Since reviewing a vast array of direct heat-pipe coolers over the past week or two, we’ve come to a conclusion that the performance offering from them is pretty damn good. The prime examples of HDT coolers we’ve tested are mainly from the likes of Xigmatek and Sunbeamtech. At Tech-Reviews today we’re testing a direct heatpipe CPU Cooler from the widely known OCZ, introducing the Vendetta 2…
Entering the memory market in August 2000, OCZ Technology was built around the determination to manufacture the best high speed DDR and RDRAM. OCZ was founded by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, and their commitment to the end-user has not digressed. OCZ Technology has been an innovator in many areas.
- Three pure copper wall heat pipes allow superior heat transfer
- Ultra-quiet 20-32d/BA
- Anti-vibration rubber design for noise reduction
- Dimple design to eliminate laminar airflow
- New heat pipe-to-CPU direct contact design
- Light-weight aluminium fins
- Easy installation
- For Sockets AMD 754/755/939/AM2, Intel LGA775*
- 3 Pure Copper heat pipes for superior heat dissipation
- Pure Aluminum fins for ultimate durability
- Heatsink Dimensions:(W)120 x (D)50 x (H)159mm
- Fan Dimensions: (L)120 x (W) 120 x (H)25mm
- Rated Voltage: 12V DC
- Fan Speed: 800-1500 RPM
- Fan Air Flow: 65-81 CFM
- Noise Level: 20-32 d/BA
- Bearing type: Rifle
- Connector: 4 pin with PWM
- 120mm Fan with rubber connectors
- Mounting Hardware for all above CPUs
- Thermal Compound
The Vendetta 2 arrives in a thin cardboard box which is styled with a mixture of blues and greys. This looks quite professional and gives an indication that maybe a quality product is tucked inside.
The front of the box features a large transparent section enabling you to see the fan of the cooler.
The back of the box has a large image of the Vendetta 2 with its fan attached. All the information about the product is listed in English on the sides of the box.
Opening the box reveals the cooler and fan de-attached and padded with thick Styrofoam. All the accessories are in a polythene bag and include:
- Installation manual
- 3-Pin to Molex connector
- Intel S775 Push Pin arms
- AMD mounting clip
- Sachet of thermal paste
- Two screws for securing mounting clips
- 4 Rubber anti-vibration pegs
It’s nice to see that OCZ have bundled in a 3-Pin to Molex connector as many companies do not do this and they’re always handy to have about.
The OCZ Vendetta 2
The Vendetta 2 uses the much preferred tower format of design. This design has proved to be much more effective than the old skool ‘top down’ design we witnessed on the Scythe Zipang. The actual design of the OCZ is very similar to Xigmatek’s, I was surprised by how much alike it looked to the S1284 – found on the Red Scorpion. However, there are small details, such as the shape of the fins which make this cooler its own and not just a copy of Xigmatek’s.
Atop the heat-sink are small dimples pressed into the top aluminium fin. At the centre of this fin, the OCZ logo is also shown. To the left and right sides of the OCZ logo, the tops of the copper heat pipes can be seen protruding out of the fins. Altogether the cooler has 3 heat-pipes.
The front of the Vendetta 2 has space for a single 120mm fan; most people will use the fan which is supplied with the cooler. However, a different fan can be installed in the same way. To mount a fan, the procedure is very simple: slot the anti-vibration pegs into the indented aluminium fins and then mount the fan onto the pegs.
The actual fan which comes with the OCZ isn’t too bad. Although it looks butt ugly, it produces a low 20 d/BA at 800RPM which is pretty much inaudible inside a computer case. For most people, this low noise level will be sufficient, but hardcore silencers may want to replace the fan with an actual silent one, for example, one of the Noiseblockers we reviewed.
Turning the cooler upside down reveals that the bottom aluminium fin repeats the dimpled effect shown on the top fin. This is great to see that OCZ are coordinating the style from top to bottom.
Like most, there is a plastic label protecting the copper base from fingerprints, dust etc. which could interferer with the Vendetta’s peak performance. Removing the label reveals a semi-shiny surface, but a very flat one. This is unlike most direct heat pipe coolers, which normally have lumpy unfinished bases. Separating the copper heat pipes is an aluminium block; this is what the mounting clips secure to with a couple of screws. I have to admit, this is definitely the best finished base on a direct heat pipe cooler I’ve witnessed so far, good job OCZ.
*For Socket 775 Installations
The first part of the installation is to secure the two ‘push-pin’ clips to the base of the Vendetta 2. This is done by screwing in place two of the included screws – one for each arm. Once installed, the arms are very rigid and secure to the base.
The next step is to apply thermal paste to the CPU. The OCZ actually comes with a sachet of its own brand thermal paste; however we’ll be using Arctic Silver 5 for a fairer comparison with our stock Intel cooler – which is also using AS5. If you’re not familiar with applying thermal paste, it’s pretty simple: apply a small 4 mm or so blob at the centre of your processors IHS. Sorted.
We then located the pins on the mounting arms into the correct holes on our motherboard. To secure the Vendetta 2, it’s pretty simple; just push the pins until they click. When they do, the cooler is locked onto the motherboard securely.
This installation is completely tool-less and very much alike the installation of a stock Intel cooler. Fortunately it doesn’t need for the removal of your motherboard.
|Case||Antec Twelve Hundred|
|Processor||Intel C2D E8400|
|Memory||4GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer|
|Motherboard||Asus P5K Premium|
|Graphics Card||Vivikoo 9600GT|
|Power Supply||Kingwin Mach 1|
|Hard Drive||SATA Western Digital SE16 500GB|
|Optical Drive||SATA Samsung DVD-RW|
To test CPU Coolers we simply boot the PC up into Windows Vista and measure temperatures under idle and load states. The temperature is recorded from the CPU’s own diode using SpeedFan.
For idle testing, we leave the PC doing nothing for half an hour and take 3 temperature readings at 10 second intervals after 30mins. We then use the average score from these as the result.
When testing at load temperatures, we use a similar method but load both cores of our CPU right to 100% by loading two processes of ‘CPU Burn-In’.
Ambient (testing environment) temperature was 23 degrees Celsius.
We’ll be comparing the OCZ Vendetta 2 to the stock Intel Cooler (copper base model). Arctic Silver 5 is the thermal paste which will be used when testing both of the coolers.
The Stock speed of the E8400 is 3GHz with a 333FSB.
*Measured in Degrees Celsius
|OCZ Vendetta 2||Stock Intel
(Copper Base Version)
Even though the OCZ doesn’t perform as well as the stock Intel cooler at idle states, it does a far better job of cooling out E8400 at load temperature. In theory, this suggests that the Vendetta 2 is a much better CPU cooler for higher processor stress levels, hence, a better choice for an overclocker or gamer.
Throughout the testing, I didn’t notice any humming from the cooler. It is indeed very quiet, inaudible even.
I do like the Vendetta 2 a lot; it looks great, performs quietly and keeps the CPU temps at a low degree particularly when the processor is under high stress.
However, it’s a slight shame that the cooler failed to beat the stock Intel cooler at idle states, as many CPU coolers I’ve reviewed in the past, have beaten the stock cooler at all states. This is a slight shame, but the fact it manages to pick itself up at load states suggests that it’s better designed to ‘stressy’ processors.
To draw a proper conclusion, we need to look at its price and see if its good value for money. This is where the OCZ is a real winner, at just £25 its great value for money – cheaper that Xigmatek’s offerings.
If you’re looking for a quiet cooler which will effectively cool your gaming rig, then the Vendetta 2 is a good buy.