Intel's implementation of an overclocking limit has certainly thrown the motherboard community into a spin. With the I875P motherboard, there were no tricks needed to allow a great FSB overclock - just voltage options and a PCI/AGP divider lock. With the I9xx chipset, these dividers are hidden away making the overclockers motherboard just that harder to implement. What this means is that we now start to see the return to the days of the old Intel 440BX overclocking, the company with the most ingenious tricks to keep the buses stable wins the overclockers war - ASUS and ABIT have started this with their I9xx boards and its now up to the rest to follow.
EPoX has done a modest attempt, however, there are absolutely no divider locks, either EPoX is unable to implement them as yet (a new BIOS may well become available to support this in the future and we would love to see this) or simply doesn't have the tricks that the other big names has to manipulate the bus speeds to allow a more stable overclock.
Performance of the board was down a bit; however, this can be tweaked up with a newer BIOS. If you're looking for a motherboard for a PCI-E graphics card and latest edition Pentium 4 CPU, this one will let you keep your high powered DDR SDRAM, which I know a lot of overclockers has a large amount invested in from the I875P overclocking. Overall we think this motherboard is a great mild overclocker with the features to make it a good mid-range product but it simply lacks the performance and overclocking ability to make it one of the top names that EPoX had managed to gain in previous years. With a new BIOS, the EPoX 5EPA+ could easily become a lot more attractive.
Four SATA ports
Additional IDE RAID controller
Additional IDE controller doesn't support ATAPI
Gigabit LAN controller on PCI Bus rather than PCI-E
No divider options to lock PCI-E/PCI buses
Rating - 7.5 out of 10
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