The EPoX EP-5LDA+GLI Up Close
Upon first inspection, it's easy to look at the EPoX EP-5LDA+GLI and think it is a SLI capable motherboard, but it's not. Being based on the Intel 945P chipset, the board is not SLI certified, but it is "GLI" (Graphics Link Interface) capable. This means the board comes with a standard PCI Express x16 slot , but the second graphics slot only has a 4x electrical connection driven by the ICH7R Southbridge. The goal here is to offer a second slot for multi-monitor support using two PCI Express graphics cards. Some may find this confusing as the package comes with a bridge clip labelled SLI, yet the Installation Guide shows two graphics cards installed and makes no mention of the bridge clip whatsoever. So do you need a bridge clip? Currently, no. The latest driver sets have lockouts preventing two NVIDIA cards from running in SLI mode for improved performance.
Aside from the GLI integration, the EP-5LDA+GLI is a standard Intel 945P chipset based motherboard with a quality feature set. The layout of the board was clean, well planned and had a slick look with its black PCB. The board supports all Pentium 4 single core solutions, along with all Celeron and Pentium D Dual-Core processors. The board supports up to 4GB of DDR2 400, 533, and 667MHz memory. Along with the two graphics slots (PCI Express x16 and x4), the board comes equipped with three PCI slots and one PCI Express x1 slot. One ATA100 IDE port is offered backed by four SATA II ports powered by the ICH7R Southbridge capable of RAID 0, 1, 1+0 and 5. The on-board 8 channel 24-bit audio is driven by an ALC880 Azalia CODEC.
The rear I/O panel includes standard PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse ports as well as legacy Parallel and Serial connections. There is one RJ45 Ethernet port for Gigabit LAN clustered with four USB 2.0 ports. Headers are provided to expand the board by four additional USB 2.0 ports while adding two IEEE1394 ports powered by a VIA VT6307 chip. The board also has six audio ports along with one coaxial and one optical SPDIF jack. The board sports a total of three fan headers, on-board power and reset buttons and a diagnostic LED that offers a status code of the board's current POST state.