I got my replacement from Phanteks (swapped the black cooler for blue) and I'm very happy with the replacement. The heat pipes look good.
Install was pretty easy, though I had to take off the top exhaust fan on my case (Cooler Master Storm Sniper) to be able to clip the fans to the CPU cooler. That was a pain since I had to take the plastic top off the case, then unscrew the top exhaust fan and remove it, then clip the Phanteks fans onto the CPU cooler, then replace the top exhaust fan and top of the case.
I put a PWM splitter on my mobo header and got everything together, then realized that the fans that come with the PH-TC14PE are not PWM fans
. After making this discovery I went through the thread and found similar comments. Since the PWM header is not accessible after the CPU cooler is on, I had to take everything apart again and redo everything with their PWM header that connects to the 3-pin fan splitter that then connects to the fans. I tried putting the side panel with its fan back on, but the PH-TC14PE with fans on is too tall (with my RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws) for my case, so I had to take the side intake fan off. If I had low profile RAM, my side panel with intake fan would just barely fit over the CPU cooler with fans.
I'm very impressed with the cooling. Idle temps are higher than I expected but load temps never even broke 60C.
Unfortunately one of the fans that came with the CPU cooler makes a chirping sound so I contacted Phanteks about getting it replaced. So eventually I will have to take my case apart again once I get the replacement fan. Maybe I'll reseat the cooler then and see how my TIM job is, and see if I can improve it. I'm using Xigmatek PTI-G4512 TIM.
Here are some pics:
Heat pipes looking good.
More heat pipes.
Installed. Had to situate the CPU fan over the Ripjaws RAM a bit, and after doing that the side panel intake fan on my case (Cooler Master Storm Sniper) no longer fit, so I had to remove it. Also, note the tight fit up against the top exhaust on the case. In order to be able to clip the fans onto the CPU cooler I had to remove the top exhaust fan first.
My next step will be to improve airflow in my case. My video cards overclock very well but I'm currently running them at stock due to heat buildup. Having to remove the side panel intake is not helping my video card temps.Edited by coelacanth - 11/11/13 at 12:17pm