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EPoX 8KHA+ Motherboard Review
EPoX 8KHA+ Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Having heard many great things about the EPoX 8KHA+ I was very excited to get my hands on one, and test it to the limits.
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Epox Nov 30 2001   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Epox 8KHA+

Debug Card and OC - Tips

Onboard Debug Card

Perhaps the coolest feature of the 8KHA+ is the onboard P80P Debug Card with LED display. The only part of this that you're likely to notice are the two LED digit displays located on the board's lower right hand corner. This is very useful tool when you're building a system and something goes wrong - and is essentially a counter to MSI's Dr.LED system. Epox believe their system is a bit easier to read because an alpha-numeric code is given to users, rather than a series of red and green LED's. Still, the errors I get most, 26 and 2b, are reserved, go figure.

Okay, onto the bad now, this is a truly amazing board, or rather would be if there were just a little IDE Raid. Sadly, there is just isn't and IDE Raid support on this board. Since I have 4 HDD's, and coming from a few Athlon motherboards that did support IDE RAID, I was basically forced to buy a PCI IDE controller.

All is not totally lost as EPoX has seen the light. The new up and coming 8KHA2 comes with a RAID controller, thankfully. I tend to be super picky about little things on motherboards, not so much so you'll decide to buy something else, but rather to drop suggestions to the motherboard engineers. One of my biggest pet peeves aside from too closely spaced memory slots by the AGP adapter is little things that get in the way. One such annoyance were two small capacitors placed to close to the AGP retention mechanism. Every time I removed my video card, I found my finger would hit it. Not a big deal, however it's not very comforting.

Overclocking Tips

There's a rumor going around about the existence of a 1/5, 1/6 PCI divider on the 8KHA+, but I found no evidence of that. SiSoft Sandra (which can be wrong) tells me that at 170 MHz FSB my PCI's are running at 42.5 MHz - which is usually too high for most PCI cards. I didn't have any big problems, however I noticed that my NIC was very slow in transferring files or when I was accessing the Internet. When I backed my FSB down to say 150 MHz, my NIC problems disappeared. If there was a 1/5 divider, it should have kicked in at 166 MHz FSB (166/5 = 33 MHz PCI).

On that note, when I was overclocking past 160 MHz FSB, I found the system wouldn't reboot! The same thing happened with the MSI K7T266Pro2-Ru so I'm beginning to wonder if there's something wrong with the KT266A chipset in that regard. I also used the Epox 8KHA+ as my main system board for a while (I plan to replace my aging KK266-R with it), and I found that under full load, it would reboot itself.

This happens whether I'm overclocking or not. I think this could be related to my PSU because I'm using a Enermax 430W PSU and they're not exactly known for their quality control. If you have any ideas, drop me a line here.

As usual on my lazy Sunday, I'm hanging around the MadOnion forums, and what do I find! Apparently there might be a cure to the reboot problem that plagues the 8KHA+ users when they go above 160 MHz FSB! Since flashing my BIOS (8KHAL00.BIN), I had no problems whatsoever rebooting at 170 MHz FSB and in fact it even allowed me to up my FSB to 172 no problem! What a sweet deal! One thing to remember though, IT IS A BETA BIOS! There is no support for it so user beware!

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Contents of Article: Epox 8KHA+
 Pg 1.  EPoX 8KHA+ Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Debug Card and OC - Tips
 Pg 3.  BIOS Features for the Tweaker
 Pg 4.  Test system specs and Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  More benchmarks, QIII, RTCW
 Pg 6.  Conclusions on the 8KHA+

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