As always, we test our coolers with Thermalright’s ChillFactor II thermal paste but it is always interesting to see the performance of bundled thermal paste, especially when we consider that manufacturers are opting for more premium quality ones nowadays. At stock CPU speed, the Phanteks PH-NDC was marginally ahead of Thermalright’s compound in one situation. Similarly, we find the PH-NDC paste outperforming the ChillFactor II by 0.75C when the cooler is coupled with its two fans. However, under passive conditions, the ChillFactor II turned out to be better. We realise that the performance of the thermal compounds are independent of the fan setup so this observation highlights the error margin in our tests.
The PH-F140TS Fans
In our performance charts, we observe that Noctua’s NF-P14s performed marginally better than Phanteks’ PH-F140TS at 4.0GHz by 0.5C. When testing them in the open air, I observed that Phanteks’ fan pushed more air through very subjective tests of putting a piece of paper in front of both fans. Despite this unscientific approach, it was very evident than Phanteks’ fans produced more airflow. This prompted me to question how the NF-P14s could be giving better results. The explanation is apparent when we look at both fan specifications. The NF-P14 has better static pressure (1.29mm H2O vs. 1.21mm H20) whereas the PH-F140TS generates more airflow (78.1CFM vs. 64.9CFM). Since the tightly packed fin array favours higher static pressure, performance was higher with the Noctua fans unsurprisingly. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t discredit the Phanteks fans as they strike a good balance between static pressure and airflow to promote their capabilities as case fans. What this test highlights is the importance of static pressure and not just airflow figures.
This is where we tend to rely most on subjective observations. The PH-F140TS were very quiet units, on par with Noctua’s NF-P14s acoustically. There was no distinguishing mechanical or rotor noise even at full speed, and the fan was inaudible above my other systems fans namely my Scythe S-Flex and GPU fan. Using Q.2.S.A made the fans almost silent and yet produced some excellent results.