EPoX initially joined the motherboard fray in the value segment, offering competitive performance motherboards at mainstream prices. The differentiating factor about EPoX was that they did not restrict themselves to certain core logic solutions and offered alternatives for the enthusiast on a budget. Of course, mainstream performance motherboards are now a dime a dozen, but the latest EPoX motherboard that came our way still shows their commitment to delivering that alternative and championing the overclocker's cause.
The motherboard in question is the EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI, which is based on ULi's new M1697 chipset. The M1697 is a single chip PCI Express chipset for the AMD processor platform that was initially designed to compete with NVIDIA's high-end nForce4 SLI chipset. Both chipsets are similarly featured and target the enthusiast with each having some advantage over the other. NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI boasts of security and reliability functions with ActiveArmor Firewall, Secure Networking Engine and MediaShield technologies, but as a chipset, the M1697 is more modern with support for HD Audio and a flexible HyperTransport connection.
The EP-9U1697 GLI is designed with a classic single chip layout for the M1697 and comes with a compliment of PCIe x16 slots that readily supports NVIDIA's SLI technology. Of course, we all know NVIDIA's stand on allowing third party chipsets to actually run SLI and even though they've successfully acquired ULi, this is still no exception.
Before we continue though, let's have a look at the motherboard packaging and technical specifications listed below: