Phanteks PH-TC14CS CPU Cooler Review

👤by Sahil Mannick Comments 📅22-04-12
Packaging and Content

The front of the box

Phanteks have largely retained the same packaging as before, so much so that the dimensions are identical at 220x175x200mm. It is a bog standard cardboard box spruced up with a simplistic black and white finish that certainly brings appeal. The box is littered with a wealth of information regarding the features and specifications. On the front, a teaser of the cooler in white is illustrated as well as the different coloured alternatives. In the top right corner is the Phanteks logo and model name. Phanteks also highlight added support for LGA 2011.

The back of the box

At the back is a short summary of the PH-TC14CS repeated in 9 other languages suggestive of the brand’s global outreach. As mentioned Phanteks are European based like a lot of other successful brands including Noctua. We see a continuation of the black and white colour theme at the back.

The features

On one side of the box, all the features are listed with a description on how they help improve performance. The key features are the C type single radiator design and inclusion of two 140mm fans. Phanteks’ unique technologies, P.A.T.S and C.P.S.C are also described. More information is available on our features and specifications page.

The specifications

Phanteks have also provided a very in-depth break down of the cooler and fan specifications with information about the design/construction of the heatsink, its weight, and dimensions. The fan speeds are also listed so users have a better idea of performance. For buyers looking to buy this in retail stores, the content is also listed for convenience.

Inside the box

Inside, the heatsink sits comfortably in the middle sided by both fans and the accessories kit below. Unfortunately, there is very little holding the weight of the heatsink itself from below which is something I’d like to see Phanteks address with their packaging. The result of this lack of support is the possibility of the heatsink sagging as we witnessed with one of our samples. We will be taking a closer look at the black variant of the PH-TC14CS throughout the review.

The bundle

The bundle and accessories is fairly extensive. Included are:

-1x PH-TC140CS
-2x PH-F140 Premium fans
-4x Acoustic Rubber bars
-8x Fan clip adaptors
-4x Fan wire clips
-1x PWM adaptor
-SoliSku mounting kits for Intel Socket LGA 1155, 1156, LGA1366, LGA775, and AMD AM2/2+/AM3 (stock backplate required)
-4x LGA 2011 mounting screws
-1x Hex wrench
-1x Y fan splitter
-1x PH-NDC thermal compound
-2x PH-TC14CS User’s manuals

Phanteks have nicely packaged their mounting kit into separate bag for Intel and AMD systems respectively. What is interesting to note is that their packaging is strongly reminiscent of Noctua’s packaging as are the components for the SoliSku mounting kits. The provided socket screws, studs, black fan clip adapters, case fan screws are exactly the same as what Noctua bundles. The rest of the SoliSku components share similar traits to Noctua’s SecuFirm mounting kit. Also included is the hex wrench to help install the cooler, not dissimilar to Noctua’s screwdriver we have accustomed to seeing with all their coolers.

The heatsink

The PH-TC14CS is a stunning heatsink to behold. Using the same radiator as found on its dual tower brother, it boasts a quality finish and more importantly, a solid feel. Admittedly this particular sample had its heatsink slanted downwards from its natural horizontal orientation, and that immediately raised concerns on the quality of the packaging as we highlighted above (we used a different sample for the actual tests). It wasn’t anything a bit of force couldn’t fix but these things shouldn’t be expected from such a premium cooler. My advice to Phanteks would be to either use more secure packaging or to employ a support bar as Noctua have done with their NH-C14. Going back to the impression of the cooler, we immediately see it is a C type top down cooler. The ‘C’ design that Phanteks are employing is to help improve compatibility and to also improve airflow towards the motherboard components. The down facing PH-F140TS fans push air through the fin stack onto the base and adjacent area. It seems counter intuitive to push the hot air from the heatsink down but it does add to convective heat dissipation compared to modern tower heatsinks. A good airflow is strongly advised to extract the air.

The cooler with a single fan

In low profile mode, a single fan can be installed at the bottom of the heatsink making the total height of the unit a mere 112mm. It makes it perfect for smaller flat-lying cases where height is a major concern for cooler compatibility.

The cooler with both fans

In its intended configuration, both bundled fans are installed. The end result is a 140.5mm tall unit, still significantly smaller than tower heatsinks but 10.5mm higher than the Noctua NH-C14.

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