Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tech Link(Motherboard): EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI Mainboard Review

It seems like XBitLabs crew are un-impressed of the quality, make, and overclockability of this board. From the teaser alone, I can easily feel an ugly review of this board
EPoX Company used to be very popular for the overclocking friendly products. Unfortunately, the EPoX mainboard on Intel P965 chipset cannot prove that great reputation. Read our uncovering review for details!

Check out their conclusion...

EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI mainboard started selling pretty late. This is not a good thing, but not a dramatic thing either. In the end, there are different strategies; you can either rush a new “hot” but relatively raw product into the market right after the new chipset launch and then deal with the problems, or take your time and design a product close to being perfect before beginning to sell. DFI, for instance, doesn’t have any Intel P965 based mainboards in their product range yet, although some DFI Infinity P965 pictures have already surfaced in a few websites. So, the delayed launch of EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI is quite normal and understandable. Could be understandable if we saw a real mainboard instead of a prototype.

Our theoretical reasoning is refuted completely by Asus and Gigabyte, who managed to launch the entire family of Intel P965 based mainboards right after the chipset launch. At this time they are already preparing second and third mainboard revisions, absolutely new models, although even the very first mainboard revisions copes quite nicely with all the overclocking. So what were the guys at EPoX doing all this time? Because even the second BIOS version released in the end of last year didn’t solve the problems.

I hope that EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI will be able to run stably and reliably in nominal mode, that no other problems get uncovered during long-term operation. This poor overclocking result is comparable with what we would squeeze out of the new mainboard revisions of i945 based solutions. However, EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI cannot stand even this comparison, because all i945 based mainboards boast one great advantage: they cost half the price of EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI. So, it is really hard to recommend this mainboard even to those users who do not intend to perform any overclocking.

Frankly speaking, I do not want you to think that EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI is a complete failure. It is not true. Each product has issues and bugs in the PCB layout, BIOS features, even software. Thunder Probe monitoring utility is a significant step forward compared with the USDM (Unified System Diagnostic Manager) that used to come with EPoX mainboards back in the days. However, for some reason the developers paid more attention to the interface design rather than its flexibility and functionality. Besides, tools like that are primarily used for CPU temperature monitoring, however, the reports turned out to be lower than the actual temperatures and hence couldn’t be trusted. So, why would one need a beautiful but complex Thunder Probe tool, if we had to use CoreTemp during the test session?

First look is often deceiving. Having dwelled on the overclocking features of the EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI and uncovered a lot of issues all over the place we felt very anxious to put it aside as soon as possible. So, far not all the Intel P965 based mainboards are alike… However, I am sure you know it already. The only question that keeps bothering me is: aren’t EPoX ashamed of selling something like that?

Source:EPoX EP-5P965+ GLI Mainboard Review

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