It could just be the 212+ is more restrictive and that the reference fan used was not optimal for the flow restriction, it (212+) has more fins (57) and unlike Thermalright/Be quiet/Noctua's 1.72 or 2mm+ spacing, it's a slightly tighter 1.54 mm fin spacing. Even Silverstone's AR01 and AR03 , NZXT HAVIK 140, and Enermax ETS-T40 use 1.7mm+ fin spacing.
The Phanteks PH-TC12DX 120mm cooler has 2mm+ fan spacing which is odd for an actively cooled heatsink, especially when it comes with push-pull 1800+RPM fans (what was the logic for that I don't know). I'd expect that on the HR-02 Macho and Heligon HE01, not on a 120mm 1800+RPM push-pull fan setup. Then again the Archon SB-E X2 also has a wide fin spacing too , but it also packs twice the heatpipes to move the heat to the fins faster and lower speed fans.
Noctua NH-U12S seems to have a bad stock fan combination, the NF-F12 isn't the best, it performs inferior to a cooler half the price when nf-f12 stock fan is used (True Spirit 120m ~$30, NH-U12S ~$65) http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1343-page6.html
Phanteks PH-TC12DX had potential to be really good, if it had a QSA (Quiet speed adapter) since it's 1800+RPM not 1200/1300/1500, better mounting, maybe plus an extra heatpipe (or 8mm diameter ala NZXT HAVIK 120 or Alpenfohn Brocken) if they're asking $60+ MSRP. The Noctua NH-U12P SE2 comes with 2 fans, but those aren't 1800RPM ; with LNA they spin at 1100RPM.
$25 : 4 heatpipe cooler : see CM 212 Evo, Prolimatech Basic 68, Thermalright True Spirit 120M, Enermax ETS-T40, Gelid Tranquilo, Raijintek Themis, etc.
$20: 2 loud (but not sleeve bearing) 120mm fans, rubber pads
$10: red/blue coloring on heatsink (Prolimatech charges ~$10 extra for red/blue), nickel plating on heatpipes
$5: small thermal paste tube , fan clips, Y splitter
=$60Edited by AlphaC - 11/19/13 at 11:51am