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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Monday, November 29, 2004
EQS A44P8-MLF

1. Introduction

01 - EQS A44P8-MLF - Introduction

EQS is one of the biggest OEM motherboard manufacturers in Hong Kong. With a wide range of solutions for each socket type and excellent user support, EQS Computers appears to have a very bright and promising future ahead of it.

In this review we'll be looking at the EQS's A44P8-MLF motherboard for socket 478 processors.

The A44P8 is designed on a black PCB which makes the various brightly coloured components stand out producing quite a fancy effect.

The Northbridge

Northbridge

The 9100IGP Pro(RS350) located on the northbridge, provides support for Dual Channel memory, 8xUSB connectors, up to 4 GB of memory and comes with an integrated graphics processor. We were glad to see that EQS makes use of everything the chipset offers. Looking at the graphics processor, the 9100IGP supports DirectX 8.1 effects as do all ATi cards up to the Radeon 9500. This makes it the best choice if you're looking for a low cost solution without entirely giving up on gaming. You'll be able to use the motherboard's IGP with either "lightweight" or slightly outdated 3D games. Of course, don't expect to play Doom 3 with it but you just might be able to get away with playing Half Life 2 in 640x480 resolution.

For those who are looking for more than the standard desktop view, you can connect an extra VGA card on the AGP slot. Assuming that the added card supports dual monitor display, the ATi 9100IGP should co-operate with the extra VGA card and provide an additional, third monitor output.

Southbridge

The southbridge on the A44P8-MLF is powered by ATI's SB300 chipset, codenamed IXP300. This chip provides Serial ATA support for up to two SATA drives that can also be set up as a RAID array with either 0 for data safety or 1 for increased reading/writing speed.

Packaging

The card ships in a maroon coloured package on the front of which you'll find some of its characteristics and a sum up of its software bundle.

The box is also used as the packaging for returning the product back to EQS, in case, God forbid, something terrible happens and the motherboard is no longer operational. To get a replacement, one has to request for an RMA number at EQS's website, fill in the form located on the back of the box and ship it to their HQ in the UK.

Inside the package you'll find the card's manual, a bracket with 2 extra IEE1394 (firewire) connectors, a bracket with 2 USB2.0 connectors, a bracket with Audio-Video and SPDIF output and finally the appropriate metallic faceplate for the motherboard's on-board input/output connections.

The A44P8's bundle consists of a CD containing ATi drivers, PC-cillin Antivirus 2002, Partition Magic and Drive Image 4.0. A US$79 software value as mentioned on the CD sleeve.

Here's a sum-up of the board's features:

Model
A44P8-MLF

SIZE WDH(mm)

ATX 30.5 cm(L) x 24.4 cm(W)

CHIP

NORTHBRIDGE

ATI RS350

SOUTHBRIDGE ATI SB300

MEMORY

TYPE

4xDDR SDRAM
(4GB max)

DDR

266/333/400

CPU

TYPE

Socket 478

FSB

400/533/800

VGA

CHIP

ATI Radeon 9200

Output

VGA,S-Video, AV-OUT

PCI

x5

AGP

8x (1.5V Only)

SOUND

CHIP

5.1 Channel AC97

LAN

SPEED

Realtek 8110C (10/100Mbps)

IDE Connector

2x133

SATA Connector

2xSATA

USB 2.0

8xUSB2.0

IEEE1394 2x




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