Intel D845PEBT2 i845PE Motherboard Review

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Intel D845PEBT2 i845PE Motherboard Review
Intel Appeals to the Enthusiast

By: Chris Angelini
December 29, 2002

Quake III v.1.17 Demo001
Classic OpenGL

ASUS' P4PE outperforms the D845PEBT2 by about six percent in Quake III.  The i850E board is even faster than that.   Then again, these tests are at 800x600, so if you like to play games at 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 you probably won't notice the small difference, especially if you've got a powerful graphics card.

3D Mark 2001 SE
Synthetic DirectX 8 Gaming

Even at 1024x768, 3D Mark demonstrates the same results we've seen from all of the other gaming benchmarks. 

Content Creation Winstone 2003 and Business Winstone 2002
Simulated Application Performance

We recently replaced Content Creation 2002 and Business Winstone 2001 with Content Creation 2003 and Business Winstone 2002, the most recently released benchmarks from PC Magazine.  We'd like to say that the transition was a smooth one, but Content Creation 2003 is quite possibly the most finicky, unstable benchmark we've ever battled.  Nevertheless, weeks of troubleshooting and repeated installations later, we've managed to glean a few numbers from the metric.  As we saw in the gaming tests, Content Creation 2003 favors the RDRAM-equipped i850E system, while the D845PEBT2 takes a last-place finish.  Business Winstone shows the ASUS i850E and i845PE board switching spots by a tenth of a point, though the Intel board finishes in the back of the pack.

 

CONCLUSION:

In this case, performance benchmarks are a tad deceiving.  Intel's D845PEBT2 finishes in last place in our tests, but in each scenario, the point spread is miniscule.  The fact that Intel is competing against ASUS on a performance level, speaks volumes about its apparent decision to appeal to hardware enthusiasts. However, Intel stopped short with this board where we would like to see it.  The board may offer a host of connectivity features and some minor memory timings, but it really needs a more comprehensive BIOS and functional overclocking settings, to compete aggressively against products from more popular motherboard manufacturers. 

Intel's edge lies in the stability associated with its motherboards.  Aside from our attempts at overclocking using the "Burn-in Mode", we didn't encounter a single issue with reliability. If you aren't planning to modify your system in any way, the D845PEBT2 is definitely a top-end contender, thanks to the plethora of features built onto the board and its stability.  Intel's use of a three-phase power solution means it should also last until your next platform upgrade. 

Intel's first "enthusiast" motherboard may be a departure from similarly labeled boards from other manufacturers, but it will satisfy those looking for a fully featured board that doesn't compromise stability for high-end performance.  If you are looking for something a little more flexible with regard to overclocking, check out ASUS' P4PE, which we've tested the Intel board against, or, if you prefer a simpler Intel board, consider the Intel D845PESV, that can be found for about $25 less than the D845PEBT2.

 

  • Stable board, Intel quality
  • Feature-rich (S-ATA, IEEE 1394, 10/100 Ethernet)
  • BIOS options allow some memory tweaking
  • BIOS options still lacking
  • Not quite up to the performance level of competing i845PE boards
  • No AGP 8x support

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