The Phanteks PH-TC14PE

Phanteks is another world-renowned CPU cooler manufacturer, whose high performance designs made them widely known very quickly. Aside from coolers and fans, the company is now active in the field of PC cases as well. For the means of this review, Phanteks supplied us with the PH-TC14PE, their largest and most popular CPU cooler. The PH-TC14PE actually is over two years old, making it the oldest design in this roundup review.

Phanteks supplies the PH-TC14PE in a large cardboard box with an abstract design showcasing the color variations of the cooler. Inside the box, the cooler is well protected within a polyethylene foam shell and the bundled items are secured in small boxes. Aside from the hardware necessary for the mounting of the cooler, Phanteks also provides a tube of quality thermal grease, six anti-vibration rubber strips for the fans, a fan power cable splitter, a fan speed reducer. They also provide six wire clips and twelve plastic fan clip adaptors, for the installation of up to three fans onto the cooler's body.

  

The PH-TC14PE is a very large symmetric dual tower cooler. The fronts of the fins form small circular notches, with the exception of the top fin that is straight and serves as a cover for the heatpipes as well. One of its prominent features is instantly apparent, which is the colored fins. There are five color variations of the PH-TC14PE and we received the black version. Phanteks calls this "Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield" (or Physical Antioxidant Thermal Spraying - we found both in the company's texts) and claims that it enhances thermal performance by both increasing the dissipation rate of the heatsink itself and decreasing the radiation absorption rate from other heat sources. The fins are soldered on the heatpipes with another patented method that Phanteks calls "Cold Plasma Spraying Coating", which supposedly increases the heat transfer rate between the copper heatpipes and the aluminum fins.

Phanteks provides two of their own PH-F140 140 mm fans with the PH-TC14PE. The company loves abbreviations, so the PH-F140 have "Updraft Floating Balance (U.F.B)" bearings, "Maelstrom Vortex Booster (M.V.B)" blades and "Maelstrom Air-Fort Optimization (M.A.F.O)" drive systems. Other than the fancy names, no real technical data or schematics of these technologies can be found. All we are left with is their standard manufacturer specifications, which indicate a maximum speed rating of 1300 RPM (1200 RPM in PWM mode). The design of the wire clips allows the fans to be moved upwards by several centimeters, providing clearance to RAM modules and heatsinks that would otherwise be blocked, assuming that the case is wide enough of course.

  

The base of the PH-TC14PE is simplistic, virtually meant only to provide mechanical retention for the installation on a CPU. Five thick 8 mm heatpipes run through the base and to both fin arrays on either side. The copper bottom half of the base and the heatpipes are nickel-plated, with the contact surface polished fairly well but not down to a perfect mirror finish. Slight machine marks can be seen on the contact surface but there are no major imperfections to speak of.

The Noctua NH-D15 The Raijintek Tisis
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  • Pissedoffyouth - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    I wonder how a D15 or similar, with the fans removed, would work with a 45w or 65w APU to make a passively cooled PC. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    That's a really interesting consideration. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    This will depend greatly on your case airflow. And if you only run short load bursts (browsing etc.) which can easily be absorbed by the heatsink heat capacity or continous loads (games, work), where the exchange of heat from the heatsink to the outside world limits cooling. Reply
  • iamezza - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - link

    With good fan control you could set the fan to switch off below a certain temp. So it could be silent 99% of the time but with a low rpm fan there if needed. Reply
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - link

    You'd probably still need some level of airflow.

    I've never had a fan on my Scythe Ninja that cools an i5-2500k. I think that's a 95W TDP.

    It's close to the single 12cm rear exhaust though.
    Reply
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - link

    I did similar with my old SLACR Q6600 95w CPU - Noctua D14 (I think) with a fan on a controller. At stock speeds (with a pair of Noctua case fans on it) it had just enough airflow to run without the CPU fan running at all. When I wanted performance, I could overclock from 2.4ghz to 3.something ghz (I can't remember but I think they went to 3.6ghz?) and just turn the CPU fan up to 'normal' speeds and it'd never get above 70deg and it was still a very quiet machine - HDD noise was far more noticeable than fan noise.

    I really must get some decent fans for my current rig - a slightly long-in-the-tooth A8-3870 mit 16gb RAM that is still running the OEM cooler. Yes, I've got bored of overclocking. I still have that noctua kit kicking around somewhere, really must dig it out and see if I can get an adapter for it. I'm sure that'll tide me over till we see if Zen is worth a light...?
    Reply
  • Essayjedii - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    I have made a post about D15 in here <a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/04/14-problems-f... Hope ou find it interesting and useful. Reply
  • Essayjedii - Friday, July 10, 2015 - link

    I have made a post about D15 in here http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/04/14-problems-f...
    Hope ou find it interesting and useful.
    Reply
  • Haravikk - Sunday, July 12, 2015 - link

    My current machine is an i7-4790T (45W, 2.7ghz, quad-core, hyper-threaded, 3.9ghz turbo with HD4600 graphics) in an Akasa Euler case, which means the case acts as a heat-sink. As I type this I'm transcoding video on all eight hardware threads with a total load of about 760% (where 800% is max), at a CPU temperature of 85ºC and a clock speed of 2.97ghz.

    Of course that's for a passive case rather than a heat-sink on its own, but as long as you have somewhere for that heat to go it definitely seems doable. For example if you used an open-air case then ought to just rise out between the heatsink fins so airflow may not be required at all.

    Basically keeping the case from becoming a big box of hot air is crucial; the Euler case with my processor (which is a slightly higher TDP than the 35W that the case recommends) gets pretty hot internally, which isn't great for internal drives. I ended up having to swap an mSATA SSD for a 2.5" one, as the mSATA drive just got too hot, while the 2.5" one has a bigger surface area and a metal body. Even so, I squeezed a tiny 40mm fan inside just to help pull hot air out on warmer days.

    So ehm… yeah, possible, but you have to be sure you've considered where that heat is going to go before you attempt it. But as others have said; if your case has room then you should just put fans in there anyway and set them to switch off at lower temperatures; you can also use very slow, quiet fans so even if they do run they're silent.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - link

    Stick with a cooler like the NoFan models which are made specifically passive cooling. They will be much more effective. Reply

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