Package and Software
Unlike the 9NPA+ SLI we reviewed a few months back, the EP-8NPA is rather plain and excludes fancy and unnecessary items like the screwdriver, MOSFET heatsinks, and thermal probe. Inside the box are:
- 1x 80-pin PATA data cable
- 1x floppy data cable
- 2x SATA data cables with 4-pin molex-SATA power adapters
- 2-port USB 2.0 I/O bracket
- SLI bridge
- I/O Shield, documentation, manuals
The software CD contains all the drivers you need for installation. The utilities are a bit more interesting:
A system health program. You can control your voltage, temperature, and fan RPM alarms, and adjust Smart Fan options. The interface is a bit big and a bit too glitzy for my taste, but it is a useful Motherboard Monitor alternative.
Ghost Monitor (aka “USDM”):
This software will do what Thunder Probe will do except control your Smart Fan options. I prefer Ghost Monitor over Thunder Probe since Ghost Monitor has a nice, small, auto-hiding statistics display that sits on your desktop.
Since this is a nForce 4 motherboard, nTune is bundled with the software. This utility helps you tweak performance settings and execute benchmarks to determine your optimal setting. Admittedly I never used this software much since I prefer doing the old manual method.
Changes your system POST screen to display whatever image you want.
The driver CD also has all the documentation you need (RAID, motherboard, Thunder Probe), and technical support contact information.