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Tom's Socket AM2 Motherboard Summer Slam

Epox MF570 SLI

The Epox MF570 SLI is one of two boards in the roundup top withthe nForce 570 SLI chipset instead of the 590 SLI; the only real limitation being the PCIe speed of the graphics cards in SLI mode. Of course, in practice, the performance difference between the two is negligible, so it doesn't make a noticeable difference.

slide show: Epox MF570 SLI

Interfaces

For expandability, the board features two PCIe x16 slots for video accelerators, two PCIe x1 slots and three standard PCI slots. The board has four integrated USB ports on the panel, and three headers to support for six more USB ports. Strangely enough, there are no Firewire ports on the back panel, but there are two headers for Firewire ports on the board.

Gigabit network connectivity is unique in that the two network ports utilize the Marvell 88E1116 Gbe controller instead of the Nvidia controller. The primary SATA is standard Nforce chipset issue, with six ports for SATA/300 devices, and a single UltraATA/100 connector. However, there is a secondary SATA controller: the JMicro JMB363, which sports an additional two SATA connectors. There are no external eSATA connectors, however.

Audio

Like some other boards in the comparison, the K9A uses the Realtek ALC883 codec for seven-channel high definition audio. Five audio mini jacks, a single SPDIF coax and a single optical out are present for audio connectivity, and connectors are available for 5x2 pin front audio and the CD-in.

Cooling

Only the Southbridge is cooled, and it has a heatsink and fan. The MOFSETS and Northbridge are bare. The board has four fan headers in total, one for the CPU cooler and three extras, which is acceptable.

Bundle

Thunder Flash

A utility for Flash under Windows, Thunder Flash can also create a recovery disk. Additionally, it has a nifty feature to change the boot image: sizes of 640x480 and 1024x768 with 16 or 256 colors are allowed. The live update worked very well and provided us with the newest BIOS available.

Thunder Probe

This software will monitor your temperatures and fans, and gives you the option to set limits when it will alert you with an alarm. You can adjust the fan speeds as well, and everything will be logged. It is a nice tool to play with, though probably not a necessity if you've set your machine up properly, but it's not bad at all.

Notes

This Epox board has a power and reset button on the PCB, for enthusiasts and testers who would run it without a PC case.

It's funny that the Epox MF570 SLI appears unique because it's the only board in the roundup in the traditional green PCB color. How times have changed.

slide show: Epox MF570 SLI