Athlon Hit Parade: 10 mobos with the nForce2 Ultra400

Epox EP-8RDA3+, Continued

In addition to the serial ATA controller (above), Epox integrates the familiar debug system. Depending on the hex-value displayed, the system status can be worked out with the aid of a table. This enables problems to be narrowed down rapidly.

The nForce2's FireWire controller was just not good enough for the developers at Epox. It had to have three ports, so it was time for a dedicated chip from Agére. That's something special!

The MCP-T already has two network controllers, but in the case of the 8RDA3+, a PCI model from Realtek is used as the primary controller (right).

All lined up: two network controllers and four USB 2.0 ports.

The Epox board was visibly affected in transit: the module containing the sound sockets was severely dented. Fortunately this did not impair its operation.

Although the onboard FireWire controller has three ports, Epox only includes a two-port adapter in the package.

In addition to two serial ATA data cables, there are also two power adapters. Nothing will work without these; a factor that you don't usually think of.

Probably the best invention since the arrival of Ultra ATA: twisted, or round, cables. Not only are they easier to route, but they don't interfere with the ventilation of the system, either.