CPU Cooler

Phanteks PH-TC12LS CPU Cooler Review: Low-Profile, High Value

Article Pages: « Installation Procedure and Clearance Issues | Final Thoughts »

Test System and Benchmark Results of the Phanteks PH-TC14S

  • Ambient temperature monitored at case intake and temperature Delta was used.
  • All case and heat sink fans were benchmarked with fan control settings disabled and running at 100% unless otherwise specified.
  • Intel integrated video is utilized to eliminate additional ambient heat source from discrete graphics cards.
  • Temperatures are averaged (last minute) from individual core temperature results monitored by AIDA64 after 15 minutes.
  • Stock settings have all power saving features enabled in the motherboard with Vcore set static to 1.1V and set to “Balanced” in the OS.
  • All tests were taken at least three times to get the final result.
  • Note that performance results on this setup are not directly comparable with any benchmarks from previous reviews as the UEFI BIOS on the motherboard has been updated and now has a much tighter control on the Vcore voltage.
  • Since it is an ASUS motherboard, it engages all cores when it turbos so temperature will be higher compared to other Z87 motherboards that do not by default.
  • An American Recording Technologies SPL-8810 was used for noise level measurement in dBA, 20CM away from the center fan intake.
ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K (Retail)
MotherboardASUS Maximus VI Gene Z87 Motherboard (1603 BIOS)
MemoryMushkin Stealth 1600MHz DDR3
DriveOCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD
Video CardIntel Integrated Graphics
Thermal CompoundNoctua NT-H1
CaseDimasTech Mini v1
Power SupplyCorsair HX850W
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Pro

Benchmarks:

Sound Level vs Fan Speed of the PH-120FP Fan:

RPMSound Level (dBA)
160042.8
150039
120037.6
100036.2
80035

Test Set Specification Comparison:

Comparison HeatsinksPhanteks PH-TC12LSStock Intel i7-4770K CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-L9i
Deepcool Gamerstorm GabrielRaijintek Pallas
Fan Size (mm)1 x 1201 x 75 (built-in)1 x 92 (14mm thick)1 x 120 (20mm thick)1 x 140 (13mm thick)
Max fan RPM16002000250018001400
PWMYESYESYESYESYES
Fan Bearing TypeUpdraft Floating Balance BearingBall bearingSSO2Hydro Dynamic BearingSleeve
Material
Copper base and heatpipes, Aluminum fins, Nickel platedCopper contact and AluminumCopper base and heatpipes, Aluminum fins, Nickel platedCopper base and heatpipes, Aluminum fins, Nickel platedCopper base and heatpipes, Aluminum fins, Nickel plated
Height with fan (mm)
7445376068
Heatpipe Thickness (mm)6N/A666
Heatpipe Count60246
Price (in USD)39.99FREE (bundled in retail box)44.9949.9945.99

Performance Summary:

With the stock Intel i7-4770K cooler as the reference (which actually tops out at 99C), all the other aftermarket coolers understandably fare a lot better. Not surprisingly, the thermal performance lines up with their respective sizes as well with the smallest Noctua NH-L9i sitting closer to the reference and the largest 140mm Raijintek Pallas low-profile cooler at the top. The Phanteks PH-TC12LS bests the Deepcool Gabriel by 8C and manages to run quieter as well.

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Ron Perillo

Ron is a non-binary tech writer that presently identifies as a reviewer but is currently transitioning toward modding.
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