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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [11.09.01]
Manufactured by: OCZ Tech
Suggested Price: $20


Arch Rivals...?

I decided to pit the Gladiator against Thermaltake's current high end champ, the Volcano 6Cu+.  We won't have a full review of the 6Cu+ for a couple days, but most of the testing is finished, and I have found it to be worthy competition to this $20 100% copper heatisnk with "more copper than any other heatsink".

Alternatively, I could have gone with the Dragon Orb 3 as competition, but I like the Volcano 6Cu+ better, for reasons I'll get to in the full review.  The Dragon Orb goes for around $30 at most stores, and the Volcano 6Cu+ is found for around $20... Clearly the 6Cu+ is more suitable competition.

Standing next to each other, the Volcano 6Cu+ just dwarves the Gladiator.  It should be noted that the fan used on the 6Cu+ is also a noisy high speed fan.

The Volcano is wider than the Gladiator as well, almost as much as it is taller.  Being an aluminium/copper hybrid should put it on somewhat equal ground in terms of performance.

If you want to talk about build construction, there is no competition; the Volcano 6Cu+ beats the Gladiator hands down.  Thermaltake have been getting better and better with the construction of their higher end heatsinks.  Separate fan mounts to prevent from having to screw directly into the heatsink fins is just one thing you'll notice when comparing these two HSF's directly.  The next would probably be the smooth finish on the 6Cu+... While it isn't mirror-finish smooth, it doesn't have the 'grated' finish of the Gladiator.  High quality heatsink paste *should* prevent the poor finish of the Gladiator from being an issue with performance.

As you've likely been noticing, the Gladiator is not going to win any beauty contests, but a lot of people will probably find beauty within, knowing that it "has more copper than any other heatsink" and "it simply can not be beat".

We'll get to that last quote soon enough...

Other Notes

  • The Power cable was a 3-pin Molex (with RPM cable) but you would be committing motherboard suicide if you tried to use it on one of your motherboard Molex headers.  Instead, use a 3-to-4 pin adapter, and go directly from the power supply.  This unfortunately makes RPM monitoring impossible, but the Volcano 7 is the only heatsink I've seen that has a separate "RPM only" Molex plug included, and it was released just last week.

  • OCZ Tech's retail site, "OverclockerZ", sells the Gladiator for $19.99 with the 40 CFM YS-Tech fan.  Alternatively, you can purchase their original Gladiator for $14.99, or just the bare heatsink with no fan for $11.99.  This is not an endorsement, however.

Now that you know everything about the Gladiator, let's get to the testing!

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