Epox 8KTA3+ KT133A Motherboard Review
Overclocking and RAID
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.It is in this section that the Epox motherboard really begins to shine and step up to the plate. On this KT133A chipset motherboard, they have let the user have the ability to modify all the necessary components to allow the best overclocking experience. And to make things even better, they have moved them from the motherboard to the Bios menus.
The Vcore settings allow you to modify the voltage of the processor up to 1.85v, which is fairly standard these days. The Vio voltage can be modified as well. There is a new option that I have not seen yet, the Vagp setting, which controls the amount of voltage that is used on your AGP port. While I didn’t do any tweaking of the Vagp option, I guess its good to have more options than less.
Also included are the bios selections for the multiplier and system bus. With multipliers available up to 12.5x and system bus options available up to 155 MHz, this motherboard has the most options I have seen on a motherboard. There is however, one cleverly used jumper: one that switches the FSB from using a system bus of 100 – 120 MHz to the system bus of 133 – 155 MHz. While it would have been better to see the options of 121 to 133 MHz available to us, it really isn’t necessary. Any 100 MHz FSB processor will have a very difficult time getting over 120 MHz, and why would you want to underclock your 133 MHz FSB processor? Also, there are a couple motherboards that have FSB options of up to 166 MHz, 11 MHz more than the Epox allows. You may want to keep this in mind when deciding on your overclocking motherboard choices.
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The overclocking ability of this motherboard was another good one for Amdmb.com. After achieving a 150/300 DDR MHz FSB on the original Epox 8KTA3, I expected to have the same results on this board. However, I was pleasantly surprised to get a little higher out of it. I could just about max out the FSB selection, getting a 154 MHz FSB with a 9x multiplier to run, for a total clock speed of 1386 MHz. Very good, and just slightly behind the Iwill KK266 who has the lead in FSB limits.
The RAID on the Epox 8KTA3+ motherboard takes advantage of the High Point 370 controller. Most will recognize this chip as being used on the Abit KT7 and KT7A-RAID motherboards. Epox chose to go with a solution that was easy to use for the end-user as well as having already established a presence in the market. Some other manufacturers have used Promise or even AMI chipsets, but the HPT370 still offers a great range of options for RAID including 0, 1 and 0+1 for IDE hard drives.
Installation and setup of a new RAID array is a simple and painless process that anyone with experience in building a PC should be able to accomplish. With this addition of the RAID controller, Epox is able to stay afloat in the mass of motherboard manufacturers offering an insane amount of overclocking and performance/backup options.
Here are the system specs for the benchmarks that follow:
Test System Setup
AMD Thunderbird 1.2 GHz (133 MHz Bus)
1 x 256MB Mushkin PC133 SDRAM
20.5GB 7200 RPM Western Digital EIDE
Hercules 3D Prophet II 64MB
Windows 98 SE
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