on December 12, 2001
Europe / US
If we take a look at the
layout of the expansion slots it's obvious which type of
group Epox are aiming, with 6 PCI slots and one AGP 2.0 slot
with locking mechanism this is sure to be the PC Hardware
Enthusiasts' board of choice. There is also the usual
on-board AC97 ALC210A audio codec, it’s nothing special to
get excited about though. The Wake on Modem (WOM) and Wake
on LAN (WOL) connectors are also present. A minor
inconvenience I found was that if you have a large graphics
card you will need to remove it when putting in more RAM,
due to the fact that the locking arms are so close to it…
Watch out for this, you won’t want to bend off one of the
arms from the DDR-Socket.
The 8KHA+ doesn’t
feature any on-board RAID controller, but an upcoming
version of this mainboard will do. The IDE connectors have
been well located so that they won’t stop airflow or will
get you in trouble with cables not being able to reach the
top of your case.
The board features six USB ports, but you will only get
cables to use four of them, of course you should be able to
buy the extra cable for a small amount of money, though it
would have been nice from Epox to include it instead.
The included manual
provided all the necessary information to set up the
mainboard and the different BIOS setting, nothing as
detailed as thick Abit manuals, though. It also lists the
port 80 device’s different codes, though this section
could have really been improved, you only get to know what
the code means, not anything about how to solve a problem
related to it.
The BIOS in the Epox
8KHA+ offers a great deal of “tweak-ability”, offering
you to change pretty much anything bar the above mentioned
FSB jumper setting.
In the BIOS
"Frequency/Voltage Control" selection you will
find the option to change the multiplier of your CPU from 6x
all the way up to 12,5x in 0,5x increments, if
you have unlocked it that is... The multipliers above
12,5x are unfortunately malfunctioning, a minor BIOS update
should be able to resolve this issue though... (13x=12,5x,
14x=10x, 15x=10x). You will also be allowed to change the
voltage sent to the CPU to plus minus 0,1v in 0,025v
increments, giving you a max voltage of 1,85v which looks to
be the standard of most motherboards nowadays... it would
have been nice to be able to increase the voltage even
You also have plenty of
current to give to your DDR-RAM; from the default of 2,5
volts there are settings in 0,1v increments all the way up
to 3,2v, though I don't recommend that you go above three
volts if you don't have cooling for your RAM.
isn't any option to change the VIO voltage given to the PCI
and AGP slots...
The page titled
"DRAM Clock/Drive Control" gives you the option to
trim your memory to its limit, this board actually offers
the most complete RAM tweaking features I've ever seen, take
a look at the screenshot below. Note that those are the
timings I used during testing also…
On this mainboard you
will also actually feel the benefit of getting some really
high quality RAM like Crucial
or OCZ and then setting them for the most aggressive
timings in the BIOS. You also have the option of running the
ram asynchronous with the processor, i.e. you can run your
RAM at 100Mz and the processor FSB at 133Mhz and vice versa.
mainboard has three DDR-DIMM slots which can take RAM
modules of sizes up to 512MB, and thus the maximum amount of
memory supported is 1,5GB or 1536MB. This mainboard does not
support ECC (Error Correcting) memory, but it does support
registered memory modules.