A couple of months ago, I took a look at the EPoX EP-9U1697-GLI Motherboard. This was EPoX’s first board to use ULi’s (now owned by nVidia) M1697 chipset. While the 9U1697 was produced for socket 939 CPUs, the 8U1697 that we have today is its socket 754 counterpart. Keep reading to see how this board compares.
The ULi chipset showed great promise as a low price alternative to the more expensive chipset on the market. Even when they were bought out by Nvidia, there was still hope that this chipset, one of the very few non-Nvidia chipsets to support SLI, would be available as a strong alternative. Even if Nvidia chose to keep this chipset alive, it seems that with the latest revisions of Nvidia’s display drivers, SLI has been locked down and is hence unusable, which takes away one of the huge selling points of this chipset. In the meantime, even without SLI, this motherboard is nothing to cough at.
The first thing I did before even opening the box was take a quick trip to EPoX’s website for the specs. Here they are:
AMD Athlon-64, Sempron
1.6 GTs HT FSB
2 x DDR SDRAM PC2100/2700/3200, 2GB max.
Dual PCI-E x16 for GLI Support
3x PCI, 2x PCI-E x1
2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/133, 4 drives max.
4 (SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5)
8 (4 Rear, 4 Pin Header) USB 2.0
Integrated 10/100 LAN
Realtek ALC65X selectable 2 or 6-CH audio CODEC
Award/Phoenix BIOS v6.0
P80P LED Debug Display
ATX (305mm x 220mm)
IDE/Floppy Cables, SATA Data/Power Cables, I/O Shield, CD Driver, Manual
Overall, these specs are remarkably similar to those of the 9U1697. Now that we know what features this board packs, let's open the box.
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