OCZ Gladiator MAX CPU Cooler



The OCZ Gladiator Max is a direct evolution of its forbear, the OCZ Vendetta and as such we expected great results. We were not disappointed as the Gladiator performed well beating both the Intel Stock cooler and Asus Triton comfortably. It wasn't until we overclocked our CPU to 3.8ghz that the OCZ began to struggle against the more expensive Asus Triton 81.

Considering that the Gladiator 'makes do' with a single 120mm fan against the Tritons 2x92mm fan configuration I was surprised it did so well. It was certainly much quieter than the Triton when pushed which is key for most aircooled setups. Not only that but it weighs in £10 cheaper (+the skt1366 kit which could make up the difference) making it a sensible choice for those looking for a high performing cooler which won't make your ears or your wallet bleed.

Given the choice, my money would certainly go on the Gladiator as overall it's the better of the two heatsinks but only just. It's a good performer, a good looker and runs very quiet. While these attributes are admirable, I can't help feeling there is better to come so for now I will hold off giving this cooler a prestigious award and simply award it our recommended badge until we have a wider choice of i7 compatible coolers from which to draw a more complete picture.

The Good
- Whisper quiet even when under load
- Included 120mm Fan
- No clearance issues despite it's size
- Anti Vibration fan mounts

The Mediocre
- Fiddly fitment of socket brackets
- No i7 compatibility in stock state (Available separately)

The Bad
- Nothing to Report

Thanks to OCZ for providing the Gladiator Max for Todays Review. Discuss in our forums.
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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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