Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

First let’s take a look at the Phanteks PH-TC14PE heatsink from the red cooler model (although it looks more like pink to me):



This heatsink has two fin arrays, each sitting on five copper heatpipes 8 mm in diameter. Each array consists of 43 aluminum fins 0.45 mm thick with 2.0 mm gaps between them. There is a decorative cover with the company name on top of each heatsink array.

The heatsink is 163 mm tall, and each fin measures 140x50 mm. There is a 30 mm wide gap between the heatsink arrays:


The calculated effective heatsink area is about 12,000 cm2, which is one of the best among processor air-coolers these days. The heatsink itself (without the fans) also weighs quite substantially – 970 g.

The heatsink finds have jagged exterior edges where the airflow enters and exits the heatsink, which allows lowering the airflow resistance and maintain high cooler efficiency at low fan rotation speeds.


Phanteks heatsink boasts two unique technologies. The first one is called P.A.T.S. (Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield) and it reflects thermal energy generated by other heat sources besides the CPU. I am talking about the graphics card, South and North Bridges of the chipset, memory, voltage regulator components, etc. In other words, Phanteks heatsink with P.A.T.S. technology may remain the coolest components among other heat sources in the system. It is hard to tell how they achieve this, therefore let’s make a smart face and take the marketing promises for granted this time.

The second technology is called C.P.S.C. (Cold Plasma Spraying Coating) and its description seems to be more realistic. The idea behind this technology is to provide more contemporary and efficient contact between the heatsink fins and heatpipes as well as between the heatpipes and the base. The heatpipes not only go through wide 2 mm necks, but these necks do not have the traditional “locks”, which are so typical of the processor heatsinks. Therefore, the contact is ensured over the entire circular surface of the heatpipe:

Once the contact spots between all heatsink parts have been soldered together, they applied a very thin layer of some composite material, which should ensure even more efficient heat transfer between different cooler components (base plate, heatpipes and fins). It is a truly unique solution.

The nickel-plated heatsink plate is 45x42 mm big and its surface is pretty nicely finished. Even though you clearly see the machine marks on it, you can’t feel them to the touch:

8 mm heatpipes are placed right next to one another in the cooler base and the thinnest part of the base plate beneath them is 3 mm.

The base surface has a barely noticeable lengthwise prominence, which together with a n uneven heat-spreader of our test processor produced the following thermal paste imprints:


I have to admit that the result is very decent for both surfaces.

Phanteks PH-TC14PE is equipped with two nine-blade PH-F140 fans measuring 140x140x25 mm:

The fans are also unique and boast distinctive peculiarities. First of all I have to mention MVB technology (Maelström Vortex Booster), when each fan blade has three additional fins on the exterior surface. Moreover, these fins are placed differently on each blade:

According to Phanteks engineers, this solution allows creating powerfully controlled airflow. The MVB produces a downdraft vortex allowing air passage through the surface to produce a significantly better performance while keeping the noise level down. We have already seen something similar in Noctua and Zalman fans. The impeller of Phanteks fans is 131 mm in diameter and features a 36 mm rotor.

The second peculiarity of these fans is their unique Updraft Floating Balance (UFB) bearing with an additional balancing ring and phenomenally long (declared) MTBF of 150,000 hours or over 17 years of non-stop operation. Users will no longer remember the unimpressive take-off of AMD “Excavator” and disappointing performance gain from Intel’s new “Ivy Bridge”, and Phanteks PH-F140 fan will keep working and working.

Moreover, the fans support auto-restart and are bundled with a Q.S.A. adapter that allows reducing the rotation speed from the nominal 1200 RPM to 900 RPM. In this case the generated airflow will drop from 78.1 CFM to 60.1 CFM, the static pressure will go down from 1.21 mmH2O to 0.69 mmH2O, and the noise will reduce from 19 dBA to 15.2 dBA. Maximum power consumption of each fan shouldn’t exceed 1.8 W at 0.15 A current, which is exactly what the rotor sticker says:

According to our measurements, two PH-F140 fans consume no more than 2.6 W, so here the specifications are right to the point. The fans do not support PWM control and come with 400 mm long cables.

Each Phanteks PH-F140 fan is attached to the heatsink using two wire clips, which should first be inserted into the loops of the plastic mounts inserted into the fan retention holes:

It is not very convenient to insert the clips into these loops, but they will definitely guarantee that the fans don’t move anywhere during their 17-year life span. There are six wire clips included with the cooler, which will be enough to install not only two included fans, but also the third additional fan, if necessary.

You should stick shock-absorbing silicone strips to the edge of each heatsink array:

They will reduce the vibrations transfer from the fan and this way lower the level of noise.

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