EPoX always makes a decent contribution to the motherboards they manufacture that usually goes above and beyond the competition in terms of performance and the EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra is no exception to this rule. With performance near the top of the tested nForce4 boards, this board is a solid choice for the enthusiast. The nForce4 platform is the highest performing, most feature rich single video slot board on the market now. The fact remains that there are few RS480 boards from ATI and VIA KT890 boards competing with the nForce4 platform. I would recommend the 9NPA+ Ultra from EPoX as it overclocks well, has adequate features and is very reasonably priced.
The negative issues of the board are the limited expandability options in terms of SATA drive ports and the less than optimum placing of the 24-pin ATX connector. While many premium motherboards from companies like Asus and DFI come with 8 or even 10 SATA ports, the 9NPA+ Ultra only comes with 4. This board is available on Pricewatch for a price of $117.99, a mere $45 less than the lowest costing SLI board. I would recommend a SLI motherboard, as you get the features of the Ultra and the ability to run two video cards at the same time nearly doubling performance. NVIDIA recently announced the Intel version of the nForce4 platform. This chipset should bring all of the advantages of the SLI and Ultra chipset (namely native SATAII support, HD Audio, SLI) to the Intel platform for the first time. EPoX should also provide motherboards based upon this chipset at the same time. I hope that SLI will take off on the Intel platform, and ATI's answer to SLI will bring unheard of performance for the PC in the months to come.