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Epox 8HDA3+

Author: Antti Valkeinen
Published: 09.05.2004
Manufacturer: Epox
Product group: Motherboads

Overclocking

Overclocking Epox 8HDA3+ is a challenge mainly due unlocked AGP and PCI busses. Especially SATA hard drives and some display adapter are quite sensitive to high AGP and PCI bus frequencies.


Link to he bigger picture

Despite of unlocked AGP and PCI frequencies Epox 8HDA3+ overclocked very well on our tests. With ClockGen software it was possible to adjust processors multiplier and FSB on Windows desktop way beyond limits of the BIOS. Highest FSB that Epox 8HDA3+ achieved was 300 MHz, in which point AGP bus speed was 100 MHz and PCI bus speed 50 MHz. It is quite possible that motherboard would have gone even much higher, but our rest test system just couldn’t keep going.

So motherboard itself seems to be very good for overclocking and managed to keep going at very high HyperTransport bus speeds. It is almost a shame that because of unlocked AGP and PCI busses there isn’t many situations, when overclocking would be even possible. It is also apparent that memory voltage adjustment is too limited for hardcore overclocking. VR-Zone just happen to have complete voltage mod guide for this motherboard, so with some soldering skills there is no problem to achieve high voltages and undo motherboards warranty. It is also worth mentioning that memory voltage is regulated from 5V instead of 3.3V so there is lots of headroom even to do some serious damage to memory modules.

 

Conclusion

Epox 8HDA3+

PROS
  • Extensive memory latency settings
  • Performance
  • Layout

  • Six SATA ports


  • CONS
  • Quality of integrated audio


  • Epox 8HDA3+ is a solid product with some strong points and with some little drawbacks. Two SATA controllers with RAID features providing totally six SATA ports and also two integrated network controllers surely draw some attention. Performance and stability are quite good, however we experienced some instability by using two, low latency memory modules. Motherboard's layout is exceptionally good, however it was quite surprising to see only two memory slots.

    Integrated audio was worse than expected and also overclocking features weren’t actually very good. These are however minor problems to most normal users and it is quite possible that at least overclocking problems disappear if Epox makes new version of this motherboard with VIAs K8T800 Pro chipset, which has locked AGP and PCI clocks. Except our little problems with low latency memory modules there wasn’t any other compatibility problems during test period. As a whole, Epox 8HDA3+ is quite good motherboard for basic use and for example for a file server.

    Questions or comments? Visit MetkuMods forum.

    Additional information

    Epox

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