Gigabit LAN has really taken off even though
affordable Gigabit switches, hubs, and home/office networking
gear are not that readily available. By next year the situation may be drastically different, so it's good to find a motherboard
which is prepared for future standards. Curiously, Epox did not license Intel's CSA technology for the 4PDA2+
GbE connection, and decided rather to select a PCI-bus based Broadcom BCM5705WKFB Gigabit LAN
Opting against CSA makes sense when the bottom line is important, but we're left wondering if
that's a good idea. If you were to run the USB 2.0/IEEE 1394 at full speeds while
using the onboard Serial ATA and Ultra/133 IDE controllers, and also run the
Gigabit LAN all at the same time the PCI bus could become saturated very
To help make things easier on the end user, the Epox 4PDA2+
comes bundled with two purple coloured rounded IDE cables. This certainly help make
cable management easier, and that can improve airflow in the system.
I have yet to see
an external Serial ATA device but I guess they must exist, or are comming
out as many manufacturers are including brackets for external Serial ATA
To help keep make things easier for the consumer Epox places all
the headers/ports on the edge of the PCB, this helps keeps cables from
interfering with the other system devices (like that $500 videocard).
The only real annoyance on the
Epox 4PDA2+ stems from the CMOS jumper. Unfortunately, it's difficult to reach the
clear CMOS jumper with the two GSC 6.3V 1500 microfarad capacitors, the two Serial
ATA ports, and an Ultra/133 IDE port surrounding it.