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Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra Socket 939 Motherboard Review

Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra Socket 939 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The EP-9NPA+ Ultra offers users a very flexible nForce 4/PCI Express platform, and has some useful integrated peripherals.
 74% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Epox Mar 10 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra

A good board on a budget

The Epox EP-9NPA+ is pretty much a no frills Athlon64 motherboard, offering end users a very solid and upgradeable platform that will not break the bank. Retailing for $165 CDN ($135 US), the EP-9NPA+ Ultra is about $100 CDN less than the average PCI Express SLI motherboard, but still manages to keep up in most benchmarks.

Physically there is not much to the EP-9NPA+ Ultra; it has a few integrated peripherals like Gigabit LAN, IEEE 1394, SATA II and 8-channel audio. If you do need to add something specific, there are three PCI Express x1 slots as well as three legacy 32 bit PCI slots. As an overclocker, I appreciate the larger than normal heatsink on the NF4 Ultra chipset too.

The benchmarks indicate that the performance of the Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra is quite good. Certainly, if you mainly work with 2D office style applications you won't see any visible difference between this board and the others in its class.

In the 3D realm, the EP-9NPA+ Ultra kept up with the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI and Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 in pretty much everything. We did notice slightly lower X2: The Threat and UT2004 numbers, the reasons of which are not 100% clear.

Ultimately, the Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra fills in the space left behind the cash crop of SLI motherboards to flood the AMD scene, while providing good overclocking capabilities at an affordable price.

The features have been kept pretty straightforward, and it is clear that Epox have not gone to any great lengths to expand on what the nForce 4 Ultra chipset already includes. An extra set of SATA channels, or second NIC would have been nice. Still, the Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra fills the needs of Athlon64 users looking to migrate towards a PCI Express videocard rather nicely.

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Contents of Article: Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra
 Pg 1.  Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra Socket 939 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Just the Basic Features
 Pg 3.  Overclocking and the Epox BIOS
 Pg 4.  Epox EP-9NPA+ Ultra BIOS
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2004, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, AquaMark3
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 12.  — A good board on a budget

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