OCZ Gladiator Review

Author: Daryl Grant
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2001
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/oczgladiator/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Introduction

OCZ Gladiator Store Page

Few coolers these days can still get my mojo flowing like they did way back when the Thermaltake Orbs were first introduced (before the widespread die cracking was well known – nothing sucks my mojo away like widespread die cracking ””).

When I opened the box containing the OCZ Gladiator, I can, without resignation, say that I felt some of that old-style mojo come back in a big way. With that behemoth 6800rpm Delta fan and the über-sweet, all-copper body with ultra-thin fins, the Gladiator is a cooler with a vengeance – a vengeance for heat.

Specs

Heatsink:

Application: Socket A
Heatsink Material: Copper
Thermal Resistance: 0.27° C/W

Fan:

Type:Delta
Fan Speed:6800+ rpm
Max Air Flow:38cpm

These specs are pretty sparse but this is all that is available. Even so, they are pretty impressive. Copper, which is heavier and more expensive than aluminum, is also better at dissipating heat as can be seen by the excellent thermal resistance rating.

OCZ sent us the Gladiator with the Delta fan (as opposed to the lesser performing 36cfm Top Motor fan). At 6800+ rpm, the Delta fan is LOUD, but can it ever move some serious air through the heatsink! Crikee! You could use it to dry your hair or even your fingernails, if you’re into that sort of thing. I have no way of proving that the fan is actually moving 38cpm of air, but I would bet that it is darn close to that amount. The wicked airflow and vast copper surface area (thanks to all those tightly packed fins) the Gladiator is sure to do some outstanding CPU cooling.

The are only two negative aspects of the design that I can think of. One has to do with the finger which I will discuss shortly, and the other has to do with the lack of a fan guard on the Delta fan. This thing spins fast to do some serious damage on one’s delicate digits and I don’t even want to imagine what would happen is some hair were to be caught up by it (not that a fan guard would help this latter situation though… but ouch…).

The Gladiator ships with a thermal pad rather than a small package of thermal compound. Most of the hardcore peeps in the crowd will probably scrape this off and add some of their own thermal compound instead.

Installation

Installing the Gladiator takes a fair amount of force, but not the obscene amount of effort required to install a Super Orb. This ensures that the interface makes an excellent contact with the die of the CPU. With the finger clip design, no tools are needed other than your hands (which, as it happens, are my two favourite tools :p). While I installed this cooler outside of a case, it should be possible to install it within a case as long as there is a reasonable amount of room to work around.

The only gripe I have with the finger clip is that it applies a lot of pressure on my fingers in a fairly small area – this causes pain. Not a lot, but enough to make you wish you weren’t experiencing it :].

Test System

CPU:AMD Duron 700MHz
Mobo(s):Asus A7V rev 1.1
RAM:128MB Micron PC133 RAM
Video Card:Asus V7100 Geforce2 MX
HDD:20Gb IBM Deskstar 75GXP 7200rpm, Ultra ATA-100
CD-ROM:Creative 52X CD-ROM

The test system was made up of a 700MHz Duron on an Asus A7V inside of a closed Antec KS-188 case (using an Antec PP303X power supply). The Gladiator was installed with the thermal pad that it comes with.

I ran the system for one hour to stabilize the temperatures before I took any measurements. The idle temps were taken after 20 minutes of 0% CPU usage. The 100% load temps were taken after 20 minutes of 100% CPU usage.

Test Results

CoolerIdle100% load
OCZ Gladiator (Delta Fan)2936
Mini Super Orb3342
Original Super Orb3341
Ambient Temp: 23.1°C

Conclusion

Other than the noise, the OCZ Gladiator is a wicked cooler that is especially ripe for the hardest of hardcore overclockers out there. It is definitely on the upper end of performance, so there should be few worries about heat issues. To top things off the Gladiator is pretty cool looking (unless you have a strict aversion to pink).

The two potential downsides to keep in mind are the price and the noise. The Gladiator with the Delta fan installed runs for $34.99 which you can buy directly from OCZ. You could also opt for the smaller Top Motor 36cfm fan which is quieter and cheaper, but doesn’t perform quite as well that runs for $29.99). An important idea to note is that where maximum overclocking reigns supreme, noise is a secondary consideration.

Overall an excellent cooling solution – hardware props out to OCZ for producing such a fine specimen.

Bottom Line

Installation:87%
Noise:78%
Performance:93%
Value:90%

Overall Score: 91%

Check OCZ for the most current Pricing on the Gladiator

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