OCZ Gladiator MAX CPU Cooler



Aftermarket heatsinks for Intels 1366 socket are starting to appear on the market now and OCZ's first entry is the Gladiator Max. While this heatsink is not directly compatible with skt1366 'out of the box' a separate backplate and i7 mount are now available to allow the cooler to be used on Intels latest CPU range. As OCZ have included this adaptor, it would be rude not to put the Gladiator Max through it's paces on an i7 based system, which is exactly what we intend to do.

The new Gladiator Max heatsink, hailing from OCZ technology, is the latest heatsink to carry a similar design to the popular Xigmatek HDT 1283/4 and OCZ's own Vendetta series. The technology behind this design, H.D.T (Heat-pipe Direct Touch), allows the four 8mm copper heat pipes of the Gladiator to come in direct contact with the IHS of your chosen CPU. As no base plate is used this should allow unrestricted conduction of heat from the IHS to the Heatpipes. The heat then travels up the heatpipes to the 40 Aluminium fin plates which are vectored to aid airflow, for the heat to be dissipated by the included 120mm fan.

Weighing in at 780 grams and standing 161mm tall no one can accuse the Gladiator Max of being a lightweight nor huge rather it is comparative to the high end coolers on the market today. OCZ do have a smaller version of the Gladiator available which is called just that, the Gladiator, minus the 'max' as the 'normal' gladiator carries a 92mm fan instead of the 120mm we have for todays review.

Let's hear what OCZ have to say about it:

Combining a distinctive stacked fin array, heat-pipe direct touch (HDT) design, and a large low-noise fan, the Gladiator series is built to take on the cooling challenges of today’s most powerful processors and ensure your system functions at its peak.

Utilizing the proven performance of the latest HDT design, the Gladiator series has direct contact with the processor using four copper heat pipes to ensure the most rapid heat transfer. The unique “folded” fin configuration also helps maximize surface area while maintaining a compact form factor.

Engineered to aggressively dissipate heat produced by high-speed CPUs, the Gladiator series can tackle any challenge in the overclocking arena. These coolers run quiet courtesy of a large fan mounted with anti-vibration rubber connectors to reduce excess noise, perfect for a media center or office desktop where silence is a top priority. The versatile and user-friendly Gladiator series is compatible with AMD AM2/939/754/755 and Intel 775 sockets and can be installed quickly and easily by end-users at all skill levels.


The specification below was taken directly from OCZ's website:

For Sockets AMD 754/755/939/940/AM2, Intel LGA775 *
4 Pure Copper heat pipes for superior heat dissipation
Pure Aluminum alloy fins for ultimate durability

Fan Specs
Size: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
Weight: 780g (with fan)
Rated Voltage: 12V DC
Fan Speed: 800-1500RPM
Noise Level: 19.6-26.4 dBA
Bearing type: rifle
Life Expectancy: 40,000 hours
Connector: 4 pin with PWM

Heatsink: (L)63 x (W)120 x (H)165mm

120mm Fan with rubber connectors
Mounting Hardware for all above CPUs
Generic Thermal Compound
Installation Manual

Also included in todays review is the Socket 1366 kit, which while not warranting a separate review will be included in todays setup.

Let's take a look at the heatsink itself...
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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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