Epox 9NDA3+: A New Socket 939by Wesley Fink on October 25, 2004 12:01 AM EST
- Posted in
Basic Features: Epox 9NDA3+
|Epox 9NDA3+ Motherboard Specifications|
|CPU Interface||Socket 939 Athlon 64|
|Chipset||nVidia nForce3 Ultra|
|Bus Speeds||200MHz to 400MHz (in 1MHz increments)|
|PCI/AGP Speeds||66MHz to 100MHz (in 1MHz increments)|
|Core Voltage||+.05V, +.10V, +.15V, +.20V|
|DRAM Voltage||2.5V to 2.8V in 0.1V increments|
|AGP Voltage||1.5V-1.8V in 0.1V increments|
|Chipset Voltage||1.6V-1.75V in 0.05V increments|
|Hyper Transport Ratios||1X to 5X in 1X increments|
|CPU Ratios||Auto, 8X to 25X in 1X increments|
|DRAM Speeds||Auto, 100, 133, 166, 200|
|Memory Slots||Four 184-pin DDR Dual-Channel Slots
Unbuffered Non-ECC Memory to 4GB Total
|Expansion Slots||1 AGP 8X Slot
5 PCI Slots
|Onboard SATA||4-Drive SATA by nF3-250Gb|
|Onboard IDE||Two Standard nVidia ATA133/100/66
|SATA/IDE RAID||4-Drive SATA Plus 4-Drive IDE can be combined in nVidia RAID 0, 1, 0+1, JBOD|
|Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394||8 USB 2.0 ports supported by nF3-250Gb
2 1394A FireWire ports by VIA VT6307
|Onboard LAN||1 Gigabit Ethernet on-chip
by nF3-250GB and Vitesse VSA8201 PHY
|Onboard Audio||Realtek ALC850 8-Channel with UAJ
SPDIF coaxial in and out
The single chip nVidia nForce3 Ultra is used for the 9NDA3+. For more information on this chipset, you can refer to our launch articles for the chipset:
nForce3-250 - Part 1: Taking Athlon 64 to the Next Level
nForce3-250 - Part 2: Taking Athlon 64 to the Next Level
The nF3 Ultra is targeted at Socket 939, with the nF3-250Gb and basic nF3-250 aimed more at Socket 754. This distinction will likely blur due to the recent introduction of the nForce4 chipset, but there is no real performance difference in the nF3-250 and nF4 chipset families. The major difference is that nForce3-250 chipsets are for AGP video and nForce4 is for PCI Express video.
The current Epox catalog shows the 9NDA3+ that we are testing, and an upcoming 9NPA+ that is based on the nForce 4 chipset.
Our 9NDA3+ test board was a full retail package and included:
- A "Power Pack" that includes a user's manual, quick installation guide, installation screwdriver, 8 mini heatsinks for Mosfets and VGA DIMMs, Epox logo badge, and a driver CD
- Two round red IDE cables
- One flat floppy cable
- Two Serial ATA data cables
- Two Serial ATA power cable
- One USB bracket with 2 ports
- One Firewire bracket with 2 standard ports
- One Accessory Bracket with Serial Port 2 and a Game port
- One "nVRAID Driver" diskette
- One I/O shield
Epox uses a large heatsink on the single chip nF3 Ultra with active fan cooling. The active cooling solution did a decent job of keeping the nF3 Ultra chip cool during both normal operation and overclocking.
Many of the manufacturers of nF3-250 family chipsets have chosen the Realtek ALC850 7.1 audio chip. The ALC850 is also the choice of Epox, which includes both Optical and Coaxial SPDIF connectors on the rear IO panel. This 8-channel audio codec is fully AC '97 2.3 compliant and features 16-bit 8-channel audio and auto-jack sensing with support for a full range of analog and digital IO. A wide range of sound standards are supported including:
- EAXTM 1.0 & 2.0 compatible
- Direct Sound 3DTM compatible
- A3DTM compatible
- I3DL2 compatible
- HRTF 3D positional audio
- SensauraTM 3D Enhancement
You can find more information on the recently released ALC850 at Realtek.
Epox provides a full selection of rear I/O ports. These include 6 audio mini jacks plus both coaxial and optical SPDIF out connectors to support the Realtek ALC850 on the back IO panel. IO also includes PS2 mouse and keyboard, parallel, 1 serial, 1 standard Firewire (IEEE1394), 4 USB, and a Gigabit Ethernet.
nVidia "Any Drive" RAID is supported on the 9NDA3+. Any of the standard 4 IDE drives or an additional 4 SATA drives can be combined in a Raid 0 (striping), Raid 1 (Mirroring), or Raid 0+1 array.
On-chip Gigabit LAN is built-in with the nForce3 Ultra and runs completely independent of the PCI bus. Epox uses the Vitesse PHY (Physical Layer) chip to provide the interface for direct communication of the LAN to the chipset.
Four DIMM slots support up to 4GB of up to DDR400 memory in a Dual-Channel memory configuration. It is worth mentioning that Dual-Channel 1 is DIMMs 1 and 2, and Dual-Channel 2 is DIMMs 3 and 4.