 x 4.6 inches (LxWxH)
– Package Weight: Gross: 2.98 lbs Net: 2.54 lbs
– Scope of Delivery
– 1x PH-TC14S Heatsink
– 1x PH-F140HP II PWM Ultra High Static Pressure Premium Fan
– 4x Rubber Bar, 4x Fan wire clips (PH-F140HP Fan’s Accessories)
– SoliSku Mounting Kits for INTEL and AMD (Stock back-plate required)
– 1x PH-NDC Thermal Compound
– Phanteks PH-TC14S User’s Manual
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.
Black and white, a colour combo I have a soft spot for, and it would seem many others do too. We’ve seen a massive surge in such colours schemes for everything from Mice, Monitors, Motherboards, GPU’s, Fans and even SSD’s. It’s difficult to put into words, simple but elegant I suppose. The design is based around having the fan in the centre and two fin stacks either side, and from edge to edge it’s under 3 inchs wide. This will be prove its significance later, when we install and I’d say compatibility for RAM is going to be great. Phanteks do offer an additional set of clips if you wanted to expand the product with another fan.
Flipping the heatsink over, and looking at the heatpipe configuration. We find 6 per side, stacked tightly that converse to a copper base (nickel-plated) No additional mounting bars are required as it is fixed directly, at either side I’m delighted to find pressure mountable bolts. Which not only reduce the risk to the CPU but ensure a tight and even spread of pressure.
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, the centre fan needs to be unclipped, to access the spring bolts.
Clearance and observations
As I made reference to earlier, the tiny footprint here means I found no actual issue or conflicts with any parts of the motherboard. The distance between the cooler and the motherboard heatsink, is vast, and in the other direction towards the RAM. There is scope for another fan to be added if you wished.
Test Setup & Results
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%.
That’s exactly what happened today with the “Phanteks PH-TC14S”, peaking around 1000RPM mark (Fan maximum is 1500) so it wasn’t exactly stretching its legs sort of speak. Yet it was able to achieve some great results and produce just a light audible hum. We have a minimum baseline of 30db for noise testing, and we found the Phanteks PH-TC14S in this portion of our testing, peaked at just 31db.
Considering the footprint, compatibility and pricing it’s impressive to see the product trading blows with larger and more expensive coolers.
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. That said it fell right in line with similarly priced products, again most of which are significantly larger.
Noise levels did increase to 39db, and I found the 140mm fan operating very similar to the 120mm fan on the Phanteks PH-TC12DX. At 100% it’s certainly not distracting or a nuisance, I found locking the fan down to 90% much more to my liking, bring the noise levels down to 36db and losing only 1.5c in performance.
Like I stated earlier, Phanteks for me and many others has fallen into that golden category. Where the name alone offers the consumer confidence and faith in the products, perhaps it’s naive and arrogant but it’s just how it is. The model today is exactly what I had hoped for. The PH-TC14S was able to deliver great thermal ability, and for the most part with very low noise output to compliment it. In the stock portion of our testing it performed admirably, out doing or matching products that are so much bigger, and some louder. Better still it stood toe to toe with the more expensive coolers too.
Once we added an overclock into the mix, and technically pushed the product into a realm it wasn’t designed for, the PH-TC14S still delivered the goods. As it stated in another Phanteks review, at 100% RPM the fan for me was just dipping into a little bit too loud territory, manually locking them via the bios of with software would be my suggestion. I’d imagine you won’t be overclocking as far as we did, or pushing as many volts through you CPU and on that basis, never likely need to worry about what I’ve even referenced
The mounting system is an absolute breeze to work with however it’s pleasant to see just how far the brand has gone, to ensure every user will understand it. With a detailed guide, in multiple languages and even offering a video guide. All in all, great attention to detail, solid performance and fair price tag to match.