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Comprehensive VIA motherboard roundup June 2000

Epox EP-3VCA

Board Revision: 1.0

BIOS Version:

The Epox EP-3VCA comes with the VIA 694X North Bridge and the 686A South Bridge. First you will notice the yellow jumpers and the unusual placement of the second IDE connector. It is situated right in front of the AGP and the first two PCI slots. That's basically okay, but you could run into problems when using full size expansion cards.

The multiplier has to be set via four DIP switches, and there are jumpers for the FSB speed selection. To make this setup step as easy as possible, you have to set only one jumper according to your desired FSB speed. Your choices are 66, 75, 83, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 124, 133, 140 and 150 MHz. I'm missing some more settings below 100 MHz for Celeron overclocking.

The 3VCA comes with five PCI slots and one ISA. Epox decided to integrate the AMR slot as well. Common three DIMM sockets will host up to 768 MByte SDRAM. Two fan headers are present to attach system or CPU fans. To meet minimum multimedia standards, the board also comes with an AC97 sound system and two line ins. All common Wake-Up features are supported and 2+2 USB ports are ready for external hardware. You will have to get the required connector though.

I'm sorry to say that we could not run any benchmark so far, as the board caused registry errors in Windows 98. In Windows NT, the SYSmark could not finish due to errors as well. According to a distributor, the board has already shipped in quantities. As other people are obviously not having trouble with this board, I suppose that our sample has been damaged in shipping. We will get a replacement board within the next days and this page will be updated as soon as I have generated the results.