EPOX Computer EP-9NPA+
- Clean layout, broad range of overclocking settings
- No rear-panel FireWire
EPoX's nForce4 Ultra board performs well and has the basic features you need for a mainstream or high-end system.
Price$ 207.00 (AUD)
The EP-9NPA+ Ultra is the prototypical nForce4 Ultra board, implementing exactly what the chip set offers-which is quite a lot--but nothing more.
Compared to other Athlon 64 motherboards we have tested, the board's performance was middle-of-the-road, in both WorldBench 5 and our gaming tests. You can optimise for more speed via its broad range of overclocking settings (in the PC setup program) and the speed and voltage settings (using the included NTune app).
The EP-9NPA+ Ultra features a very clean layout, with three unobstructed PCIe x1 slots and no interference between components. While we would have liked a rear-panel FireWire port, the board came with two FireWire headers--a set of pins that allows you to connect to a port built into your case or a rear port that fits on an included slot cover.
The EPoX board's Magic Flash Internet BIOS utility worked well, and the pre-production user guide we received was concise and informative.
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Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
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It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
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