A Closer Look
Upon taking a closer look, it is obvious that the Phanteks PH-TC12DX's U-type design looks a lot like the traditional tower heatsink design, but it is in fact different. It makes use of two smaller fin stacks that each contain 49 aluminum cooling fins. Still, this design is much smaller than the massive PH-TC14PE, coming in at just 606 g with the heatsink by itself and 880g with both fans attached to it. Compare that to the PH-TC14PE at a massive 1250 g. This lighter design will hold performance back, but its smaller size will be easier to manage and will result in a lot less weight hanging off your motherboard.
Some may not like the fans' white frames. I myself prefer black. That said, the included fan adapters easily allow users to add their own fans if they wish to do so.
The red of the fans doesn't quite match that of the heasink. This is no easy task as metal and plastic will always look a bit different; however, the red of the fans seems too subdued in comparison to the eye-catching, anodized red aluminum. The fan quality is otherwise solid, with Phanteks sleeving on the cables of the PH-F120s creating an overall clean appearance.
The four heatpipes are 6 mm in diameter and make solid contact with the base, both pieces of which are made of nickel-plated copper. The connection between the heatpipes and the aluminum fins could be much better. Gaps in some places become visible upon closer inspection. How this will impact cooling remains to be seen. However, this is, compared to the PH-TC14PE, a big step back in quality when it comes to the connection between heatpipes and aluminum fins.