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Epox MF570 SLI gives 590 boys a run for their money

First INQpressions Board stiffs
Mon Aug 28 2006, 12:13
EPOX released a new motherboard that goes under the name of Epox MF570 SLI. This one is based on Nvidia's second most powerful chipset, the Nforce 570 and it is cheaper than its stronger 590 SLI brother. We don't know where MF in the name comes from but we hope it comes from My Favourite or something sweet like that.

The big catch of this motherboard is that it has two times 8x PCI graphics ports while the Nforce 590 SLI has two times 16x PCIs ports. It's not a big deal but sixteen sounds twice better than eight. Well it's not even close.

alt='ep570'

The board has a single chip chipset while the Nforce 590 SLI has two chips to get enough PCIe lanes. We were lucky to see three PCI slots for three upgrade cards. The MF570 SLI board also has two PCIe 1x slots but placed between two PCIe 8x graphic slots, so you can forget at least one of them.

The chipset is actively cooled and the cooler is not noisy, that's all we care about. The board supports four DDR 2 modules officially at 800MHz but the faster modules will work on it. Epox decided to put support for up to eight SATA ports so you won't lack the connectors for your beloved drives.

The good old IDE and floppy connectors are still with us. When you take a deeper look you can see that there is one more IDE slot, quite rare feature these days but it cannot do you bad. It's always better to have two over one. The board comes with Epox LED diagnostic display, a very useful tool that can tell you what's wrong with the board and has a reviewers beloved power and reset button on board.

Six of the SATA II ports come from Nforce 570 SLI chipset and they support Raid 1, 0+1 and 5. The two LAN ports are Gigabit and will work with the help of Marvell's 88e1116 GBE chip.

alt='ep570a'

The board supports ghost bios so if you fry your bios you will be able to recover it without much hassle - a very nice feature for overclockers and Epox always makes its boards with them in mind. You just insert a CD and can recover your bios a neat feature.

The 24-pin power connector is placed between the AM2 socket and the first PCIe card that will work at PCI 16X mode with single card. It is not the easiest place to plug it in. Once you plug the second card you will be set back to two times 8X PCIe.

The back panel hides keyboard and mouse PS2 ports, Optical and SPDIF audio connectors, four USBs, two LAN cards and 5.1 analogue audio connectors.

The box includes a lot of cables, back panel is there, IDE and floppy cables, additional cooler to blow out the air out of the case, four white SATA cables, additional USB ports. The SLI bridge is still present and the board comes with an installation CD, User manual and system installation guide.

alt='ep570b'

Epox support bios upgrades via windows and calls it Thunder Flash. Thunder Probe will let you monitor the board, voltages and temparutre the board in Windows while the Thunder Screen will let you change the boot screen. This is very nice to show off to your friends as you can boot with your own picture.

We decided to compare the board against Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe board and used Gainward Bliss Geforce 7950 GX2 card.

Benchmarketing
We used :
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Nforce 590 SLI mothebroard Epox MF570 SLI Nforce 570 SLI motherboard Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 graphic card Athlon FX 62 2800 MHz 90 nanometre Windsor core
2x1024 MB DDR2 Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 memory
Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA NCQ hard drive
Thermaltake Mini Typhoon Athlon 64/X2/FX cooler and Intel CPU's
Silverstone Strider ST60F, 600W ATX 2.0 SATA
We expected that Epox MF570 SLI has to end up slower but it was close. Asus is just 120 marks faster in 3Dmark03. In games the difference is even smaller. CPU test shows a slight advantage of the Nforce 590 SLI chipset. Asus ends up 30 points faster and four frames faster in game 1 test.

Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
3DMark 03
Game2
Game3
Game3
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
29993
261.2
212.1
181.5
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
29879
260.9
212.0
180.9
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
CPU Score ?
CPU Test 1 ?
CPU Test 2
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
1427
156.2
25.8
64.8
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
1394
151.9
25.3
?
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 03
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Vertex Shader
Pixel Shader 2.0
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
8194.9
22440.6
88.5
408.4
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
8194.7
22440.6
88.4
406.9
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
3DMark 05
Game1
Game2
Game2
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
13668
52.8
42.0
73.6
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
13556
52.0
41.7
73.6
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
CPU Score ?
CPU Test 1 ?
CPU Test 2
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
7350
3.3
7.2
?
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
7425
3.3
7.3
?
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 05
Single Texturinng
Multi Textur.
Pixel Shader

VS/VS
complex

Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
9441.0
22749.9
637.5
129.5/94.8
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
9412.0
22806.2
636.0
129.4/95.1
? ? ? ? ?
Composite Figures 3Dmark 06
3DMark 06
? ?
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
8048
? ? ?
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
8034
? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
SM2.0 Test
Score
GT1
GT2


Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
3639
29.067
31.589
?
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
3621
28.909
31.438
?
? ? ? ? ?
HDR/SM3.0 Test
Score
HDR1
HDR2


Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
3476
30.985
38.545
?
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
3464
30.732
38.539
?
? ? ? ? ?
CPU Test
Score
CPU1
CPU2


Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
2091
0.669
1.045
?
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
2106
0.680
1.043
?
? ? ? ? ?

PC Mark 2005

CPU
Memory
HDD
Total
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
5689
5342
5260
6323
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
5704
5180
5204
6294
? ? ? ? ?
Sandra 2007
CPU
Memory
Multimedia
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
20379/17195
8593/8546
52936/57458
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
20380/17204
8630/8601
52930/57463
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
128.5
127.5
126.7
116.6
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
126.7
126.0
124.4
116.1
? ? ? ? ?
Doom 3 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
128.1
120.7
103.5
71.1
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
125.4
118.4
102.8
71.0
? ? ? ? ?
Far Cry High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
97.03
96.81
95.76
76.51
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
95.48
94.12
93.73
76.28
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
168.7
166.6
163.5
150.0
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
167.1
162.3
159.5
148.9
? ? ? ? ?
Quake 4 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
162.9
155.8
145.6
118.9
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
162.5
153.0
144.8
118.2
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR
1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
138
128
108
78
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
138
127
108
77
? ? ? ? ?
FEAR High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x960
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
122
98
69
45
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
120
96
69
44
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
154.2
151.8
150.5
127.7
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
151.0
148.7
147.3
126.6
? ? ? ? ?
Serious Sam 2 High Quality FSAA 4X + Aniso 16X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
2048x1536
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2
153.2
141.4
123.0
91.0
Epox MF570 SLI - Gainward BLISS 7950GX2 SLI
150.1
140.0
122.1
91.0

In 3Dmark05, the difference stays at around 100 points. The difference in games is always less than a single frame. Epox runs the CPU test 75 points faster than the more expensive Asus. Single and multi-texturing and Shader numbers are almost identical. In 3Dmark06 Asus is only fourteen marks faster, in Shader model 2.0 test its 18 points faster or around 0.1 FPS in games. In Shader model 3.0/HDR test, Asus is only twelve or only 0.2 in one game or not at all at the second game. The CPU score is almost identical.

PC mark 2005 CPU test miraculously runs faster on the Epox board powered by slower chipset. Asus wins the total score by 29 points but you can clearly see that the memory runs faster on Asus by more than 150 marks.

Both CPU and memory scores are slightly faster on Epox board and even in last multimedia test, Asus wins in just one multimedia test for a nail.

Now to the games. In Doom 3, Epox stays half to two frames faster. The difference at Doom 3 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso is from 0.1 to three frames at 10x7. Far Cry 4X FSAA and 8X Aniso runs up to two frames faster on Asus.

Quake 4 shows up to four frames difference while once you turn 4X FSAA and 8X Anisotropic filtering the difference drops to less than a frame. FEAR is either the same or for a single frame faster on Asus. It can win by up to two frames with FSAA 4X and 16X Aniso. Serious Sam 2 with or without FSAA shows from nothing to three frames difference.

In Short
Epox board costs at least 50 to €60 less than Asus one that we tested and runs only a percentage point or two slower than it. We like the features, you can really overclock and tweak this board and you get enough cables and CDs with it.

Nforce 570 SLI chipset showed that it can really perform well against its faster, warmer and double-chip Nforce 590 SLI chipset. Epox boards are nice for overclocking and gaming and if you need a new M2 motherboard you should consider this one. ?

Reviewed and tested by Sanjin Rados and Fuad Abazovic

 

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