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Twelve CPU Air Cooler Roundup

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 Phanteks PH-TC12DX

The folks over at Phanteks provided a 120mm tower cooler for the round up. The Phanteks PH-TC12DX features dual PWM fans along with four 6mm heat pipes. The kit also provides a universal mounting system to facilitate installation on most of the motherboards available today.



Heatsinks and Fans
Colors White / Black / Blue / Red
Material Copper (Base and Heat-pipes), Nickel Plated
Aluminum (Fins and Top Cover)
Patented P.A.T.S (Physical Anti-Oxidant Thermal Shield)
Patented C.P.S.C (Cold Plasma Spraying Coating)
Fan Model PH-F120HP PWM Premium Fan
Fan Size 120 x 120 x 25mm
Fan Compatibilities 120 x 120 x 25mm (2pcs)
Bearing Type
UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing
Blade Geometry
Nine Blades with MVB(Maelström Vortex Booster) Design
Speed (RPM)
600 – 1800 RPM ± 10%
Max Airflow
23 – 68.5 CFM
Max Air Pressure
0.39 – 2.07mm H2O
Acoustical Noise
21.9 – 27.6 dB(A)
Input Power
Current (Ampere)
Rate Voltage
>150,000 h
Heatsink Dimensions (LxWxH)
126 x 57 x 157mm (without fans)
126 x 107 x 157mm (with dual fans)
Package Dimensions
220x163x173 (LxWxH)
Scope of Delivery
1x PH-TC12DX Heatsink
2x PH-F120HP PWM Premium Fans
8x Fan Clip Adapters
4x Rubber Bar,
4x Fan wire clips (PH-F120HP Fan’s Accessories)
SoliSku Mounting Kits for Intel and AMD (Stock back-plate required)
1x Y Fan Splitter (4pin)
1x PH-NDC Thermal Compound
2x Phanteks PH-TC12DX User’s Manual
5 Years.
DSC_0060p DSC_0061p

The packaging for the Phanteks PH-TC12DX  is very similar to that of the PH-TC14CS. The cooler comes in four different colors. The back of the box details the features and a little history of this cooler in 10 different languages.


DSC_0062pAll packed away in the box is the cooler, two fans, instructions, an AMD installation kit, an Intel installation kit and the accessories package. There is also a PWM splitter cable included to run both fans off of one motherboard header.


DSC_0065pThe Phanteks PH-TC12DX measures in at 120x120x25 mm. The aluminum fins are attached to the nickel plated copper heat pipes.



The fin spacing is wide enough to see through and should allow sufficient airflow to allow the cooler to effectively cool the CPU.


DSC_0068pThe base of the cooler is polished, but not to a mirror finish. There are minor machining marks present on the surface of the base.


DSC_0073pHowever, the base is polished enough to give a reflection. The reflected lines show that the base is flat and should make good contact with the heat spreader of the CPU.


DSC_0075pThe Phanteks PH-TC12DX comes with two PWM fans. Depending on the kit, there are four color of fan blades available.



The Phanteks fans that come with the PH-TC12DX feature blades that use the Maelstrom Vortex Booster design. The design allows for increased airflow by creating a vortex behind the fan and producing less noise while doing so. These fans are rated at 23-68.5 CFM and 21.9-27.6 dBA.


DSC_0084pInstallation of the Phanteks PH-TC12DX is similar to the installation of the PH-TC14CS. The difference being that the retention brackets are now installed in the manner shown above.


DSC_0088pWhen attaching the cooler to the retention brackets tighten the screw down until it is snug. There is not a need to really crank down on them.


DSC_0089pWith both fans installed the Phanteks PH-TC12DX is narrow enough to allow usage of all four memory slots on our 1150 motherboard. The memory has a very tight clearance between the fan and the heat spreader on the memory, but should still fit without any issues.



Installation is complete, and thanks to some minor changes to the wire retention clips for the fans installation of the fans is much simpler. The fans are set up in a push/pull configuration where the fan facing the memory side of the board is pushing air through the cooler and the fan on the back side of the cooler is pulling the air to the back of the PC case. Phanteks likes long cables on the fans and there is plenty here. For our testing I did use the included PWM splitter.

The Phanteks PH-TC 14PE take us back to the test bench 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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