Phanteks PH-TC90LS - A Dual-Tower Animal

11/6/2012 9:26:57 AM

Phanteks came onto our radar in a big way last month with the PH-TC14PE, a dual-tower animal built to destroy CPU heat. But tower it does: Standing tall at 6.73 inches, the PH-TC14PE requires a decent-sized case in order to properly set up shop. Although it’s perfect for overclockers with extreme builds, you might have trouble fitting it through the door of your HTPC, so to speak. But fear not, small form factor sympathizers! Phanteks has aimed its shrink ray at the PH-TC14PE and blasted it down to a much smaller size. The result is the PH-TC90LS, a low-profile CPU cooler that has the same smarts as its big brother.

Description: Phanteks PH-TC90LS

Phanteks PH-TC90LS

The brilliance of the PH-TC14PE that has made its way to the PH-TC90LS are Phanteks’ P.A.T.S. (Physical Anti-Oxidant Thermal Shield) and C.P.S.C. (Cold Plasma Spraying Coating) technologies. Of the two, P.A.T.S. is especially helpful for this CPU cooler, which is clearly intended for smaller chassis, where there’s space inside for your build’s components but not much else. Ambient temperatures inside SFF and HTPC cases can be particularly nasty if you pack them with high-powered components, but Phanteks’ P.A.T.S. technology is able to deflect some of that heat. Because of this, the PH-TC90LS’ aluminum fins are free to absorb heat from the CPU (as is their job, after all) rather than the surrounding air. C.P.S.C. aids the thermal transfer between the PH-TC90LS’ three 6mm heatpipes and the fins, but we also like that it lets Phanteks match the color (white) of the fins to the included 80mm fan.

With the included PH-F90 80mm PWM fan attached, PH -TC90LS measures a mere 1.7 inches high, making its size one of its biggest selling points. You read that right: The PH-TC90LS is a full 5 inches shorter than the PH-TC14PE. This makes the PH-TC90LS a prime candidate for the smallest of cases. Trust us, clearance should not be an issue.

But can it handle the heat? After all, saving space is only a good thing if your cooler can keep your CPU’s thermals in check. To that end, we put the PH-TC90LS under the same stress we give to full-sized CPU coolers, and it handled the load like a champ. The PH-TC90LS kept our Core i7-3770K idling at 33 degrees Celsius. When we put our processor under load with Orthos, POV-Ray, and Prime95, we logged CPU load temps of 55 C, 72 C, and 70 C. For a cooler that’s about as thick as a McDonald’s cheeseburger, those temps are pretty impressive.

Description: Phanteks PH-TC90LS

The PH-TC90LS may be short in stature, but don’t let its size fool you. This tiny wonder plays it cool even when the action heats up.


Price: $29.99


Specs: Dimensions: 1.7 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches (HxWxD); Socket compatibility: Intel LGA1155/1156/2011; Materials: Copper (base, heatpipes), aluminum (fins); Fan: 80mm (1,000 to 2,500rpm) UFB Bearing; Airflow: 11.53 to 28.67cfm; Noise: 19 to 26dBA; 5-year warranty

Test system specs: Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K; GPU: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 580 AMP!;

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP4 TH; RAM: 16GB Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3-1600; Storage: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB; PSU: FSP AU-750M; Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit)


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