iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






EPoX 8K3A+ (VIA KT333) Mainboard

The PCB of this model was also redesigned in comparison to the KT266A board because of the integrated IDE RAID controller.


  • Package: a box with a handle of the standard design;
  • Documentation: a user manual and an installation manual for IDE RAID - both in English;
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100, 1 ATA33 and 1 FDD;
  • Bracket with two USB ports and a game port;
  • Diskette with drivers for IDE RAID;
  • 2 CDs with software including:
    • drivers;
    • Drive Image 4.0;
    • Partition Magic 6.0 SE;
    • Norton Ghost 6.03;
    • PC-Cillin 2000;
    • several system monitoring utilities;
    • Boostek;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • DirectX 7.0a.

The layout is rather good, except audio-ins which are located in front of PCI slots, IDE connectors are behind them, a power connector is between the socket and the AGP slot, and if the board is installed it's difficult to reach the DIMMs. Besides, it is not a good solution to place a part of the element base of the processor stabilizer on the back side of the board. Free space around the AGP Pro connector makes possible to install GeForce4 video cards without problems. It's not difficult to reach jumpers even when the board is already installed. Functions of almost all jumpers and switches are shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 12 capacitors of 2200 uf.

The following controllers are integrated: an audio one based on the chipset's capabilities and the AC'97 codec Avance Logic ALC650, it has a SPDIF connector for 6-channel audio systems; an IDE RAID controller on the HighPoint HPT372 which can create RAID arrays of 0, 1 and 0+1 levels.

The board incorporates the EPoX's technology which monitors the POST procedure; it is based on two 7-segment LEDs.

Non-unsoldered connectors: none.

The system monitoring is supported by the W83697HF chip from Winbond. Processor voltage (+/-3.3, +/-5 and +/-12 V), speed of 2 fans and temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), and of the board (a built-in sensor) can be controlled. There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of fans and 1 for non-adjustable.

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 4 USB 1.1; dimensions - 305x245 mm.

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS
Switches to change a FSB speed 100/133 MHz
BIOS based on v6.00PG from Award Setup of memory timings + Cycle Length, Precharge to Active (Trp), Active to Precharge (Tras), Active to CMD (Trcd), Burst Length, Command Rate
Setup of memory frequency + SPD, 133 MHz, 166 MHz
Setup of AGP bus +
Setup of PCI bus +
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -
Manual assignment of interrupts +
Changeable FSB frequency + in 1 MHz steps, 100-255 MHz
Changeable CPU multiplier + x6-x15
Changeable core voltage + 1.4-2.2 B, up to 1.85 V, 0.025V step, higher - 0.05V step
Changeable memory voltage + from +0.1 to +0.7 V, 0.1V step
Changeable chipset voltage -
Changeable AGP bus voltage -

We used the latest available version of the BIOS of 28/03/2002.

The EPoX board is rich in functions and in settings that can be adjusted. It will be an excellent choice for a user thanks to a low price and high quality.

Test results:

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