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Phanteks PH-TC14S & Cryorig C1 CPU Coolers

Phanteks PH-TC14S & Cyrorig C1 CPU Coolers

January 20, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Phanteks PH-TC14S

CPU Cooler
Cryorig C1

CPU Cooler
Manufacturer
Phanteks Cryorig
Price
US$50 (MSRP) US$65

The first aftermarket CPU coolers were laughable in size compared to the popular models of today. They began as more refined versions of the stock coolers they were replacing, small aluminum heatsinks with 50~70 mm fans blowing downward. They've gotten progressively bigger over the years, to the point where we're now seeing solutions that were unimaginable when all this began. The premiere flagship coolers weigh more than a kilogram and sport one or more 140+ mm fans.



The Phanteks PH-TC14S and Cryorig C1 boxes.

The two coolers examined here have 140 mm fans as well, but they're actually
rather modestly sized. The Phanteks PH-TC14S is a tower, but the heatsink is
split into two very thin portions, the sum of which is smaller than many tower
coolers armed with a 120 mm fan. The Cryorig C1 on the otherhand, is a short
top-down cooler, designed to be more compatible with smaller cases. It too has
a bit of a twist in that the fan is half the thickness of a standard model in
order to keep its height at a minimum.

Phanteks PH-TC14S

Phanteks PH-TC14S: Specifications

(from the product
web page
)
Compatibility Intel Socket 2011/115X/1366/775

AMD FM1/FM2(+)/AM2(+)
Color Black
Material - Copper (Base and Heat-pipes), Nickel Plated

- Aluminum Cooling Fins with patented P.A.T.S.
Fan Model PH-F140HP PWM Ultra High Static Pressure Premium Fan
Fan Size 140 x 140 x 25 mm
Fan compatibility 140 x 140 x 25 mm / 120 x 120 x25 mm (2pcs)
Bearing Type UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing
Blade Geometry Seven Colored Blades with MVB2
RPM 500 - 1600 ± 250 RPM
Max Air Flow 68.1 CFM
Max Air Pressure 1.6 mm H20
Acoustical Noise 25.3 dB(A)
Input Power 2.4 W
MTBF > 150,000 hr.
Heatsink Dimension (LxWxH) without fan 4.1 x 2.9 x 6.1 inches
Heatsink Dimension (LxWxH) with Fan 5.6 x 2.9 x 6.3 inches
Heatsink Weight without fan 1.23 lbs
Heatsink Weight with fan 1.63 lbs
Package Dimension 8.5 x 8 x 4.7 inches (LxWxH)
Scope of Delivery 1x PH-TC14S

- 1x PH-F140HP PWM Premium Fan

- 1x SoliSku Mounting kit for Intel and AMD(Stock backplate required)

- 1x PH-NDC Thermal Compound

- 1x Phanteks PH-TC14S User’s Manual

- 4x Rubber Bar

- 4x Fan Clips
Warranty 5 Years.

Like Phanteks' other cooling solutions, the PH-TC14S has a nickel-plated heatpipe
and base design, giving it the appearance of a premium product. Despite the
smallish size of the heatsink, Phanteks has employed an "ultra high static
pressure" fan, the kind of fan that is typically paired with AIO liquid
coolers to better push air through tightly packed radiators. The fin-stacks
of the PH-TC14S isn't particularly dense, so the fan's presence is unusual to
say the least. Generally this type of design has poor acoustics, and coupled
with this particular fan's high top speed (1600 RPM), it doesn't bode well for
noise.



PH-TC14S package contents.

The cooler ships well packed in thick foam inserts. The mounting hardware is
neatly separated into different bags to prevent any confusion during installation.
The accessories include a tube of thermal compound and extra gear for mounting
a second fan, which seems ridiculous given the relative areas of the cooler's
surface and its single fan.

Cryorig C1

Cryorig C1: Specifications

(from the product
web page
)
Dimensions (with fan)
L144.5 mm x W140 mm x H74 mm
Weight (with fan)
628 g
Weight (without fan)
539 g
Heat pipes
6mm heatpipe x 6 units
Top Fins
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 1.8 mm
Top Fins Pcs
56 PCs
Bottom Fin
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 1.4 mm
Bottom Fin PCs
35 PCs
Copper Base
C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
RAM Height Limit
42
Fan Specifications
Dimension
L140 mm x W140 mm x H13 mm
Weight
89 g
Rated Speed
700 ~ 1300 RPM ±10 %
Noise Level
20 ~ 24 dBA
Air Flow
75 CFM

Like the Cryorig R1 Universal,
the C1 emphasizes compatibility. It has a large footprint for a top-down cooler
but stands just 74 mm tall, and is compatible with a slew more cases than most
aftermarket models. Slim towers, desktop HTPC cases, and small mini-ITX cases
like the SilverStone Raven
RVZ01
, come to mind. If you own one such a system, you can get an origami
print-out of the C1 from the Cryorig
site
to confirm compatibility. The C1 is actually built similarly to the
PH-TC14S, making it a battle of orientations, vertical vs. horizontal. They
have similar weight, a six heatpipe design, and nickel-plating. And like the
PH-TC14S, the C1 fan may be its primary weakness, because of it is just half
the normal thickness.



C1 package contents.



C1 accessories unpacked.

Cryorig's packaging is more environmentally friendly, using cardboard to protect
the contents. Included is a screwdriver, a tube of thermal grease, bolts for
both thin and thick fans, an extra set of fan dampers (which appear to only
fit Cryorig models), and their version of a moist toilette: an alcohol pad for
cleaning the heatsink base. Interestingly, it ships with its own AMD backplate
rather than reusing the OEM backplate which is the norm for the vast majority
of aftermarket heatsinks.

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Phanteks PH-TC14S

By my measurements, the PH-TC14S weighs 560 grams (740 grams including the
fan) and its dimensions are 15.6 x 10.5 x 7.1 cm (L x W x H) with the fan extending
its height by a minimum of 3 mm or more depending on how high it's positioned
on the heatsink. The fins are composed of aluminum painted black while the heatpipes
and base are made of nickel-plated copper.



Having a single fan between split towers means the cooler is more centered than most thin towers. The fan is unnecessarily large, extending well past the edges of the heatsink. Even a 120 mm model would stick out at the sides somewhat.



The fan clip is also unusual in that most of it protrudes outward.



With large blades with little separation between them, the fan has been designed with high static pressure in mind.



The fan clips are secured to the fan via plastic eyelets inserted in the
mounting holes. These were first used by Noctua but thankfully, they've
been long since abandoned. Phanteks unfortunately continues to use this
overly complex solution.



There are 6 x 6 mm heatpipes in total arranged evenly across the heatsink.
By my measurements, the fins are 0.41 mm thick and spaced 1.76 mm apart,
on average.



Each tower is only 19 mm thick so there isn't a lot of surface area to work with. The gap between them measures 33 mm across. Isolation strips are pre-applied for the included fan for damping.



The protective film on the base left a ridiculous amount of residue behind, but nothing a little isopropyl alcohol can't take care of. The surface is clearly convex as there's a distinct apex at the center.

INSTALLATION: Phanteks PH-TC14S

The most critical aspect of installation is firm, maximum contact
between the base and the CPU heatspreader for efficient heat conduction. Ideally
it should also be a simple procedure with the user having to handle as few pieces
of hardware as possible. The PH-TC14S certainly qualifies, as it uses the now
common modern style pioneered by Noctua and Prolimatech: An easy to assemble
mounting array and a crossbar that exerts pressure directly over the base.



The mounting system assembled without the heatsink.



The hardware is difficult to distinguish from Noctua's, but the one notable difference is the bolts that go through the backplate; they don't stay in place as well so I suggest using masking tape to hold them steady.



Plastic spacers are used to ensure the mounting clips are at the correct height and nuts mate the clips and bolts together. The threads on the nuts are a little shallow so care should be exercised as not to strip them.



Fully installed.



From this angle the fan is comical in size, extending far enough to the side that it blocks the first expansion slot. If this is an issue, a 120 mm fan should be used as a replacement. In the above image, the fan is positioned a bit high on the heatsink. For testing, the lowest position was used to to maximize airflow over the VRM heatsink.



Some heatsinks utilize an asymmetric shape to avoid the memory slots but the center fan design and narrow towers keep the PH-TC14S from even extending past the socket mounting holes.



The thermal compound imprint it left behind indicates solid contact at the center on a line running parallel to the heatsink.

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Cryorig C1

The Cryorig C1's heatsink body weighs the same as the PH-TC14S at 560 grams, but its slimmer fan is just 90 grams, for a total of 650 grams. Its dimensions are 14.5 x 14.0 x 6.0 cm (L x W x H) with the fan bringing to total height up to 7.4 cm (the fan is actually only 1.3 cm thick but the pads on the corners add to this). The construction is similar as well with nickel-plating on the base and heatpipes.



For a top-down cooler with a limited height to succeed, an asymmetric design is necessary. This increases surface area while allowing it to keep away from the expansion and memory slots.



The Cryorig R1 has a similar plastic shroud covering the fin-stack, but its fans actually clip onto it. The C1's shroud is completely decorative as the fan is hard mounted. Two holes have been cut out of the heatsink body to access the bolts that secure the cooler to the backplate.



The main fin-stack is 22 mm thick with a foot print of 12.1 x 12.2~14.1 cm (it has a sloped design that is wider at the bottom than at the top). The fins are 0.42 mm thick and spaced 1.78 mm apart, on average.



Underneath the main fin-mass is a black secondary heatsink with a denser structure.



The C1 has a convex base as well but it's not as pronounced. The surface is not as finely finished as the PH-TC14S either, with more machine marks visible and a duller reflection.



The stock fan is the same thin model included with the Cryorig R1 Universal. It's half the thickness of a standard 140 mm fan.



The damping pads surrounding the mounting holes have a second purpose, keeping the fan cable tucked in along the edge.

INSTALLATION: Cryorig C1

The Cryorig C1 uses a similar mounting system as the Phanteks PH-TC14S so there's little to complain about. The hardware used by Cryorig has a slight edge as all the metal pieces are a bit sturdier and the bolts they use are solidly kept in place without extra help.



Metal spacers with washers are used instead of plastic ones and the nuts are tightened by hand.



The bolts are locked in place but can be easily switched between the three Intel socket mounting distances.



The plastic shroud is held in place by tiny, easily breakable tabs on the side. I ended up removing it completely during testing as it would have rattled. I also found it to be unattractive against the darker heatsink body, so there was really no downside.



Mounted.



The C1 was positioned to cover the VRMs. In this orientation it doesn't interfere with any of the memory slots, and with 43 mm of clearance underneath the heatsink, it sat comfortably above the motherboard's back panel as well.



The heatsink doesn't extend over the first expansion slot.



The thermal compound residue indicates the C1's base is more symmetric than the PH-TC14S, but with equally strong pressure at the center where it matters most.

TESTING

Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements of the product(s) for comparison.

Small Heatsink Comparison:

Average Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B
0.29 mm
1.13 mm
Noctua NH-L9i
0.44 mm
1.16 mm
Scythe Big Shuriken
0.33 mm
1.19 mm
Reeven Vanxie
0.28 mm
1.39 mm
Reeven Arcziel
0.28 mm
1.41 mm
Cooler Master GeminII M4
0.29 mm
1.46 mm
Noctua NH-L12
0.49 mm
1.51 mm
Scythe Kozuti
0.12 mm
1.69 mm
Noctua NH-D9L
0.40 mm
1.70 mm
Noctua NH-U12S
0.45 mm
1.72 mm
Scythe Samurai ZZ
0.33 mm
1.74 mm
Phanteks PH-TC14S
0.41 mm
1.76 mm
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M
0.43 mm
1.78 mm
Cryorig C1
0.42 mm
1.78 mm
Noctua NH-U9S
0.40 mm
1.80 mm
Prolimatech Panther
0.53 mm
1.80 mm
SilverStone Argon AR02
0.30 mm
1.85 mm
Phanteks PH-TC90LS
0.47 mm
1.90 mm

Larger heatsinks are tested on our
LGA1366 heatsink testing platform
, while smaller coolers tackle our
LGA1155
heatsink testing platform
. A summary of the test system and procedure follows.

Key Components in LGA1366 Heatsink Test Platform:

Key Components in LGA1155 Heatsink Test Platform:

The systems are silent under the test conditions, except for the CPU cooling
fan(s).

Normally, our reference fans are used whenever possible, the measured details
of which are shown below.

Reference Noctua 140mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1250 RPM
28~29 dBA
9V
990 RPM
21 dBA
8V
880 RPM
18 dBA
7V
770 RPM
15~16 dBA
6V
660 RPM
13 dBA


Reference Nexus 120 mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1080 RPM
16 dBA
9V
880 RPM
13 dBA
7V
720 RPM
12 dBA


Reference Nexus 92 mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1470 RPM
17 dBA
9V
1280 RPM
14 dBA
7V
1010 RPM
12 dBA

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system
    power.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate
    the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer:
    SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital
    audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber
    with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our
    standard fan testing methodology
    .
  • SpeedFan,
    used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensors. The sensors are not calibrated,
    so results are not universally applicable. The hottest core reading is used.
  • Prime95,
    used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications.
    All instances are used to ensure full stress.
  • CPU-Z,

    used to monitor the CPU speed to determine when overheating occurs.

  • Thermometers to measure the air temperature around the test platform
    and near the intake of the heatsink fan.

Noise measurements are made with the fans powered from a separate, fanless system. Load testing was accomplished using Prime95 to stress the processor, and the
graph function in SpeedFan was used to ensure that the load temperature is stable
for at least ten minutes. The temperature recorded is the highest single core
reading. The stock fans were tested at various voltages to represent a good
cross-section of airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 10~11 dBA and 21~23°C.

Noise Measurements: Phanteks PH-TC14S

Specifications: Phanteks PH-TC14S Stock Fan
Manufacturer Phanteks Power Rating 2.4 W
Model Number PH-F140HP Airflow Rating 68.1 CFM
Bearing Type Updraft Floating Balance Speed Rating 500 ~ 1600 ± 250 RPM
Frame Size 140 x 140 x 25 mm

(120 mm mounting holes)
Noise Rating 25.3 dBA
Hub Size 41 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 127 mm Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V
Cable Length 22 cm Weight 180 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability ?

Additional notes:

The PH-TC14S features a different fan than previous Phanteks coolers, a model designed with a focus on high static air pressure. The blades are not heavily curved but they are enormous with each fin positioned very close to another. The housing shape is that of an uneven dodecagon and there are thin rubber washers attached to the 120 mm mounting holes.

According to the sticker, this fan is the "PH-F140HP" but the specifications don't match that particular model. It actually appears to be the "PH-F140MP", which Phanteks describes as a radiator fan, only using the HP's casing. This is a bizarre choice as the kind of impedance this design is used to overcome isn't present. The heatsink fins are not arranged in a particularly dense array.



The stock fan's range on PWM control according to Asus Fan Xpert2.

The stock fan is a relatively powerful model capable of 1600 RPM, but the bottom of its range, both on PWM and voltage control, is about 540 RPM.

Stock Fan Measurements
PWM Setting
Speed
100%
1600 RPM
33 dBA
75%
1100 RPM
23 dBA
60%
890 RPM
18 dBA
50%
740 RPM
15 dBA
40%
580 RPM
13 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The stock fan starts to become quiet (~20 [email protected]) at about 1000 RPM, and at minimum speed, it produces a mere 13 [email protected], making it effectively inaudible, even inside our ultra quiet hemi-anechoic chamber.

Unfortunately the new Phanteks fan is considerably worse than the older PH-F140TS that ships with their flagship PH-TC14PE cooler. At higher speeds it's turbulent and buzzy. Starting at about 900 RPM, it begins to drone and produce an odd, almost ghostly tone which continues as the speed is reduced. The droning starts to transform into a less offensive humming sound at lower speeds but the tone remains, even at the minimum speed.

Noise Measurements: Cryorig C1

Specifications: Cryorig C1 Stock Fan
Manufacturer Cryorig Power Rating ?
Model Number XT140 Airflow Rating 65 CFM
Bearing Type High Precision Low Noise (Sleeve) Speed Rating 700 ~ 1300 RPM
Frame Size 140 x 140 x 13 mm

(120 mm mounting holes)
Noise Rating 20 ~ 24 dBA
Hub Size 44 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 131 mm Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 90 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes

Additional notes:

The 13 mm thin C1 stock fan is the same model that ships with the R1 Universal. Like most low profile fans, its cooling power is spread out over many more slimmer blades (13 in total) than a standard model. The rubber pads at the corners help limit vibration and creates a bit of separation between the fan and the heatsink, which can reduce turbulence.



The stock fan's range on PWM control according to Asus Fan Xpert2.

According to Fan Xpert2, the minimum speed is a bit high, 730 RPM on PWM control. On voltage control, I found it can go lower but it's fairly tricky as a minor reduction in voltage can slow the fan by up to 100 RPM or even shut it down completely.

Stock Fan Measurements
PWM Setting
Speed
100%
1420 RPM
34 dBA
75%
1270 RPM
30~31 dBA
60%
1120 RPM
26 dBA
50%
1000 RPM
22~23 dBA
40%
850 RPM
18 dBA
0~30%
730 RPM
15 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

As the minimum speed is about 730 RPM, the C1's fan unfortunately cannot become as quiet as the Phanteks model, bottoming out at 15 [email protected] At equivalent speeds, the Cryorig fan is slightly louder as well, and as its a slimmer model, it doesn't provide as much of a performance punch. Most users will want to run it at 1000 RPM or lower to keep the noise in check.

By comparison, the Cryorig fan has a considerably more pleasant sound than the Phanteks. At high speeds, it's turbulent but fairly smooth. It develops somewhat of a drone and the bearing begins to chuff at about 1000 RPM, but these effects dissipate at quickly lower speeds, leaving behind an innocuous broadband acoustic profile.

Test Results

Phanteks PH-TC14S w/ Stock Fan
PWM/Volt. Setting
Fan Speed
Rise above Ambient
CPU
VRM
100%
1600 RPM
33 dBA
29°C
16°C
75%
1100 RPM
23 dBA
31°C
29°C
60%
890 RPM
18 dBA
33°C
20°C
50%
740 RPM
15 dBA
34°C
24°C
40%
580 RPM
13 dBA
38°C
28°C
Phanteks PH-TC14S w/ Ref. Noctua NF-P14 140 mm Fan
12V
1250 RPM
31 dBA
28°C
17°C
9V
990 RPM
24~25 dBA
30°C
19°C
8V
880 RPM
20 dBA
31°C
21°C
7V
770 RPM
16 dBA
32°C
22°C
6V
660 RPM
14 dBA
34°C
25°C

On our test platform, a result of 35°C above ambient for the CPU temperature is very good. As such, the PH-TC14S performs well, staying below that mark at all but the lowest of fan speeds. However, our reference fan is more efficient across the board at cooling the processor. There isn't any advantage in VRM temperature though, which suggests that the portions of the fan that stick out on the sides, provide enough airflow to keep the VRM heatsink just as cool as the reference model.

Cryorig C1 w/ Stock Fan
PWM/Volt. Setting
Fan Speed
Rise above Ambient
CPU
VRM
100%
1420 RPM
34 dBA
27°C
17°C
60%
1120 RPM
26 dBA
30°C
20°C
50%
1000 RPM
22~23 dBA
31°C
23°C
40%
850 RPM
18 dBA
32°C
25°C
0~30%
730 RPM
15 dBA
36°C
31°C
Cryorig C1 w/ Ref. Noctua NF-P14 140 mm Fan
12V
1250 RPM
29 dBA
27°C
17°C
9V
990 RPM
22~23 dBA
27°C
19°C
8V
880 RPM
19~20 dBA
28°C
20°C
7V
770 RPM
16~17 dBA
29°C
22°C
6V
660 RPM
14 dBA
33°C
26°C

The Cryorig C1 is fairly proficient as well, delivering similar CPU cooling performance as the PH-TC14S, despite its thinner fan. However, VRM temperatures are higher across the board. While the C1 is a top-down cooler, the thinner fan just isn't that effective. Our standard sized 140 mm Noctua reference fan produces greatly improved results. If the case it's used in has the extra 12 mm of clearance necessary for a standard thickness fan, I highly recommend it be replaced.

COMPARISON TABLES

°C Rise Comparison (CPU Temperature)
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
Cryorig C1

(ref. 140 mm fan)
28
-
29
-
33
-
-
Phanteks PH-TC14S

(ref. 140 mm fan)
31
-
-
-
32
-
34
-
-
Noctua NH-L12

(120 & 92 mm fans)
33
-
-
34
-
35
-
36
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M
-
32
-
-
-
34
36
38
Noctua NH-U12S
-
33
-
34
-
-
35
38
Phanteks PH-TC14S
-
-
33
-
-
34
-
38
-
Cryorig C1
-
-
32
-
-
36
-
-
-
Noctua NH-L12

(120 mm fan only)
-
-
37
-
-
38
-
39
42
Prolimatech Panther
-
-
-
-
-
35
-
42
-
SilverStone Argon AR02
-
-
-
-
38
-
-
-
43
Noctua NH-U9S
-
-
-
36
-
-
40
-
45
Noctua NH-D9L
-
-
-
37
-
-
41
-
46
Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B
-
39
-
-
-
43
-
48
Reeven Arcziel
-
-
-
-
42
-
-
47
-
Scythe Samurai ZZ
-
-
45
-
-
46
-
52
Noctua NH-L12

(92 mm fan only)
42
-
44
-
47
-
51
57
Scythe Big Shuriken
43
-
-
-
-
46
-
61
Cooler Master GeminII M4
-
-
-
53
56
-
64
Noctua NH-L9i
-
-
56
-
-
61
-
-
-
Scythe Kozuti
-
-
57
-
-
62
-
65
Phanteks PH-TC90LS
-
-
67
-
-
-
69
-
-
Reeven Vanxie
-
66
-
-
-
-
77
-
F

Compared to previously reviewed coolers of modest size, both the PH-TC14S and C1 find themselves in strong company. Their CPU cooling results land them in the top five, and with our reference fan, they clearly exceed the current champ, the dual fan Noctua NH-L12.

°C Rise Comparison (VRM Temperature)
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
Noctua NH-L12

(120 & 92 mm fans)
17
-
-
19
-
21
-
23
Phanteks PH-TC14S
-
-
20
-
-
24
-
28
-
Phanteks PH-TC14S

(ref. 140 mm fan)
21
-
-
-
22
-
25
-
-
Cryorig C1

(ref. 140 mm fan)
20
-
22
-
26
-
-
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M
-
21
-
-
-
24
26
27
Prolimatech Panther
-
-
-
-
-
24
-
30
-
Noctua NH-L12

(120 mm fan only)
-
-
24
-
-
26
-
27
32
Cryorig C1
-
-
25
-
-
31
-
-
-
Noctua NH-U12S
-
29
-
30
-
-
31
33
Noctua NH-D9L/U9S
-
-
-
30
-
-
33
-
37
SilverStone Argon AR02
-
-
-
-
33
-
-
-
35
Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B
-
29
-
-
-
34
-
39
Noctua NH-L12

(92 mm fan only)
28
-
31
-
33
-
38
43
Reeven Arcziel
-
-
-
-
38
-
-
41
-
Scythe Big Shuriken
28
-
-
-
-
30
-
47
Cooler Master GeminII M4
-
-
-
34
38
-
49
Scythe Kozuti
-
-
36
-
-
40
-
45
Scythe Samurai ZZ
-
-
38
-
-
39
-
47
Noctua NH-L9i
-
-
40
-
-
46
-
-
-
Phanteks PH-TC90LS
-
-
46
-
-
-
48
-
-
Reeven Vanxie
-
45
-
-
-
-
56
-
F

When it comes to cooling the VRMs, the C1 surprisingly lands a few rungs below the PH-TC14S. I can only surmise that the fan on the Phanteks is low enough that it still sends enough airflow through to cool and exhaust the VRM heatsink more effectively than a half-thickness fan blowing downward. Switching to our reference fan pretty much evens out the playing field.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system
inside SPCR's
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber
, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan
at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that
the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume
setting again.

  • Phanteks PH-TC14S stock fan at 1m
    — at 40% PWM / 580 PWM (13 dBA)
    — at 50% PWM / 740 RPM (15 dBA)
    — at 60% PWM / 890 RPM (18 dBA)
    — at 75% PWM / 1100 RPM (23 dBA)
    — at 100% PWM / 1600 RPM (33 dBA)
  • Cryorig C1 stock fan at 1m
    — at 0~30% PWM / 730 RPM (15 dBA)
    — at 40% PWM / 850 RPM (18 dBA)
    — at 50% PWM / 1000 RPM (22~23 dBA)
    — at 60% PWM / 1120 RPM (26 dBA)
    — at 75% PWM / 1270 RPM (30~31 dBA)
    — at 100% PWM / 1420 RPM (34 dBA)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Phanteks PH-TC14S

The weakest point of the Phanteks PH-TC14S is the stock fan, both in terms
of performance and acoustics. The sound it produces is much worse than the older
PH-F140TS, which
is one of my favorite fans to date. Why they chose this fan is a mystery as
its high static pressure design is meant for tightly packed radiators. Its appearance
here on a narrow tower with modest fin spacing is baffling.

Our track record with center fan tower designs hasn't been great so it's surprising that the PH-TC14S performs as well as it does, especially when you consider the lack of mass in the fin stacks. For a modestly sized cooler, it certainly gets the job done and then some, but the choice of a 140 mm fan seems overkill, and it makes the entire package wider and taller than it needs to be. As a result, it doesn't offer any appreciable size advantage compared to the multitude of thin tower heatsinks with (superior) 120/140 mm fans on the market. The modest bulk of fins also puts it at a disadvantage if a heavier thermal load is applied. With an MSRP of US$50, the PH-TC14S isn't unreasonably priced, but with so many comparable models to choose from, it's far from my first choice.

Cryorig C1

The Cryorig C1 is an excellent cooling solution that takes into account the
interference issues of top-down models. On our test board, it leaves all the
memory slots open, doesn't hang over the first expansion slot, and clears all
the board components and the rear panel connector block with room to spare.
It does all this and provides tower-like performance using only a 13 mm thick
fan. Swapping the stock fan with a standard sized fan turns it from a good heatsink
to a great heatsink. With a total height of 74 mm, it's not exactly low profile,
but its certainly short enough to make it compatible with many more cases than
competing tower coolers that produce similar results.

The C1 does carry a bit of a price premium though, currently retailing for US$65. This is a similar price-point to the Noctua NH-L12, the only top-down model I would describe as comparable. With an off-center footprint, the C1's is more compatible, but the NH-L12 can be made 8 mm shorter than the C1 by utilizing only one of its two fans (which still results in fairly good proficiency), so there's no clear-cut favorite between the two. That being said, I certainly welcome the arrival of a worthy alternative.

Our thanks to Phanteks
for the PH-TC14S and Cryorig for the C1 CPU cooler samples.

* * *



Cryorig C1 is Recommended by SPCR

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

New 92mm-fan Tower Coolers from Noctua
Arctic Accelero Hybrid II-120 Liquid GPU Cooler
Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers
NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter
Sub-$20 CPU Coolers: A Reader's Roundup
SilverStone Argon AR02 CPU Cooler
Recommended Heatsinks

* * *

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