Features and Layout
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.The Epox 8K3A+ motherboard has a lot of features and decent layout that will make it appeal to a large portion of AMD users. Starting at the top, the CPU socket is set im a good position as it is turned sideways, allowing for in-the-case removal of the heatsink (and thus the processor). The room around the socket is okay, but the capacitors along the left side of the socket are a bit closer than optimal. Installing the large Vantec copper heatsinks or the TaiSol copper heatsinks was not a problem, however.
Below the socket, you can see the ATX power connector for the motherboard. Because the processor socket is turned in the fashion that is on the PCB, the power connector was forced to move down below the processors. Unfortunately, this is not the best spot for it in my opinion. Here it can cause the ATX power cable to interfere with the fan on the processor, which is definitely not something you want to happen.
To the right there are three DIMM slots for your PC2700/PC2100 memory. The main feature of the KT333 chipset is the fact that is officially supports DDR333 memory, which is equivalent to PC2700, by using an asynchronous memory bus. Also, the new chipset supports 3 GB of memory – if you will ever need that much!
The KT333 North Bridge is covered by a heatsink – not a heatsink and fan combination that we have seen on many other motherboards. I did not notice any kind of detriment in overclocking power though, as we used this board in our PC3000 memory article, reaching FSB speeds of up to 200 MHz with an unlocked processor. This was definitely one of the best boards we have had for overclocking.
The Epox 8K3A motherboards do feature the VIA AC’97 5.1 channel audio that comes standard on the south bridge. However, because it is siphoning the CPU power to work, serious gamers and enthusiasts will want to get a dedicated sound card anyway and disable the on-board audio. There are also the standard PS/2, USB, parallel and serial connectors.
The slot configuration of the 8K3A motherboard is very nice, with six PCI slots and an AGP slot with retention clip. There are no CNR or other proprietary slots on this board and neither are there any legacy ISA slots. Having six PCI slots enables the user to have the most opportunities for expansion. And, even if you don’t plan on using all six PCI slots, having the extra room will allow you to have extras like video card cooling, etc.
Finally, the IDE ports are placed along the side of the motherboard, but could unfortunately cause problems for larger AGP and PCI cards that you might have in your case. There are four channels in total, two of which are courtesy of the HighPoint HPT 372 controller, but they are covered on the next page.