EPoX 8K9A2+ Gamers Review - Board Info and Features

Article Index
EPoX 8K9A2+ Gamers Review
Board Info and Features
BIOS Features and Overclocking
SiSoft Sandra and PCMark Tests
OpenGL Gaming Benchmarks
FutureMark's 3DMark Benchmarks
DirectX Gaming Benchmarks
UT2003 Benchmarks
Final Thoughts and Conlusion

Board Info and Features:

First, here's a shot of the board for you to size up.

This board is based on the KT400 chipset from VIA. The KT400 is hailed by some as a flop by VIA, and others see it as a positive step forward. Here the info from VIA on their KT400 chipset.

  • North Bridge - VT8377
  • Front Side Bus - 200/266/333MHz
  • Memory Bus - 200/266/333MHz
  • AGP Support - AGP 8X
  • Memory Type - DDR200/266/333 SDRAM
  • South Bridge - VT8235
  • North/South Bridge Link - VIA V-Link 533MB/s
  • Integrated Audio - AC '97 6 Channel
  • Integrated Modem MC '97
  • Integrated Network Controller - VIA 10/100 Ethernet MAC
  • IDE - ATA 33/66/100/133
  • USB - USB 2.0 6 Ports, 3 Controllers
  • Super I/O - LPC Super I/O
  • IO APIC - Yes
  • Power Management - ACPI/APM/PCI/PM

Other features found on this board include:

  • 3 DIMM Slots that can handle 3 double sided DIMMS
  • AGP 8X
  • 6 PCI
  • 6 USB 2.0
  • 2 ATA 133 Connectors
  • 2 HPT372 ATA 133 Connectors
  • 5.1 Channel Sound
  • HPT372 controller for DMA-133 supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and JBOD.
  • 2 Serial-ATA ports for serial ATA-150 drives.
  • Onboard Via based 10/100 network.
  • Magic-Light Blue LED Northbridge FAN
  • Unofficial Support for DDR400
  • And then some. . .

All in all, this is pretty much a loaded board that should be able to hold the most aggressive enthusiast for quite a while. It supports, Duron, Athlon XP, Thoroughbred cores, as well as Barton cored CPU's.

As you can see, the board has a pretty clean layout. It has the much sought after 4 mounting holes for some of the larger HSF's or waterblocks. I must admit, the holes are quite a bit smaller than on my KT7A-Raid, but the DangerDen Maze2 still mounted okay. My biggest beef with the layout is the location of the power connector. . . In order to keep your HSF free, you'll probably need a zip tie.

Now that we know a bit about the board, lets head on over and check out the Test Setup and start working this board!

Test Setup:
The test setup I used for this review goes something link this:
  • Athlon XP 1800+ (Thoroughbred)
  • EPOX 8K9A2+
  • 512MB PC2700 Infineon RAM CAS 2.5
  • Radeon 9700Pro
  • Sound Blaster Live 5.1
  • 40GB Maxtor Diamond Max Plus (IDE 1, Master) OS Installed
  • Pioneer 16x DVD ROM (IDE 1, Slave)
  • MSI 8348 DragonWriter (IDE 2, Master)
  • 40GB WD 8MB Cache 7200 RPM (IDE 3 - "RAID 0" Master)
  • 40GB WD 8MB Cache 7200 RPM (IDE 4 - "RAID 0" Master)
  • Windows 2000 SP2
  • Catalyst 3.1
  • Via Hyperion 4.45 (4.46 fixes AGP 8X issue)

This is a Gamers Review, so I haven't included a lot of Business Benchmarks such as Adobe, Winstone, etc. I've included some of the more popular Synthetic Benchmarks as well as some game-based benchmarks. All Benchmarks were run at the highest possible detail level with the drivers at their default settings.

The next thing we'll do, just before we jump into some benchmarks, is take a look at the BIOS.