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    Epox 4PDA2+ i865PE Motherboard

Product :

EP-8RGA+

Manufacturer :

Epox

Reviewed by :

Wayne Brooker

Price :

£110 Approx (Estimated Street Price)

Date :

May 21st , 2003.

 

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Introduction

Ashamed though I am to admit it, I've not used an Intel motherboard or processor in a meaningful way for over a year now. It's not because I'm in any way anti-Intel, I just had a reviewer on the team who particularly wanted to tackle the Intel reviews so I let him. That reviewer has now moved on so I decided it was time I got myself back in the loop and see what, if anything, had changed since I last fired up a Pentium powered system, and what better way to do than with the introduction of the i865 (Springdale) chipset, and in particular the i865-PE driven Epox 4PDA2+ motherboard.

The i875 chipset has already grabbed a lot of attention for Intel, and rightly so. This high-end desktop/entry level server offering brought with it dual channel memory and support for 800MHz FSB processors, and when Intel do dual channel memory they do it right! Bandwidth figures are incredible when compared to Socket A based dual channel setups. Getting hold of an 800MHz FSB processor at the moment is an expensive business but with new speeds due out any time prices should begin to look a little more appetising, besides which when did it ever hurt to plan ahead a little? We saw 400MHz FSB on some SocketA boards before we'd officially even seen a 333MHz system bus capable CPU.

 

Motherboard Features

Central processor
Supports Intel FC-PGA2 Socket 478 Pentium 4 processors
Supports brand-new 800MHz the FSB processor
Supports the ultra line regulation technology (Hyper-Threading technology)
Chipset
Uses Intel 865PE+ICH5R
Memory slot
4x184 Pin DIMM slots
Supports 64/128/256/512MB/1GB PC1600/2100/2700/3200 the DDR memory
Supports the dual channel memory technology
Support 4GB DDR SDRAM
Serial ATA
Uses ICH5-R, provides 2 group of Serial the ATA port, supports Serial ATA 1.0, supports Serial ATA 1.0 and RAID0
Uses Silicon Image the 3112A chip, provides 2 group of Serial the ATA port, supports Serial ATA 1.0 and RAID0, 1, 0+1
Provides 4 X Serial ATA connections
RAID
Uses Highpoint the HPT372N chip, provides to 2 group of IDE port, supports ATA133 and RAID0, 1, 0+1
IEEE1394
Uses Agere the FW323 chip, provides 3 group of IEEE1394 port, supports the IEEE1394a-2000 standard
Net card
Inside constructs the independent band width the CAS 1000000000000000 ether networks channel
Uses BroadCom the BCM5705 chip, provides 1 group of 1000000000000000 ether networks port, supports the 10/100/1000MBit ether network
Audio
Integrated C-Media 9739a 6 channel sound AC'97 CODEC
Expansion slots
1 X AGP 8x/4x slot
5 X PCI slot
I/O specification
Chip Winbond W83697HF integrates FDD, serial, parallel, is fast infrared and the game port
1 X COM1, COM2, Printer, Audio-in/out, MIC & Game connection
1 X FDD connection
1 X PS/2 mouse connection, PS/2 keyboard connection
IDE specification
Onboard IDE controller supports four PIO 3/4 and the Ultra DMA33/66/100 hard disk connections
USB specification
Supports the USB2.0 standard, 8 USB connection,4 hardwired onboard
BIOS specification
Sst 4m Flash Rom
Power source management
Hardware sleep / awakens, supports the STR dormancy way
Special function In BIOS
Adjustable processor voltage, memory voltage,and the AGP voltage.
Processor operating frequency and AGP/PCI operating frequency adjustment function
Supports
Magic Health, Easy Boot, Magic Screen, Magic flash
Board size
ATX, dimensions 305mm x 245mm


 

Probably the most notable differences between the i875P and the i865PE on which the 4PDA2+ is built are the inclusion of support for 400MHz FSB processors which should come as a pleasant surprise for all you Celeron owners, and also the lack of support for ECC memory and Intel's proprietary PAT (Performance Acceleration Technology) which I haven't had the pleasure of testing but which I'm told offered fairly limited benefits in real terms.


 

The ICH5R adds a host of new and worthwhile additions including native support for two S-ATA ports, an additional 2 USB2.0 ports bringing the total to eight, and also integrated Alert Standard Format (ASF) support designed to streamline network management in low-power and OS-absent environments.

 

The text is a bit small but if you can read it this is how the i865 range shapes up against its big brother the i875.

 

Let's take a tour of the actual motherboard.......

 

 


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