Epox BXB-S BX Dual Processor Slot-1by Anand Lal Shimpi on January 21, 1999 8:47 PM EST
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The setup of the BXB-S brought back even more memories of the elegant Epox style, the ESSJ Setup - Easy Set Single Jumper Setup - as the name implies, eliminates virtually any prerequisites for the setup of this board. A single, easily accessible jumper sets both the clock multiplier and FSB setting for both processors in the system, or one if only a single processor is present. Are you out of luck if you have a 66MHz FSB processor and want to run it at 100MHz then? Absolutely not, Epox's overclocking roots are visible in the FSB Auto-Detect override that the BXB-S features, allowing the user to force 100MHz FSB operation even if a 66MHz FSB processor is detected. With the attention to stability Epox displayed, running dual 333's at 400MHz shouldn't be a problem at all, provided you aren't stuck with clock-locked 333MHz processors (100MHz x 5.5 isn't too probable).
Don't think the overclocking stops there, once in the Award BIOS Setup, like many newer motherboards, the BXB-S allows you to select from a small but healthy set of overclocked FSB settings, including the 112MHz sweet spot that seems to work almost perfectly with even dual processor configurations, provided your processors can handle the speed increase. Most server admin.'s will want to stay away from overclocking, as a single crash can be fatal to your reputation, and maybe even your job depending on your employer ;)
Albeit a feature that is now popular on most motherboards, Epox originally introduced the Keyboard Power-On function on an older Socket-7 motherboard which basically allows you to turn your system on via a keystroke combination. Epox did manage to outfit the BXB-S with a completely unique feature, their Unified System Diagnostic Manager, a utility that runs under Windows 9x/NT which reports system monitoring results such as fan rotational speed, CPU/System temperatures, applied voltages, etc... The utility boasts a clean interface and is available both on CD-ROM with the BXB-S and for download from Epox's unusually well designed website (an oddity for a mainboard manufacturer to have such a clean website).
Neatly bundled with the motherboard package, as it should be for such an expensive motherboard, is a complete set of drivers and cables. The drivers are pretty much standard with Adaptec SCSI controllers, but the cables consist of a 2 position 50-pin SCSI cable, a 2 position 68-pin Ultra SCSI cable, and a 5 position 68-pin Ultra2 SCSI cable with a LVD terminator (an item worth over $50 alone, and not even bundled with most boards that feature on-board Ultra2 SCSI). Epox also included 50-pin internal SCSI to 50-pin external SCSI slot cutout that is another unique item missed in many other similarly motherboard bundles.
The stability of the BXB-S, as alluded to previously, is top notch and on-par with the bad boy dual processor boards from Supermicro and Tyan, the stability kings. The performance of the BXB-S is what can be expected from a dual processor board, however for more information on multiprocessor performance visit AnandTech's comparison of multiprocessor systems and an evaluation of their performance advantages here.