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


The Results Are In!

First and foremost is the stressed CPU benchmark.  Here you can see the Gladiator among the top 2 Thermaltake products, however it is incapable of beating either of them.  As you can see, beyond the Dragon Orb 3 and Volcano 6Cu+, most Thermaltake products simply don't have what it takes to keep the Duron below 50 degrees.  However it should be noted that the only 3 products that were able to manage below 50 had the annoying high RPM fans.  The stock heatsink we used failed to run the CPU at 1200, so was not included in the temperature tests.

A Closer Look.

Just to prove a point, I did up a couple other graphs... First, have a look at this one by itself:

These temperatures were taken via the thermistor situated underneath the CPU.  If we were to give you this graph, it would look as if the OCZ is a complete write-off for a 7200 RPM all-copper heatsink... It barely beats a Super Orb!

And here is a graph that shows both temperature readings... Have a look at the disparity on the Super Orb... on one hand, it looks like it keeps up with the OCZ, on the other, it looks like the worst CPU of the bunch (which it is by the way).  This just goes to show that reviewers should be taking care to use more accurate testing methods when doing heatsink articles.  Entire heatsink roundups can be junked by some rogue temperatures; it just varies too much.

Noise Levels

And here are the noise level results.  Notice that besides the Super Orb (which is a special case, and I mean "ride the short bus to school" special), you can quite easily tell that high noise = high performance.  Note that the 6Cu+, which was the best performing heatsink also using a high speed fan, is actually a bit below the Dragon Orb and Gladiator in noise level... It is actually noticeable, but not enough for my liking.

A note about the Super Orb: Although it indeed tested very loud, it comes from using a pair of fans, as opposed to one high speed fan.  This was more of a 'concept' heatsink by Thermaltake, and unfortunately more fans + more noise do not equate to high performance in this case.  However the noise made by the Super Orb is not the screeching high pitch you get with the top 3 fans, and is actually quite tolerable.

Can't Be Beat? I Beg to Differ...

Okay, the Gladiator DOES have a lot of surface area, and it IS made of 100% copper, but it looks like that wasn't enough to beat some competing heatsinks.

It sure can keep up though!

This does not mean it is a bad heatsink! Quite the contrary, it performs pretty much on par with the other two (one of which costs 50% more, one is the same price), and has a great clip, probably the best of the three depending on your preferences (in terms of ease of use).

Directly compared to the Volcano 6Cu+, you can tell that the Gladiator is lacking in build quality (bent fins from the fan screws, rough machined finish on the bottom, etc).  I would definitely recommend the 6Cu+ over the Gladiator, since it goes for pretty much the same price wherever you look.  Watch for our full review of the 6Cu+ in the near future.

If you care at all about looks (and I know a lot of you care a lot, looking at some of the Rigs in our gallery), you may even want to go for the Dragon Orb - that is one sweet looking heatsink, but it is up there in price.  Our full review of the Dragon Orb 3 is here.

My first non-Thermaltake heatsink just didn't impress me.  That's not stopping me from recommending it; the Gladiator is a very capable cooler, and performs admirably.  I just lacks the 'show-off factor' of the Thermaltakes I have been seeing lately.

  • Very good temperature scores!
  • Easy to install
  • Great clip design

  • Disgustingly noisy
  • Ugly, if that matters to you
  • Poorly crafted compared to other heatsinks...
  • This just isn't a heatsink you want to show off...

Final Score: 88%