Epox has had some legendary AMD designs. Their 8RDA family for the Socket A nForce2 has always contained leading-edge designs famous for their performance and overclocking capabilities. The Epox 8KDA3+ was our Gold Editors Choice in Socket 754 Roundup: Comparing Generation 2. In the 939 arena, however, Epox has been strangely absent in the months since Socket 939 was introduced on June 1. Epox has said that there was a 939 board coming, but it has taken a very long time for the 9NDA3+ to make it to market. The natural question is whether the new Epox 939 was worth the wait.



The 9NDA3+ comes in a premium package. It is difficult to see in the image, but the box is a white iridescent weave background that shimmers in the light. The board that we are reviewing is the top-of-the-line 9NDA3+, but Epox normally introduces lower-priced, lower-featured versions in the same family. Even though it is the top Epox 939 board, the 9NDA3+ is still a good value in 939. A check at several on-line vendors showed a current price of around $130, which is competitive with other top 939 boards that represent good value. There are less full-featured 939 boards now selling in the $105 to $110 on-line price range, and the value edition of the 9NDA3+ should fall in that range or even lower.

Many will want to know if nVidia implemented the full nForce3-250 family chipset features on the 9NDA3+, and the answer is "yes". You will find the on-chip Gigabit LAN supported by a PHY LAN chip, the on-chip nVidia firewall, and the nVidia "any-drive" RAID. It is good to see a manufacturer supporting the full nVidia feature set instead of opting for cheaper non-integrated solutions.

Basic Features: Epox 9NDA3+
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  • morkys - Monday, December 20, 2004 - link

    Wednesday, 24 November 2004
    ECN 30824
    EP-9NDA3+
    9ND34B10.BIN
    6800h
    ** Solve USB device resume fail from S4 mode.
    ** Patch system cole booting fail (hang up at POST FF h)when FSB over clock on SATA PHY M/B.
    ** Support DDR400 for double banks DIMM.

    Has this improved anything for anyone?

    I was stoked to get this or the MSI Neo2 Plat but there's always problems with new stuff. There's always problems with most stuff, but I may just go socket 462 for now if Epox or MSI nForce3 isn't trouble free. I was thinking of the Gigabyte but the NXP is too expensive and the non- NXP is still troublesome for some people.

    ?
    Reply
  • staypuffmarshallowman - Thursday, December 09, 2004 - link

    I purcased this mobo a week ago and it is defective....sent back as RMA yesterday. I could not achieve any higher than 20Kbps internet connection over my dsl! Furthermore, i had several (10-20) different post codes and i haven't done any overclocking at all. While this is EXTREMELY frustrating, I am hoping my replacement board will be fine. I am really concerned about your findings with the 4 dimms running only at 333!!! Please let me know if they are able to fix this.

    I don't want to give up on epox yet. My last board or thiers rocked. But this experience has sent me close to the end of our relationship.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    Ned -
    I suspect you are working at 200 with 4 dimms because your 256MB are single-sided dimms. Those are usually no issue for any of the boards. Our standard 4-dimm memory test is with 4 512MB DS dimms or a total of 8 sides. That still is not working on the Epox which overrides the DDR400 and resets the speed to DDR320 with 4 DS dimms.

    Just to be sure I have just retested the same CPU and the same 4 dimms on 3 other 939 boards. All 3 handled DDR400 with 4 dimms just fine, as confirmed with CPU-Z and SiSoft Sandra.
    Reply
  • NedFlanders - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    Mine board worked out of the box with four DIMMS and with the new BIOS too. I am using 4*256 Kingston HyperX. Even though BIOS says 200 it boots at 202 (RAM 404, FSB at 2020 mhz). I have confirmed the speed with CPUID & SAndra. I OC's it to 220 but just to try it. I'm not really into that. It worked fine.

    in addition to the parts i already mentioned,
    i have 6800GT, 2 WD120 (IDE0, IDE1) and a 450watt PSU, athlon 64 3200.

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    I have tested with the new 10/26 and 10/28 BIOS and the issues still are not fixed. Results remain the same as reported in this review.

    Below is the email I sent to Epox:

    "I have retested the Epox 9NDA3+ with the new BIOS and the 4 dimm issue is NOT fixed. No matter what I set in BIOS with 4 dimms the system boots at DDR320 at 2T (The BIOS states on boot DDR400@166, but CPU-Z reports actual CPU speed as 160x2). I have tested with:

    4x512MB Corsair 3200XL v1.1
    4X512MB OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev.2
    4X512MB G. Skill TCCD
    4X512MB Corsair CMX512-4400C25PT (DDR550)

    I also tested each of the 4 memories at SPD timings at DDR400 and at a forced 3-3-3-10 at DDR400, even though all 4 are rated at DDR400 2-2-2-5. Same results in both sets of tests. In addition the Epox still hangs on reboot more than 50% of the time. The PS is a OCZ PowerStream 520W. Memory Timings were checked with CPU-Z version 1.24 which is a free download at www.cpuid.com. Memory Speed was confirmed in SiSoft Sandra 2004.

    Do you have any further suggestions?"
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Epox has just sent a revised BIOS dated 10/26 and called 9ND34A26 to correct the 4-dimm issue and reboot issues with the Epox. As I soon as I complete tests with the new BIOS I will post an update to the review. Reply
  • NedFlanders - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    my ep-9nda3+ is in. it overclocks well, cpu is cool and no problems with 4DIMMS at 200 Reply
  • ThePlagiarmaster - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    Wesley,

    If divx 5.1.1 is so optimized for Intel, why does hardocp show Intel losing by 20%?? You need to run tests with two different frontends. DVD2AVI for AMD and Xmpeg for Intel. Unless someone has a better suggestion for Intel (Xmpeg always caused them to win no matter what encoder was used). It's a small change and would give a MUCH more accurate picture of what we'd see in the realworld. Nobody comes home with a shiny new PC and runs they crappiest frontend they can find for their given cpu. Especially when they are both free for the taking.

    Did a bit more reading, it appears AutoGK is the only difference between your article and hardocp's usage. You should NOT be using this for AMD if it throws away a 20% victory and hands the lead to Intel. Nobody would do that at home. That big of a margin is akin to throwing away 3-4 cpu speed grades these days! I'd further say you shouldn't be using it for Intel either. It appears to slow them down compared to Xmpeg (who even link to Intel on their website).

    With all of these being free, why wouldn't the user want to pick the fastest for their chosen cpu? I see no reason why you couldn't run the same chapter with the same settings on each frontend for the different cpus. It's not like your adding a test, you're just changing a frontend for ONE of the tests. Right now, you're showing us a situation none of us would come home and run. We'd all take the faster route with different front ends for BOTH cpus.

    Divx 5.1.1 is NOT heavily optimized for Intel or they would win no matter the frontend. Using this codec and DVD2AVI as a frontend Intel loses by 20% (as shown at hardocp's article). Clearly it's more about the frontend in this case than the codec.
    Reply
  • thebluesgnr - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    I think this review is very well written. Only disagree with one thing:

    "The locations of the SATA connectors are a huge improvement over the locations on the nF3-250 Reference Board."

    I think this location is the opposite of that. On the reference board it's probably harder to install SATA drives, but this is something you do once or twice; the location used by EPoX makes it impossible to use the SATA ports with some graphics cards.
    Reply
  • Term - Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - link

    #26, are you 100% positive that Doom3 requires DX?

    If i remember correct I don't have DX installed and it runs just fine.
    Reply

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