OCZ Gladiator Heatsink Lincoln NE

The base and the fins of the OCZ Gladiator heatsink is made of copper. The shroud that covers the unit is aluminum, but its only purpose in life is to act as the medium for attaching the fan to the unit.

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OCZ Gladiator Heatsink




Introduction

The friendly folks at OCZ have sent me a few of their heatsinks in the past. Overall, they are quality products that are available for a reasonable price. They haven’t been the top performers, but they have been solidly capable and fall into the upper tier of HSF units.

But then they sent me this copper beast. I’d been hearing about the copper heatsinks, and have read reviews left and right concerning them. They are touted as being much better at cooling than the aluminum models, but I had never had the chance to test one...until now.

Being that this is my first copper heatsink review, I can’t compare it to other copper sinks on the market. I can, however, compare it to the many other units that I have tested in the past. This will allow us to see firsthand just how good these things really are.

And now lets see what makes this thing tick...


The Features

- The Fan


The fan that shipped with this unit is the ever popular Delta Black Label fan. While it has a tendency to be on the loud side, its performance cannot be denied. It rotates at a speedy 6800-RPM, and is forcing 38-CFM of airflow. It measures in at 60mm x 60mm x 25mm. It comes standard with a 3-pin connector, but a 4-pin Molex converter will take care of that problem. As I’ve stated before, it is not a good idea to use the motherboard headers to power the high-end fans. You stand the chance of ruining the board, and the power supply is a bit more stable from the 4-pin connectors that come right from the power supply itself.

Another fan available for this unit is a 36-CFM model from Dynaeon. While it is not the most impressive of fans, it is still quite capable of producing very good cooling, and the noise levels are considerably lower also. I have found that the sound of fannage running all the time does not bother me, so I always opt for the Delta fans when they are available. And since it is only an additional $5.00 USD for the Delta, it’s a very affordable upgrade to an already outstanding unit.

This particular unit did not come with a fan grill. While this is normally something that I expect on all quality heatsinks, in this case it was due to the Delta fan. The Delta stands just a bit higher than the Dynaeon, so the screws did not allow for a grill to be attached. A quick trip to my spare parts box took care of that problem very quickly.


- The Heatsink


The base and the fins of the heatsink itself are all made of a high quality copper. The shroud that covers the unit is aluminum, but its only purpose in life is to act as the medium for attaching the fan to the unit. It measures in at a very sleek 60mm x 63mm x 27mm. The low profile makes it look pretty awesome while its sitting in the case. Even with the Delta fan attached, it only reaches a height of 52mm. This can come in very handy if you are using a smaller case where the power supply doesn’t give you a lot of clearance.


As mentioned above, the base of the unit is solid copper. It has been machined to a fine finish so lapping is not necessary. It did, however, come with an awful thermal tape pad on the bottom. I have found these to be about the most useless things on the face of the earth, but with more and more newbies trying their hand at computer building, it has become necessary to include it on heatsinks so that unknowing folks won’t ruin their investments. So it was off to find a trusty razor blade to get rid of the offending substance.

Something of note here is the clipping mechanism of the heatsink. I have tested out units from a number of different companies, but few have been so easy to install. It was the simplest of things to put a little pressure downward on the latch, and then flip the clip outward to easily attach to the socket lug. Removing the sink was just as easy. The large swivel lever is easy to manipulate, but also did a good job securing the unit to the processor without moving around. A very nice touch indeed.

All right...let’s get that thermal tape off, clean the base of the heatsink and then see how this baby performs!

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