With our test system running at the default settings the Gladiator Max cooled the Q6600 to an average core temp of 34*C at idle and 47.5*C under load. That is 2.75 degrees warmer then our current value leader the ZEROtherm Zen, and a nice 18.25 degrees cooler than the stock Intel HSF.
With the test system overclocked to 3.0GHz the Gladiator Max cooled the Q6600 to an average core temp of 34.5*C at idle, which is only just slightly warmer than the stock settings. Under load the temp came in at 49.5*C — a whopping 24 degrees cooler than the stock Intel HSF and 1.5 degrees warmer than our value leader the ZEROtherm Zen.
The Gladiator Max can be found online for $45.99 +shipping. At this price the Gladiator Max could be considered an upper midrange cooler, and as our testing showed it fell in line with our other midrange coolers. Overall, the OCZ’s build quality of the Gladiator Max is very nice. The fins felt very sturdy and when I was handling it the thought I might bend a fin never entered my mind. The fan mounting is easy and straight forward, but I would suggest doing it outside of the case for added work room and reduced chance of a headache.
The cooler is light and has a small foot print. The fins of the Gladiator Max also cleared the motherboard components nicely. The Gladiator Max is also not a short cooler, so this will be a not option for those with shallow cases. The Gladiator Max is 165mm tall, that is 6.5″ tall, so it will be interesting to find cases this will fit in.
The mounting of the cooler itself to the motherboard I didn’t care to much for. The reference push pin retention system is nice for the light coolers that don’t require a back plate. Normally, there is a light bit of pressure to click these pins into place. Then, there are some coolers that you have to put a little more pressure on the pins to get them to lock in; the Gladiator Max was one of those coolers. The Gladiator Max is not the worst that I have seen but if you’re replacing the stock cooler with this one you would notice, and may worry about, the increase in pressure needed to click in the last two pins. For this I would highly suggest that the board be removed from the case for installing the cooler, not only to aid in installing the fan after you have the Gladiator Max installed, but also so you can support the back of the board with your hand while pushing on the pins.
Bottom Line: OZC has made another well built cooler, and if the price was a little lower they could have a nice budget cooler on their hands.