Almost a year has passed since Thermalright Archon came out, which we still consider the best air cooler for CPUs. A lot of highly efficient cooler has come out since then, but only one of them, NZXT Havik 140, managed to slightly outperform the leader in cooling efficiency, though yield to it in acoustics.
And finally the Dutch Phanteks Company with 20 years of experience in thermal industry, but no presence in the computer component market, has released PH-TC14PE cooler that combines a number of interesting solutions, some of which we have already come across before.
Moreover, the cooler is available in four different color schemes: silver, blue, red and orange. In other words, the cooler is the same, but there are four of them :) Let’s see what the new Phanteks offspring is capable of and if it will be able to outperform the Thermalright cooler.
Packaging and Accessories
We received two cooler samples for our today’s review: a silver PH-TC14PE and a red PH-TC14PE-RD. Both coolers are shipped in identical boxes made of thick cardboard. Although the boxes are pretty large, they do not have any carry-handles:
But this is a real trifle. As for the informational value of the Phanteks boxes, we can’t complain: the back and side panels of the boxes bear extensive information about the cooler, its features and unique peculiarities:
The packaging is also extremely reliable, because there is additional cardboard casing inside. The small box with accessories is inserted between the heatsink arrays and there is soft polyurethane foam padding on top:
The accessories box contains several different retention kits, installation manual and a few other items:
It is very convenient that each kit is sealed inside a separate plastic bag and marked accordingly, which simplifies the assembly and installation procedure and minimizes the number of times you will consult the manual (although we strongly recommend reading it anyway before installation).
The retention kits for Intel platforms include a backplate with insulating padding, two steel brackets, black plastic bushes, mounts, screw-nuts and additional double-sided mounts for the LGA 2011 systems:
The retention kit for AMD processors contains steel retention brackets, white plastic bushes and four screws. In this case you will be using a default backplate that is why it is not included with the kit.
All components that are identical for both platforms are sealed in an individual plastic bag:
Here you will find a universal retention plate, six silicone strips for the fans, fan retention kit with wire clips, an adapter with a lowering resistor, a Y-splitter, and even Phanteks RH-NDC thermal paste. As for the latter, the only thing we know about it is that it contains diamond nano-particles. However, for some reason Phanteks didn’t mention anything else about this thermal paste, even such a common characteristic as thermal conductivity. I can’t help mentioning that some of the bundled accessories remind us of the Austrian Noctua NH-D14. I assume this is simply a coincidence, but who knows, maybe not quite? Especially, since Phanteks PH-TC14PE heatsink is very similar to that of the NH-D14, as you will very soon see…
The new cooler is manufactured in