Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

Here is the OCZ Vanquisher in person:

This small 72x110x134mm cooler has a copper base with three copper heat pipes, 6mm in diameter. The pipes carry a total of 41 aluminum plates placed at a distance of 2-2.2mm from each other. Each plate is about 0.4mm thick.

The whole thing is cooled by a 92mm fan with an open impeller and a wire grid. The fan hangs on a plastic frame secured with screws to the top and bottom ribs of the heatsink. According to the specs, the fan speed is varied from 800 to 2000rpm by means of PWM-based regulation. The noise level and the air flow are not declared. It turned out that the real speed was higher at the maximum (2400rpm, to be exact) and the fan was only quiet at a speed of 1500rpm or lower.

You can notice that the Vanquisher is not different from many other coolers of its kind. It represents the tower-like design I have tested quite a lot of times. Well, I guess that every respectable firm operating on the market of cooling systems should have such an inexpensive, yet efficient, model in its product range. The manufacturer claims the new cooler can cope with a CPU that generates as much as 200W of heat, though. That’s a very optimistic claim, and I’ll surely check it out soon.

There are bottlenecks in the spots of contact between the aluminum plates and the heat pipes. They enlarge the area of contact and increase the efficiency of heat transfer. Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t specify how the contact is established, with thermal glue or with soldering. The assembly quality is so high that I couldn’t find it out by myself. The bottom rib of the heatsink is quite high above the cooler’s base (over 3cm), and the whole thing is compact, so nothing should prevent you from installing the Vanquisher even on mainboards with a whole forest of heat pipes and heatsinks around the CPU socket.

There are plastic caps on the ends of the heat pipes.

A couple of those caps would fall off from the pipes and I had to glue them eventually. The photo above shows that the OCZ logotype is stamped on the aluminum plates. Note also that the sides of the heatsinks are open. It means that quite a large portion of the air flow is lost at the sides and bottom of the heatsink. To make sure of this you can just place your hand or a sheet of paper near one side of the cooler. The air flow at the cooler’s bottom will help cool the mainboard’s near-socket components, though.

The base is protected with a plastic cover.

Or rather, it protects the pre-applied thermal grease.

The white thermal interface is thick and viscous. There is too much of it on the cooler to my taste, but its efficiency proved to be only 3°C worse than that of Arctic Silver 5 under peak CPU load. Quite a remarkable performance.

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