Intel’s i845 Chipset – A Second Look

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Test Setup

OK, I guess it’s time to take a look at the performance, even though that is not the most important factor to consider in buying a Mainboard and CPU, but it is the standard used to compare systems. As noted here, and in my last article, I really feel the market for the 478 pin Pentium 4 and the i845 chipset is the same as the Pentium 3 and i815EP chipset. They are priced comparatively, and since the P3 is being phased out it only makes sense (at least to me) that the both would attract the same buyer. The P4 1.5GHz is priced around what a P3 800 to 933 would be, though the i845 based Mainboard is currently more expensive than an i815. It might be a bit more fair to test with a 933 P3 at this time (P3 pricing has been dropping), but since I only have an 800EB P3 CPU for testing I’ll use it. The price and performance difference between it and a P3 933 really isn’t that much. Again, I’m going to leave out comparing the P4 to an AMD Athlon, since most buyers of the P4 will be buying for the Intel name alone or may buy due the higher speed (in MHz) CPU. Most hobbyists recognize that the Athlon offers much better performance in most cases (you’ll get to see some results soon enough!) at a better price.

With components and OS as noted above, Windows was set for 1024×768/16bit @ 85Hz, and I throw out test runs that are not within 3% (6% for some Winbench test, since it is hard to get them much closer and that is the default for the test). I added two new tests and dropped a couple of others. I was able to get the SYSmark 2001 test to run with no issues at all, and have no idea why I couldn’t under Win98SE other than it may have not liked the AC97 sound? I also added Unreal Tournament UTBench. I listened to a few readers’ comments, watched what my sons play and decided it would be a good one to use. One comment on the video settings and results – the i845 system had AGP Fast Writes enabled, the i815 did not (and could not be).

What you get to see this time is just the performance difference between the P4 and P3 system showing how much faster (or slower) the P4 is compared to the P3. The actual scores are provided in a table near the end of the article.

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