OCZ Gladiator MAX CPU Cooler

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance

Looking very similar to the Vendettas packaging, the Gladiator Max  is distinguished by the units title situated at the bottom of the box. To the rear of the box we find a perspective picture of the cooler showing it's vertex fins and HDT technology. Key features adorn one side of the box with the applications and specifications on the opposite side.

box1 box2

box3 box 4
Opening the box up we find a well packed Styrofoam package containing both the cooler and accessories. The accessories themselves are nothing too remarkable with the AMD type pressure clip just sitting on the mid plate of the cooler and the push pin Intel fitment requiring two screws to attach to the cooler itself. Four rubber anti vibration mounting posts are also included which are a great commodity for those who desire silence. This are pulled through the fan holes and then slide in between the fins on the cooler which, while fiddly to fit are very secure, perhaps more so than some of the metal type clips used on the Gladiators competitors. With a small packet of paste also included everything is here to get you going. That is of course except a kit for skt 1366 fitment.

open box accessories
Available separately is the Skt1366 kit which contains a semi/permanent backplate for both Skt775 and skt1366. The difference with the skt1366 kit and skt775 (apart from the size of course) is the way that the kit attaches the cooler to the motherboard. Rather than use a push-pin setup the skt1366 kit utilises a much more professional spring/screw kit allowing for a better mount. Not only this but the included backplate will also allow for a greater application of pressure ensuring a solid  but more importantly, even mount.

skt 1366 kit 1366 kit

backplate 775 backplate 1366
The cooler itself is similar to many other coolers on the market today.  In that the heatpipes are threaded through a fin array. Perhaps the most individual feature of the Gladiator is the way the fins are arranged. Rather than having a flat appearance, the fins on the Gladiator are shaped to allow lower airflow resistance while directing the passing air towards the headpipes themselves which in turn should aid the dissipation of heat.

Cooler front cooler back

cooler top cooler perspective
Using the HDT technology we covered earlier, the four heatpipes are slightly larger than the 6mm used in other heatsinks which in theory at least, should allow even greater heat conduction. Eradicating the dodgy soldering of base plates, H.D.T technology is rapidly becoming the most efficient process of wicking away heat from the CPU IHS. There is however a drawback to H.D.T in that more paste is used to fill in those inevitable gaps in the coolers base. Also worthy of note are the four pegs which protrude from the Aluminium base to wick as much heat as possible from the base of the cooler.
cooler back
Let's take a look at our test setup and see how we got on fitting the Gladiator Max with the Skt1366 kit to our test bed...
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Most Recent Comments

02-02-2009, 02:15:22

"H.D.T Technology, vector fins, four oversized heatpipes and a Skt1366 kit should ensure our toasty i7 920 keeps cool. Find out how we get on in our latest review..." - By Richard Weatherstone


OCZ Gladiator MAX CPU CoolerQuote

02-02-2009, 03:35:05

The Gladiator looks like a solid performer. Great review.Has anyone patented HDT technology? I've seen some Xigmatek CPU coolers which use it too.Quote

02-02-2009, 04:55:18

Xigmatek were the first to use it iirc.Quote

02-02-2009, 04:59:15

Hmm direct heatpipe touch :') Any chance of comparing it with the noctua U12P 1366 or a TRUE w/ bolt thru?Quote

02-02-2009, 05:00:17

I have a Noctua sat next to me but it isn't a review item sadly.Quote

02-02-2009, 05:12:59

WC Annihilus
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Xigmatek were the first to use it iirc.
Wrong actually. First to use it were Zaward. It's just that Xigmatek was the one to take it and really run with it.

Looks like a solid cooler. Shame they didn't bring in the dimpled fin design of the Vendetta seriesQuote

02-02-2009, 06:26:23

Great review!

I would have liked a comparison with the Vendetta 2 actually. For some reason I expect the Vendetta 2 to perform better, just because the way the heatpipes are arranged. The 3 heatpipes of the V2 will all make contact with the CPU HS, and more to the center of it, while in the case with 4 heatpipes the 2 on the edges will not be such a great addition, making contact with the outer edges of the HS.

Correct me if I'm wrong. 8mm vs. 6mm heatpipes do make a big difference though.Quote

02-02-2009, 09:26:46

i vote aswell for a comparison someday, but right now, it looks pretty good, and for some reason when i look at it, i feel its pretty solid, no flimsy blades from the heatsink, but anyways that's just a pic. another question, is it alot smaller than the true or is the dfi mobo pretty "slim/clean" near the cpu socket? it looks like a small heatsink on the pic or maybe is because the heatsink of the mobo is giant and make it look smaller?Quote

02-02-2009, 09:59:39

Don't like hdt for the person who may switch out cpus - but obviously that's not "normal".

Looks just as a v2 evolution, big thing is the fan and it's mount - very very quiet from my experience. Bad for me that I haven't got a mobo that allows install with the fan rear facing.

Decent enough.Quote

02-02-2009, 12:27:24

Very nice fan...however OCZ have give us in the retail trade a pain in the ass...our tech support guys have noticed that OCZ have changed the mounting method on 3 of there 6 fans for 775 under 30 quid heatsinks to the cheapest push pins you can buy...I mean these push pin mounts make the stock intel ones look high quality...we used to use vendettas as they came with back plate on our system builds until we noticed they had changed them...worst thing was they then changed back...maybe its a production problem...but its bloody annoying...maybe its just my preference though as I truly hate pushpin design...you never seem to get good contact and weight on larger coolers is always a problem...anyway ive gone off topic...nice review...nice cooler....keep up the good workQuote

03-02-2009, 09:53:27

Why does everything look like the TRUE these days? :>


03-02-2009, 10:02:59

TRUE is perhaps the best so no surprise that people use a similar design.Quote

05-02-2009, 16:16:51

I'm not a fan of HDT designs - when I tested the xigmatek designs they were outperformed by a £10 akasa ak-965 cooler.

I believe they're fundementally flawed - the increased material for heat to pass through in a more traditional copper baseplate design in no way harms performance - quite the opposite. A baseplate ensures better contact with the cpu's IHS, makes contact with more of the heatpipes surface area and better distribute the heatload amongst all the heatpipes.Quote

05-02-2009, 16:22:46

WC Annihilus
Odd... How did you apply the TIM? It's been found that application method makes quite a bit of difference on HDT coolersQuote

05-02-2009, 16:33:38

The Xigmateks had quite significant gaps between the heatpipes and the base 'fins', so I applied the TIM to the heatsink rather than the IHS to ensure no air pockets. Then after test mounting (which squeezed out any excess paste), any excess paste was removed from the sides and the paste on the IHS flattened/redistubuted on the IHS, before the cooler was mounted properly.

After testing, when the cooler was removed there were no voids in paste with only a thin even layer between IHS and heatpipe, but with mounds of excess paste filling in the gaps between heatpipes.Quote

05-02-2009, 16:41:17

WC Annihilus

05-02-2009, 16:48:33

I applied the thermal paste by hand to ensure a full, even spread - and to make sure all the voids were filled. The biggest issue is that without a baseplate to distribute the heat, the outermost heatpiped made only partial contact, and a good proportion of the centre of the IHS wasn't in contact with the heatpipes, but were either contacting the aluminium 'fins' of the base or the gaps between.Quote

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