OCZ Gladiator MAX CPU Cooler

Test Setup

Test Setup

To ensure all our CPU cooler tests are as equal as possible we intend to use the same base setup, CPU clockspeed and BIOS settings. We also take special consideration to ensure that the ambient temperature is as near to 23 degrees centigrade as possible throughout the testing thanks to an digitally controlled air conditioning system.

CPU Coolers:
Intel Stock i7 920 skt 1336 cooler
Asus Triton 81 HSF
OCZ Gladiator Max

CPU: Intel Nehalem i7 920 Skt1366 2.66GHz
Motherboard: DFI X58 T3eH8
Memory: 3x2GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600mhz @ 8-8-8-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 80GB
GPU: Nvidia GTX280
Graphics Drivers: GeForce 180.60
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w

Fitting the cooler with the Skt1366 kit was a little fiddly as I did not wish to stick the backplate to the motherboard and as you can see, the 1366 fitment does not have protrusion that fit through the motherboard like the skt775 backplate has. Once screwed down however a solid and excellent mount was achieved thanks to the chromed screws and springs.

cooler fitment backplate
Even though the cooler is quite large, due to the height of the heatpipes we did not encounter any clearance issues in fitting the cooler to the DFI X58 nor the Asus P6T which both have large chipset heatsinks. Even with the fan fitted this did not interfere with the clearance of over sized memory heatsinks.

 heatsink clearence
In short a very good looking cooler which thus far has presented us with no issues that we can find fault with. I would have preferred to have seen the i7 kit included with the original unit but I guess this keeps the cost of the cooler down for those that have yet to make the upgrade leap.

Testing Methodology

I will be testing the OCZ Gladiator Max on an Intel Core i7 920 processor to assess the heatsinks ability to handle the heat-load of a quad-core. Whilst I appreciate that the OCZ Gladiator Max is also compatible with lower end CPU's, the Core i7 is renowned for being very toasty so should prove to be a very good test of the OCZ Gladiator Max's cooling capabilities.

Ambient temperature will be taken using a standard mercury thermometer and allowing it time to normalise. Processor idle/load and overclocked temperatures will be obtained using Real Temp 2.70 with the TJmax set to 100c, Each core temperature will be recorded. All testing will be conducted 3 times and an average taken to ensure the uniformity of results. All of the heatsinks were removed, and then re-installed a total of three times to ensure the elimination of any poor mounting issues. Arctic Silver 5 will be used on all of the coolers to eliminate the influences TIM may have on temperatures.

The program we will use to put the CPU under highest load will be IntelBurn Test ver 1.60 by AgentGod:

Linpack by Intel(R) is an extremely stressful program that will put even the most powerful X86/X64 CPU in the world at its knees. Load temp under Linpack will be up to 22*C higher than the competing software Prime95. This program will make usage of Linpack easier and more practical.

Ambient temperatures during testing ranged from 22.8 - 23.4 degrees Celsius.

Testing for noise is very subjective and without the correct decibel measuring equipment that is calibrated professionally including any results would be pointless. I will point out though that the OCZ is significantly quieter than both the stock Intel cooler and the Asus Triton that we reviewed previously. This is not really surprising as the Gladiator Max takes advantage of its bigger size by utilising a 120mm fan which turns at less revolutions than the 92mm fan of the Triton.

With the formalities out of the way let's crack on with the testing...
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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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