Epox 8HDA3+ K8T800 Athlon64 Motherboard Review
One has to wonder if VIA is hoping for
some sort of redemption of their chipsets with the Athlon64... After
all, the companies' core logic took quite a beating when we think back to the AthlonXP, falling
far from grace against nVIDIA's almighty nForce2 chipset.
VIA/K7 chipsets were unable to really match the nForce2 in terms
performance or features, but opposite to what you might expect, we are
approaching the VIA K8T800 with a great deal of excitement. The reason is simple enough, while VIA may have faltered late
in life with the K7, the K8T800 is currently the fastest performing
Athlon64 chipset, bar none. Rumour has it that nvidia are planning a new nForce3 250 chipset, but
that isn't exactly out now is it?
fresh taste of enthusiast friendly motherboards in our
minds, you can imagine that expectations are quite high for the brand new Epox 8HDA3+, a VIA K8T800 and VT8237 based motherboard. The AMD Athlon64 processor was released in two pin configurations,
the first socket 754 and second socket 940.
are an abundance of socket 754 motherboards making their way to the retail
channels ever so slowly, the handful of socket 940 motherboards seem to be
taking an even slower route. The Athlon64 FX-51 may be
available if you look very closely, but its lifespan is short,
and I don't expect there to be much of a rally behind motherboards which support it in the
face of an upcoming socket 939 version.
8HDA3+ supports the Socket 754 Athlon64 processor, and unlike a
lot of other Athlon64 motherboards, only features two DDR memory slots. The Epox 8HDA3+
will support up to 2GB of PC3200 DDR, but with two slots available, the memory modules
will have to be 1GB in size.
Other goodies on board the Epox 8HDA3+ include; Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID, USB2.0, dual Ethernet (one Gigabit,
one 10/100) and 5.1 channel audio. Future expansion is taken care of thanks to five PCI slots,
and an 8X AGP port. As with all Epox motherboards, who could forget the ever useful
Port 80 diagnostics card lurking in the bottom left corner?