After reviewing Phanteks PH-TC14S cooler I was quite excited to take a look at this cooler, but as things went along I was very disappointed. It all really started when I went to install the cooler and it literally took me over 30 minutes and multiple tries to get it securely installed. I think that if you are going to have installation like this you should include your own screwdriver, the first two I tried did not fit correctly and luckily I had another. Also it does not make a lot of sense that the mounting plate and mounting screws were not pre-installed on the cooler itself. This is how it was on the PH-TC14S and made installation a breeze. One false move with the PH-TC12LS and a screw would fall or the mounting plate would fall off. It got quite monotonous after a while. Keep in mind I have installed hundreds of CPU coolers over the years.
After finally getting the cooler installed I thought after all of that it should have some decent performance, I guess I was wrong too. Out of all of the coolers that I have reviewed lately it came in second to last in both the idle and load tests. Not much you can really say about that, I feel that the very small heatsink and smaller 120 mm fan had a lot to do with the poor performance.
As Phanteks states this cooler is 100% RAM and VRM compatible, which is was and I was able to install it with my motherboard in my case with a very large graphics card installed. The fan is very quiet too.
If you are looking at getting a smaller CPU cooler I cannot honest recommend this one, the PH-TC14S would be a better choice if you want to go the Phanteks route. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Phanteks PH-TC14S a 6 out of 10 score.
– 100% RAM and VRM clearance
– Universal cooler
– Quiet operation
– Installation was very annoying
– Mounting plate should have been pre-installed
– Would have liked to have seen a clip mounting system on the fan
– Should have included their own screwdriver to fit in opening
– Very poor performance