The Super 7 Hardware Guide was offered the first peek at the EP-MVP4A and so the marketing department at EPoX asked us to go easy on the included documentation. While it is true that the accompanying User's Manual was a bit rough around the edges and did have a few errors and left out some information, the one that ships with the system board will no doubt go through the necessary revisions to get it near perfect. Even the manual in the state that we received it was better than 80% of the system boards we have reviewed, offering lots of info and direction for getting the system set up correctly. The board ships with the aforementioned manual, an IDE and Floppy cable as well as an ATA/66 80-wire, 40-pin IDE cable, if you happen to have an ATA/66 capable hard drive. With the AGP graphics on board, the backpanel I/O loses a COM port so EPoX has included a serial port connector that, if required will take up one of your case's expansion slot openings. EPoX also includes it's set-up CD that offers the requisite patches for the VIA chipset as well as the AGP graphics and sound system drivers and system monitoring utility. The VIA patches are presented a little differently than I have ever come across before in that they are offered as a Service Pack and all 4, the AGP.vxd, IRQ Port Router, Chipset Registry Function and IDE drivers can set up all at once or selected for install separately by the user.



2X _ _
2.5X _ _
115MHz _ _
The EP-MVP4A supports all of the current socket 7 CPU's that operate at clock speeds of 133-450MHz, including Intel Pentium MMX, AMD K5,K6, K6-2/III, Cyrix 6x86L, 6x86MX and MII, IDT WinChip C6 and WinChip2 as well as Rise's mP6. CPU core voltages are configured though a single block of 5 dipswitches, and range from 1.8 to 3.2v "documented." CPU clock multipliers range from 2.0 to 5.5 and are set with a single jumper thanks to EPoX ESDJ (Easy Setting Dual Jumper) which allows you to set the external CPU frequency at 66/75/83/95/100/105 or 115MHz with the other jumper.You also have several optional FSB speeds available through the BIOS' "Sensor And CPU Speed Setup" screen. With 3 DIMM slots the board requires a minimum of 16MB but can support up to 768 MB of EDO, or 384MB of Standard (66MHz) or PC100 SDRAM. System expansion is provided for with (2) 16-bit ISA slots and (4) 32-bit PCI slots, all of which can easily handle full-length expansion cards. The MVP4 chipset supports (2) independent PCI IDE interfaces with each supporting 2 PIO Mode 3/4, Ultra DMA33/66 or ATAPI devices. The chipset also provides 2 PCI Bus Master slots and a jumperless PCI INT# control scheme that makes configuration of PCI expansion devices quite a bit easier. The VIA Super South Bridge offers standard I/O (IrDA, 1 FDD, 2 16550 FastUART serial, 2 USB and 1 EPP/ECP parallel ports. Other standard features include; Software Power-Down (Win95/98), Remote Power-On through modem, WOL, Wake On Alarm function, CPU Hardware Sleep and System Management Mode, and Keyboard Power-On.

You'll also find a header to add another pair of USB ports if you so desire and the board also supports CPU and chassis fan auto-stop in sleep mode. As you already know the chipset also features built in Sound Blaster/DirectSound AC97 audio and the MVP4/Trident Blade3D 2D/3D graphics accelerator, and the Southbridge offers hardware monitoring through the VIA Hardware System Monitoring utility.

As super7 mainboards go, the EP-MVP4A is pretty simple thanks to the Easy Setting Dual Jumper feature.  Very spacious all of the connectors and jumpers and dipswitches are very easy to get to. There are a line of can-type electrolytic capacitors down the right side of the CPU socket that could hamper oversized heatsink/fan combos but I had no trouble.  The floppy connector is in a strange location positioned horizontally between PCI slot-4 and ISA slot-1  alongside of the lithium battery and BIOS chip.   This could cause the floppy cable to overlay longer PCI expansion cards but this offers very little to worry about.  The whole operation from dropping the board into the case to your first boot takes 15 minutes at the most provided you follow the easy instructions documented in the manual.  BIOS configuration is well documented and easy to follow in the manual as well, and much simpler than those found on the typical SiS530-based system board.


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