Phanteks PH-TC14PE – A Closer Look
One interesting thing about the Phanteks PH-TC14PE is that it comes in several different colours. There is even a black edition, and I think they all look great. The option to choose just the right colour to match your system is a pretty nice thing to have, and is probably its main advantage over the Noctua NH-D14, performance notwithstanding.
The heatsink itself is 168mm tall, and 144x161mm wide, giving it a monstrous footprint that you will absolutely need to consider before purchasing for your system. If you use memory with tall heatsinks, you will have to find new ones, because there’s no way they’ll fit underneath it. I place the blame more on the memory makers though though – there really is no reason for most modules to use huge heatsinks these days. It’s all just for show, and if there’s anything worse than something limiting your options, it’s something that is only there for show.
The two towers are connected by five copper heatpipes, which run through a nickel-plated copper base plate.
The base is a two-piece design, and from what I could tell is sealed pretty well and quite flat. The finish on the surface is not polished smooth, and you can feel microscopic ridges when you brush something against it like a business card. Any tiny gaps will be taken care of with heatsink paste, of course.
The Phanteks PH-TC14PE comes with a pair of PH-F140 non-PWM fans (they have since included a PWM adapter) with all the features we talked about. The fans are rated for 1300 RPM at full speed, generating 88.6 CFM of air flow, and 19.6 dBA of sound level pressure. Unlike the NH-D14, both fans are full size 14cm models. This makes for an even more impressive looking install, but there is a reason Noctua used a smaller fan for the outside, and we’ll get to that later.
The fans are installed in a push-pull configuration, which is the best setup for tower coolers with more than one fan. Impressively, you can actually install a third fan – the hardware is even included – for the ultimate air cooling setup. Phanteks included an extra fan with this kit, so we’ll be testing that as well. I don’t expect everyone to spend $120 on their air cooling setup, but it’s an interesting proposition. At the very least, it makes for a really cool looking installation.
Phanteks uses the same self-sealing plastic bags as Noctua to house all their accessories. You know, the kind that almost always lose a seam? As you can see here, the “Accessories” bag and the “Intel Set” bag both lost their seem, and some of the contents spilled out before I could open the box. It’s not a huge deal, but I really appreciate it when a cooler comes with its hardware neatly packed away, as well as making it easy to store. Thermaltake did a great job of this with their Frio OCK.
Now let’s put this thing together, and see how it works!