Intel's i845 The MSI 845 Ultra and DFI NB70 DDR Motherboards

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Intel's i845DDR The MSI 845 Ultra and DFI NB70 Motherboards - Page 4


Intel's i845 DDR Chipset Debuts
MSI's 845Ultra-ARU & DFI's NB70-SC
DDR Solutions Based On Intel's New Value Platform

By, Dave Altavilla
December 17 2001

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 a bottleneck.
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...

And the DFI NB70-SC has earned a Heat Meter rating of...

You have something meaningful to say or do you just want to flap your gums?  Get some in the Hot Hardware Conference Room now!




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