EPoX EP-8KDA3+ nForce3 (AMD Athlon 64 Socket 754) motherboard Review

Result and general impression

++++ The EPoX 8KDA3+ costs about 150 Euro (10/2004) where it is within the upper range of the current Socket 754 mainboards. However, in view of the fantastic equipment, the numerous features and the very good overclocking behavior the price isin any case justified. Not only that EPoX attaches 2 S-ATA cables, 2 S-ATA power cables, 2 rounded IDE cables, 2 mouning brackets for IO and USB, an ATX bracket, etc. to the mainboard, they also offer a small screwdriver multi tool with this board. This is to divert however by no means from the features of the board, but shows the high quality rating, which EPoX would like to represent us with this nForce3 mainboard. And I have to say, I was very astonished about the 6 x Serial ATA connectors and altogether 6 x 3,5mm jacks for the 8 channel sound. Here’s a picture of the 4 of the 6 S-ATA connectors, those over the Silicon Image Sil3114 controller are headed for and with EPoX usual 7-Segment postcode digits:

In addition, the overlocking features do not come too briefly, it’s possible to adjust the most important voltages e.g. the Vcore (CPU voltage), videocard, chipset and memory voltages over the BIOS. The multiplier, the frequencies for the chipset and/or the videocard is also alterable via BIOS. To prevent overheating of the nForce3 chipset during overclocking, it became a passive heatsink and as rather unusual feature there’re small heatsinks on the most important Mosfets and voltage regulator components, like the one here on the following Picture:

However, the whole heatsink trouble should also give us a high overclocking potential and of course a high speed and the test confirmed the so far highest benchmark result of all tested Athlon 64 mainboards. Besides I got also the highest overclocking value with the 8KDA3+ and that A64 3200+ CPU, so it’s really difficult to find only one negative point in the review of this board.

Conclusion: EPoX succeeded with the EP-8KDA3+ Socket 754 mainoard a genuine achiever, starting with the scope of supply over the technical equipment up to the great overclocking features really no desires leaves open ! Even the board layout and the bench mark of values could convince, therefore it’s a pleasure for me to give this board the so far highest Socket 754 mainboard award. The EPoX EP-8KDA3+ receives the first Athlon 64 “ocinside.de OverClocking Dream 2004 award” and there is no question, this mainboard have to be shortly in my main-PC.

Hereby I would also like to thank EPoX
for their support.

Picture

**** All Socket 754 mainboard tests since 01.08.2004 are based on an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with a HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600 Pro graphic card, Kingmax 256 MB PC2700 memory module and the following software configuration: Windows 98 SE, DirectX 9b, Catalyst 3.6 graphic driver and 3DMark 2003. Since all benchmark results should only offer a comparison among themselves, I select Win 98 SE for a faster OS installation which is of course not the usual OS for Athlon 64 systems but enough for a comparison.

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