The OCZ Vindicator CPU Cooler Review

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OCZ Replaces The Tempest With The Vindicator

Last fall, Legit Reviews showed the world the first images of a new prototype OCZ heatsink that was internally known as the ‘V-12′.  This cooler has since been renamed the Vindicator for marketing purposes and is already on the market for about US $55 for that that are looking for an aftermarket air cooling solution for their processor. The heat sink has undergone a few changes since our original story published last year, but OCZ Technology has informed us the updated cooling fan and lower heat sink have only helped performance. Other than a few changes here and there the overall appearance is the same and the Vindicator still uses the six U-Shaped heat pipes to help get the heat away from the processor. The OCZ Vindicator CPU cooler is compatible with AMD 754/939/AM2 and Intel LGA775 CPU sockets, so if you have one of those processors you are in luck!

The OCZ Vindicator

The OCZ Vindicator comes in a nice plastic box with a handle on top that looks like it belongs on a store shelf.  The one bad thing about this packaging is that the heat sink is easily damaged due to it as you can see the bottom fins are bent in the image above.  OCZ is aware of this situation and is working on a ‘fin guard’ that will protect the fins from getting bent together.  OCZ sent out another cooler for us to use and just like the first one it had damaged cooling fins.

The OCZ Vindicator

Once I took the Vindicator out of the box, I quickly found out just how massive this heat sink is when I sat it next to the OCZ Tempest.  The OCZ Vindicator has 23 sets of pure aluminum fins that are pressed onto the six copper heat pipes to make up what is known as the high-stacked fin array. The Vindicator stands at 110mm(L) x 110mm(W) x 150mm(H), but remember that the fan does add an additional 25mm to the width of whatever side of the cooler that it is mounted to.

The OCZ Vindicator

The fan that OCZ uses is a 120mm 3-pin black fan that is held onto the cooler with a pair of wire retention clips. The fan is of a low-noise design (18.5 dBA) and has an airflow rating of 40CFM at 1,000RPM. When I checked the fan speed in the BIOS the 120mm fan was observed to be running 1,050-1,065 RPM’s which is on par with the advertised fan speeds. The fan is nearly silent and while this is good for noise levels, I hope that it won’t impact cooling performance.

The OCZ Vindicator

One of the features that stood out to me when I looked over the cooler is the fact that the cooling fins have enough space between them to actually see the copper heat pipe between each fin.  This means that the cooling fins are gapped far apart, albeit this is something I haven’t seen much as most coolers are jam packed with fins. The other thing I couldn’t tell is if the cooling fins were actually adhered to the copper heat pipes by anything other than pressure. There was no sign of solder (like on the OCZ Tempest) or adhesive (like the Thermaltake Big Thyphoon VX) to hold them in place and aide in better contact with the heat pipes.

The OCZ Vindicator

Flipping the Vindicator over it can be seen that installing the OCZ Vindicator CPU Cooler is just like installing the Intel retail box fan as it uses the same retention mechanisms. This is a nice touch and makes for quick and simple installation. The base of the heat sink was flat and had a nice finish, but a few machine marks could be seen and felt on the bottom.

Let’s take a look at the test system that we will be testing the Vindicator on!

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