Page 5: Epox
Epox is a bit of a new comer to the game. They haven't been around too long, but they have made a name for themselves. Their reputation started in Europe as a solid, well built board that can overclock, and they have just poured it on from there. They now hold many awards and recognition through out the tech world compared to the little they had just a couple years ago. Many resellers are still in the dark about them, especially smaller shops. Still being a somewhat small company, they don't manufacturer boards for every chipset, in every configuration, so you have to take what you get. (Epox just informed me that they do have offices in the US, despite what I was told from them before)
Epox boards are not performance kings. They will make a decent showing, and benchmark anywhere from the middle to the top few of the pack. Normally this would be a sign of just a decent manufacturer, but they design their boards differently than most, and as you'll see, it works.
Epox has been making their name, on part, by the stability of their boards. Its quite rare to find a manufacturer that is so young to get something like this right. From VIA, to AMD, their boards are like a rock. Some of their first boards were not so stable, but they were still well above average.
In my mind, Abit has always been the best at overclocking, but recently Epox has taken the crown. They have made boards which have gone in excess of 200 MHz FSB (8kha+), and people are still increasing the speeds with new bios updates. Even their old boards were wonderful overclockers, and most people will not give up their 8k7a boards.
Surprisingly they are not the most expensive boards out there. Epox boards tend to be reasonably priced, but unlike other cheaper boards, theirs are actually worth buying. For the quality of the board you get, its well worth it.
Epox doesn't have a huge line of boards, but they do tend to offer a feature packed version, and a plain version. They ship boards out with some decent software, and more extra hardware than I'm used to. Their boards also include a 2 digit display for error codes on their boards, to help eliminate and installation problems, which is a nice feature nobody else seems to have.
They aren't any boards out there that have died for no known reasons, or major problems with the board design. The only problems I've heard of epox having was on the initial release of the 8kha+, they released a large number of bad boards (2/3 RMA rate apparently). This was a major screw up, and made me lose a lot of confidence in the company, hopefully it never happens again.
Epox support is simply incredible. E-mails are answered within the hour, and they have a number of bios updates for you. Drivers are also available from their site.
Products worth mentioning
The 8kha+ and 8k7a/8k7a+ are all amazing boards. Anyone that owns one would not trade it for another, and its very rare for any company to get such great boards out in a row. Even the few people in North America that own early Epox boards will remember them for quite a while.
Overall Rating: 8.4/10 Epox makes a solid board, you can't go wrong with them. They push onto new grounds often, and you may get a board you'll never want to get rid of.
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