Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler Review



Testing - Cooling Performance


For idle testing, the system was booted up and allowed to stabilize at ~0% CPU usage. Temperature readings were then taken for 10 minutes using RealTemp GT. Prime95 was then used to load the CPU to 100% for another 10 minutes of temperature readings. An Intel Core i5-2500k was tested at a default clock speed of 3.3GHz and an overclocked speed of 3.8GHz with automatic voltage applied. The single temperature recorded was the average between the four cores. Power management features SpeedStep and C1E were disabled to prevent any downclocking during idle testing. As a first step towards transitioning our cooling charts to report results obtained on Ivy Bridge, we performed the same tests on a Core i5-3570k at the default clock of 3.4GHz and overclocks of 3.8GHz and 4.4GHz with automatic voltage applied.




The PH-TC12DX performs admirably atop the loaded i5-2500, staying within a few temps of the Arctic Cooling Freezer and even the Cooler Master Seidon 240. Noise output is  a bit higher than I'm used to, but nothing that I wouldn't mind working next to for hours on end. Once the cooler settles into a steady RPM after ramping up for the increased load, all you hear is the clean whooshing of air. We remain impressed by how much cooling performance can be had from the single 120mm fan of the Arctic Freezer i30 compared to the push/pull configuration we used with the PH-TC12DX, but it's worth noting that Arctic's fan cannot be repurposed outside of the heatsink. Either of these very quiet coolers would be a great choice for someone looking to do some light overclocking, however PH-TC12DX offers a level of future-proofing and style not seen in the cheaper i30.


Ivy Bridge Testing

Idle Temperature (°C) Load Temperature (°C)
3.4GHz (stock) 28 49
3.8GHz 30 65
4.4GHz 32 70

Due to the inherently hot nature of the Ivy Bridge family, it comes as no surprise that we see a pretty significant drop in performance across the board. Idle temps remain comparable between the two chipsets but load temps see a substantial increase under overclocking. The 4.4GHz clock brings us right up to the 70° threshold that we're comfortable with for a 24/7 OC, but the PH-TC12DX remains best suited for those looking for a more conservative performance boost.


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