iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






EPoX 4G4A+ (i845G) Mainboard

The designers work well - this time we have a new design of the box which, most likely, will be used for this series only. 


  • Package of an interesting design with a handle which doesn't look like ordinary blue boxes or plastic packages; 
  • Documentation: user manual, guide for IDE RAID  -  in English; brief installation guide in 6 languages; 
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with a serial port and a Game port; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • Diskette with drivers for IDE RAID;
  • 2 CDs containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • Boostek; 
    • several system monitoring utilities; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Norton Ghost 7.0; 
    • PC-Cillin 2000; 
    • Power Quest Drive Image 4.0; 
    • Power Quest Partition Magic SE 6.0; 
    • DirectX 7.0a. 

The layout is not very good: audio-ins are in bad positions, as well as USB, Game port, SPDIF, IDE RAID and power connectors, and when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle memory modules - but this is the cost of high functionality. However, it's not difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 10 capacitors of 3300 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the Avance Logic ALC650 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having an SPDIF connector; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100B chip and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IDE RAID based on the HighPoint HPT372 chip supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1 using the ATA133 protocol. 
The board sports a POST controller based on two 7-segments LEDs informating about problems during booting. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none. 

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83627HF-AW chip. What is controlled: 

  • voltage of processor, AGP bus, memory, +/-5 and +/-12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor). 
There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI /CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumpers to choose a FSB frequency Default, 100 and 133 MHz
Jumper for starting up computer from PS/2 keyboard  
BIOS based on the 6.00PG version from Award Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Active To Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, DDR200, DDR266, DDR333
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + Auto, PCI (AGP/2) = 33 MHz, FSB/3
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 90-200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x50
Changeable core voltage + from -0.1 V to +0.35 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + +0.1 V, +0.2 V, +0.3 V, +0.4 V, +0.5 V, +0.6 V, +0.7 V
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + +0.1 V, +0.2 V, +0.3 V, +0.4 V

We used the latest available version of the BIOS of 17/06/02. 

This is an interesting board; quality, functionality and a relatively low price make this mode a good choice for almost any use. 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)
Sergei Pikalov (peek@ixbt.com)

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