Epox 5LWA+ i925XE Motherboard
Performance Analysis and our Conclusion
System Performance Analysis: The Epox 5LWA+ was the qualified "winner" in our suite of benchmarks. From start to finish, the 5LWA+ led in all but one synthetic test against another i925XE board, and outpaced the companion i915P chipset in our stock Intel D915PBL. The slight tweaks in the BIOS that Epox' has incorporated into the 5LWA+ have given this board a slight edge against the competition.
Looking over the Epox 5LWA+'s list of features, we've got a motherboard that's not heavily loaded down with unusual features, but it does have ample integrated peripherals for most users. SATA and SATA RAID are the main storage options, and IDE configurations are mostly limited, although the included SP-ATA converter can help somewhat here. There's also a very passable 8-channel HD audio solution and dual-Gigabit LAN on board, as well as numerous USB and Firewire ports. Epox has also included some nice throw-ins, such as the "thermo stick" and mini-heatsinks in their power-pack, which add in some extra value to the package.
On the performance side, the Epox 5LWA+ did very well. It pulled ahead of the i915 easily, and we we're usually able to get some distance between the 5LWA+ and another 925XE board used in the Shuttle SB95P. The hard part in recommending the Epox 5LWA+ would be the relative scarcity of Epox retailers in the United States. A quick search on some major retail sites pulled up few hits for their motherboards in general, and none for the 5LWA+ specifically. As such, we could not determine an exact street price for this board, although Epox typically falls on the lesser side of the price spectrum. The Epox 5LWA+ scores a 9 on HotHardware.com's Heat Meter.