The Vendetta did well for its size, but fell short a few degrees of beating the NV120 Nirvana. Even falling just short of the Nirvana CPU Cooler the OCZ Vendetta was found to be no slouch. It kept the E6300 at 43C at load, and that is still better than stock cooling which idles at the same temperature.
With the system overclocked and the voltages increased the Vendetta falls just short couple degrees of beating the Nirvana. The OCZ Vendetta never did break 50C, which is great for a cooler in this price range.
Compared with the rest of OCZ’s coolers they improved on their previous generation coolers with a good looking well performing product for under $40. It was also nice to see that OCZ has stepped up the level of protection in their packaging to the point of almost being overboard. This is a good thing though as I’d rather have an over packaged product versus one that arrives damaged.
One advantage of the Vendetta using the new HDT design is its reduced weight. Without the large hunk of copper for the base, combined with the aluminum fins, OCZ has cut a fair amount of weight from the cooler with out sacrificing performance. In doing so also allows for a retention bracket that is identical to how an Intel retail heatsink works. It is nice (if your running stock cooling) to be able install the Vendetta CPU cooler and not have to completely tear down your system to install it.
The only real issue I had with this cooler was with the way the cooler base is designed it requires more paste then traditional coolers. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, more of a learning curve/annoyance with something new. The Vendetta is still in somewhat virgin territory design wise as we have never seen a direct contact heat pipe cooler before. As we see more coolers showing up with the HDT design we may start to see even better performance numbers. HDT coolers show promise, I for one will be patiently waiting for the next version to come.
Bottom Line: The Vendetta by OCZ shows promise for the HDT design. For being under $40 the Vendetta should be on your short list for stock cooler replacement.