Motherboard Comparison Epox EP-7KXA vs. Asus K7V

Windows98 Testing

I included the Asus K7M with AMD's 750 chipset in those benchmarks, so that you have the chance to compare the KX133 motherboards with this older platform. The AMD750 chipset on this K7M board was rev. C, stepping 6 and SuperBypass was enabled.

The boards performed all pretty stable, only the 7KXA had to be rebooted in one of the Sysmark2000 runs. Unreal Tournament was another obstacle for the 7KXA, it could only run UTBENCH when the CAS latency of the memory was switched from 2 to 3.

The other boards did not crash in any benchmark, although they were of course tuned for highest performance.

Windows NT 4 SP6 Testing

I included Windows NT for those who still prefer this operating system to the new Windows 2000. My only interest was to see how the boards scored in memory and AGP-intensive tests, so that I only ran SPECviewperf and Quake 3 Arena. It turned out that both benchmarks scored their highest results under NT. Quake 3 Arena gained some 5 fps on the Asus board.

None of the boards crashed and all could be kept at the highest performance settings.

Windows 2000 Professional

This new operating system is a tough customer. First I had to make sure that the Epox 7KXA would run with AGP turned on, as you could read above. Then I had several stability issues. In most of the cases the motherboards failed to even boot to the Windows 2000 desktop. Finally I found the source of evil. None of the boards would run stable unless the 'SDRAM Interleaving' in the BIOS setup was turned off. Still all boards finally failed SPECviewperf by freezing the screen unless the CAS-latency was switched to '3'. After this final adjustment, Windows 2000 ran fine.

Why Was Irongate Not Included in the Win2k and WinNT Benchmarks?

I am afraid I have to admit that I was unable to turn on AGP2x for Irongate in the GeForce driver. Running Irongate with GeForce against the other three KX133 boards would have been rather unfair and would have made Irongate look worse than it is. Although 'EnableIrongate2x' as well as 'EnableIrongateSBA' is included in both rev. 5.13 drivers for GeForce, I failed miserably in turning them on. I tried everything in the registry that I could, but still Win2k as well as WinNT would boot GeForce with only AGP1x.