The Game Pros: SLI Motherboards For Athlon 64

Epox EP-9NPA+ SLI, Continued

Epox is not an advocate of many PCI Express slots. Besides the two x16 ports for the graphics cards there's only one x1 connection. But since PCIe expansion cards won't really be around for a while, you ought to be able to get along fine with the board as it is. Three PCI slots accommodate your existing hardware, and a SATA-II chip from Silicon Image offers two additional connections.

The reset and on/off switches in the hardware prove useful for those into tuning and overclocking. In addition, there's the integrated port-80 unit for system diagnosis that is found on all better quality Epox boards. In the event that the computer does something problematic when booting, the two-digit LED display shows a hexadecimal code that you can look up in a table; this will give you a clue as to the cause of the problems.

The component package is complete, containing all necessary cables - this includes a round IDE cable, an SATA cable, and adapter modules for USB and Firewire. We found all the major setting options necessary for overclocking in the BIOS, but we were not able to achieve frame rates in the range of 300 MHz.