Entry into the nForce2 world has usually meant parting with £85+ of your money, especially if you were looking for an example from a well-respected manufacturer. That's where VIA has always had an advantage. Its boards, run with single-channel memory support, have often undercut NVIDIA on the all-important factor of cost. EPoX decided to manufacture a motherboard that provided most of the core features that made its nForce2 lineup good. These included a flexible BIOS, tweaked performance and robust feature set. Yes, it sacrifices some of the more obvious extras such as SATA or IDE RAID - the 8RDA3+ is available and has those features covered. This means that the 8RDA3G is a board that retains nForce2 Ultra 400 performance, a more-than-reasonable feature set that includes FireWire, USB2.0, 6-channel sound, dual LAN and debug LED. The major selling factor here, then, will be price. We've scoured the online retailers and have already seen it priced at below £75. That's an awful lot of technology for such little money. Strap in an AQXEA stepping Barton XP2500+, ramp up the FSB to 200MHz, and receive XP3200+ performance on the cheap, and all for less than £150 excluding cooler.
Excepting a couple of idiosyncratic features exhibited by the sample board (FSB fluctuation in Windows and under-volting), the 8RDA3G is an decent introduction into nForce2 power. If your budget is tight and you don't necessarily need all the features that some boards arrive with, this one deserves to be on your shortlist. A solid performer, once again.
Del med dine venner