Software & Packaging
Given the approximate price of $80 USD, you can expect that the package for the EP-9U1697 is pretty basic.

Inside the box there are two SATA cables and SATA power adapters, a ATA133 cable, and a floppy cable.

EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI Motherboard Review - SLI Killer? - Motherboards 66

A two port USB bracket compliments the four on the back I/O of the board.

EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI Motherboard Review - SLI Killer? - Motherboards 67
The above thermal probe was not included with the EP-9U1697 GLI,
even though the motherboard supports it.

Though the board has pins for a thermal probe a probe is not included in the package, and neither is an SLI bridge if you decide on using two NVIDIA cards. The bridge you should be looking for joins two cards with a two-slot gap in-between (approximately 2″).

There is a driver disk with all the necessary software to get your system up and running including the “SLI patch” (called the “Power Express Enabling Driver”). In addition to the drivers, there is a mature suite of EPoX software designed to help the user monitor and update their system. The software components are:

  • ThunderProbe – system health reporting software.
  • MagicBIOS – flashes your BIOS while in Windows. The software can also check for BIOS updates on the web so you don’t have to.
  • MagicScreen – changes your boot-up screen to a custom image.

I will examine ThunderProbe is more details in the “Special Features” section of this review.

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