Epox 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard Review :: Layout and Bundle

04-06-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

The layout of the board was especially gratifying. EPoX provides plenty of space around the CPU socket allowing for after-market cooling of any kind. An especially nice touch was the heat sinks found on several of the CPU power MOSFETs. More MOSFET heat sinks are include in the package if you need them. The placement of the 24-pin ATX and ATX12V power connectors are above the CPU socket area. This is not the best place in the world for the 24-pin ATX connector to be located. I had to move the ATX power cable a bit around the CPU cooler to get it to work EPoX chose to actively cool the MCP chipset on the board with a heat sink/fan combination. One of EPoX's specialties is their POST LED display. This gives a numeric message on POST (Power on Self Test) showing where possible problems might occur. A POST message of FF indicates the system booted. A POST message of C1 means a possible memory error. If you have a problem with your board, this gives an idea of where to look to solve the problem.


Epox 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard Review Power Connectors

Power Connectors

Epox 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard Review MCP Fan

MCP Fan

Epox 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard Review LED

LED


3Bundle
  • 2x rounded ATA-133 cables
  • 1x ribbon floppy cable
  • 4X SATA cables
  • 2X SATA power cables for 4 SATA devices
  • MOSFET heat sinks
  • Dual-ended screwdriver pen
  • rear panel I/O shield
  • 2 port USB 2.0 bracket
  • 2 port IEEE 1394 port bracket
  • Manuals
  • Driver disks

Epox 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard Review Hardware

Hardware

Epox 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard Review Software

Software


One thing I've always liked about EPoX boards is their hardware bundles. Unlike many motherboard manufacturers, EPoX includes all the SATA cables that the motherboard supports, 4, in this case. Also present are rounded ATA-133 cables, and a rounded floppy cable. The cables are color coordinated and are easy on the eyes. I like rounded cables as it makes less clutter in the case. One neat addition to the bundle is a dual-ended screwdriver with a Phillips head and a flat head on the other end. EPox includes 2 additional USB 2.0 ports and 2 IEEE 1394 ports via bracket. The software bundle that comes with the board is rather utilitarian. Symantec's Norton's Antivirus software is included. I prefer Trend Micro's Panda Antivirus software, but if you do not have such software, NAV is a good addition. Wassay's Pro Magic is a system backup program. Personally, I do not have much use for this software, but some people might. All in all a decent, but not extravagant bundle is included with the 9NPA nForce4 Ultra board.