Basic Features

EPoX EP-5P945 PRO Specifications
Market Segment: Budget Performance
CPU Interface: Socket T (Socket 775)
CPU Support: LGA775-based Pentium 4, Celeron D, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo
Chipset: Intel 945P + ICH7
Bus Speeds: 200 to 350 in 1MHz Increments (800/1066MHz FSB)
133 to 199 in 1MHz Increments (533MHz FSB)
Memory Speeds: Auto, 400, 533, 667
PCIe Speeds: Auto, 100MHz~150MHz
PCI: Sync., Fixed at 33.33. 37.5, or 40.00MHz
Core Voltage: Default CPU, +.0000V ~ +.4000V in 0.0125V increments
CPU Clock Multiplier: Default, 6x-11x for Core 2 Duo, Locked to CPU
DRAM Voltage: 1.80V, +.05V ~ +.37V in various increments
DRAM Timing Control: SPD, tCAS, tRCD, tRP, tRAS
NB Voltage: 1.50V ~ 1.80V in .10V increments
Memory Slots: Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 4GB Total
Expansion Slots: 2 - PCIe X16 (1x16, 1x4 operation in multi-GPU setup)
2 - PCIe X1 (must be disabled for secondary x16 slot to operate at x4 operation)
3 - PCI Slot 2.3
Onboard SATA: 4 SATA 3Gbps Ports - Intel ICH7
Onboard IDE: 1 ATA100/66/33 Port (2 drives) - Intel ICH7
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394: 8 USB 2.0 Ports - 4 I/O Panel - 4 via Headers
Onboard LAN: Gigabit Ethernet Controller - PCI Interface
Realtek RTL8110SC
Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC883 HD-Audio 6-channel CODEC
Power Connectors: ATX 24-pin, 4-pin EATX 12V
I/O Panel: 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Parallel Port
1 x Serial Port
1 x RJ45
1 x Audio Panel
1 x S/PDIF Coaxial Out
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
BIOS Revision: AWARD 06.07.27

The BIOS layout and configurable options are representative of a budget performance system. We would like to note that if the second X16 PCI Express slot is not utilized for a GPU in an X4 configuration then it will operate as a standard X1 PCI Express capable slot. Again, note that the two X1 PCI Express slots must be disabled via jumpers in order for the secondary X16 PCI Express connector to work in X4 mode. This slot can also be used for other PCI Express peripherals in X4 mode. While the EPoX EP-5P945 PRO does not offer the BIOS configurability of enthusiast level boards it certainly does contain enough settings to ensure the user has the ability to moderately overclock the board.

The board ships with a standard accessory package along with several BIOS and software features such as Ghost BIOS (BIOS rescue program via a bootable CD), EZ-Boot (ability to choose bootable devices at boot-up), EPTP (EPoX Thunder Probe software based monitoring utility), Magic Flash (Windows based BIOS update program that does not require a DOS flash utility or bootable diskette), and Magic Screen (Windows utility for personal bootup screen design). The board also features a CP80P post port debug LED.

Index Features and Layout
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23 Comments

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  • blckgrffn - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    You don't know much about what you are talking about.

    How many PC's do you support? Do you really think people want to wait hours to days while you attempt to retrieve their data? Do you regularly back up 750 GB sata drives somewhere? 500GB drives? Even 400GB drives? I doubt it.

    Do you really think raid 1 shortens drive life? Really?

    I won't try to reason with you further.

    The fact remains that several of my nearly 4 year old Intel based mobo's have native SATA raid capabilities. It's a staple of midrange computing equipment now, and I am very disapointed that intel decided to drive people towards more expensive solutions to get it.

    Nat
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    The simple fact that RAID 1 is not a backup solution period. If you do use RAID 1 as a backup, you're in for a shocking experience when that file you accidently deleted, or that system that suddenly got corupted, and turning to your mirror *gasp* is exactly the same as the original (oh my !). Try explaining to the person why RAID 1 didnt save them then. RAID 1 does not really reduce a disks life no, but if that same drive where in a USB, or eSATA enclosure, it would live much longer, if properly cared for.

    We do enough service work here to know that REAL backup systems involve RAID 5,6, or 10, with a secondary backup of that data elsewhere (not even nessisarily a RAID array). Having worked in the industry since 92, I'd have to agree with you, I havent a clue what I'm talking about *rolls eyes*.

    Now, since we're on a finger pointing expedition, I'd like to point out that generaly, when someone sees a budget product, they dont complain, in open public, about how it sucks because its missing this, or that. Generaly, *someone* just wouldnt buy it, and to be honest, RAID cards cost what now days ? 20 dollars ? Does this mean this RAID controller sucks because its so cheap ? I dont know, but what do you think you're getting when you pay $65usd for a motherboard with built in RAID ? think you're getting something good ? Now, if you're so cheap you wont spend $65-$90usd for a motherboard, why in the hell must you spend another $60+ for a HDD to operate RAID 1?

    Your 4 year old system does NOT even come close to comparring with modern systems, if you still think it does, you're only fooling your self.

    Now I suppose you have yet another quip suggesting I have no idea what I'm talking about.
    Reply
  • blckgrffn - Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - link

    You don't. You're the one who brought up RAID 1 as a backup solution and can't seem to grasp that it is really something else.

    You also haven't considered that when I say "clients" I mean home/education users that don't have massive tape drives or off site storage available to them for business class redundancy and backup.

    If you really think that the ICH7R is "years ahead" of the ICH6R southbridge, good for you. For what it worth, I bought a shuttle 865 PE motherboard brand new for $38 (regularly closer to the $90-100 mark) and it has two seperate raid controllers, and not the junk chipsets like you find on the cheaper add in cards. If you think that the Silicon 3112 controller and the native intel controller are junk, especially when performing something so taxing as RAID 1, think about it some more.

    MTBF. Do you know what that stands for? It sure doesn't seem like it. In a way that is easy to understand, RAID 1 can completely isolate you from HD failure. Get it?

    And my beef with a $90 board, not a $60 one, is that it is missing a now standard feature. If it didn't have gigabit, I wouldn't buy it either. Personally, I like firewire too. What kind of RAID card would I get for $20?

    For smaller disks, using a RAID 1 + backing up data (like movies in progress, etc) makes perfect sense, I'll agree. But drives don't live longer in external enclosures. Where would you get an idea like that? External enclosures get picked up, carried around, bumped, and unplugged much more frequently than one safely housed in a tower would. "Properly cared for"... right. Not to mention they usually aren't as well cooled as a HD in a case would be. Two of my freinds have had their external enclosures get corrupted after being hauled around for so long, I've been lucky but mine normally just sit attached to a tower for weeks/months on end.

    Again, if you have a 750GB SATA drive, how do you reccomend insulating yourself against catastrophic failure? With HDTV becoming mainstream, and many start using these class of drives to store shows and their personal movie colections, this makes the most sense. This HTPC might be one of two or three total computers they have in their home.

    I don't have to explain to anyone why I can't restore a file because of their raid array. "educating my customers" (and myself) makes sure that everyone involved understands the purpose of RAID.

    And you know, when a system gets corrupted, it's an excellent opportunity to really flex your brain and remember why you use partitions.

    If I can buy any $90 AMD board, or any ATI or Nvidia board for Intel and get raid, but not intel based one, doesn't that say something? Besides that, if I save the money on the motherboard, that makes the overall cost of the system, including the RAID array, the same, doesn't it?

    I can point and laugh at a product, and express my disapointment, "in open public" all I want too. I am sure that I am not the only one who sees Intel's glaring shortage of quality and full featured Conroe capable boards as shame. Their are plenty of users who consider $90-$120 motherboard "enough".

    Sigh, whatever man. Evidently you know it all here. You've worked in the PC business enough to know that hard drives never catastrophically fail. Maybe back when HD's were much more expensive or when removeable media was a viable quick and dirty alternative your arguments would hold weight, but when drives are so cheap and so large, it doesn't.

    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - link

    quote:

    And my beef with a $90 board, not a $60 one, is that it is missing a now standard feature. If it didn't have gigabit, I wouldn't buy it either. Personally, I like firewire too. What kind of RAID card would I get for $20?


    The same kind of RAID you would get on a $60 motherboard.

    quote:

    You don't. You're the one who brought up RAID 1 as a backup solution and can't seem to grasp that it is really something else.

    You also haven't considered that when I say "clients" I mean home/education users that don't have massive tape drives or off site storage available to them for business class redundancy and backup.


    You've still managed to elude my point. My point being, that with USB/eSATA capable drive enclosures, RAID 1 isnt even nessisary, you isolate your data from the OS, use the drive only when needed, and it lasts a long long time. Meanwhile, if your data is TRUELY that important, you learn how to properly maintain your hardware, and pick up programs such as Spinrite, to help maintain / spot potential disk problems. I have 3TB storage currently in USB enclosures, and it stores all my data just fine, and is reasonably easy (whats easier than drag/drop file copying ?), and fast. Now, when your OS fails, reguardless if the HDD failed along with it, who cares . . . your data is stored somewhere else.

    [Q}For smaller disks, using a RAID 1 + backing up data (like movies in progress, etc) makes perfect sense, I'll agree. But drives don't live longer in external enclosures. Where would you get an idea like that? External enclosures get picked up, carried around, bumped, and unplugged much more frequently than one safely housed in a tower would. "Properly cared for"... right. Not to mention they usually aren't as well cooled as a HD in a case would be. Two of my freinds have had their external enclosures get corrupted after being hauled around for so long, I've been lucky but mine normally just sit attached to a tower for weeks/months on end.


    I get the idea of enclosed drives lasting longer from owning roughly 3TB of HDD configured as such. If you truely care about your data, you will take care of these drives, only turn them on only when needed, run a program like Spinrite on them once in a while to make sure the drive isnt going south any time soon, and buy enclosures with good fans (ball bearing). Just in case its not readily apparent (for you), isolating your data from the OS will also help increase disk life, just because the drive isnt constantly being accessed, because of swapspace, or other reasons. Also, trust me when I say that enclosed HDDs are MUCH more compact, reliable, and in-expensive (in the long run) than backing up to DvD. Finally its far more in-expencive than running RAID 1 3TB . . . Granted, you'll want to buy the HDDs, and enclosures seperately.

    quote:

    MTBF. Do you know what that stands for? It sure doesn't seem like it. In a way that is easy to understand, RAID 1 can completely isolate you from HD failure. Get it?


    You mean 'MEAN TIME BEFORE FAILURE' ? Seagate lists this as 1.2 million hours on thier site, Western Digital doesnt (atleast for thier Caviar / comparable drives). Raptors aren't even in the same class (enterprise drives), but do have a warranty of 5 years, so I would also assume these drives have atleast a 1.2 million hour MTBF. They also cost alot more than a comparable sized Seagate Barracuda.

    quote:

    Again, if you have a 750GB SATA drive, how do you reccomend insulating yourself against catastrophic failure? With HDTV becoming mainstream, and many start using these class of drives to store shows and their personal movie colections, this makes the most sense. This HTPC might be one of two or three total computers they have in their home.


    You mean setting aside legal implications ? What is so important about a TV show that you HAVE_TO store it on disk for long periods of time ? The simple fact of the matter is, you dont need to. I think that you'll find that most people would rather run RAID 0 in such a situation (or even RAID 5), and I'm one of them, albiet, if i want to watch a TV show, I'll turn the TV on, and watch it, not store it on HDD . . .

    quote:

    I can point and laugh at a product, and express my disapointment, "in open public" all I want too. I am sure that I am not the only one who sees Intel's glaring shortage of quality and full featured Conroe capable boards as shame. Their are plenty of users who consider $90-$120 motherboard "enough".


    You're correct, you_can_do_whatever_you_want. . . As for $90-$120 being enough for a motherbaord, are these the same people who will pay $800 for RAID 1 750GB SATA ?! It just seems very silly to me, that someone would spend entirely too much for a 'reliable' storage system, but they wont pay jack when it comes to the parts that need the most care.

    I dont, nor did I ever claim to know it all, however I DO know that RAID 1 is an antiquinted way of doing what most people can do now days for less money, and more storage. This isnt to say that there isnt a place for RAID 1, but in the home there are far better ways to ensure your data will be protected. In a data center, maybe not.

    Reply
  • blckgrffn - Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - link

    I think that we can fully agree to disagree here :-)

    This argument has been one of the special olympic variety :-p

    Take it easy,
    Nat
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    Well, I'm not telling you what you must buy, all I'm saying is that RAID often leads to premature drive failure, and can be avoided by spending a little more money on a drive that has a 5 year warranty (just about all Seagates with exception of white label drives). Do you think Seaate drives go bad as often when used / maintained properly comparred to other brands with a 1 year warranty ? I would beg to differ . . .

    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    This board would be a no brainer if it included RAID.

    It would also no longer be a "budget board".

    In the same vein, I'm sorry it doesn't have FireWire, but I'm not surprised by it.
    Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the review. I appreciate the wide range of motherboard/chipset/CPU/GPU reviews provided by AT.

    Going back to a discussion of price from the recent review of the Abit AW9D-Max board, it still seems difficult to justify a $180 spread between a budget and a high end Core 2 Duo compatible board. Are the $270 baords really 3x better than this board? I suppose there is even an argument that this board is a little over-priced for an entry level board. I am hoping that we get some good offerings from Nvidia and ATi to bring prices to a more reasonable level. I know nForce 5xx boards are on their way, but anything in the near future from ATI?
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    It's already been reported that ATI is backing out of the Intel chipset market, partly due to their acquisition by AMD. Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Monday, September 11, 2006 - link

    I had read numerous reports in which the authors supsected that ATI's acquisition by AMD would lead to their departure from the Intel chipset market, but I had not seen any confirmation of those suspicions. Reply

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