Super 7: EPoX EP-51MVP3E-M -- Review and "Overclocking"

Updated July 27, 1998

This Site has been accessed  times since July 19, 1998

Setup Notes ( 7/31/98) 

K6-2/350 Vs. PII333 
K6-2/300 Vs. PII300 
AGP Aperature Size 

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Note:  General specificationsand comments are available from Epoxand Anand's site.  My commentsare ancillary to information presented at these sites.  Detailed notesregarding the EP51 are available in the LaboratoryNotes page. 

Summary.  An overridinginterest in the Epox EP-51MVP3E-M stems from the K2-300 CPU.  Thisis reason enough. There is more to consider.  For those relunctantto stray from the Intel platform, the EP51 offers great support for theIntel 233MMX.  This is especially true for those who: 1) want to upgradeto AGP; 2) who have 72 pin SIMM chips.  The performance of the theEP51E with 128M of combined SDRAM and DRAM is nearly identical to a straight 128M SDRAM configuration.  The EP51E accepts  combinationsof old and new memory.  At one point, I configured the EP51E with64M 10ns SDRAM, 64MPC100, and  2X32M 50nS DRAM. This configurationwas stable at 4.0 X 83 (K6-2/300).  If Socket 7 is dying, the EP-51MVP3/K2is a lesson in advanced life support

Key Observations. 

  • Excellent stability running the K6-2/300 at 4 X 83 and 3 X 100 (WB98 CPU32= 815, WS98 = 25.5)
  • Excellent stability running the 233MMX at 3.5X83 (this chip is tricky incertain HX/TX boards)
  • Three jumper configuration
  • Incredibly tolerant of memory configuation.
  • Uses 10nS SDRAM and 50nS EDO at 4X83 wth little sacrifice in performancerelative to PC100 at 3 X 100
  • Performance with 256M of mixed RAM is as fast or faster than 128M of PC100
  • The AGP Nine R3D is as stable as the PCI Nine R3D -- regardless of overclocking
  • Keyboard automatic startup is handy (at first I thought this was fluff,now I like it)
  • Automatic blocking of the clock to unused slots (Auto Detect DIMM/PCI)might partly explain superior stability.
Appearance and noteable features:The EPOX EP-51MVP3E-M layout maximizes the probability of a successful build. There is a full 3/8" of clearance around each mounting hole. This lessens the possibility of inadvertantly grounding the system board due to inaccurately placed mouting posts.  Keyed headers define pin 1. Accidently reversing the cable is impossible.  Of course, you can still accidently reverse the cable at the floppy drive.  There are no delicate surface mount devices near the fan mounting clips. This lessens the possbility of accidently damaging  the board while struggling with a difficult fan clip.  The jumper settings are well marked and easy to use.  Most jumpered boards rely on a binary pattern The EP-51MVP3E system has additional header pins.  Configuration requires only three jumpers: 1) the multiplier, 2) the bus speed, and 3) the CPU voltage.  Jumper values are clearly marked.  A misplaced manual will not delay the next CPU upgrade. The EP-51MVP3E-M is a full size ATX board.  The advantage to this-- a cleaner and more thoughtful layout. 

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System configuration: 
  • Case.  Megatrends 300WATX midtower.  The layout is superb, but the metal is a bit soft.  I built five systems into these cases without suffering a single cut.  There are two full size case fans plus the power supply fan and, of course theCPU fan.  All fans are hardwired for continuous operation. 
  • Processors.  CPU(s) tested include an Intel 233MMX and a AK6-2/3D 300.
  • Disk controller.  The disk controller is a Diamond FirePort40Symbios875 controller.  The Symbios based cards tend to be more tolerant to overclocking than the industry standard AHA2940UW.
  • Hard drive.  Micropolis 4341WS UW drive with 68 pin interface. 
  • Video.   8M Nine AGP R3D card.  This card is considered "non-overclockable."  Nevetheless, when installed in the EP51, theAGP R3D runs fine at bus settings of 75 or 85 MHz.  The AGP R3D doesnot overclock in the HOT631 or the FX83.
  • Network interface card.   Adaptec DEC 2140.  Previous testing inidicated that this NIC is tolerant of overclocking.
  • Sound.  Ensoniq Soundscape
  • Operating system.  Windows 98. 

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