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EPoX 9NDA3+ Socket 939 (nForce3 Ultra) Motherboard Review

By: Mike Wright | NVIDIA Chipset in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 3, 2005 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: EPoX

The Motherboard



While EPoX hasn't gone with fancy color schemes, they do have a good deal of experience in motherboard manufacturing and it shows. The layout of peripheral connections and power couplings are easy to work with and offer a minimum of fuss when getting your system set up.



In case you've jumped straight to this page I'll go ahead and mention again that this is a Socket939 motherboard. The socket uses a standard ZIFF style locking mechanism and comes with the mounting bracket as well as the extra support bracket underneath the board. This isn't always a factor, but is a necessary consideration for those looking into alternative cooling methods.


There are a few MOSFETS and capacitors in the immediate vicinity of the socket but I had no problems with coolers. Even when using a Thermaltake POLO735 cooler I had plenty of room with no issues of mounting.



Just to the north of the socket you'll find the memory slots. Since we're talking Athlon-64 in Socket939 packaging, we're talking dual channel memory support. To enable this feature, simply install your two matching RAM modules in the same colored slots and you're set. Nothing easier.



Since we're looking at an nForce3 board, we're talking AGP graphics. The 9NDA3+ has a single AGP port and five PCI ports. Considering that nearly everything is built into this particular board you should find yourself with a huge amount of upgradability and expansion possibilities. You will find no little risers that you'll never use, just standard slots that let you go wild with peripherals.



If you happen to have a VIA based motherboard you will have both a Northbridge and a Southbridge chipset installed on the board. The folks at nVidia, however, have managed to consolidate these two components so you only have a single chipset onboard.


Since it is doing double duty, heat can sometimes be an issue. To handle this concept, active cooling has been included to make sure things run nice and smooth. The cooler in place is a low profile type so won't be a problem for those long PCI cards. It doesn't rise above the level of the port so you should have no problems at all.


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