Epox 8K7A+ AMD 761 / VIA 686B Hybrid - HotHardware

Epox 8K7A+ AMD 761 / VIA 686B Hybrid

0 thumbs up

The Epox 8K7A+ AMD 761 / VIA 686B Hybrid
Is there a new Sheriff in Town?

By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
August 9, 2001

THE BIOS:

               

               

               

The Epox 8K7A+ is equipped with a very complete Award v6.00PG BIOS.  There are many tweaking options available and control for all of the on-board accessories.  CPU multiplier and Voltages are adjusted via DIP switches and jumpers, but the FSB can be altered from within the BIOS, all the way up to 250MHz in 1MHz increments.  We used the 1711 BIOS release on our 8K7A+.  Many users claim this BIOS release incorporates 1/5 and 1/6 PCI dividers, which should allow for very high FSB overclocking, but we were unable to verify this.  (Sandra reports a 1/4 PCI divider)  We asked Epox whether or not these other dividers are available but have not received an answer yet.  We'll let you know as soon as we find out.

Layout and Quality
Good Stuff...

THE LAYOUT:

Frequent visitors to H.H. know we like to give each piece of hardware that enters our lab a thorough physical inspection...

                   

We found many things we liked when examining the 8K7A+.  There is ample space around the CPU socket to allow the use of an oversized cooler.  We had room to spare with our GlobalWin WBK38 installed.  Flanking the socket is an array of large capacitors that filter the electrical current being supplied to the CPU.  A clean, constant supply of power to the CPU is necessary for reliable, stable operation.  The Epox 8K7A+ also incorporates a 3-Phase power array with another welcome addition, heatsinks to cool four of the M.O.S.F.E.T.s (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor).  Taking a look at the underside of the board we found four more transistors.  The location of these transistors may not allow the 8K7A+ to be mounted in some cases, but we did not have a problem with our InWin Q500.

                

The AMD 761 Northbridge had an AAVID heatsink / fan combo mounted to it with two spring clips.  We removed the cooler to see what type of thermal interface material was used and were pleased to find an adequate layer of thermal paste!  Kudos for Epox for taking the extra step to insure proper cooling of the Northbridge.

                   

The 8K7A+ also has an excellent slot configuration, 1 AGP slot and 6 PCI slots.  We feel this is the best slot configuration as it allows for the widest array of expansion possibilities.  If you take a close look at the AGP slot, you'll notice a retention clip.  Once a video card is inserted into the slot, it cannot be removed without disengaging this clip.  Anyone who transports their computer will not have to worry about their video card unseating during transit.  Something we're sure many LAN Partiers will like to hear.

                   

All of the internal connectors are well placed around the edges of the board.  The front panel header, DIP switches and jumper settings are clearly silk screened on the board, so even if you misplace the users manual, installation of the 8K7A+ should be a snap.  Looking at the external connectors (and the specs on page one),  you'll see this board is equipped with on-board AC'97 compliant sound. The on-board sound is functional, and adequate for non-gamers, but most of you will want to upgrade to a good soundcard.

                   

The IDE and Floppy connectors are also well placed, mounted parallel to the edge of the board.  There are two DIMM slots available, allowing for a maximum of 1GB of RAM.  The ATX power connector is located between the CPU socket and DIMM slots.

Time For Some Numbers...

 

 

 

Article Index:

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment