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Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler Review

Although the installation of the PH-TC14PE is not a difficult process, due to the size and the nature of the cooler we highly recommend that you take your time with the installation and with the motherboard removed from the case, even if the motherboard tray has an opening behind the CPU area. The socket 1155 installation is demonstrated in this review.

To begin with, the backplate needs to be inserted from the rear of the motherboard with the four bolts installed. Note the grooves for the CPU socket pins; even though the backplate is square and may be inserted in any direction, only two directions are correct.

Once the backplate is inserted into place, the cooler's retention brackets need to be secured onto the four bolts with the use of four thumbscrews and plastic spacers. The thumbscrews may be tightened further by using a typical Philips PH2 screwdriver. Note that the orientation of the mounting brackets will also affect the orientation of the cooler itself.

After the retention braces are well secured on the motherboard, a thin layer of thermal grease needs to be applied on the CPU. Afterwards, the cooler needs to be secured on the core by using the spring loaded mounting bracket, which bracket must be installed with a Philips PH2 screwdriver.

Once the cooler is installed on the motherboard, the fans need to be prepared for installation on the cooling body. For this purpose, the wire clips have to be installed onto the fans with the aid of the plastic clips provided with the rest of the mounting hardware.

One word may describe the display of the Phanteks PH-TC14PE onto a motherboard; dominating. The massive proportions of the cooler block most of the uppermost part of the motherboard and, if the cooler is installed in parallel with the horizontal, installing a fan at the bottom of the cooler blocks the first two expansion slots of the motherboard. Even if the PH-TC14PE is installed in parallel with the vertical, the cooler will float over at least two of the RAM slots, therefore the use of RAM modules with tall heatspreaders is highly unlikely, unless only one fan is installed or if there is room for the second fan on the other side of the CPU's socket. 

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