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EPOX EP-MVP3C2 Motherboard: a review

by Bob Wright
2000/05/21



EPOX EP-MVP3C2
motherboard
by Bob Wright

General Partner
The NOSPIN Group

The EPOX solution motherboard to upgrade old 386, 486 and early Pentium motherboards is a winner: 

EPOX EP-MVP3C2

The search for an effective solution to upgrade existing PCs that is economical and utilizes the existing case and other components has always been a problem. You have an older 486 or early Pentium PC, the decision is made that it no longer will support the ever increasing demands of today's software and you just want it to run faster… so what do you do? Usually, the motherboard in your system uses AT power supplies and the large AT style keyboard, so the case and keyboard must be replaced. What do you do about this issue?

Recently, we tested the EPOX EP-MVP3C/2 motherboard using an AMD K6-2 500mhz CPU and 64mg SDRam dimm. The first thing I found was that it not only has the newer ATX power connectors, but it also has the older style AT power connector. This means the motherboard is ideal as an upgrade option for older Pentium, 486 or even 386 PCs. EPOX has offered this motherboard solution to support the latest Super Socket7 CPUs and it still uses the older cases, the older AT style keyboards and still allows the PC upgrade to use the latest Ram and AGP video cards.

Of course, my first thought when working with a motherboard in the below $70.00 price range was quality would suffer, but that was not the case. The EP-MVP3C/2 motherboard snapped into an existing 486DX-33 PC with little or no problems. Add in the cost of the Ram and CPU upgrade, the entire price tag was still under $350. The motherboard has two ISA slots, so the modem and sound card transferred easily. However the owner of the PC also decided to add a AGP video card, but with Trident 8mg AGP cards costing under $40, this was a minor issue. 

The only features I disliked about this motherboard was all the device connectors: IDE, parallel port, serial port, PS/2 mouse and power connectors are located in one corner. By the time I connected the last cable to the motherboard it was a real test of my eye sight and will to get them aligned. But, that was possibly the worst problem I encountered. A minor issue is the board still requires jumpers to be set on the motherboard to support your CPU, unlike the latest "Soft-Menu" bios boards. But, that is a real small issue, if you take your time, read the manual and move the jumpers to accommodate your CPU.

Latest Features?
The motherboard fully supports UDMA66 hard drives, AGP video cards, SDRam and USB, though I should mention that if you want USB ports, the motherboard does not come with the connector and you will need to buy a USB connector to plug into the board as a separate item.  This is annoying, since nearly all PC users today will eventually want to connect some USB device.  If you order this board, remember to also buy the USB connector.

In the price range of under $75 for a motherboard, this one is a clear winner especially for upgrading older PCs. The motherboard is just good basic design, snaps easily into older existing PCs and with a little reading of the manual, anyone can upgrade their older PC.

Bob

EPOX Computers
http://www.epox.com

 

 

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