Nathan Kirsch’s Thoughts in First Person:
I had high hopes for the OCZ Vindicator and while the heat sink looks like it should cool well on paper it doesn’t in real life. A number of design concerns instantly come to mind though about why the performance is what it is. For starters, the fins are gapped far apart and don’t seem to be making that great of contact with the copper heat pipes. By looking at the gaps between the fins, it looks like the number of them included could easily be doubled and some sort of solder could be used to better attach the fins to the copper heat pipes. The large heat sink that sits above the blocks is also an interesting design element as one would think that it would trap and retain the heat at the base of the heat sink, which defeats the purpose of the heat pipes and cooling fins that are trying to take heat up and away. The 40CFM fan is also a tad too dinky and by changing the fan to an AeroCool XtremeTurbine 120mm fan that puts out 89.39CFM at 1800RPM’s I was able to knock off roughly 5C at load, which is a significant difference by just changing the fan with a model that has higher airflow. The fan can be easily changed, but who wants to spend $20 on another fan on top of the $55 they spent for the cooler when rival coolers perform better for less money to start with?
The other areas of concern are not performance related concerns, but are important nonetheless. The fact that the Vindicator is 150mm tall means that it won’t fit in many cases with the door shut. With many enthusiast cases having fans or air ducting on the door panel, it would make using the Vindicator with a case door nearly impossible. That and the fact that according to OCZ half of the ones shipped are getting damaged is not a good selling point!
On the bright side it was really quiet and easy to install — heh. I think you get the point and I’m out of stuff to say.
Legit Bottom Line: The OCZ Vindicator looks great and has six heat pipes, but its performance is no where near the level it needs to be for us to recommend the cooler.