There’s an ever-increasing variety of CPU coolers out there, each competing for your dollar with advanced features, high performance, and bling. We take a look at OCZ’s latest, the Vanquisher, a smaller tower-style cooler that features a large fin structure and a 92mm, frameless fan.
There are lots of pretenders to the â€˜silentâ€™ title out there â€“ manufacturers who unscrupulously brand their products as â€˜silentâ€™ when they barely qualify as â€˜quietâ€™. Weâ€™re pleased to report that the OCZ Vanquisher is not one of these â€“ for a modest processor with low TDP, the Vanquisher is a great option for silent cooling on a budget. In fact, even under full load on our test rig, the Vanquisher kept our 65-watt CPU at positively chilly temperatures. Weâ€™d recommend this cooler for users who value silence, and donâ€™t aggressively overclock their rigs, though we have no doubt that the Vanquisher could support a respectable overclock in exchange for a slight increase in noise. The 1-year warranty is also appreciated â€“ the warranty is long enough to protect against most bad units.
Our experience with the Vanquisher cooler was bittersweet, however â€“ we did manage to accidentally strip out one of the screws that attached the LGA 775 brackets, and the Socket AM2 mounting clip didnâ€™t allow us to choose the direction of airflow (we prefer front-to-back, not vertical). Also, the Vanquisherâ€™s fan isnâ€™t removable or replaceable â€“ if you donâ€™t like the fan, youâ€™re stuck with it. And if the fan fails out of warranty, the whole cooler goes in the trash. For a bit more money, you can have the OCZ Vendetta, which offers a similar 92mm ceramic-bearing fan (which is replaceable), and a more optimized fin structure.
Overall, we feel that the OCZ Vanquisher is an excellent value, and definitely deserves your highest consideration where excellent thermal performance with low noise is desired. We award the OCZ Vanquisher an overall score of 7/10, because we did manage to break it, and we had a few beefs with aspects of its Socket AM2 clip, but in the end we find that its merits outweigh its faults.
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