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OCZ Gladiator Max

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Posted January 1, 2009 by Jake in Cooling

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by Jake
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Summary

The Gladiator Max is a very good looking cooler and seems to be the natural evolution of its brethren, the Gladiator and the Vendetta 2. OCZ has done a fine job designing and engineering this cooler to handle even today’s hot Quad Core CPUs.

While the HDT base was somewhat of a concern with the gaps apparent along the CPU contact points, it appears that this is not a serious issue since the Gladiator Max posts some impressive cooling numbers. I’m curious what the numbers could be if those gaps were reduced, maybe crazy-impressive? The other initial concern about the concave face against the fan appears to be either part myth or simply just a neglible influence when the overall performance numbers are examined.

What’s interesting here is that the large HDT contact surface should prove useful with the new Intel Core i7 CPUs that feature almost 40% greater surface area. Theoretically this heatsink should do very well to keep the new monsters cool, likely allowing some very high overclocks. OCZ will soon have a 1366 bracket available, but unfortunately due to time constraints, we were unable to wait for the bracket to test on our new Core i7 rig here. Rest assured though, the Gladiator Max will be included in our heatsinks we’ll be testing on the new socket.

The Gladiator Max is a rather interesting product. On one hand it is a good looking, efficient cooler that produces some great results and can serve you into your next build or upgrade with a simple bracket attachment. On the other hand, the installation of the whole ensemble is an absolute pain. The price tag isn’t as cheap as some of its OCZ siblings, but it’s also not as expensive as some other popular coolers that come at a very pricey premium. It sits somewhere in the mix, performing as a top tier air cooler. Is that minor performance bump worth the price premium over, say, the Vendetta 2? We’re not convinced it is, but there are certainly consumers that would disagree, and that’s the beauty of having many options to choose from in the air cooler market.

The Max is a cooler with a split personality, equal parts awe and frustration at points. But in the end, however, cooling is king and the performance results speak for themselves, with the Gladiator Max shining. With a price tag of approximately $50 CDN, the performance doesn’t cost a fortune and you get a quality product for your hard-earned dollar. If you’re in the market for a new heatsink, take at look at the Gladiator Max, we think it’s definitely worth considering. Just make sure you get the 1366 bracket when it’s available for your new dream system, we definitely will be.

Summary

OCZ Gladiator Max

Our thanks go to OCZ for providing the Gladiator Max for this review.

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