iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






EPoX 4PDA2+ (i865PE) Mainboard

The components and a good set of functions let this board easily stand against the top products of other manufacturers. Besides, like other EPoX models, this one has a moderate price.


  • Package of a new design;
  • Documentation: user manual, descriptions of SATA and IDE RAID, description of the Magic Flash and USDM programs - all in English, brief board description in 6 languages;
  • Cables: 2 Serial ATA (with power supply adapters), 2 ATA66/100/133 (both are in blue cambric) and FDD;

  • Bracket with 2 FireWire ports;
  • Bracket with a Game port;
  • I/O Shield;
  • 3 diskettes with drivers for SATA and IDE RAID;
  • CD with:
    • drivers;
    • Norton Ghost;
    • PC-cillin 2002;
    • EPoX Magic BIOS;
    • EPoX Magic Screen;
    • EPoX USDM.

The board is so abundant in functions, that some disadvantages are inevitable: the IDE RAID and FDD connectors are behind the PCI slots, and the audio ones are in front of them, and some connectors placed along the left PCB edge are hard to reach. It can be difficult to reach the only jumper. Its description is provided on the PCB. 

The 4-phase switching voltage regulator incorporates 8 capacitors of 3300 uF and 4 of 2200 uF. There are also voltage regulators of the AGP bus (3 capacitors of 1000 uF and several less capacious ones) and of the memory (4 of 1000 uF). 

Integrated controllers: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset and C-Media CMI9739A AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio outputs and S/PDIF connectors provided;
  • network controller based on the Broadcom BCM5705WKFB chip supporting 10/100Base-T  (Fast Ethernet);
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Highpoint HPT372N chip supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 1.5 (O+1 on two discs - half os each disc is taken for the backup copy of the other) on the ATA133 protocol;
  • additional SATA RAID controller based on the Silicon Image Sil3112ACT144 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 and SATA150 protocol; 
  • FireWire bus controller based on the Agere FW323-06 chip with 3 ports supported.

The POST controller monitors the POST process with two LEDs (a temperature selected can be also displayed).

No wasted space for components that didn't get included in the final design. 

System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83627HF-AW chip. It controls: 

  • processor, AGP bus voltages, +3.3, +5 and +-12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby
  • rotation speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (built-in sensor) and the board (built-in sensor).

There are 2 connectors for regulated and 2 for unregulated connection of fans.

Summary: memory slots - 4 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 8 USB 2.0/ 3 FireWire; dimensions - 305x245 mm.


jumpers and switches CMOS clear jumper  
BIOS based on the Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, Active to Precharge Delay
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, 266, 320, 400 MHz (with FSB 800 MHz)
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
AGP/PCI frequency setup + AGP(PCIx2) = Auto, FSB/3, 50-80 MHz in 1MHz steps
PCI IRQ manual assignment +  
FSB frequency setup + 100-350 MHz in 1MHz steps
CPU clock ratio + x8-x50
CPU voltage control + -0.01 to +0.05V in 0.0125V steps
DIMM voltage control + up to +0.7 V in 0.1V steps
NB voltage control -  
AGP voltage control + up to +0.7 V in 0.1V steps

We used the BIOS of 07.05.03 as the latest available version. 

The board has a good speed together with some other positive features. And in normal conditions (with only a slightly increased FSB) it looks a bit speedier than its direct competitors.

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)

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