Review Index:

SLI for the Masses - EPoX 8NPA SLI Arrives!

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Epox

Package and Software

Unlike the 9NPA+ SLI we reviewed a few months back, the EP-8NPA is rather plain and excludes fancy and unnecessary items like the screwdriver, MOSFET heatsinks, and thermal probe. Inside the box are:

  • 1x 80-pin PATA data cable

  • 1x floppy data cable

  • 2x SATA data cables with 4-pin molex-SATA power adapters

  • 2-port USB 2.0 I/O bracket

  • SLI bridge

  • I/O Shield, documentation, manuals

The software CD contains all the drivers you need for installation. The utilities are a bit more interesting:

Thunder Probe:
A system health program. You can control your voltage, temperature, and fan RPM alarms, and adjust Smart Fan options. The interface is a bit big and a bit too glitzy for my taste, but it is a useful Motherboard Monitor alternative.

Ghost Monitor (aka "USDM"):
This software will do what Thunder Probe will do except control your Smart Fan options. I prefer Ghost Monitor over Thunder Probe since Ghost Monitor has a nice, small, auto-hiding statistics display that sits on your desktop.

Since this is a nForce 4 motherboard, nTune is bundled with the software. This utility helps you tweak performance settings and execute benchmarks to determine your optimal setting. Admittedly I never used this software much since I prefer doing the old manual method.

Magic Screen:
Changes your system POST screen to display whatever image you want.

The driver CD also has all the documentation you need (RAID, motherboard, Thunder Probe), and technical support contact information.

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