I first sat the Vendetta 2 on my CPU to make sure that it had enough clearance to face the rear of the case without interfering with my excessively large Northbridge cooling. Luckily, the Vendetta 2 is just skinny enough that it sits next to the Northbridge heatsink without causing any conflict. Then, as per usual, I cleaned up the CPU with some Isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs.
Assembly of the Vendetta 2 is as simple as screwing on two bars with locking push-pins. To install the cooler, OCZ recommends first applying thermal paste to the bottom of the cooler. Then, just push the pins down. In order that you not damage your CPU or motherboard, it's crucial that you push two diagonally opposite corners first, and then the other two opposite corners second. Pushing pins in one at a time, or one side at a time, can flex your motherboard and squish your CPU in bad ways, which is not a risk worth taking.
Whenever I try the push-pin installations with the Intel stock coolers, some pins don't click and I end up having to apply more pressure than is comfortable for me. This installation was no different, with the push-pins not clicking all the way, or not locking properly once I did push them in. After a bit of fuss, though, I was able to install the heatsink, and it sat very snug, easily able to hold its weight without a back plate.
Once the Vendetta 2 is in place, the fan must be attached. First, the rubber plugs are pulled through the fan hole, and then they are slid over fins on the heatsink. This design does a great job reducing vibrations and keeping the fan silent, and is far more convenient than the flexing metal fan brackets previously common to heatsink/fan combinations. Something I noticed about the fan, though, was that the cable sleeving was not wrapped with heat shrink on either end, so it slides back and forth on the cable rather sloppily. Two small pieces of heat shrink would have been a nice touch here.
The Vendetta 2 fits nicely inside my relatively small case, and has no clearance or size problems with any of the components in my system. The fan blows right to the back of the case to the rear exhaust fan, pulling air over the RAM. It also benefits from the airflow pulled by the ceiling exhaust fan.
Continue on to testing and conclusions, just ahead.