Finally Available: Nine Socket 939 Athlon64 Motherboards!


Board Revision: 2.0

BIOS Version: 4b10

IT journalists will have an easy time recalling the name of the EP-9NDA3+, because in Jargonese, NDA stands for "non-disclosure agreement", a contract that is often signed before technical briefings are held on future products.

In this case the N designates the chipset: the nForce3 Ultra with its AGP-8X port. For height considerations, however, EPoX unfortunately decided to put an active cooler on the chipset component.

The EPoX board stands out thanks to its characteristic green hue, easy-to-read model description, and Port-80 debug system, the display of which is found on the rear of the board on the left. It displays the current system condition as hex codes while the computer is booting, making debugging easier if anything should go wrong.

EPoX has equipped its board with a Gigabit network chip and additional FireWire controller, but did not include an extra mass storage controller. Unfortunately the EPoX board lags behind a bit in the benchmarks, as activating the 1T timing in the BIOS causes a crash during Windows startup. For that reason we had to use 2T for the test, which readily explains the slightly reduced performance. A forthcoming BIOS update should soon remedy this problem, however.