As with all of their previous motherboards, the GXB-M features the Easy Set Single Jumper setup which is basically a 24 pin jumper block that features an abridged list of available clock speed settings for the motherboard. The only four marked settings are 400MHz, 450MHz, 500MHz, and 550MHz, with two clearly labeled reserved settings and 6 other undocumented settings. Considering that all Xeon processors are multiplier locked, and the GXB-M always delivers a 100MHz FSB signal to the processor, the board should have no problem accepting a faster speed CPU with a simple flash of the BIOS. While the GXB-M AnandTech received did not have support for Intel's Pentium III Xeon processor, a quick visit to their website provided the latest BIOS file for download which quickly resolved that situation.
In the interest of keeping the cost of this otherwise expensive Xeon motherboard below most of the competition, Epox made the assumption that an on-board SCSI controller would not be necessary. Why would you want to use a dual Xeon machine with an IDE disk subsystem? If you primarily need processing power and aren't dependent on low CPU utilization and faster disk accesses, then the board isn't a "crippled" solution without on-board SCSI. The type of user that would fall into this category would have to be more of a workstation class user. However for a server, such as an application or a web server, the lack of on-board SCSI can hinder your server's performance somewhat - a discussion that is still open for the storage gurus of the industry. There is always the option of purchasing a PCI SCSI adapter, however you immediately occupy one of your initially available 5 PCI slots. If it's a sacrifice you're willing to make, also remember that the price of the SCSI card is not included in the cost of the GXB-M, which otherwise would be a fairly cost effective Xeon solution.
AnandTech's test GXB-M package did not come with any cables or drivers or utilities for that matter, a highly irregular move by Epox. The shipping boards should (hopefully) come with the standard set of cables and should generally mimic the bundle of the BXB-S without the SCSI cables due to the aforementioned lack of any on-board SCSI. The board does ship with the classic Epox user's manual, an above average compilation of general background information, installation help, motherboard settings and diagrams, as well as some troubleshooting information as well.
The hardware monitoring support on the GXB-M is provided for by a very limited solution that only allows for the monitoring of three fans, as well as the core voltages of the processors installed and the voltages supplied by the ATX power supply to the motherboard. Temperature is not an item that can be monitored at your own will, which is unfortunate for those system administrators that like to keep an eye on the temperature of their hard working systems for diagnostics and maintenance purposes.
The performance and stability of the board are what you would expect from a GX motherboard of this class. The board is highly competitive to the Xeon solutions from Supermicro and Tyan, although surpasses neither in terms of overall quality and reliability.