overclocking is luck of the draw but this was how high we could go with each
mobo. It's funny, the Epox boards do very well but the AU11 does not. Magic-Pro
does pretty well but it's using the newer C1 nForce2 Northbridge.
can we take from all this information?
not going to be overclocking or do not need a whole whack of extra features then
you might as well get the cheapest nForce2 board you can find as they pretty
much all perform the same. If you plan to work with a lot of multimedia devices
perhaps it's worth your while to spend a bit more and get one of the better
equipped motherboards as it should save you money in the long run.
nForce2 is easily one of the most successful K7 chipsets ever. What's so
surprising is that the competition has not been able to counter the eight month
old chipset until just recently. nVIDIA certainly learned a lot from the
original nForce flop. Anyone contemplating purchasing a new AMD motherboard
should really only consider getting a
nForce2 based board as the new VIA KT400A and KT600 chipsets have not been
around long enough to have their bugs worked out.
back at things, it's easy to see why the nForce2 was just so successful. Dual
DDR was more for marketing purposes but the memory controller of the nForce2 was
just so much more powerful then its competition.
ability to lock AGP/PCI's is a great feature and one that most overclockers out
there are looking for. Most importantly this time around nVIDIA got the chipset
out to the public relatively quickly and didn't price themselves out of the
market like they did with the original nForce.
While the most expensive motherboard of the group at $183 CDN
($135 US), the AOpen AK79G MAX does
offer more features then any other motherboard of the group. It doesn't
stop there, AOpen also offers the best software bundle which actually includes
useful utilities. If you're looking for a computer that's full of features like
IEEE 1394, Serial ATA or a good 5.1 soundcard it may be in your best interest to
spend a bit more on the motherboard now so you don't have to buy as many other
PCI devices in the future.
While they were a bit late to the nForce2 game Albatron
looked at the market and saw a big hole in the Micro ATX motherboard field.
Don't let its small size fool you either, the KM18G Pro V2.0 was quite a
performer - easily able to keep up with its bigger brothers. If you're a
performance enthusiast, you'll probably want to get something else but if you
want to build yourself a SFF PC then the Albatron KM18G Pro is perfect. I guess
the only down side is that the board is a bit expensive at $135 CDN
($100 US). Then again, smaller components have always cost
And lastly the Epox 8RDA+.
the motherboards we have tested so far the Epox 8RDA+ easily offers the most
bang for the buck. From the performance users perspective, or even just for
office work, the Epox 8RDA+ can deliver on all fronts. The motherboard is
quite bare on the feature front, but with a $112 CDN ($85 US) retail price you can simply
buy the necessary peripherals and plug it into one of the six PCI slots.
Overclockers take note, our particular test sample was
based on the original A1 stepping and we were able to overclock the motherboard
to 214 MHz. With better cooling 220 MHz FSB should be possible. The newer C1
based 8RDA+'s should have no problems hitting 230 MHz+ assuming the surrounding
hardware is up to it.
So there you go, out of all
the nForce2 motherboards in this round up the Epox 8RDA+ gets the PCstats.com
Editors Choice Award!
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