OCZ Vanquisher Review

Admin - 2007-12-18 19:15:14 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: December 22, 2007
Price: $22.95-$29.99

Introduction

The easiest way to start the enjoyable/maddening/tearful journey into the world of overclocking is to start with swapping out the stock heatsink that comes with most new systems/CPUs. The stock heatsink gives you about as much cooling performance as a block of cheese with a fan on it. If you are going to embark on the air cooling overclocking journey, then it is my belief that you will need to start with the basics of air cooling to gain a complete understanding of your components and how heat affects them. Overclocking on air allows you to reach a "zen like" state when you find the perfect tweaked settings that your components optimally perform at. It is a delicate balance that is extremely satisfying when achieved.

The OCZ Vanquisher CPU cooler uses heat pipe technology that is at an affordable price point to entry level performance enthusiasts. With air cooling you want to find the happy medium between excessive fan noise and efficient heat dissipation. We are going to see if the Vanquisher fits in that category.

 

Closer Look:

The OCZ Vanquisher packaging is very industrial looking. The front of the box has a rendering of the Vanquisher Cooler in light blue on a dark blue background. One side has the applications info and the other the specifications and key features. The back has office/support locations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer Look:

Getting the box open you are greeted with the installation documentation, the AMD three lug clip, and the plastic cocoon that houses the Vanquisher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once freed from the packaging, we get a glimpse of the unique fan that is mounted directly to the aluminum fins. There were no airflow or noise level information available, but OCZ purports efficient heat transfer up to 200W. Looking from the top down, there are black plastic acorn nuts covering the tops of the six heatpipes, and the OCZ logo stamped in to the fins. The cooler has 41 fins spaced 2-3 mm apart to promote airflow over the entire surface of each fin.

 

 

 

The Vanquisher comes ready to mount to LGA775 sockets. To mount on AMD systems, the LGA775 brackets are removable with four small Phillips screws. The screws were challenging at best to remove. After a half hour of trying various screwdrivers that were too big, jewelers screwdrivers that could not generate enough torque, and mangling the fins numerous times, the LGA brackets were finally freed from the Vanquisher's hold. The only casualty from the entire affair was the pre-applied thermal interface paste OCZ had generously applied.

 

 

 

Installation:

Installing the Vanquisher is quite simple. In both cases (LGA775 & AMD) the cooler can be installed without having to remove the motherboard. The LGA775 mounting utilizes the four push clips on standard LGA775 boards, and on the AMD side, the three lug socket clip is appreciated instead of the normal single center lug clips. If you were lucky enough to keep the pre-applied TIM intact, then it is just a matter of removing your old cooler, mounting the Vanquisher, and seating the TIM and securing the mounting clips. Plug in the 4-pin connector and installation is complete. With the LGA775 mounting clips, the Vanquisher can be orientated either horizontally or vertically. With the AMD clip, the cooler can only be mounted vertically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifications:


Heatsink:

 

 

Dimension
(L)72 x (W)110 x (H)134mm
Material
Fin: Aluminum
Base: Pure Copper
Heat Pipe: Copper
Fan Size
92mm
Fan Speed
800-200RPM     
Bearing Type
Ceramic
Connector
4 pin
Operating Voltage
12V DC
   

 

Compatibility:

 

 

Class
Model
Socket
Intel
Pentium4
Pentium D
Core 2 Duo
Core 2 Quad
Core 2 Extreme
775
AMD
Opteron
Sempron
Athlon 64
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64 FX
939/940/AM2

 

Features:

 

 

Testing:

Testing will be performed by running Orthos to load the CPU to 100%. Temperatures will be recorded at idle and 100% load at stock (6000+ @ 3.0 GHz) and overclocked (6000+ @ 3267 MHz) settings. The Vanquisher will be pitted against the stock AMD cooler, as well as its bigger brother, the Vendetta. Idle temps are recorded after 20 minutes idle on the desktop. Load temps are recorded after 30 minutes of 100% load from Orthos.

Testing Setup:

Overclocked settings:

 

Stock:

Overclocked:

 

While not a world record beater, the OCZ Vanquisher does exactly what it is supposed to do. Provide an alternative cooling solution that offers better performance than the stock heatsink. At the overclocked settings, the Vanquisher fell short of the Vendetta by only two degrees Celsius while beating the stock solution by seven. Decent performance for the dollars spent.

Conclusion:

The OCZ Vanquisher CPU cooler achieves very good performance at a reasonable price. The fan is very quiet at full speed (2400 RPM), much more so than the Vendetta (2900 RPM) since it is spinning about 500 RPM less. The temps are where they should be better than stock cooling, and just missing the next level of coolers. It would be nice to be able to swap out the fan to see if any more performance can be squeezed from the Vanquisher.

Installation of the Vanquisher couldn't be easier. The only issue was with the AMD clip not being able to install the cooler horizontally in the case for better exhaust out the back of the case. Overall, the Vanquisher is a very good product for the price. For the entry level overclocker, it will allow enough headroom to start experimenting with overclocking while not breaking the bank. With the multiple applications, covering just about all current chips, this cooler could go through a few system refreshes and still perform better than the stock cooling solution. If you are looking for an alternative to the stock heatsink so you can begin the journey into the world of overclocking or just want better cooling without having to spend a fortune, the OCZ Vanquisher has you covered.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: