EPoX 5NVA+ SLI review

Price when reviewed

The 5NVA+ has the feel of someone sensible designing something that’s meant to be a bit crazy. A set of LEDs attractively measures RAM load, but the green PCB looks like a 1980s throwback that we wouldn’t be too happy to display through a case window.

EPoX has used three blue LEDs for fault finding. Placed near the primary graphics slot (being an nForce4 SLI motherboard, there are two slots available), RAM sockets and ATX power connector, if one doesn’t light you know your problem is there. There’s also the two-digit POST code reporter for more thorough diagnosis. This is good board building, but both power connectors are between the CPU socket and I/O backplate. This makes routing the power supply cables neatly inside your case almost impossible and inhibits airflow to the exhaust and CPU fans.

These eccentricities aside, the rest of the layout and features are fairly standard. There are plenty of headers and connectors, and they’re all arranged sensibly around the edge of the board. Interestingly, you’ll find a temperature sensor in the bundle. Route this to an area of your system where you feel excessive thermals could be problematic and you can monitor temperatures in Windows.

While the Realtek ALC850 audio codec may not have the High Definition Audio rubber stamp, the 7.1 sound is fine for most uses. The rest of the bundle is fine too, if not exceptional. Two Serial ATA cables should be enough, while a dual FireWire back panel is useful for augmenting the basic rear ports. Ultimately, though, the Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe is a better buy.

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