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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [05.14.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Epox
Est. Street Price $116

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While on the topic of board layout, I found there to be a couple other minor annoyances. First off, the CPU socket is located right on the top edge of the PCB, and the socket tabs are vertically aligned! 

This can be a HUGE problem once again for those of you with smaller tower cases who will most likely have to completely remove either the PSU or the motherboard tray from your case in order to unclip/re-clip your CPU cooler.  This issue has been rectified with the newer 8RDA3+ revision of this board at the expense of a PCI slot.

The actual first thing I did notice when I pulled this board out of its box was the lack of an extra 12V power connector.

I was originally concerned that this might have an effect on the boards ability to draw enough power from the PSU to support major overclocking.  As you will see later on however, my concerns were completely baseless.

Finally, with what is stating to become the bane of my existence, another manufacturer has insisted on placing the CD audio header just below the AGP slot.

Would some manufacturer please release a new board that places this header in a reasonable location before my head explodes!


The 8RDA+'s BIOS is very overclocker friendly and contains all of the wonderful tweaking features offered by most other NForce2 boards.

There are three default level settings built in (optimal, aggressive and turbo) which tweak your hardware at increasing performance levels. 

Also included is a very nice Expert setting which allows you to tweak everything from the asynchronous CPU and RAM FSB setting, to AGP frequency, all in small increments.  The RAM FSB frequency is set as a percentage of the CPU FSB.  Leaving this value at 100% ensure they will always run synchronously, something the Athlon XP chip seems to enjoy.

Epox allowed for the use of lots of power in order to allow for that maximum overclock.  CPU voltage is editable up to 2.2V, higher than the typical 2.0V limit of most NForce2 boards.

A very handy feature Epox has included is the display of all the important BIOS values upon POST. 

I personally think that this is a great idea and hope that other manufacturers pick up on it.  The cleanly laid out "Magic Health" table saves those of us who are either paranoid or forgetful from having to go into the BIOS, or waiting those grueling 30 seconds for windows to boot in order to check on our PC's vital stats.

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