- Expansion Layout
The Epox 8KHA uses a rather sensible and clean 1 AGP, 6 PCI and no ISA, AMR, CNR or ACR slots. Supporting three DDR DIMM slots the 8KHA can support up to 3GB of PC1600 or PC2100 DDR SDRAM.
Driving the 8KHA is the VIA KT266 chipset and is comprised of the VT8366 northbridge paired with either the VT8233 or VT8233C V-Link southbridge. The utilization of V-Link is an important step up for computer motherboards. Similar to Intel's Hub design, the KT266 has a 266MB/s communication to the southbridge. This is a much better design over the tradition 133MB/s PCI interconnection for the southbridge.
- AGP retention is here again
Like many of Epox's other motherboards, the 8KHA has the click-lock AGP retention mechanism. Designed for the LANer, or if you have to transport your PC alot, this little white clip prevents the video card from being bumped out.
- Debug card
With many manafacturers adding diagnostic devices to their motherboards (MSI with D-Led, Aopen with DR Voice and FIC with Audio Alert), Epox has added its own verion of D-Led to the 8KHA. These two LED displays come up with post codes which you find in the back of your motherboard manual. If the board stops on a certain code, you can look it up in your manual and find out exactly what the motherboard is telling you is not working.
- Socket A Layout
The layout around the Socket A is very, very clean. Actually, it is the cleanest that I have ever seen. All the capacitors are well clear of the socket allowing for super large heatsinks to be installed. One of the reasons behind the super clean layout is Epox's great ingenuity of placing the voltage regulators on the back side of the motherboard, thus reducing clutter around the top. But will this affect the stability and overclockability. Lets see...
Those voltage regulators on the back didn't hinder overclocking. With our test piece of Kingmax PC2100 DDR SDRAM and an AMD Athlon 1.33GHz clocked back to allow the CPU to fully use the bus and not fizzle out because of too much heat, we got the FSB up to 166MHz FSB without any instabilities whatsoever. Not bad!