The Test System and Thermal Results
Testing for the CPU coolers is done with the use of RealTemp to ascertain temperatures, Intel Burn Test to deliver the load to the CPU and CPU-Z to verify the CPU speed and the voltage being used in Windows. All of the testing is done with an ambient temperature of 24.5-25°C and humidity is maintained to 35% sometimes less.
For the "stock" runs, it's more of a plug and play setup where the PWM of the motherboard is in control of the fans speeds for both the idle and load results. Speed Step is active and the processor idles at 1600 MHz and loads at 3500 MHz for the stock settings. I also set the memory to run at 1600 MHz for stock. As for the overclocked runs, I load the CPU at 4.5 GHz and idle results are obtained with 7.5V to the fans while the load run is set to deliver 12V to the fans. This allows me to gauge the lowest and highest fan ratings for my charts.
While not exactly the greatest start for a 130W TDP cooler with only a 95W CPU being used at stock levels, but even so 34 degrees is very acceptable for the design, size, and limited cooling that a 92mm by 15mm fan can produce.
As far as the load temperatures go, they aren't stellar on this list because of the competition I put it against. It is 11 degrees hotter than the NH-L12 at stock clocks, but this has only one fan and is less than half its size.
Again, put into the right perspective, the PH-TC90Ls is up to the challenge of most SFF builds. I did try to overclock to the 4.5GHz setting I used, but before the first round of the test could finish I was at levels I didn't like (as in rushed to shut down before I throttled the CPU), nor is the cooler really built for it, but I had to try and report my findings.