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EPoX 8K3A+ KT333 Motherboard Review

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Mar 18, 2002 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: EPoX

Overclocking and Conclusion


The EPoX 8K3A+ is the most overclocker friendly board I have seen for quite some time. All overclocking control is done in the BIOS under the Frequency/Voltage Control submenu. There you will find quite a few options.


First off, you have the Spread Spectrum Modulation. Why they keep adding this option I will never figure it out. Someone out there please tell me what this does; it doesn't help me or hinder any overclocking I do.


Next you have DIMM/PCI clock signal disable. This is very good for overclockers since enabling this allows the motherboard to stop clock cycles to unused PCI and DRAM slots, allowing for cleaner signals to the used devices.


Now we get to the parts that matter. First in the overclocking line is the CPU ratio. If you have an unlocked T-bird or have unlocked your Athlon XP/MP CPU, you can change the CPU multiplier from 8x all the way up to 15x. This comes in handy if you want to lower your multiplier and raise your FSB to overclock the memory and AGP systems.


After this we have the FSB selection. Here you can change your FSB from 100MHz to 200MHz in 1MHz increments. This allows you to run your FSB at its maximum, depending what memory and other vital components you have.


After this is the Vcore control, and this is where things get interesting. Most motherboard, including ABIT only allow you to do 1.85v in the BIOS. EPoX breaks this, allowing you to raise your CPU voltage all the way to 2.1v. Now this is quite a jump, 99% of us won't use the CPU at this voltage unless you want a toaster oven, but this allows for hardcore users with water and peltier cooling to really pump the voltage out of it.


Finally we have the VRAM voltage. You can change the DDR SDRAM voltage from its default of 2.5v up to 3v. Only the best for us freaks!


While all these goodies exist, we have no AGP voltage control. This is a bit of a bummer if you have GF3's and want to run the FSB over 166MHz. I found that without the dividers at 166MHz, you will have a lot of problems with high end video cards and FSB's above 166MHz.


In all, the EPoX is the most versatile and hardcore overclocking board I have ever had the pleasure of testing. While KT333 is a good innovative design by VIA, its lack of new features just makes it a KT266A with official DDR-333 support. Most of the users out there have already gotten KT266A systems at 333MHz memory and getting better scores due to the higher FSB.


- Pros




DDR-333 Support


Super Vcore settings


Typical AMD Style from EPoX


RAID Controller


Improved AC'97 audio.


- Cons


No AGP voltage


Rating - 9.5/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award



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