Epox 9NDA3+ Motherboard Review :: Introduction

01-20-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

EPoX has been around making computer equipment for 10 years now. Founded in February of 1995, EPoX has been around longer than NVIDIA and longer in fact than Microsoft Windows 95 has been released. It's important to me to give a sense of history in my reviews. After all, support is important when buying a motherboard and company longevity is important. EPoX makes motherboards based upon different manufacturer's chipsets, including NVIDIA, Intel, Via, and SiS.

NVIDIA first entered the motherboard chipset market in 2001 with the release of their nForce chipset. This was their first AMD chipset. 2002 saw the release of the nForce2 which brought NVIDIA into the limelight as a chipset maker. Today, the majority of AMD based motherboards sold in the United States use NVIDIA chips on them.

AMD released the 64-bit Athlon 64 and FX series of CPUs in the middle of last year. These were the first mass-market 64-bit CPUs to hit the market. Enthusiasts are using these CPUs to power their gaming machines, as the performance of the Athlon 64 is generally higher than that of Intel's Pentium 4 CPUs for game applications. Intel has the upper hand when it comes to multi-tasking and general system performance, but for gaming the Athlon 64 is superior to the equivalently priced Intel CPUs.

NVIDIA announced the nForce3 at the same time as AMD announced the Athlon 64 CPU. Generally, the nForce3 was a bit feature-deficient compared to its competition, the Via K8T800 chipset. To rectify the problem, NVIDIA released a new chipset, the nForce3 Ultra. The 9NDA3+ board is based upon the nForce3 Ultra.