Top Tier CPU Air Coolers Q3 2015: 9-Way Roundup Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on July 6, 2015 8:00 AM EST
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.