Phanteks PH-TC14CS Reviewairman - June 7, 2012
Category: CPU Cooling
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Late last year, Phanteks made its groundbreaking entrance into the CPU heatsink market with its PH-TC14PE cooler that dominated in quality and performance in reviews across the entire world. At it again, Phanteks is proud to introduce the PH-TC14CS, the PH-TC14PE's little sister. The PH-TC14CS offers all of the same technology that was found in the larger PH-TC14PE; it's only in a slightly different form. Instead of utilizing two separate vertical fin towers, the PH-TC14CS makes use of a single horizontally-oriented fin tower. This is particularly useful for those users who may not have been able to fit the taller PH-TC14PE in their case due to clearance issues. Using both provided fans, the cooler is 30mm shorter than the former. Using only a single fan, the height is reduced to only 112mm — almost 60mm shorter than the PH-TC14PE, leaving no excuse not to get one of these! On top of that, this model can be found for only $79.99, $20 cheaper than the larger PH-TC14PE.
I hope that the Phanteks PH-TC14CS can offer very similar performance as its bigger sister can. It shares all of the same high-end features as the former, including the C.P.S.C. Technology (Cold Plasma Spraying Coating) which enhances thermal conductivity as well as the patented P.A.T.S. technology (Physical Anti-Oxidant Thermal Shield) on the fins which increases long-term performance by preventing any micro-oxidation on the aluminum which can decrease performance. It uses five massive 8mm nickel-plated copper heatpipes to transfer heat from the base to the fin tower, just like that of the PH-TC14CS. Like the PH-TC14PE, this model is available in the same colors as it is, including a black version. This means that this cooler is available in red, orange, blue, silver, and black. Each different color model is also supplied with matching fans for great color coordination. In this review, I will provide a thorough evaluation of the Phanteks PH-TC14CS cooler starting with unboxing, taking a close look at the cooler itself, then testing the cooler in a real-world scenario on some of the latest hardware where its performance metrics will be compared to other coolers on the market. So with that said, let's get started!
The box for the Phanteks PH-TC14CS is very much like that of the PH-TC14PE. It is slightly smaller due to its smaller physical shape, but the theme is the same. The box is mostly black and white with small snapshots of each of the cooler's available colors on the front and on the top. A small circular sticker is placed next to the picture of the black model, implying that I will be looking at the black version of this cooler. I had the opportunity to visit the red, orange, blue, and silver versions of the PH-TC14PE back in December, so I'm glad that I get to check out the black version of this one. The right side of the box has a very verbose list of specifications and features (even down to the air pressure of the fans) and a "scope of delivery" — a list of all of the components that can be found inside. The left side of the box describes all of the cooler's features in detail which I will provide on page 3 of this article.
The rear of the box provides an abstract of the cooler, covering all of its features and helps us get an idea of what Phanteks' goal with its high-end coolers is. I quote, "Phanteks PH-TC14CS, C type Single tower thermal radiator design uses the latest aerospace technology. By using P.A.T.S. to increase cooling performance and C.P.S.C. Technology to enhance thermal conductivity, heat will easily dissipate, creating an opportunity for greater overclocking. Combined with Dual Phanteks PH-F140 Premium 140mm Fans, easy-to-install SoliSku mounting kit and PH-NDC thermal compound, Phanteks PH-TC14CS with unique colored is setting the new standard of today's CPU cooling." Yes, it's a little broken in the grammar section, though that's the least of our concerns as long as it performs well! This quote is also presented in nine other languages, such as German, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, and more.
Inside of the box, we find the heatsink itself nested in a white cardboard frame with the two 140mm fans sandwiched on either side. Underneath the cooler is a plain white box that contains all of the mounting hardware, fan clips, fan Y-adapter, and a hex wrench for installation. The installation and operation instructions are found to the side of the box beside one of the fans. The mounting appears to be almost identical to the previous design with the exception of the need for the hex wrench instead of a Phillip's head screwdriver — a requirement due to the cooler's shape. Since the fin tower is so close to the base, there would be no easy way to access the mounting clamp with a screwdriver!
With the heatsink and all of its accessories out and all accounted for, it's time to look at the heatsink itself with a closer, detailed perspective.