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Epox M762A and Gigabyte A-7DPXDW in the test: Dual-AMD motherboards in comparison

Epox M762A and Gigabyte A-7DPXDW in the test: Dual-AMD motherboards in comparison

Costs

Now we come to the costs of a dual-processor mainboard. As with the last dual AMD motherboard comparison test, the same applies here: First of all, of course, the costs for a second processor are incurred. Since this also needs to be cooled, of course the one for a second CPU cooler. Not to forget the mainboard. Anyone who retrofits from an existing system can basically continue to use all of its components. It should be noted, however, that the two mainboards from this test only work together with relatively expensive 'Registered' RAM! You should also keep an eye out that there is sufficient ventilation in the case, because two Athlons produce a not inconsiderable amount of waste heat. It has to be a midi tower with at least two case fans, which would result in lower costs.

There the for theMP processors intended for multiprocessor operation are still somewhat more expensive than normal XP processors, it is advisable to use XPs instead of MPs. A short test with the normal XP processors went without any problems. Both mainboards worked in our comparison test with Athlon XP1800 + processors. However, neither the Epox nor the Gigabyte runs with two different processors. However, it will now be difficult to get XP processors that do their job in dual mode, as AMD removed this feature from XPs since February 1, 2002, which means that the current XPs are unsuitable for dual mode. However, it is possible that one or the other dealer has a few older XPs in stock. You should make sure that the XPs have a brown case and that the value in the second line for the production week and the year '0208' (for the eighth production week in 2002) does not exceed. The first pair of numbers stands for the year, the second for the week. Because only these processors are still from the old production and are therefore suitable for dual operation.

Impressions & Conclusion

All tested mainboards left a good impression during the test. The boards are well made, well equipped and easy to start up. Only the two 64-bit PCI slots, which do not allow the use of older PCI cards because they have no notch, are a bit limited.

EPoX M762A
  • LAN on Board
  • USB on Board
  • FSB adjustable in single steps
  • Screw holes for cooler
  • ONLY Registered ECC memory
  • Few fan connections
  • No cover for external connections
  • No on-board sound

The Epox cut a good figure with us. Apart from the dangling northbridge cooler, which we didcould easily assemble yourself. The arrangement of the CPU sockets, which are at a 90 degree angle to each other, had no effect on the installation of coolers. It's a shame that you can only install the more expensive Registered ECC memory on the M762A. With normal, unbuffered Ram (e.g. from Infineon or Nanya) the Epox could not be persuaded to start. We also liked the fact that the FSB could be entered in single steps. However, in this context there is no possibility of manipulating the VCore.

Gigabyte GA-7DPXDW
  • LAN on Board
  • USB on Board
  • Promise Raid on Board
  • Screw holes for cooler
  • ONLY Registered ECC memory
  • Few fan connections
  • FSB not freely selectable

We particularly liked the Gigabyte because it is the only one with a raid controller, the Fasttrak 100 from Promise. This saves you one of the already scarce PCI slots if you need such a controller. Unfortunately, Gigabyte also decided, although designed as a low-cost workstation/server mainboard, to only allow Registered ECC DDR RAM. It's a shame, because as you can see with the boards from the previous test, it works without the expensive registered memory.

Problems with software, neither with somethingolder or newer software, due to the two processors, did not occur. None of the test candidates prepared a load test in which SETI @ home was running on both processors, a CD was burned on-the-fly at the same time, music was listened to at the same time and a download of an 80 MB file was running in the background while surfing the Internet the slightest problems. On the contrary, you can continue to work just as much as if you only had the currently active application open. Overall, it can be said that a dual processor mainboard is definitely worth the money if you work a lot with your PC. For the game freaks, a dual processor motherboard is not a reason to buy from the point of view of higher performance in games. Because only very few games support two processors (Quake 3 Arena).

We compared the dual-processor mainboards from the point of view of normal users. It was particularly important to us to use it as a desktop PC, as well as the stability and the possibilities of overclocking the boards. For use as server boards, as multi-processor mainboards are usually seen, the mainboards tested here are certainly also ideal, but we did not examine this aspect in more detail in this comparison test.

Not in one of them A representative comparison with somewhat older dual Intel mainboards, with Intel Pentium III 1000 MHz processors, showed the dual AMD mainboards that they can keep up with the competition's dual mainboards at any time and that they represent a real alternative. Only the enormous heat that the AMD processors develop has a negative impact here.

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