3-Way Low Profile CPU Cooling Shoot-Out: Reeven, Phanteks, & Noctuaby E. Fylladitakis on January 18, 2017 8:00 AM EST
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The Phanteks PH-TC12LS
We received the Phanteks TC12LS inside a dark cardboard box with an abstract aesthetic theme, mostly based on schematic drawings of the cooler itself. Considering the size of the cooler, the box is large, with excessive layers of polystyrene foam for protection found on the inside. Inside the box we found four manuals, one for each of the most popular languages in the regions that the cooler is being marketed into, the necessary mounting hardware, and a syringe with Phanteks PH-NDC thermal compound that should last for at least three or four applications.
The Phanteks TC12LS features a narrow, dense array of black aluminum fins, much like the one we saw on Steropes, yet is even smaller. The fins are relatively thin but strong, with their sides rolled so that they support each other, virtually amassing together into a single strong construct. There are small gaps towards the center of the array to allow for a screwdriver to go through for the installation of the cooler, further reducing the surface of the array. Again, the TC12LS is wider than the CPU socket area of small motherboards, but the fin array is high enough to allow for the installation of standard height RAM modules beneath it.
A major marketing point of the TC12LS is its fan. Phanteks is using a full size 120 mm fan, and not just any 120 mm fan, but the PH-F120MP, one of their more advanced high performance designs. The PH-F120MP is a high static pressure design that may be quite a bit of an overkill for the narrow heatsink of the TC12LS, but should maintain good performance at lower RPMs.
Six 6 mm thick nickel-plated copper heatpipes exit the small base of the TC12LS, entering the fin array from one side. Rounded metallic caps cover their endings, mostly for aesthetic purposes.
The base of the TC12LS is not solid. A close inspection reveals that it comprises of two parts, the copper base and an aluminum top, with the heatpipes sandwiched between them. The aluminum top is flat and only meant to offer mechanical cohesion and mounting functionality, not to directly aid the thermal performance of the cooler in the slightest. The contact surface is machined well, down to a very smooth, flawless surface.
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mm0zct - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkCame to the comments to say just this. I've been running my Phenom-II 1055t (95W) in a mini-ITX system with the Shuriken Big for almost 6 years now, very happily and quietly.
edzieba - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkFor a low-profile cooler roundup, it seems odd to include the NH-C14S (at double the Z-height of the other coolers tested) but not the NH-L9i or even the NH-L9x65.
80-wattHamster - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkOne works with the samples one has, presumably.
jabber - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkYeah I always love folks that seem to think sites have every cooler, ram module, case, CPU, GPU under the sun to test against each other. If you have an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters...
jtd871 - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkThese may not be tall coolers, but they're not all super low-profile either. I'd be interested in seeing reviews of the Cryorig C7 and Silverstone AR-05.
jtd871 - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkCould you guys please update Bench with all these results?!
Great_Scott - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkIt should happen pretty soon. Hey, Bench was updated with the new Core i3 results and there isn't even a review out yet!
dreamcat4 - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkIts worth noting that while this review doesn't seem to mention the Raijintek Pallas or the CRYORIG C1... shouldn't assume those are unworthy of pretty serious consideration also.
creed3020 - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkYeah the review is not apples to apples. In the world of SFF coolers there are the very tiny and larger solutions. The Noctua should be compared to coolers like the ones you mentioned.
b4bblefish - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkI'm really confused why the Noctua L9 or L9x65 wasn't used here since those would have been more relevant to this shootout?
Basically instead of 3 comparable fans it's just 2 low profile ones and a large cooler which really shouldn't be compared to the other 2...