iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






EPoX 8RDA3+ (NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400) Mainboard

The board is properly equipped and comes with rich functions.

The layout is standard: the IDE connectors are behind PCI slots and audio ones are in front of them. The FDD is situated on the left edge which can affect proper cooling, and a video card inserted may lock them. The power supply connector is in an inconvenient position too. It's not difficult to reach the jumper when the board is already installed. Its functions are indicated on the PCB. The 3-phase voltage regulator incorporates 6 capacitors of 3300 uF and 3 of 2200 uF. 

Connectors which are left space for: D-Sub VGA connectors. The board measures 305x245 mm ("wide ATX", 9 screws fastens it, all edges are fixed). System monitoring is supported by Winbond W83627THF-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 (socket sensor) and the board (built-in sensor) 


  • 2 7-segment LEDs form a POST code indicator.

Ports & connectors onboard

  • CPU socket (Socket A/Socket 462);
  • 3 slots for DDR SDRAM DIMM (one pair painted its own color);
  • AGP slot (not Pro, with a retention clip);
  • 5 PCI slots (32bit, 33MHz);
  • Power supply connectors: standard ATX and 4-pin one for 12 V;
  • FDD;
  • 2 IDE (Parallel ATA) - on chipset ;
  • 2 SATA ports of the external controller;
  • Connector for a bracket with Game and COM ports;
  • Connector for a bracket with IEEE 1394 (FireWire) ports;
  • Connector for audio-out from CD/DVD drive;
  • 3 fan connectors (all with rotation control).

Rear panel 

  • PS/2 ports for keyboard & mouse;
  • LPT port;
  • 2 USB (2.0) + RJ-45 (Ethernet);
  • 2 USB (2.0) + RJ-45 (Ethernet) again;
  • 3 audio connectors (Line In/Out and Microphone).


  • Package of an ordinary design;
  • Documentation: user manual, manual for Magic Flash and USDM utilities, and one more for SATA RAID (in English);
  • 2 ATA66/100/133 cables (both are in blue cambric) and FDD cable;

  • 2 SATA cables with power supply adapters;
  • Bracket with Game and Com ports;
  • Bracket with 2 IEEE 1394 ports;
  • I/O Shield;
  • CD with software:
    • drivers;
    • Boostek;
    • several system monitoring utilities;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • Magic BIOS;
    • Magic Screen;
    • USDM;
    • Norton Ghost 7.0;
    • PCCillin 2002;
    • DirectX 7.0a.

Integrated controllers

  • audio controller based on the chipset and C-Media CMI9739A AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio-outs provided;
  • 2 network controllers, one based on the chipset, the other on the Realtek RTL8101L chip; both support 10BaseT/100BaseTX;
  • SATA RAID on the Silicon Image SiI3112ACT144 chip, supports RAID 0 and 1 on the SATA150 protocol;
  • IEEE 1394 buses on the Agere FW323-06 chip.


jumpers and switches CMOS clear jumper  
BIOS based on Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG  Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, T(RAS), T(RCD), T(RP)
Setup of memory frequency + By SPD, Auto, 50%, 60%, 66%, 75%, 80%, 83%, 120%, 125%, 133%, 150%, 166% and 200% of FSB clock
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus -  
AGP/PCI frequency setup + AGP(PCIx2) = Auto, 50, 66-100 MHz in 1-3 MHz steps
PCI IRQ manual assignment +  
FSB frequency setup + 100-250 MHz in 1 MHz steps
CPU clock ratio + x5-x24
CPU voltage control + 1.4-2.2 V in 0.025V steps
DIMM voltage control + 2.5, 2.63, 2.77, 2.9 V
NB voltage control + 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 V
AGP voltage control + 1.5-1.8 V in 0.1 steps

We used the BIOS of 21.07.03 as the latest available version. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com)
Vladimir Rybnikov (puree@ixbt.com)

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