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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-TC14PE



The 14PE’s box is nearly identical to the 12DX’s but the graphics have changed slightly and the increased size will help accommodate the larger dimensions of this robust CPU cooler. Unlike the 12DX, the 14PE does not make use of foam for its internal protection scheme and rather sits upright inside a secondary cardboard container with a foam topper.


While there are a few minor differences, the accessories which accompany this cooler are nearly identical to the 12DX’s. Like the 12DX, Phanteks have included all the necessary mounting equipment for both Intel and AMD systems, a multi-use syringe of Phanteks branded thermal compound, two fans, a Y-adapter cable and installation pamphlet.

Where the two coolers differ is the 14PE comes with enough wire fan brackets to mount three fans instead of just two. In addition, Phanteks has opted for larger fans which will allow them to operate at lower speeds while taking advantage of a larger surface area for increased heat dispersion efficiency.


Moving on the 14PE itself, as you can see it is a rather large heatsink which measures a whopping 134 x 140 x 160 millimetres and tips the scales at 970 grams without any fans attached. With its two fans attached its weight balloons to 1250 grams and its depth goes to 134 x 165 x 160. In many ways, Phanteks has focused on size in a brute-force approach to cooling.


To help put the sheer size in proper perspective, with two fans attached to both the 12DX and 14PE, the 14PE laid on its side is basically as ‘tall’ as the 12DX is when standing upright. This is not a small CPU cooler by any stretch of the imagination.

While there are differences, it is obvious Phanteks heavily leaned on competitors’ designs with this earlier model more so than they did with their newer 12DX creation. On a first blush the 14PE looks very similar to a Noctua D14. Both are very similar in overall design and share many similar features.

Like the D14, the 14PE is a dual tower based design which has its heatpipes centered within each fin array in a straight, evenly spaced row. With that being said, there are key differences in design between these two larger coolers, so Phanteks cannot be accused of simply copying the Noctua D14 and ‘rebranding’ it as their own.



The 14PE actually represents Phanteks’ first truly popular cooler, so many of the technologies incorporated into it later designs gained their first widespread acceptance here. The P.A.T.S. (Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield) coating allows it to be available in black, white, red, orange and blue. However, the black color scheme is quite different with a stunning and unique matte finish


Besides the dual tower design of its fin array, the 14PE’s facade is also radically different from that of the Phanteks 12DX but its effect is largely the same. The benefit to this saw tooth pattern boils down to efficiency reducing airborne resistance which allows lower RPM fans to properly cool the heatsink. It’s an interesting approach which should make the 14PE a perfect fit for users who want reduced temperatures but aren’t willing to sacrifice acoustics to get there.


While many large-scale CPU coolers tend to use multiple small heatpipes in order to evenly distribute thermal load, Phanteks has opted for massive 8mm units. These use the same Cold Spray Plasma Coating found on the 12DX and is supposed to make this cooler’s base plate to be more effective at transferring heat from the CPU to the heatpipes.

Phanteks has equipped the 14PE with two 140mm stock fans which may not be PWM capable but they nonetheless run at a decent 1300 RPM 140mm, pushing 78.1cfm of air with a static pressure rating of 1.21. These are somewhat lethargic numbers but we can’t forget that the raw surface area of this design is engineered to optimized lower airflow situations to deliver good cooling performance without the need for high speed, noisy fans.
 
 
 

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