VIA KT333 Put To The Test: 18 Motherboards Compared

Epox EP-8K3A+: The Quickest, Plus Crashes

The Epox EP-8K3A+.

The packaging of the Epox EP-8K3A+.

A striking characteristic of the Epox is its incredible speed in the benchmark tests: in all of the disciplines, it always places among the top - first place on average. Overclocking pals have been provided for - the CPU core voltage offers up to 2.2 Volt. Furthermore, the RAM can be adjusted to 3.2 Volt max. During the boot process, the system status is indicated via Port 80 - Epox is the only one with this tool. A faulty aspect from previous Epox boards has now been ironed out: if a system start is unstable, the system now reboots immediately using the standard settings. However, the usual aggressive overclocking is no longer possible. What's lacking here is active overload protection, especially considering that high CPU voltages are possible. The operation limits are quickly reached - during the test, a crash occurred due to insufficient cooling of the Northbridge, for which only a flat passive cooler is provided. Here, it becomes evident that Epox does not want to turn away from the awkward topic of overclocking. The board is equipped with a RAID controller from Highpoint HPT372, which extends the IDE interfaces to cover four additional devices. There are limitations with the USB ports, however; here, you can only connect a maximum of four devices. At a price of about $150, this is a reasonable purchase.

Items included with the Epox EP-8K3A+.

Well-equipped: the Epox EP-8K3A+ has a Port 80 status indicator, as well as a RAID controller.