OCZ CPU Cooler Roundup

by William Kelley on March 24, 2008 in Cooling

OCZ is well known for their memory and power supplies, but we thought we’d see just how well their current fleet of CPU coolers held up. We pit the Vendetta, Vendetta 2, Vanquisher and even the old-school Vindicator against our QX6850 to see what each one is made of.

Page 2 – Final Thoughts

The biggest thing to take away from the roundup is that all four of the coolers managed to keep our hot QX6850 processor well under the 100°C thermal threshold, even at our 3.67GHz overclocked setting. Overall, I was impressed by both of the Vendetta models and the Vanquisher, but I cannot help to be underwhelmed by the Vindicator.

Looking at the cooler itself, I was stumped. I re-ran all the tests on that particular unit three times, resinking it each time and applying fresh thermal paste. I have a feeling part of the blame was the quiet fan chosen by OCZ to use with this heatsink, plus the fact that it is the oldest of the bunch. It is quite possible it was not designed with the QX6850 in mind. Even with its G0 stepping, this CPU is quite hot.

The Vanquisher was the smallest of the bunch and the 80mm fan mounted to it was the loudest as well. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it did hold its own throughout the testing. Being the least expensive of the bunch, it was no slouch even under heavy load. If you are on a very tight budget, then the Vanquisher deserves a serious look.

I was most impressed by the Vendetta 2. I received this cooler a short time ago and as soon as I took it out of the box I was happy to see that it was larger than the original and that the base was also wider where it meets the CPU. The fan on the original Vendetta was a 92mm unit, and it was a bit on the loud side. The 120mm fan on the Vendetta 2 is much quieter and obviously more efficient. They have definitely moved in the right direction with the newer model and it works well.

Testing these four heatsinks together proved to be a real eye opener. Going by looks alone, you’d pick the Vindicator to be tops and for the rest to fall in line from largest to smallest. With the exact opposite happening, I would not recommend one for your Quad-Core, especially if overclocking is involved. I would firmly recommend the Vendetta 2. It was a solid performer and its fan was quiet at maximum speed, as well. All four used the stock style push pin mounting for Intel CPU’s so they were simple to install.

You budget and performance needs will help you decide which of these coolers is best for you. OCZ makes solid products and the performance shows that off. Although I would not overly recommend the Vindicator, you have to remember that it was dead silent during all testing. The Vendetta 2 was the next quietest with the Vendetta and Vindicator bringing being roughly the same noise levels. If you use the PWM feature then you could easily silence those 2 models when your PC is not running 100%.

Lastly, as a quick note, these tests were performed outside a case on a bench. I would expect the actual temperatures you would see with your own use would be different based on your choice of case. If you use a free-flowing case like the Cooler Master Cosmos S or the Antec 900 (just to name a few), I would expect to see the temperatures drop slightly due to the efficiency of the airflow. Inside a case with poor to moderate airflow, I would expect similar results to what I had since there was no external airflow during my tests.


  • All four coolers here were simple to install
  • The newest cooler of the bunch, Vendetta 2, is a clear victor
  • Vindicator and Vendetta offer reasonable performance for quiet operation
  • Vanquisher also proved effective, but is much louder than the others

  • Vindicator’s performance was underwhelming, given its sheer size

OCZ Vendetta 2

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