Epox M762A and Gigabyte A-7DPXDW in the test: Dual-AMD motherboards in comparison
- 1 Foreword
- The subjects
- 2 The M762A from Epox
- 3 The GA-7DPXDW from Gigabyte
- 4 The test setup
- The test software
- 10 Overclocking
- 11 costs
- impressions & F azit
The GA-7DPXDW from Gigabyte
The GA-7DPXDW is delivered in a very large box. When we unpack it, we notice that the board seems to be a bit bigger. Indeed, the board from Gigabyte is 2 cm wider than the competition. The blue layout is as typical for Gigabyte as the wine red is for MSI. As soon as we pull it out of the antistatic bag, the sticker 'ECC REGISTERED ONLY' catches our eye, which is stuck across the memory slots. The three red IDE slots are also immediately noticeable. There are two for the integrated raid controller from Promise, the Fasttrak100, which supports raid levels 0, 1 and 0 + 1. The labeling of the slots is a bit strange. The standard IDE slots are not IDE1 and IDE2 but IDE3 and IDE4. So it happened to us that we connect the main hard drive to the Raid controller instead of tothe primary IDE slot (here IDE3). A look at the manual proved us wrong.
Otherwise, the Gigabyte does not show any nakedness. Cleanly processed and with active Northbridge cooler, it makes a good impression, which was also confirmed in the course of the test. There are the usual number of connections for fans. Four fans can be connected directly to the mainboard: Two CPU fans, a case fan and a connection for the power supply fan to monitor its speed are included. As connections for the outside world there are, in addition to the usual connections for the mouse/keyboard as well as the serial and parallel interface, further sockets for the AC'97 sound chip and two USB sockets as well as a 10/100 MBit LAN connection that is on one Intel 82550 chip based.
The revision 'B2' can now also be found on the southbridge, which enables problem-free work with USB devices. The arrangement of the PCI slots is somewhat unusual, but not detrimental to functionality. For example, one slot is positioned alternately when distributing 64-bit/66MHz and 32-bit/33MHz slots. With the CPU sockets, we immediately noticed the external temperature diodes, because all other boards do without them and read the temperature of the AMD Athlon MP CPUs from the internal diode of the processors.
For those who prefer to use screwed-on CPU fans, Gigabyte has an understanding and leaves enough space around the sockets to easily attach these coolers. For the power supply, as with the other boards, the standard ATC power plug and the + 12V power plug are sufficient, both well arranged next to each other, so that cables do not hang around unnecessarily, as with other boards that use the + 12V Have attached the power connector further away on the mainboard.
Interesting features include activating/deactivating the raid -Controllers via jumper, which can be switched off separately from the raid function or completely. The integrated LAN interface can also be deactivated in this way, for example, in order to use a 1GBit network card.
Equipment & scope of delivery
In addition to the mainboard itself, there is also the English manual as well a manual for the Promise Raid controller and the obligatory connection cables for the drives (an 80-pin IDE cable and the cable for the floppy drive) in the pack. Also an ATX cover for the external interface and a driver CD.
The features of the Epox GA-7DPXDW in detail
- Form factor
- Socket 462 ATX (30.cm x 26.9cm)
- Supports dual (Socket462) AMD Athlon MP
- AMD 760 MPX Chipset
- AMD 762 Northbridge (actively cooled)
- AMD 768 Southbridge (Revision B2 )
- 4x 184 pin DIMMS (DDRRAM)
- Supports PC1600/PC2100 DDR RAM with 2.5V
- Max. Memory size: 4 GB Registered DDR SDRAM
- Expansion slots
- 1x AGP Pro 4x slot
- 2x 64 bit/66 MHz PCI Slots
- 3x 32 bit/33 MHz PCI slots
- 4x fan connections (3 monitor capable)
- 2 IDE ports (UDMA 33/66/100)
- 2 IDE RAID ports (UDMA 33/66/100) Promise Fasttrak100 RAID 0,1,0 + 1
- 4 USB ports (2 rear/2 external front)
- 1 network connection (Intel 82550 10/100 MBit)
- External connections
- 1x parallel port
- 2x serial ports
- 2x USB ports
- Internal connections
- 2 USB front panel connections
- 2 MBit Award Bios
- Front Side Bus adjustable in 8 steps (133-149 MHz)
- PC Health Monitoring
- Other functions
Similar As with the Epox Bios, the usual options can be set here and the status of the mainboard can be monitored. The settings for error correction of the Reg. ECC Ram can also be set here. The Front Side Bus (FSB) can be adjusted in eight steps from 133 MHz to 149 MHz.
On the next page: The test structure