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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19th October, 2003, 08:02 PM
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Epox 8RDA3+: What a long, strange trip it's been ...

My relationship with the 8RDA3+ began approximately four months ago when I purchased this mobo from Newegg. Since I had been using Epox boards exclusively since 1998--and since I had read rave reviews about its near mystical powers of extracting every once of potential from CPUs and memory sticks--it was only natural for me to make the 8RDA3+ the center of my latest system.
Along with the board, I purchased a 3000+ Barton, three sticks of OCZ rev 2 Performance Series RAM, an Antec 430 W PS and decided to utilize my ATI 8500 All-In-Wonder graphics card and Audigy Platinum sound card (both of which performed faultlessly with a previous Epox-equipped computer).
After the assembly of all of these components, the troubles began (as I have enumerated on several occasions in this and other forums). First, the computer wouldn’t boot up unless I hit the reset button immediately after pushing the power button (if I didn’t hit the reset button within 3 seconds, the computer’s speaker would admit this screaming sound only an ambulance driver could appreciate). Next, I found that I couldn’t install Windows XP unless I lowered the CPU’s FSB to 100 and loaded fail-safe defaults in the BIOS. Still, I had to format the hard drive and reinstall XP about six times before I finally got a workable operating system.
Then the real problems began. In spite of CPU temps hovering around 45 degrees, the computer decided to give me frequent and random reboots and freezes. Despite manipulating all those things manipulable in the BIOS (CAS, RAS, FSB frequency, etc), I couldn’t stop the thing from blue-screening at least and shutting down, at most. I lowered every imaginable setting to its lowest point and finally ended up with a computer that was operating at about the same speed as my reliable, old workhorse based on the 8KTA3L with a 1600+ processor (with the added “bonus” of occasional freezing and rebooting). I also went the other route by increasing Vcore, etc.
I then decided to send the thing back to Epox with strict instructions to send me a Rev 2 board in its place. Three weeks went by before I decided to contact Epox to find out the status of my replacement. Within a couple of days of my inquiry, I got a board back—the same board I sent to them only enclosed with a tiny, basically illegible card that said there was nothing wrong.
At this point—and getting really frustrated with the whole sordid affair of having a mobo that checks out perfectly with the manufacturer yet doesn’t operate satisfactory as an assembled computer—I decided to do the unthinkable: go with a motherboard other than Epox!
I decided to buy the Asus A7N8X Deluxe because the various over clocking forums overwhelmingly endorsed this board’s reliability and capacity for working in harmony with various and sundry cards, memory and power supplies.
After careful assembly of all the components and peripherals, I fired the Asus-based computer up. Immediately I noticed that I didn’t need to hit the reset button in order to get the thing to boot (progress on a grand scale at this point)! I then got into the BIOS, loaded Optimized defaults and made a few other settings and tweaks then proceeded to let the thing try and boot up with the operating system installed on the same hard drive once attached to the 8RDA3+.
I say “try” because it’s been my experience that when you change motherboards in a system, booting to the original OS install rarely works—at least not right off the bat. But—lo and behold—the Asus board uneventfully booted in XP without so much as a whimper! Granted, the Epox and Asus boards are both equipped with the same chipsets and I had the requisite nForce driver installed on the hard drive—but still, to boot up uneventfully on a mobo change is phenomenal. In fact—with apologies to Catholics everywhere—Mother Theresa would have had a hard time matching the magnitude of this miracle.
Since installing the Asus board a week ago, the system has performed flawlessly. Not once have I experienced a blue screen, a freeze or a random reboot. I’m experimenting with over clocking settings and have not heard a word of complaint from the system.
Now, I realize that not all of you folks who decide to send your similarly faulty 8RDA3+ back to Newegg (or put it in a crusher) and buy an Asus A7N8X will have the same results as me. All I know (and as you all know) is that this and other forums are chock full of complaints about the Epox 8 series, nForce boards behaving frustratingly. As far as I am concerned, a motherboard that has been well designed shouldn’t operate as poorly as the 8RDA3+--especially when you equip the thing with recommended power supplies, RAM and graphic cards as many of the complainants have.
Which tells me in all my logical wisdom that the 8RDA3+ should not have come off the assembly line until it was tested thoroughly for bugs and other operating nuisances.
So, here’s what I propose to do. I am going to contact Epox support and demand that they reimburse me for the purchase of this horrible board and send out recall notices to all purchasers (we all know what their answer will be, don’t we?). After I get their refusal notice, I will then send my board back to them with a polite notice to place it where the sun rarely shines its magnificent rays--along with a promise that I will never, ever buy another Epox board as long as they produce items like their 8 series, nForce boards.
Maybe if all of us disgruntled owners of 8RDA3+ boards follow this procedure we’ll get Epox to design and create a mobo that works—you know, like in the old days when Epox boards were plug and play.
Just a thought.
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Old 19th October, 2003, 09:43 PM
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I've moved you post to the "AMD Motherboards and CPUs" Topic.

Please read the announcement at the start of the EPoX thread.

Might I suggest that to increase readability, you space out your posts creating breaks much as is done in newspapers?

This makes a long Post much more readable. Welcome to AOA!
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Old 19th October, 2003, 10:18 PM
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I've had a few "interesting" experiences with different manufacturer's nForce2 boards, and I've come across some wierd and wonderful things. All I can say so far, is that nForce2 boards seem to be a remarkably inconsistant lot, even from the same manufacturer!
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Old 19th October, 2003, 10:42 PM
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Certainly this forums has seen FAR more problems with these boards than at lest "I" think we should.

Even VIA's debut went better! I was one of the lucky ones, my 8RDA+ has been a jewel, but I, as a rule, don't ask a lot of a board in terms of peripherals and add in cards. If it o/c's well and is stable with my sound and video card I'm happy.

Many seem not to have been able to achieve even this, many more do!

I'd love to see the consistency we saw in the 8K5A's!
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Old 21st October, 2003, 01:13 AM
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my sentiments exactly ...

Hi,

Well I have to say I agree with your post Janershen . Similar posts here :

8RDA3+ instability ?

My post with 2 different mobos , incl the 8rda3+

Epox 8RDA3+ ver1.1 and Abit NF-7S head to head ..

And this with similar sentiments from another user

8RDA3+ instability ?

I feel there should have been more stringent testing on the board , using basic components for stress testing ..like Bartons and corsair memory. Personally I`m going to stick with my current mobo manufacturer in the future.
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Old 22nd October, 2003, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
I've had a few "interesting" experiences with different manufacturer's nForce2 boards, and I've come across some wierd and wonderful things. All I can say so far, is that nForce2 boards seem to be a remarkably inconsistant lot, even from the same manufacturer!
Yeah. That's why I sent the thing back to Epox and demanded a Rev 2 board. Their answer? Sorry, chump. We only REPAIR boards, not replace them.
Goodbye Epox. Hello Asus.
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Old 22nd October, 2003, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neoprene
Hi,

Well I have to say I agree with your post Janershen . Similar posts here :

8RDA3+ instability ?

My post with 2 different mobos , incl the 8rda3+

Epox 8RDA3+ ver1.1 and Abit NF-7S head to head ..

And this with similar sentiments from another user

8RDA3+ instability ?

I feel there should have been more stringent testing on the board , using basic components for stress testing ..like Bartons and corsair memory. Personally I`m going to stick with my current mobo manufacturer in the future.
I sent Epox a copy of this essay and their reply was, "Just look at all the testimonials we've gotten about the quality of our products" (with web site attached).
Yeah. Typical PR stuff that's become so popular these days: don't ever admit an error or a problem, just emphasize the positive--I think Enron, et al used the same tactics.
It will be a hot day in the Artic before even read a critique of an Epox board let alone buy another.
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Old 22nd October, 2003, 07:48 AM
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I personally am dissapointed in the 8RDA3+, i have the exact same problems mentioned.

Including the Ambulance siren on bootup, which when hitting reset will take me to a successfull boot.

Granted my problems arent as bad as yours. As only on occasion will i get that weird siren problem on power on. Normally it is after i shutdown and then turn it back on within a few seconds. Or after a reset.

I can also install OS and bootup easily, and the only lockups i get are when i stress the system.

But im extremely dissapointed in the board, as the board does not operate as it should.

If i could afford to i would swap it out for a NF-7S. But unfortunately i cannot afford to do so. I dont think we even have an epox in Australia, so sending it to Epox would be quite a problem.

Funny thing is that due to the reliability of my 8KTA3L i purchased the 8RDA3+. But now due to the 8RDA3+ i will think twice before purchasing anymore epox products ever again.

Allthough i think at one stage i had really bad lockups with my 8KTA3L, but they dissapeared the more i used my system.

I think the 8RDA3+ is a good board when you get it working properly, it's probably just really problematic with certain hardware combinations.
Allthough i am yet to get mine to work flawlessy.
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Old 22nd October, 2003, 04:33 PM
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The only real problem i had with this board is that i CAN'T run my Barton 2500+ at lower Vcore than 1.75V(other cpu's work).
I did the Vdimm mod and i can run my system VERY FAST!
My combination:
EP-8RDA3+ rev. 1.1 (Vdimm modded) @1.8Vdd (26/5/03 BIOS"ROCK BIOS")
Barton 2500+ @ 2425Mhz(10.5x231) @ 1.81Vcore
2x256MB A-DATA(CL2.5) @ 231Mhz(2-2-3-6) @ 3.06Vdimm
64MB PowerColor RadeOn 8500(VIVO/LE) @ stock
2x80GB S-ATA Seagate @ Raid0 (on on-board Silicon Image controller)
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8RDA3+ (Vdimm modded) @1.8Vdd
2500+ 0330RPMW @ 2650Mhz (1.95Vcore) Watercooled by ELEVEN
2x256MB A-DATA DDR400 @ 231Mhz sync 2-2-3-6 (3.06Vdimm)
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Old 12th February, 2005, 09:55 PM
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Angry epox 8rda3+-+-+

Aaaargh I've got the same prob here sometimes i cant even get into the bios i think this boards prob is related to coding in the bios. a fix would be approriate
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Old 12th February, 2005, 09:57 PM
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in addition these problems became more apparent after epox latest bios patch using the builtin award flash utility!!!!
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Old 13th February, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Well, well, well - I've already owned (or had a possibility to test) 5 different nForce2 motherboards and there was no single one, that did not cause any problems. Mark this - I'm just an end-user, don't work in any computer store nor anything similar to that.

I've seen similar posts about Abit NF7, DFI Lan Party or Infinity and some more. Asus has never been overclockers' mobo, at least for nForce2 systems - I had had two mobo made by Asus and was pleased with them (Asus Cusl2c, Tusl2c - PIII systems). All I can say - I never stick to any company nor stay away from any.
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Old 1st March, 2005, 03:04 AM
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Well I think member Merlin has released a Modded bios by -=Merlin=- that eliminates o/c problems when using 133mhz fsb cpu as well as other mem probs I'm using it now and have had success!! (cap) it's really quite brilliant!


www.aoaforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27357
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Old 5th March, 2005, 10:14 AM
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someone remind me again - why am I now looking for an nforce2 motherboard... all that seems to happen is people moan about them.

is the OC-ability of the other chipsets really THAT bad, that it's worth the problems u guys seem to have?
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Old 5th March, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Streethawk
someone remind me again - why am I now looking for an nforce2 motherboard... all that seems to happen is people moan about them.

is the OC-ability of the other chipsets really THAT bad, that it's worth the problems u guys seem to have?
nForce2 chipset is the best overclocker among all Socket A chipsets ever created. Though I sometimes think it isn't worth such problems - "talking to your mobo" is whole lotta fun, but at a certain point this becomes to be annoying and irritating.

Above that, there is no perfect nFroce2 motherboard - e.g. Abit NF7 is a good overclocker, but I had talked to it for almost 2 weeks, before we agreed on some decent OC. In that case I was trying out whole bunch of different modified bioses.
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Old 5th March, 2005, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~
Certainly this forums has seen FAR more problems with these boards than at lest "I" think we should.

Even VIA's debut went better! I was one of the lucky ones, my 8RDA+ has been a jewel, but I, as a rule, don't ask a lot of a board in terms of peripherals and add in cards. If it o/c's well and is stable with my sound and video card I'm happy.

Many seem not to have been able to achieve even this, many more do!

I'd love to see the consistency we saw in the 8K5A's!
I have overall been more pleased with NF2 boards than VIA.

I have a VIA Gigabyte 266 board (GA7-DXR) that served me well, but gave me fits to get it stable in the first place. The ABIT KV7 (KT-600) is running great now, but I have a lot less hair getting it there. And my current flagship a ABIT AV8 (KT-800Pro) gave me another round of hair loss.

I have had my ABIT NF7-S V2.0 (NF2) for 3 years. I have had 2 CPU upgrades, a memory upgrade. The original NB fan still works and I have never had a problem with this board. I had a DFI 400 econo board (NF2) that worked right out of the box with no setup trouble. MSI K7N2 Delta L (NF2) just fine and my new EPoX 8RDA6+Pro (Newer version NF2) has my eye, No socket A board can beat a A64, but this one comes close.

I like the VIA board after, but not during setup. NForce boards like me better I guess.
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