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Twelve CPU Air Cooler Roundup

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Phanteks PH-TC14CS

The Phanteks PH-TC14CS is a 140 mm C-Type cooler. This means that instead of a vertical tower that sticks up off the CPU, the tower lays in a horizontal plane with the CPU and motherboard.  The Phanteks PH-TC14CS is the only C-Type cooler in our round up.


Heatsinks and Fans
Intel Socket: LGA 2011/115X/1366/775
AMD: FM1/FM2/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 (stock back-plate required)
Black, Blue, White, Red
.Copper (Base and heat-pipes), Nickel Plated
.Aluminium (Cooling fins and Top Cover) with P.A.T.S and C.P.S.C.
Fan Model
PH-F140 Premium Fan with PWM Adapter
Fan Size
140 x 140 x 25mm
Fan Compatibility
140 x 140 x 25mm (2pcs), 120 x 120 x 25mm (2pcs)
Bearing Type
UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing
Blade Geometry
Nine Red Colored Blades with MVB(Maelström Vortex Booster) Design
Speed (RPM)
1300 ± 10%
Max Air Flow
88.6 CFM
Max Air Pressure
1.37mm H2O
Acoustical Noise
19.6 dB (A)
Speed with PWM Adapter
700 – 1200 RPM ± 10%
Max Air Flow with PWM Adapter
45.1 – 78.1 CFM
Max Air Pressure with PWM Adapter
0.45 – 1.21mm H2O
Acoustical Noise with PWM Adapter
13.4 – 19 dB (A)
Input Power
2.8 W
Current (Ampere)
0.24 A
Rate Voltage
>150,000 h
Heatsink Dimensions without Fans
143.8 x 140 x 112mm (LxWxH)
Heatsink Dimensions with Single Fan
160 x 151 x 112mm (LxWxH)
Heatsink Dimensions with Dual Fan
160 x 151 x 140.5mm (LxWxH)
Heatsink Weight without Fans
Heatsink Weight with Fans
750/900g (Single/Dual)
Package Dimensions
167 x 214 x 190mm (LxWxH)
Scope of Delivery
.1x PH-TC14CS Heatsink
.2x PH-F140TS Premium Fans
.SoliSku Mounting Kits for Intel LGA 2011/1155/1156/1366/775 and AMD FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 (stock back-plate required)
.1x PWM External Adapter(Pulse Width Modulation)
.1x Hex Wench
.1x Y-Fan Splitter
.1x PH-NDC Thermal Compound
.Phanteks PH-TC14CS User’s Manual (English/Spanish and German/French)
PH-F140 Fan Accessories .4x Rubber Bars
.8x Fan Clip Adapters
.4x Fan Wire Clip
5 Years.


DSC_0021p DSC_0023p

The packaging for the Phanteks PH-TC14CS gives a nice teaser of the cooler inside. The cooler comes in five different colors. The back of the box details the features and a little history of this cooler in 10 different languages.


DSC_0027pThe accessory kit that is included with the Phanteks PH-TC14CS includes all the parts and pieces needed to get the cooler mounted on the motherboard. This kit does include two fans as well as a PWM adapter that will allow the motherboard to control both fans.


DSC_0028p DSC_0031p

The Phanteks PH-TC14CS is a C-Type CPU cooler. Instead of having a vertical tower that stands straight up, the tower on this cooler is bent 90 degrees and runs parallel to the CPU socket.  This cooler features five 8 mm heatpipes. The cooler comes in a choice of four colors: Black, Blue, White and Red.


DSC_0030pThe Phanteks PH-TC14CS fin spacing allows is wide. This should allow enough air to flow through the cooler for good cooling performance.


DSC_0033pThe base of the cooler is polished and is made of copper and is nickel plated.


DSC_0037pThe reflection of the 1 cm square grid in the base of the Phanteks PH-TC14CS shows the base is flat. Good contact with the heat spreader of the CPU is needed for proper cooling performance.


DSC_0044pTwo fans are included with the CPU cooler. They are 140x140x25 mm in size. The fans have three pin headers on them and using the included PWM adapter allows the motherboard to control the fan speeds. Not using the PWM adapter makes the fans run at their max speed of 1300 RPM.


DSC_0049pThe fan blade design is what Phanteks calls the Maelstrom Vortex Booster design. This is supposed to increase airflow while lowering the noise produced. These fans are rated at (with PWM adapter installed) 45.1-78.1 CFM with a noise level of 13.4-19 dBA.

DSC_0050pInstallation of the CPU cooler was straightforward and not too difficult. The first step was to install the bolts into the back plate at the correct location. In our case we are using a Socket 1150 board and the correct position is number two. On the back plate there are clear markings at to which hole is which and depending on the socket type, which hole to use for the bolts. One thing of interest here is that when the bolts are installed, there is enough resistance between the bolt and the rubber pad to keep the bolt from slipping out. It is not life changing mind you, but still a nice convenience feature.


DSC_0053pAfter the back plate is assembled the next step is to insert the bolts through the motherboard and place the plastic spacers on each of the four bolts as shown above.


DSC_0054pHere is where the installer needs to pay attention. The retention brackets can go on both ways since the socket is essentially a square. But if the brackets are installed in any other manner than shown above, the CPU cooler will block more than just one memory slot.


DSC_0057pAfter placing the CPU cooler on the retention brackets, use the included allen wrench to tighten the CPU cooler down. This is another two point mounting system, twist the CPU cooler back and forth a little to ensure proper thermal paste spread. Note the orientation of the cooler. On our 1150 board fi the CPU cooler was installed in any other direction than this, up to 3 memory slots were blocked. Here, we only loose one. However, if you choose to run only the TOP fan, the reverse orientation does allow access to all the memory slots. I was able to install the shown Kingston Hyper X Beast memory modules in all four slots.


DSC_0059pInstalling the fans was the hardest part of the Phanteks PH-TC14CS installation. There are eight screw adapters that need to be installed in each of the four corners of each fan. The adapters have slots in them to attach the wire brackets. The easiest way (and this will be hard to explain) to install the wire brackets is to install them in the opposite vertical direction then carefully rotate them down into the final installation position.  The leads on the fans are super long and adding to the over all length is the PWM adapter and the 3 pin splitter. I chose to wrap the leads around the fans to take up some of the slack. The fans were installed in a push/pull configuration where the bottom fan is pushing air through the cooler and the top fan is pulling air out.

The Phanteks PH-TC12DX is up next.

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Tom Brokaw

Tom is a network and computer hardware enthusiast. He has been reviewing hardware products around for various sites around the net since 1999. He has modded a few cases back in the day.

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