Phanteks PH-TC12DX Review

Written by Antony Leather

March 12, 2013 // 7:59 a.m.

Tags: #best-cpu-cooler #best-processor-cooler #cpu-cooler #phanteks #phanteks-ph-tc12dx-review

Performance Analysis

In our LGA1155 system, the PH-TC12DX performed admirably for an air cooler, coming within spitting distance of the Corsair H80i on its lowest fan speed. It also matched the giant Noctua NH-D14 also on its lowest fan speed, although both the H80i and NH-D14 were noticeably quieter. The PH-TC12DX was far from noisy, though, and while its low noise levels - that were far lower than the likes of the Arctic Freezer i30 - might suggest piddly air flow, this was far from the case, with the fans doing a great job and a steady blast of air coming out the rear of our Corsair Carbide 500R test case.

Phanteks PH-TC12DX Review Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Click to enlarge

In our toasty LGA2011 system, the PH-TC12DX again matched or came close to several all-in-one liquid coolers on their lowest fan speed settings and again bettered the Arctic Freezer i30. However, as usual, the liquid coolers had a clear edge once you ramped up their fan speeds where they produced noise levels similar to the PH-TC12DX. The Noctua NH-D14 was also better, but only on its highest fan speed setting where it was considerably noisier than the PH-TC12DX.

Phanteks PH-TC12DX Review Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Click to enlarge

Conclusion

The Phanteks PH-TC12DX was easy to install, doesn't cost the earth and returned some very solid results in out thermal testing that saw it perform similarly to all-in-one liquid coolers that cost double the price. However, they still have an edge when it comes to achieving the ultimate noise to cooling ratio, and also have a clear lead once you pick up the pace of their fans. This was especially true in our LGA2011 test system, where the mighty Corsair H100i managed to knock 10°C of the deltaT achieved by the PH-TC12DX.

Phanteks PH-TC12DX Review Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Click to enlarge

That said, the PH-TC12DX is one of the best air coolers we've tested, and while it's not the cheapest cooler around, the main reason you'll likely pick it over the competition is its looks, which are top notch, so long as you need a red, black, white or blue cooler that is. For this reason we felt it deserved an award, even though in terms of raw value it's not quite there. As we said with the PH-TC14PE, it's great to see a cooling company focusing on customisation rather than just cooling or looks alone, and with some impressive cooling numbers, the PH-TC12DX isn't just a pretty face either.

LGA1155 Score
Phanteks PH-TC12DX Review Performance Analysis and Conclusion

LGA2011 Score

  • Cooling
    31 / 40
  • Design
    27 / 30
  • Value
    24 / 30

Score guide
Where to buy

Overall 82%

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