The Asus A7n8x was one of the first nforce² boards that hit the shelves 4 months ago. Although it was hard to get it running at high FSB, it showed a lot of potential. It even challanged the bandwith of expensive RDRam setups.
Soon afterwards, epox released their nforce² board: the 8rda+. This proved to be a far more tweakable board than the asus, but an inadjustable chipset voltage limited most users to reach a FSB far beyond 200mhz. With some easy soldering, the chipset voltage could be raised from 1.55~1.6v to 1.8v or even higher, allowing many ppl to run it stable at 220~230mhz.
At the end of december, epox released a new version of the 8rda+: rev 1.1. However, most modifications where pure cosmetical. Epox users where still unable to change chipset voltage (vdd) without soldering, which is not a risk everyone is willing to take. The chipset voltage regulator & mosfet aren't built to handle +1.6vdd, and some boards died after doing the vdd mod.
Meanwhile, Abit realeased there nforce² solution: the NF7(-S) rev 1.0. The chipset voltage was adjustable in the bios up to 1.7v (Hooray!), but due to a lack of mounting holes and an adjustable vcore up to only 1.85v, it wasn't an interesting buy for overclockers.
Abit learned from there mistakes, and released a rev 1.1 board almost immediatly afterwards with mounting holes. Still, vcore was limited to 1.85v.
Now, almost 4 months after their initial release, abit and epox have come to a board that needs no soldering to keep the die-hard overclocker satisfied: the Abit NF7-S rev 1.2 (2.3vcore, 2.9vdimm, 1.7vdd) and the Epox 8rga+ (2.2vcore, 2.9vdimm, 2.0vdd).
Compared to the 8rda+, the 8rga+ has a renewed PCB desing (allowing to up vdd without modding) and integrated graphics. Eventually Epox should release a new revision of the 8rda+, equal to the 8rga+ but without graphics integrated.
Can you still keep them all apart?
Abit NF7 summary:
|Abit NF7 rev 1.0||Abit NF7 rev 1.1||Abit NF7 rev 1.2||mounting holes||no||yes||yes|
Epox 8r(g/d)a+ summary:
|Epox 8rda+ rev 1.0||Epox 8rda+ rev 1.1||Epox 8rga+ rev 0.6|
|heatsink on SB||no||no||yes|