The Vendetta 2 comes tightly packaged in fitted Styrofoam casing. The fan is separated from the cooler itself. With the HSF comes a detailed, illustrated manual, thermal paste, rubber plugs for fan mounting, a 4-pin PWM to Molex power converter, and AMD/Intel mounting brackets. Of note is that the Intel mounting brackets follow the same push-pin style of the stock coolers. Though this is great news for those who don't want to remove their motherboard, the push-pin designs always seem to end in disaster. We'll see what happens when we install this one.
Seeing as the HDT technology is the centerpiece of this cooler, the base was the first place I turned when opening up the box. The base comes protected with a sticker, and the heat pipes sit very flush with the rest of the base. There are small cracks in between heat pipes and aluminum, which poses issues for thermal paste. OCZ recommends spreading the paste on the cooler before installation.
The base was generally flawless on arrival, with the exception of a small dent on the rear-most heat pipe. This could also pose a problem for CPU contact, but there is no easy way to fix this problem, so the dent will have to remain during testing.
The cooler has one flat side, onto which the fan is mounted. The front forms a M or V shape (depending on how much of it you look at), and there is no real explanation for this other than that the name of the cooler starts with a V. It seems like OCZ could have easily flattened another side, and included the ability to expand to two fans, but this design probably makes the most sense with the light-weight, no back plate installation design. In these pictures, you can see the dimples on the top of the cooler, which are present on every fin.
Next up is installation.