Inside the Box
As always we start off at the packaging and what your dollar gets you in terms of the little extras. Some boards are all flash and no pash. Some are bare as a new borns bum but pack a real punch. EPoX has used its new white box scheme with the logo and name on the front.
The back of the box is a bit of a different story. EPoX has gone all out to give you a bit of an explanation of the features as well as a full colour photo of the board so there is no doubt on what you are getting.
Documentation that comes with the board is exemplary. There are two manuals. The first is a bright coloured System Installation manual that gives you in very basic terms the layout of the board and how to get it into your chassis as well as getting it running with LED and switch headers. The second manual is a full detailed setup of the board explaining its features as well as BIOS settings and software settings.
There is only a single included CD with the board that includes all the drivers and software for installing Windows as well as some applications that some may find helpful after you manage to get Windows running. Unfortunately no floppy is included for the F6 Windows XP drivers. For this you need to boot from the CD and follow the prompts to make your own floppy for this operation, which is quite annoying.
The cable set that comes with this board is pretty basic. You get a total of 4 out of 8 SATA data cables. These aren't even the ones that lock into the board, so there is the chance these can come loose in transit if you move your PC around a lot. For the parallel cables there is 1 out of 2 IDE and 1 of 1 FDD cables. If you want to make use of the rest of the SATA and PATA ports, you will need to purchase an extra IDE cable and 4 SATA cables. This is not the best move considering most of us now run 4 or more drives when running RAID.
EPoX has thermal management in mind with this board. A set of 8 alloy heatsinks with double sided tape are included to go onto the Mosfets to keep them running nice and cool when under load. A red thermistor is included with some backing tape that you can place on another component in the system. Best place is either RAM or the VGA card, allowing you to monitor the temp of any other device you see fit.
Since the nVidia chipset supports a total of 10 USB ports and only 4 are on the rear I/O plane, there are 3 extra headers in the system for USB ports. Most cases now come with front access USB. EPoX gives a 2 port USB header that slips into a spare PCI expansion cover, leaving you with 1 extra header inside the system unused.
On the rear I/O shield there is a small 40mm fan port that you can screw the supplied 40mm fan into, this can be set to exhaust or intake, depending on what you think is best. As for the SLI factor, EPoX includes a PCB based SLI connector for your GeForce graphics cards.