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Phanteks PH-TC14PE & PH-TC12DX Coolers Review

Author: AkG
Date: March 27, 2013
Product Name: PH-TC14PE & PH-TC12DX
Part Number: PH-TC12DX_BK / PH-TC14PE_BK
Warranty: 5 Years
 
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Closer Look at the PH-TC12DX



The sides of Phantek’s box contain all the information any consumer could want, from specifications to the main selling features such as PATS and CPSC (more on these later). The internal protection scheme meanwhile is also nicely done and consists of two large foam halves which wrap entirely around the 12DX to protect its delicate fins while in transit.


Unlike some newcomers to the industry, Phanteks hasn’t skipped on the accessory package which is both complete and includes high quality components. More importantly, the actual mounting hardware covers literally every Intel and AMD socket from the last five years.

A large, multi use tube of thermal compound makes an appearance as well along with a Y splitter adapter for the two included 4 pin PWM capable 120mm fans. The instructions are particularly well done in a clear and concise manner which leaves very little concerns about how to actually install the 12DX.


With its black and white color scheme the Phanteks 12DX is quite ascetically pleasing and would look perfectly at home in cases like Fractal’s Define series. However, the fun doesn’t stop here since Phanteks actually offers multiple color options thanks to their PATS (Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield) coating. With this technology applied to the fin array, Phanteks is able to offer the D12DX in a number of colors: black, white, red and blue.

Even the fan itself comes in all four of these colors, allowing for even more customization. However, only the fan blade and motor housing change color while the physical fan body remains white. In any case this does make for a unique approach which certainly helps this tower cooler stand out in a sea of silver or black competition.


Besides giving it chameleon- like characteristics P.A.T.S also serves an important role in the overall design of Phantek’s 12DX. This spray-on coating has the ability to reflect incoming heat away from the aluminum fins, allowing them to be even more effective at soaking heat up from the attached heatpipes and quickly dispersing it into the airflow stream. To put this in laymen’s terms the PATS coating acts much like a mirror but instead of reflecting light it reflects heat.

Phanteks states this non-toxic coating is good for temperatures of up to 200°C but that’s impossible to accurately test since at those heat levels your average computer system will have more to worry about than cooling the CPU. Also, it is worth noting that while it can reflect some of the heat away from the fin array, the hotter the ambient internal case temperature is, the less effective the fin array will be at transferring the CPU heat load. In other words, nothing beats a cool running system with excellent internal air flow.


Moving on to the fin array itself you can see that the Phanteks 12DX does have more than a passing resemblance to Prolimatech’s Megahalem Black Edition. This is for the simple reason that Phanteks has opted for a typical split tower design, with each half of the fin array physically separated from the other half.

While both of these high performance coolers bear some resemblance to one another, the fin array of the 12DX is shallower than a Megahalems, giving it a different cooling aspect. A Megahalems dimensions (without fans) is 130 x 74 x 158.7mm, whereas the Phanteks 12DX is only 126 x 57 x 157.


However, even excluding the difference in size, the 12DX is not simply a Megahalems clone. The faces of its fin array boast a completely different design with a distinct, complex saw-toothed pattern. This wave-like layout helps reduce the static pressure ‘wall’ which the fans will encounter, ensuring that airflow isn’t disrupted on its journey through the fins. It also helps to guide air towards the fin array’s more efficient center region instead of towards the outer edges.

Further helping to reduce the static pressure requirements needed, the saw tooth pattern helps to cut the incoming air while also increasing its speed. This combination should allow for lower speed, lower static pressure fans to adequately cool the fin array.


Unfortunately, while there are many similarities to the Megahalems, Phanteks has opted for a mere four heatpipes. This will somewhat handicap the overall performance of the 12DX’s design, but the increased efficiency of the fin array may help minimize any negative impact.

Phanteks has another ace up their sleeve to further help increase the effectiveness of their 12DX: CSPC. Cold Spray Plasma Coating is a new technology consisting of micro copper deposits on the inside of each heatpipe. These copper deposits enhance the heatpipes’ dispersion factor and allow them to quickly wick heat away from the CPU.


Phanteks has included two very good fans which boast a design that hearkens back to older Noctua units. By incorporating an advanced Updraft Floating Balance bearing design, they should be both quiet and retain the ability to operate at relatively high rotational speeds for over 10 years.

Like most serious cutting edge fan designs each blade has three upraised vanes on the trailing edge. These vanes are what Phanteks call Maelstrom Vortex Booster technology and they help focus the air while removing noise creating vortices. At their full speed of 1800RPM they are rated to move 68.5cfm or air with a good 2.07mm of static pressure. They are also PWM capable and boast cables which are sheathed in a tight white braid.
 
 
 

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