Our final test in this
showcase, will be a Quake3 Arena Time Demo run.
We've set the test to a low 640X480 resolution with 16
bit color and low geometry settings. This should
allow us to isolate the processor and let it run flat
out without the graphics card causing back pressure or
Quake 3 Arena Time Demo
Still a great
tool after all these years
We never thought
we would see the day when a non i850/RDRAM system could beat
out a RAMBUS infused P4 in Quake 3. However, as we'll
note here, Intel's own i845 come dangerously close and the
VIA P4X266A walked right past. Frankly, we expected
more from the i845D but the performance is still quite good.
We've shown you
what DDR SDRAM can bring to the P4 platform and it is safe
to say that "value proposition" this i845 chipset brings to
the party, is cost. At right around $100 - $115 for
either the NB70 from DFI or the MSI 845Ultra-ARU, there is a
40-50% cost advantage over competitive i850 solutions.
Add in the extra cost of RDRAM memory and the decision to
move to the RAMBUS becomes even tougher. What is
surprising here is that the reference VIA board we tested
versus the i845D contenders, clearly is the performance
leader at this time for DDR P4 solutions, even if by a small
margin. We'll have to see how the i845D matures and if
Intel has a few more tricks up their collective sleeves with
the advent of their Northwood Pentium 4 offering.
For now, we'll
give the MSI 845Ultra-ARU
a HotHardware Heat Meter rating of...
DFI NB70-SC has earned a
Heat Meter rating of...
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