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Phanteks PH-TC14PE (vs. Noctua NH-D14) CPU Cooler Review

We decided to use an Intel Core i5-2500K combined with a Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard to test the Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU cooler.  We overclocked the CPU to 4.7 GHz with a core voltage of 1.43V.

Test System

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
  • Memory: 4 GB (2x 2GB) Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3 1600MHz
  • Thermal Paste: Arctic Cooling MX-3
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6950
  • Graphics Card (noise tests): HIS Radeon HD 5550 Silence
  • Chassis: Fractal Design Define XL

For our temperature tests we set of the both fans to maximum and loaded the system for 15 minutes using Prime 95. We then restarted the system and left it idling at the desktop for 15 minutes before recording temperatures. Room temperature was maintained at 22 degrees Celsius for the duration of the tests.

We can see that the Phanteks PH-TC14PE has a clear lead over the Noctua NH-D14 in both the idle and load tests which is very impressive indeed.

In our noise level tests we switched off all the case fans so we are just taking into account the noise generated by the fans themselves.

We observed the noise level of our test system with the Phanteks PH-TC14PE and Noctua NH-D14 installed and in both cases, the noise level was below the 30 dBA minimum sensitivity.  This is thanks in part to the excellent sound insulation of the Fractal Design Define XL.

With the side panel removed, both coolers remained reasonably quiet but the Phanteks model was more noticeable.  With the PWM adapter installed, the cooler was effectively silent under normal usage.

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