Phanteks PH-TC90LS Review

**We are raffling away the Phantek’s PH-TC90LS used in this review!!!! Check out the raffle page***

Phanteks PH-TC90LS Review

Before we begin, let me preface this review by thanking the Phanteks USA team for sending a Phanteks PH-TC90LS heatsink to play and sample.

Review Methodology: This is a practical review of the Phanteks PH-TC90LS heatsink, there will be no benchmarks, no thermal data, etc etc all the stuff you see in other types of heatsink reviews. Why? Simply because this information can be found else where. Instead, will focus on the claim’s put forth by Phanteks USA about its products, and the practicality of the Phanteks PH-TC90LS heatsink in a HTPC application.

Model NO : PH-TC90LS
UPC Code :886523000211
Heatsinks & Fans
Intel Socket 2011/1155/1156
Up to 130W
– Copper (Base and Heat-pipes), Nickel Plated
– Aluminum Cooling Fins with patented P.A.T.S. and C.P.S.C technology
Fan Model
PH-F90 PWM Premium Fan
Fan Size
Fan compatibility
Bearing Type
UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing
Blade Geometry
White Colored Nine Blade Design
1000 – 2500 ± 300 RPM
Max Air Flow
11.53 – 28.67 CFM
Max Air Pressure
0.21 – 1.34mm H2O
Acoustical Noise
19 – 26 dB(A)
Input Power
Current (Ampere)
Rate Voltage
> 150,000 hr.
Heatsink Dimension (LxWxH) without fan
Heatsink Dimension (LxWxH) with Single Fans 
Heatsink Weight without fan
Heatsink Weight with fan


Package Dimension
133x162x106 mm (LxWxH)
Scope of Delivery
– 1x PH-TC90LS
– 1x PH-F90 PWM Premium Fan
– 1x Backplate for LGA 1155/1156
– 4x Mounting Screws for Intel LGA 2011
– 4x Mounting Screws for Intel LGA 1155/1156
– 1x PH-NDC Thermal Compound
– 1x Phanteks PH-TC90LS User’s Manual
– 2x Rubber Bar
– 4x Fan Clip Adapters,
– 2x Fan Wire Clip
5 Years.

Here are a few photos of the Phanteks PH-TC90LS.

























Overall the Phanteks PH-TC90LS looks like your average heatsink, a hunk of metal and a fan. The bonus is that it is smaller, enabling you to fit it into a small form factor case or tighter mounting scenarios. Personally, I like the idea of a smaller heatsink but smaller doesn’t always mean better. From a HTPC build perspective we want to achieve two goals:

  1. Cool the processor

If you are planning on overclocking, this heatsink might give you some headroom. Be honest with yourself, HTPC build require very minimal hardware, if your overclocking your probably not working on a HTPC build. More than likely you are creating a power house system to moonlight as a glorified HTPC or maybe a All In One HTPC.

Moving on, immediately there are few things that POP at us:

  • P.A.T.S – Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield
  • C.P.S.C – Cold Plasma Spray Coating
  • UFB – Updraft Float Bearing
  • Fan Design
  • 80mm Fan – Those are noisy right? Correction: 90mm
  • Size
  • Surface Imprefections

P.A.T.S – Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield

According to Phanteks USA’s Detail Page “P.A.T.S (Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield) technology dramatically increases the cooling performance and reliability of the PH-TC90LS by deflecting thermal radiation from other heat sources, such as GPU, South Bridge, North Bridge, and etc. In testing, P.A.T.S. display significantly good results in an enclosure and closed environment. P.A.T.S is environmentally friendly and non-toxic and is able to withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius. ”

We dug around the internet for the key term “Antioxidant Thermal”, in an effort to understand P.A.T.S. Unfortunately antioxidant is a very very popular subject! Most of it based in biological applications, however we did manage to find one “Technical Service Report” on the use of antioxidants in polymer stabilization. The information we found claims that antioxidants can be used for two applications:

  1. To protect a finished product.  (uses phenolic based chemistry)
  2. Use as a process stabilizer during a manufacturing processes that encounters several heat cycles. (uses phosphities or thioesters chemistry)

What does that mean and how does it help the Phanteks PH-TC90LS?! As far as we can tell, it keeps plastic from yellowing and enables it to be used in high temperature applications. How does this relate to Phanteks’ description of P.A.T.S? We don’t think that using antioxidants in a polymer molding process “dramatically increases the cooling performance” of anything, but we can definitely acknowledge that it may help any polymer or plastic components of the PH-TC90LS last longer. If you want to be absolutely nit picky, you could claim the plastics don’t “deflect thermal radiation”, but instead protect the plastic components from “thermal radiation from other heat sources, such as GPU, South Bridge, North Bridge”.

The antioxidant information is referenced from the Ampacet Tutorial Page, see Antioxidants. Ampacet was established in 1937 and is a leading manufacturer of color concentrates and additive masterbatches.

C.P.S.C – Cold Plasma Spray Coating

According to Phanteks USA’s Detail Page “C.P.S.C (Cold Plasma Spraying Coating) Technology is a new innovative forming deposit that transfers heat onto corresponding metals at a more rapidly rate. With this technology, the PH-TC90LS enhances thermal conductivity on the soldered surfaces of the heat-pipes through the copper deposits. ”

Again, we dug around the internet for information on spray coatings. It turn out there are several methods of applying a thermal spray coating:

  • Plasma spraying
  • Detonation spraying
  • Wire arc spraying
  • Warm spraying
  • Cold spraying
  • Flame spraying

Unfortunately we couldn’t find specific information outlining cold plasma spraying, but there are tons of journal articles outlining plasma spraying and cold spraying. Specifically we liked an article found in the Journal of Thermal Spray Technology (June 2006, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 223-232), “The cold spray process and its potential for industrial applications” by Frank Gartner, Thorsten Stoltenhoff, Tobias Schmidt, and Heinrich Kreye. Table 1, on Page 7, of the article contains data indicating that Copper (cu) cold spraying can increase hardness, bond strength, and most importantly electrical conductivity of materials cold sprayed with copper. From the articles we read cold spray coating definitely helps improve thermal conductivity.

**Note you won’t find data specifically outlining thermal conductivity. This is because, although thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity are related and proportional, it does not hold true for non metals. As a result most journal articles will publish data with electrical conductivity. You can read more about thermal conductivity here, and more about how thermal conductivity relates to electrical conductivity here.

It appears you can use thermal spraying to insulate materials or help increase heat transfer to materials. In the case of the Phanteks PH-TC90LS thermal spraying is used to boost thermal conductivity between the base/fins of the heatsink to the copper heatpipes.

UFB – Updraft Float Bearing

We couldn’t find any information on a “Updraft Float Bearing”, which leads us to believe that it is simply a float bearing.

Fan Design

We aren’t going to get into the actual science behind fan blade pitch, rotation speed, and how it relates to noise. There is no point, as the pitch of the blades are fixed. What we want to touch on is how the fan is of a very minimalist design. From the pictures you can tell the Phanteks PH-TC90LS lacks a full fan housing. We are not sure why Phanteks chose to go with this approach. Were they trying to reduce weight? Does it help with cooling?

If allowed to speculate, most fans are enclosed around the blades. This focuses air movement directly over the fins in the center of the heatsink. Fins outside of the blades rotating area probably receive minimal air movement. Therefore enclosed fans focuses heat dissipation on fins that are directly below the fan’s rotating fins.  Potentially, an open fan design allows more air movement over a greater number of fins. Does it help? There no way to know definitively.

What we can say is that this open design opens allows for a higher chance of having wires caught in your fan blades. In a small confined HTPC case, this could be an issue. Proper wire and cable maintenance should be exercised to help minimize this possibility.

80mm Fan – Correction 90mm

We hate 80mm fans. They are usually high RPM animals that produce annoying high pitch whines. That is completely anti’s bible. But you can’t blame Phanteks, they are working with a small heatsink base with an extremely low profile. That design simply forced them into using a small diameter fan. Using a wider diameter fan would have forced them to create a much taller heatsink to allow for clearance of motherboard components. Phanteks does try to address noise issue by using a PWM fan, allowing your motherboard to throttle fan RPM according to CPU temperatures.

Ultimately this was a compromise. Is that fan audible, YES. Is it annoying…not really. You won’t be able to hear the Phanteks PH-TC90LS fan over your favorite movie or tv show, even if your sound is at casual volumes. But once everything is off, you can tell there is a computer in the room especially if you leave your HTPC on 24/7. This is going to have to be a personal preference. Remember your HTPC build is only as quiet as it loudest component, whether that be a fan, dvd drive, hard drive, etc.


We love the size of this heatsink. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! Its a nice compact package that adds some flavor to your HTPC build (probably an All In One build).

Surface Imperfections

There are a few slightly noticeable surface imperfections on metal plate that contacts your processor. Although this probably will not significantly affect thermal conductivity, we felt that it should be noted. We have done our best in the photos above to give a pictorial representation of the small nicks to the heatsink. The PH-TC90LS did not come with a protective layer of plastic, which may have resulted in small nicks during the move from manufacturing to packaging.


Overall we like Phantek’s PH-TC90LS, it is a well thought out product for any HTPC Build. The P.A.T.S and C.P.S.C technology will definitely prove beneficial in a HTPC application, especially if your HTPC is placed inside of a TV cabinet where ventilation is a challenge. However buyers should be wary of the open fan design and must exercise good cable management to avoid any issues. The fan noise is one of our gripes, but understandably there is not much you can do in a lower profile situation. would recommend the Phantek PH-TC90LS for All In One HTPC Build applications. For a true Standalone HTPC, you won’t need this type of cooling and chances are you’ll never have a case that can show off the aesthetics of the PH-TC90LS. However, in a All In One HTPC Build, this fan’s ability to provide better than OEM cooling will help when you are unzipping, decompressing and trans-coding your favorite media.

Thanks again to the Phanteks USA team from letting us have one of their PH-TC90LS heatsinks to review. We invite Phanteks USA to provide any response or additional information they see fit and we will gladly publish it here.

The Phanteks PH-TC90LS can be purchased at the following online retailers:

More Phanteks PH-TC90LS Reviews (these will have temp data):