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Review: EPoX EP-8RDA3+ nForce2 Ultra 400

by Tarinder Sandhu on 20 May 2003, 00:00 4.5

Tags: EPoX

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EPoX EP-8RDA3+ nForce2 Ultra 400 Motherboard

To upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question that crosses many enthusiasts' lips on a daily basis. The upgrade bug is a high infectious, wallet-stripping disease that spreads fast once it gets a hold of you. Hardware manufacturers propagate this infection by offering you, the consumer, faster, more desirable hardware each month. Almost every facet of the hardware world begs you to get the next model up, or to break open the piggy bank and buy an 'upgraded version' of what you already have. Speak to a number of enthusiasts and they'll tell you that upgrading is more addictive than gambling (Biz387, 2003).

The motherboard world is a case in point. Sometimes the upgraded model can bring real, tangible performance and features gains. That's hard to believe with a chipset as impressive as the present nForce2. We've seen NVIDIA take a stranglehold on the premium S462 motherboard sector with their high performance, highly featured chipset. It's safe to say that it has been ruling the performance roost for the past 6 months. It's now the recipient of a slight makeover. The very newest AMD Athlon XP now runs at 200FSB. NVIDIA have chosen this milestone to separate their nForce2 chipset into 2 distinct categories. The standard dual-channel nForce2 will be upgraded to 200FSB status and renamed nForce2 Ultra 400, and a single-channel chipset will be launched under the name of, wait for it...... nForce2 400. VIA are also releasing their own 200FSB AMD chipsets soon, so the scene is set for an imminent showdown between the past and present kings of the Athlon platform.

EPoX already have a successful line of two nForce2 boards in the 8RDA+ and 8RGA+ respectively. The latter sports integrated GeForce4MX-class graphics. Another is now due with official 200FSB support, obviously. Have EPoX used the interim time between the launches of the present 8RDA+ and the 8RDA3+ well ?. What else does the new motherboard have other than an official 200FSB stamp ?. EPoX have a rich tradition with respect to nForce2 motherboards. Let's see if the all-new 8RDA3+ can carry it on with aplomb.