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Epox 8RDA6+ PRO Socket A Motherboard Review

Epox 8RDA6+ PRO Socket A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Goodies include a built in hardware firewall, and nVidia's special nVRAID software which bridges RAID on both Serial ATA and regular Parallel IDE drives at the same time!
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Epox Aug 10 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Epox 8RDA6+ Pro

The 8RDA6+ Pro motherboard and CPU socket

If you have a long 8X AGP videocard, you'll have to remove it when accessing the DIMM slots on the Epox 8RDA6+ PRO... That's the price one has to pay when the motherboard has six PCI slots and is primed for expansion.

Epox illustrate good foresight by including a secondary Silicon Image Serial ATA/RAID controller with the motherboard. Serial ATA is the way of the future, and equipping a motherboard with more than two IDE channels may be counterproductive.

In the past we've complained about the type of nForce2 Northbridge cooling Epox has employed, but this time around the active heatsink is a little more up to the task. It is uses a thermal pad between the heatsink and Northbridge, so you may want to scrape that off and apply some good quality silicon-based thermal paste. Because nVidia's MCP Southbridge also generates a lot of heat, the Epox 8RDA6+ PRO also has a small passive heatsink installed on it.

Heatsink Socket Clearances

PCStats Heatsink Clearance Measurements
Top Clearance: 14 mm
Bottom (cam) Clearance: 7 mm
Left Side (arm) Clearance: 36 mm
Right Side Clearance 14 mm
Socket Mounting Holes: 4 mm
Max. Heatsink Base Dimensions: ~79x76 mm

Note: Approx. measurements are made from the edge of the socket (not the clips) to the closest obstacle taller than the ZIF socket itself.

The socket is 51mm across, and 62mm from top to bottom.

The Epox 8RDA6+ PRO has plenty of space around the CPU socket for enthusiasts to install those "crazy" sized heatsinks we all admire. On the plus side, the board even has the Socket A mounting holes in the PCB.

Overclocking the Epox 8RDA6+ Pro

When one talks about an Epox motherboard, the topic of overclocking is bound to come up rather soon. With respect to the Epox 8RDA6+ Pro, we first lowered the CPU multiplier to 8x so the processor would not end up being the limiting factor, then started to raise the FSB slowly.

At about 210 MHz FSB the 8RDA6+ Pro hit a few stability problems and so we had to raise the chipset voltage to 1.8V to stabilize things. At 214MHz the memory started to flake out, but raising the Corsair TwinX1024-3200XL PRO memory voltage to 2.8V, solved that.

In the end, the Epox 8RDA6+ Pro maxed out at 216 MHz FSB, which is certainly a bit disappointing considering the board is an Epox... Oh well, there are a lot of other good qualities about this nForce2 Ultra 400 based motherboard....

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Contents of Article: Epox 8RDA6+ Pro
 Pg 1.  Epox 8RDA6+ PRO Socket A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — The 8RDA6+ Pro motherboard and CPU socket
 Pg 3.  BIOS and System Spec's
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super PI
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3, Comanche 4
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003

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