Readers who have been around the enthusiast market for a while may remember OCZ heatsink/fans from the past. OCZ was a big player in the enthusiast cooler market several years ago, but OCZ cooling solutions have been few and far between in recent years. We took a look at the somewhat traditional OCZ Tempest last year, but we could never get the Tempest to mount properly on our test bed. We did try an alternate test board but performance was not really any better than the stock Intel cooler so the cooler didn't justify a special review in our mind.

OCZ has recently introduced another enthusiast cooler, which they call the OCZ Vindicator. Those familiar with current coolers will recognize a striking resemblance to the Scythe Ninja Plus Revision B, a cooler that is also in our schedule for review.


When we asked OCZ if the Vindicator was just a relabeled Ninja Rev. B they told us the Vindicator is built for OCZ. OCZ stated they did not have any agreement with Scythe and that the Vindicator is not a rebadging of the Scythe Ninja. Regardless, the designs are very similar. The good news is the OCZ Vindicator comes preconfigured for Intel Socket T, where the Scythe requires installation of a bracket before it can be used on that socket. Mounting socket plates on both coolers are similar in design, but they differ slightly in the screw layout used to attach the plates to the base cooler.

OCZ ships with an Intel 775 mount installed and an AMD AM2/939/940/754 adapter in the package. The Ninja Rev. B includes the same assortment with a slightly different design. The Ninja Rev. B also includes an Intel Socket 478 adapter.


Where OCZ and Scythe differ quite a bit is in the included fan. The OCZ fan is rated at 1000 RPM, 40 CFM, and a very low 18.5 dB-A. This compares to the Ninja at 1200 RPM, 49.6 CFM, and 20.9 dB-A. Both are very quiet fans, but the OCZ is specified at almost half the sound pressure of the Ninja Rev. B. The Ninja, on the other hand, is capable of moving more air.

In the end the question is whether the OCZ fan, which is definitely quieter, is capable of moving enough air to keep up with other coolers in overclocking - a domain that is certainly a part of almost everything OCZ markets. That is a question that will be addressed in this review, when the performance of the Vindicator is compared to the other heatpipe towers we have tested in recent months.

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  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    You make a good point, but I remain concerned about introducing additional noise and cooling variables into the test platform with a variable fan speed PS. In flat out gaming every PS I have seen is running at load conditions. However, your suggestions are certainly "real world" and we will definitley evaluate the impact of one of the "silent idle" power supplies on our total cooler testing. Our goal is to find ways to lower the ambient noise and sytem noise floor in realistic ways to provide a wider db test range Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    Yeah exactly. My PC DOESN'T sit at Load settings for its fans. See I actually have them all dynamically controlled by temp and they only spin up when the machine is actually processing heavily enough to warm things up to a level that needs the fans to spin up a bit more to cool effectively.

    I'm starting to think it's more a matter that most folks don't care enough to quiet their PCs down so they don't realize how much nicer it is to have a quiet PC. This would be why they think it's normal to have a PSU making 40db of noise and thus fans can be 36db of noise and they think that's ok.

    My PC (and it's not exactly designed to be totally silent) is inaudible except when I'm gaming or doing heavy work in a program in windows that requires the cpu to load up a lot. I can surf the Internet, type a Word doc, listen to music, or watch a DVD, and it's inaudible unless you put your ear within a foot or two of the case.

    (P150 Antec case, Antec True-Power2.0 450w PSU (recently replaced by a Corsair 520w that has a fan that is a tiny bit more audible), SpeedFan, ATiTool, and good configurations are to thank for that. It's even using the retail cooler on my A64 Venice 3200+ and it's overclocked to 2.4GHz and it's still silent because I have the fan on it throttle down to 40% when it's under 40C, which it is most of the time.)
    Reply
  • punko - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    For me, my wife watches television in the same room that I have the computer. When I'm gaming I use either very low sound or headphones.

    Noise is an issue, whether at idle, low load, or heavy load.

    If anything, I tend to have the CPU and GPU maxed out when I'm on the computer, so the "real world" testing of a complete system underload is the most important sound rating. Idle? don't care, that means I'm not in the room.

    What I would love to see is a general guide for those of us planning to build a new rig, and get an idea of what is available in terms of major components for building a quiet (not silent) PC. I am more than well aware that there are specialist sites that do component by component reviews, but I am more interested in the "real world" knowledge of people that assemble and use hundreds of components in various configurations.

    Articles like this one help, because the focus the attention on a particular component as part of an overall system.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    oh and by "only spin up" i mean "spin up from the level I have them throttled down to" not "spin up from stopped". You never want to throttle fans down to where they stop while the system is on, because there's always the danger they won't spin back up. Reply
  • asdfqwertyuiop - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    This article is poor. The SilenX claims are just false, and parroting their marketing BS without adequate testing is unsatisifactory. There are about a dozen fans, including the stock Intel one, all on the same db rating. So in other words, testing was insufficient to establish whether or not the fans are quieter than even the bog-standard Intel one.

    Accepting SilenX's BS that their fan achieves dramatically more airflow with less noise than anything else available shows excessive credulity.

    Aside, what's with tech firms and the product names that sound like they are aimed at 13-year olds? Vindicator??? This is a heatsink, not an assault weapon.
    Reply
  • tomoyo - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    As stated by quotes from a silentpcreview reader here - http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php...">http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php...

    There's so many inaccurate and incorrect commentary in this review that it's utterly amazing it was ever posted. It's obvious the heatsink was designed by scythe and relabeled by OCZ, that's nothing terrible to say since tons of brand names are made by different companies. I'm MOST disgusted by the blatant love of Silenx fans when their specifications on their fans are 100% WRONG. It is physically impossible for their fans to be as quiet as they say, which means they're purely and utterly liars. A company that lies should not be praised like anandtech is doing. I'm surprised they are not using a quiet nmb-panaflo, nexus, or other good fan out there.
    And the OCZ powerstream is certainly not one of the quieter power supplies out there. A better comparison psu would be something like a Seasonic or Corsair.
    There's plenty of other issues with the writing quality here, but I think these are the most blatant.
    Reply
  • amdlive - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    quote:

    I'm MOST disgusted by the blatant love of Silenx fans when their specifications on their fans are 100% WRONG.


    What is the true specifications of the fan utilized in this article? If no the specs listed are 100% wrong, then provide the real world results you have. We are waiting and by the way, post a link to your last review.
    Reply
  • amdlive - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link


    quote:

    I'm MOST disgusted by the blatant love of Silenx fans when their specifications on their fans are 100% WRONG.



    What is the true specifications of the fan utilized in this article? If you know the specs listed are 100% wrong, then provide the real world results you have. We are waiting and by the way, post a link to your last review.
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    Silent PC Reviews are a total joke. They in no way simulate conditions inside, near, or even remotely in plain sight of a PC. Most of the members over there are elitist wannabes who drink the Chin Kool-Aid and then march off like ants to spread the gospel of lies that are the SPCR test results. Most of their articles are contradictory once you really read them and the computer equipment they use is several generations old. They are not even using equipment that most of us have bought in the last two years and to even consider a P4 and 6800GT as components that stress a power supply is just laughable. The site is one big cluster "F" with most of the recommendations going to their sponsor list. I could not believe some of the asinine comments posted in that topic. Hopefully they wake up and smell the $h!t that is spewing from the writers over there.

    My issues with the cooling reviews here are the noise levels in the room. They really need to be around 26 to 30dBA to properly test most components in your "real world" test routines. There are a lot of people who probably have rooms at home in that noise range along with components whose base noise levels fall in the same category. I would also like to see how well the units fit on the top three or four selling motherboards along with some power supply reviews.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 05, 2007 - link

    According to a Noise article at SPCR 26 to 30db is the noise level of a "quiet bedroom at night". 35 to 45 db - our ambient noise is 36db - is the noise level of a "Quiet office or library; Typical PC Subdued". The complete chart is in comments below. We hope to lower noise a bit in a reworked test bed but we are not confident we can get below 30db consisitently. Reply

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