While the lucky are able to move onto Socket A motherboards and processors most of us are still left with our Slot A Athlons, which still pack a powerful punch. For obvious reasons Slot A coolers can't be used on Socket A CPUs, however there are still people out there that I hear of, saying they don't have adequate cooling for their Slot A Athlon. For that reason, we carry on with our review of Slot A coolers.
The RDJD K703 is a large heatsink/fan by all accounts, and we had problems fitting this one in our usual test system. The power connector would not allow us to fit it on the Biostar M7MKA, so instead we moved onto the Abit KA7, where it just managed to fight. The main reason to the fitting problems is that the fans that are supplied in the K703 are, simply huge. They are a shade bigger than the YSTech 60mm fans and this causes some problems when coupled to the large heatsink.
The heatsink is the same one that is supplied in the K702 (which we reviewed a few weeks back). The heatsink uses the same fin-less technology and still works very well. However with the added bonus of some 26CFM fans it could only improve on what the K702 started off.
Again we have here RDJD's unique retainer system, which needed a Philip's head screwdriver to operate. From our previous meetings with this system, we found it to be very easy to use, however it required some caution so as not to over tighten it. It is worth mentioning that we scraped off the yellow thermal pad, which looked more like some sort of resin rather than thermal conductivity compound, and replaced it with our Arctic Silver thermal compound (reviewed here).
Just to go over our choice of using the Arctic Silver, it is the best thermal compound you can buy at the moment. It might cost a bit extra, but the performance gains you get with it are well worth the extra money. We installed the K703 onto our usual testbed which was the Athlon 550 (overclocked to 700 revision 2, stepping 1).
We thought we'd compare how the K703 fared against it's smaller sibling, the K702, and against the might of the Globalwin VOS32 along with the Globalwin FKK50 (both of which are very competent performers).
The K703 performs better than it's smaller sibbling, the K702, however we expected this with the larger fans blowing down onto the heatsink. It pushes aside Globalwin's FKK50 with ease too. This is again quite unsurprising, since it has the larger fans. However the FKK50 and the K703 have near enough the same size of heatsink, however the Globalwin uses the standard fin technology to dissipate the heat, rather than the K703s fin-less design.
The VOS32 is a tougher competitor and the K703 comes in just behind that. The VOS32 still holds the top spot, however the K703 comes in just a few degrees of it. The VOS32 shows that fin technology does work better than RDJD's fin-less heatsinks. It is worth pointing out, the fans in the VOS32 and the K703 are very similar and have close to equal CFM.
When looking for a winner between the K703 and the VOS32 the latter wins on two grounds other than just performance. The way the fans are positioned on the VOS32 means that it was possible to fit the VOS32 into our Biostar motherboard. The K703 was a much tighter beast to fit in. It simply wouldn't go in the Biostar and only after some trickery with the KA7 it managed to fit. The VOS32 also comes as a kit with some very nifty ducting and can fit the Pentium 3 line of processors, which the K703 can't. For these reasons we still recommend the VOS32, however the K703 performs to a high enough level to give Globalwin something to think about.