EPoX MF570 SLI in Detail
Now its down to the board. EPoX has gone for a full ATX 24x30 layout that is so popular today for enthusiast boards, however, the layout could have been completed with a little more thought.
EPoX has placed both the 24-pin and the 4-pin power connectors on the left hand side of the board - the 4-pin is behind the PS/2 tower and the 24-pin just above the PCI Express x16 slot and these are not the most ideal locations.
One of the 2 IDE ports are located behind the DDR-2 memory slots, this is the one controlled by the nForce chipset. The second IDE port is placed down at the bottom right of the board with the FDD port. Again the FDD port could have had better placement.
Another sour note is the SATA ports. 99% of boards coming out use SATA 2.5 ports that lock the cable into the port to prevent them falling out during transit, this board uses the older SATA ports that are prone to have the cable come loose or even snap if a little too much stress is placed on them. What were you thinking EPoX?
EPoX has done a good job around the CPU. It is clean and will facilitate large after market heatsinks as well as water cooling setups. The CPU gets a 4 phase Digital Voltage Regulation system to provide stable power when overclocked and under stress.
The rear I/O has a large hole in the middle of the ports. This is where the fan that we spoke of earlier sits. You can have it sucking air into the case or blowing out depending on how you like it. The rest of the ports are pretty standard. There are no Serial or Parallel ports on this board and for your digital audio, you get a RCA and a Toslink SPDIF out port.
EPoX has a good expansion setup for this board. There are 2 PCI Express x16 slots for running SLI graphics. Being based on the nForce 570 chipset means that if you use 2 graphics cards, both slots slow down to x8 (not full speed slots) however this is more then enough to run today's SLI setups. If you want to run a couple GeForce 7950GX2 cards on this board, however, you can't as they need full speed slots.
Between the 2 PCI Express x16 slots are 2 PCI Express x1 slots for additional peripherals. We would have preferred to see a x4 slot or a universal slot to allow larger speed SATA RAID controllers. Lastly are 3 PCI slots for legacy cards like sound and TV tuners.
Lastly we get to the additional features that EPoX add to the board. To give an extra IDE and 2 extra SATA ports, the JMicron PCI Express chip has been added, as we have seen popping up on many Intel ICH8R based boards.