Intel’s i845 (SDRAM) Chipset

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First Impressions

First I’d like to get this table out of the way – read it, look at the numbers, read the summary below and then try to forget about it. I know I had to in order to realize what market the i845 chipset is aimed at and how well it works for that market.

Win98SE, 1024×768/64K @ 85Hz, 256MB memory, WD 200BB ATA/100 7200-PRM HD, GeForce II GTS 32MB AGP

Mainboard

Soyo TISU

Intel D850MD

Soyo P4ISR

BIOS

   

T0713

CPU

PIII 1.2

P4 2.0

P4 2.0

Chipset

815EP

i850

i845

FSB

133MHz

400MHz

400MHz

Memory

PC133

PC800

PC133

Winstone 2001

Business

46.3

49.3

46

Content Creation

53.2

56.8

51.7

3D Winbench 2000

Score

120

127

120

CPU

2.38

3.14

2.57

Winbench 99

CPUmark 99

106

115

105

FPU Winmark

6660

6880

6880

Business Disk

6790

6690

6880

High Disk

20300

19900

21300

Business Graphics

547

447

438

High Graphics

1440

1290

1250

3D Mark 2001

Score

3309

3657

3406

Game 1 Low

53.3

60.1

59.9

Game 1 High

24.2

28.1

24

Game 2 Low

51.1

57.9

55.6

Game 2 High

20.9

23.3

21.6

Game 3 Low

68.1

70.4

67.6

Game 3 High

34.2

37.2

33.2

Quake III Demo 1

148.8

197.2

143.6

Wizmark – Sec, lower is faster

5.65

5.59

5.79

Final Reality

Score

8.81

12.25

9.62

2D

13.73

23.52

17.05

3D

6.61

7.24

7.04

Bus

7.05

8.06

4.23

AGP

301.19

366.6

345.3

Video2000

926

1089

1042

SYSmark 2000

Overall Rating

235

233

213

Internet Content Creation

242

251

229

Office Productivity

230

221

201

Why should you forget about it? Simple, the market for the i845 chipset is NOT the same as for the i850, plain and simple. But there are a few noteworthy results I’d like to point out where even the i845 with SDRAM and the fastest P4 clearly has an advantage over the fastest P3.– and they are all ‘multimedia’ based.

  • 3D Winbench CPU
  • Winbench FPU
  • 3D Mark 2001
  • Final Reality
  • Video 2000

Sure, the 1.2GHz P3 i815 SDRAM (fastest available), or the 2.0GHz P4 and its i850 RDRAM (fastest combo available) beats the i845 and P4 2.0GHz with SDRAM in a number of business applications. And you can see the difference in memory bandwidth between the SDRAM and RDRAM when using a P4 CPU, but is performance all we are looking for? I think not. And is the performance market what Intel has in mind for the i845? Again I think not. Think price vs. performance, not MHz vs. MHz or the ultimate high score.


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