Epox has had some legendary AMD designs. Their 8RDA family for the Socket A nForce2 has always contained leading-edge designs famous for their performance and overclocking capabilities. The Epox 8KDA3+ was our Gold Editors Choice in Socket 754 Roundup: Comparing Generation 2. In the 939 arena, however, Epox has been strangely absent in the months since Socket 939 was introduced on June 1. Epox has said that there was a 939 board coming, but it has taken a very long time for the 9NDA3+ to make it to market. The natural question is whether the new Epox 939 was worth the wait.

The 9NDA3+ comes in a premium package. It is difficult to see in the image, but the box is a white iridescent weave background that shimmers in the light. The board that we are reviewing is the top-of-the-line 9NDA3+, but Epox normally introduces lower-priced, lower-featured versions in the same family. Even though it is the top Epox 939 board, the 9NDA3+ is still a good value in 939. A check at several on-line vendors showed a current price of around $130, which is competitive with other top 939 boards that represent good value. There are less full-featured 939 boards now selling in the $105 to $110 on-line price range, and the value edition of the 9NDA3+ should fall in that range or even lower.

Many will want to know if nVidia implemented the full nForce3-250 family chipset features on the 9NDA3+, and the answer is "yes". You will find the on-chip Gigabit LAN supported by a PHY LAN chip, the on-chip nVidia firewall, and the nVidia "any-drive" RAID. It is good to see a manufacturer supporting the full nVidia feature set instead of opting for cheaper non-integrated solutions.

Basic Features: Epox 9NDA3+


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  • TrogdorJW - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    Wes (#23) - I'm not 100% positive, but I'm almost sure that UT2K3/UT2K4 are DX8.1 in terms of the 3D code, but they require DX9 in order to run. Sort of like how Doom 3 is an OGL game but requires DX9 for input/output functions. AFAIK, no Unreal engine game has shipped with DX9 features, but that will probably change soon.

    You could even make the argument that most of the UT engine is still DX7, with only a few DX8 additions. What does that mean? That pixel and vertex shaders are not absolutely necessary to get great graphics. Useful? Yes. Required? Nope. :)
  • AtaStrumf - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    I had 2 Epox nForce 2 Ultra 400 boards (got a new one after I RMA-ed the first one) and not one worked perfectly. That was reason enough for me to stay clear of Epox boards from that moment on. After reading tihs review, it seems that they still send out unfinished/not properly tested products, so I sugest to all to pick some other brand, because something is systematicly wrong at Epox. They are just not a good choice for the enthusiast anymore.

    ABIT seems to have improved a bit though, but I don't garantee anything.
  • NedFlanders - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    any new info on the FSB for the ep-9nda3+ when using 4 sticks? Epox's website has no owner's manual for this board on ANY of their worldwide websites. No BIOSs either. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    #22 -
    My UT2004 package says "DirectX version 9.0b or higher required." The website says DirectX 8.1. If someone can provide a definitive answer and a link I will change the category.
  • CrystalBay - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    Hi Wes, I'm just curious why UT2k4 is considered a DX9 benchmark ? Reply
  • Bonesdad - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    I think the review was quite good. I did not get the sense that this is a "positive" review or even a wholly "negative" review. I think you did an admirable job of giving readers your observations and letting them make the final purchase decision. Which is the goal of a good review.

    Based on current information about this board, I will skip it too. I'll stick with my 8RDA+ until the field is more populated with 939s.
  • NedFlanders - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    my Epox 9kda3+ is en route. The whole reason why i waited for 939 was to use all of my RAM sticks (4). Should I just return this thing un-opened to newegg or is there the potential that i can run 4 256 hyperX's at 400?

  • Gholam - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    Does Cool'n'Quiet work on this board with four DIMMs? Because 8KDA3+ has this annoying problem with Cool'n'Quiet not working with two or three DIMMs present... Reply
  • ksherman - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    Thanks for changing the article title Wesley! Now its more representative of the review ;) Reply
  • LocutusX - Monday, October 25, 2004 - link

    This board seems like "too little, too late". Still, I think AT has done a good job on this review as it has indicated where most of the problem areas lie so people can decide for themselves if its an important issue or not. As for me, I`d skip this one.

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