EPoX EP-3SPA3 i815EP Socket-370 ATXby Mike Andrawes on March 15, 2001 1:36 AM EST
- Posted in
The layout of the EP-3SPA3 is very clean and we only have a few minor complaints. The front panel connectors, as it has been the case in quite a number of EPoX boards, are located horizontally by the front edge of the motherboard. Further, the connectors are all in one long row, rather than two short rows that most manufacturers use. The problem with that is they block the placement of longer AGP or PCI devices. In the case of the EP-3SPA3, the connectors block the AGP slot as well as the second PCI slot, so you might run into problems with add-on cards like the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 series.
The second complaint we have against the EP-3SPA3 is the capacitors around the CPU socket. Some of them are pretty close to the CPU socket, and obviously that might affect the installation of larger HSF units. Moreover, the 2200uF capacitors located behind the CPU socket could block the airflow as they form a "wall" right behind the HSF. It's probably not going to have a major effect on cooling, but if you're at the limit, it could make the difference.
Besides these minor issues, other components are very nicely placed. The power supply connector is found on the right edge of the board, so that power cables won't have to run over the CPU and memory, which could otherwise potentially block airflow. Moreover, there is enough distance between the DIMM slots and the AGP slot so that you should have no problem installing the memory after the AGP video card - a problem we commonly have on other boards. Furthermore, the IDE and floppy connectors are located in front of the DIMM slots, so they will not be in the way of any expansion cards.
Last of all, EPoX uses a compact PCB, measuring only 12 by 8 inches, This is the result of careful planning and, as such, you don't see a lot of wasted space on the board.. Of course, the smaller PCB helps reduce manufacturing costs as well.