The Phanteks PH-TC12DX is a sleek, stylish, performer in the tower cooling game. It is able to perform the same or close to that of the TPC-812 and the Xigmatek cooler is closest to it on the chart. As I looked over at the audio charts, they are very close still, all within a dB of each other, with the Cooler Master just slightly ahead. There are looks to consider, and I do like the white on black of the Phanteks over the black on black Xigmatek. I even like it over the look of the TPC with the exposed pipes and Vapor Chamber that seems to be of little help to it. If looks don't bother you, then pricing must be the main concern, and honestly here they are very close, too. The Xigmatek is the cheapest, putting the Phanteks in the middle, leaving the TPC-812 the most expensive solution in this trio.
I really liked almost everything about the PH-TC12DX. The base is milled and slightly convex to make for better contact with all of the pressure from the SoliSku mounting. Speaking of the mounting, even if it is the same as what Noctua provides, it is one of the better mounting solutions out on coolers now, and with just a screw driver and a few minutes of your time, you can have this cooler in and cooling faster than a lot of the other mounting solutions offer. I also liked that you get both fans for a Push/Pull setup and without it I know this cooler would not have performed quite as well. The one thing that sticks out to me, and seems to me to be a good source for improvement, is the fit between the heat pipes and the fins. I know I am just a desk jockey speaking my mind, but to get great thermal transfer, the fins need to make good contact to the pipes, and here that isn't really happening as I would expect.
Since the thermal results are in the top of what tower coolers are able to do with my processor, and the noise levels are tolerable at any level, it really comes down to the styling and pricing for me. That in mind, the $59.99 listing at Newegg is cheaper than the CM offering, and just a few dollars more than the Xigmatek, excluding any variance in shipping cost. Maybe it is just because it is different and not a lot of companies are doing it, but there is something to be said about the cover plate applied to the top of the PH-TX12DX so that users who have a way to see their coolers aren't staring at pipe tips and painted names on the top fin, but rather a cleaner more elegant solution to one of the things that drove me nuts about using most air coolers.
More specifically with the black version I received and the contrast of the white frames on the fans made for a very slick looking build in any chassis. With top end performance, average noise levels, and looks that are a step above the rest, there is no reason not to recommend you grab yourself the PH-TC12DX, in any of the four flavors, to add to your next build.
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