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EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra (nForce 4 Ultra AMD) Motherboard Review - Final Thoughts

EPoX sent us one of their newest motherboards recently, the 9NPA+ Ultra, which is based on nVidia's new nForce 4 Ultra chipset for the AMD Athlon Socket 939 processor platform. We've compared the motherboard against the nForce 4 SLI chipset to find out if there are any differences in performance in a non-SLI system setup. If you're on the market for a new PCI-Express Socket 939 motherboard with some decent overclocking support, you might be interested in the EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra.

| NVIDIA Chipset in Motherboards | Posted: May 15, 2005 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.5%Manufacturer: EPoX

Final Thoughts

 

In has become clear that in a single graphics card situation, such as using the ATI range of current graphics cards that do not offer SLI capabilities, choosing a chipset has become somewhat simpler. nVidia's nForce 4 Ultra series chipset is virtually identical to that of the nForce 4 SLI chipset, however, the SLI functions have been disabled through removal of a resistor on the chip package.

 

With this regard, the remaining features are identical, meaning the performance should be identical, which we have proven there is no great advantage of the SLI board when using a single graphics card. The only real advantage of the SLI version is you can add an extra graphics card later if you find yourself with extra money to spend.

 

nForce 4 Ultra also has another attractive feature, a smaller price tag. With nForce 4 SLI being aimed at the high-end users, it naturally has a higher price tag. This price hike (while small) simply doesn't make any sense, since the only difference that the PCI-E x16 Aux slot is disabled by removal of a resistor on the nForce package.

 

EPoX has done a pretty good job with the 9NPA+ Ultra, with only a few design layout flaws, we recommend this motherboard as one of the better non-SLI AMD configurations which we have tested so far. It's worth some consideration, that's for sure.

 

- Pros

 

Fast

 

Stable

 

PCI-E support

 

Supports AMD Athlon 64 x2 (with BIOS update)

 

Onboard Gigabit Ethernet

 

Combination SATA/PATA RAID

 

Good Overclocking

 

Cheaper than SLI version

 

- Cons

 

Placement of the Power and FDD connectors not good enough

 

Rating - 8.5 out of 10

 

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