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Integrated Graphics: 3D Is Unconvincing

DDR333 for P4: 16 Boards with Intel 845G - Part I
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First, the good news: the Intel 845G offers the best on-board graphics currently available. And now for the bad news: while Intel is comparable to the GeForce 2 MX 200 (with a 64 bit memory interface) in terms of performance, our test results show a very different picture. Here, it should be mentioned that Intel's own, similar graphics chip with 175 MHz GPU and 143 MHz memory never showed up on the market. The performance values of the 845G can be briefly summed up: with 200 MHz core clock and 133 MHz memory clock in combination with DDR 266, or 166 MHz when used with DDR333, the technical foundations are not bad at all. The only restrictions are in the BIOS: a maximum of 8 MB can be assigned as 2D memory, as dictated by the shared memory concept.

If certain applications need more graphics memory, as is the case with 3D Mark 2001 SE, then the graphics driver automatically allocates more memory. Because the operating system also needs to access the system memory, the graphics performance is dampened considerably. An overview of the Intel 845G's graphics performance is shown by the three benchmark charts with Quake III and 3D Mark 2001 SE.

Comparison: Chipsets For Pentium 4

Chipset Intel 850E Intel 845G Intel 845E SiS 648
Introduction May 2002 May 2002 May 2002 July 2002
Processor Platform Socket 478 Socket 478 Socket 478 Socket 478
Supported CPU Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4
Chipset Northbridge Intel KC82850E Intel RG82845G Intel RG8245EES SiS 648
Chipset Southbridge Intel 82801 BA Intel 82801 DB Intel 82801 DB SiS 961
Front Side Bus Clock 100/133 MHz 100/133 MHz 100/133 MHz 100/133 MHz
Memory Clock 400 MHz/533 MHz 100/133/166 MHz 100/133 MHz 400/533/600 MHz
Asynchronous Memory Clock yes yes yes yes
FSB Overclocking up to 166 MHz up to 166 MHz up to 166 MHz up to 200 MHz
max. # DIMM-Slots 4 3 3 4
max. Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB 3072 MB 2048 MB
SDRAM Support no yes yes no
DDR SDRAM Support no yes yes yes
VC SDRAM Support no no no no
RDRAM Support (Rambus) yes no no no
Dual RDRAM Support (Rambus) yes no no no
Ultra-DMA/33/66/100 yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes
Ultra-DMA/133 no no no yes
Max. # USB 4 4 4 4
USB 2.0 no yes yes yes
Max.# PCI Slots 6 6 6 6
Integrated Graphics no yes no yes
AGP 1x / 2x / 4x yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes
AGP 8x no no no yes
ACPI Features yes yes yes yes
Chipset SiS 645DX SiS 645 Intel 850 Intel 845D
Introduction March 2002 November 2001 January 2001 December 2001
Processor Platform Socket 478 Socket 478 Socket 423/478 Socket 478
Supported CPU Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4
Chipset Northbridge SiS 645DX SiS 645 Intel KC82850 Intel 82845
Chipset Southbridge SiS 961 SiS 961 Intel 82801 BA Intel 82801 BA
Front Side Bus Clock 100/133 MHz 100 MHz 100/133 MHz 66/100/133 MHz
Memory Clock 100/133/166/200 MHz 100/133 MHz 400 MHz 100/133 MHz
Asynchronous Memory Clock yes yes yes yes
FSB Overclocking up to 166 MHz up to 133 MHz up to 133 MHz up to 166 MHz
max. # DIMM-Slots 3 3 4 3
max. Memory 3072 MB 3072 MB 2048 MB 2048 MB
SDRAM Support yes yes no no
DDR SDRAM Support yes yes no yes
VC SDRAM Support no no no no
RDRAM Support (Rambus) no no yes no
Dual RDRAM Support (Rambus) no no yes no
Ultra-DMA/33/66/100 yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes
Ultra-DMA/133 no no no no
Max. # USB 4 4 4 4
USB 2.0 no no no no
Max.# PCI Slots 6 6 6 6
Integrated Graphics yes yes no no
AGP 1x / 2x / 4x yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes
AGP 8x no no no no
ACPI Features yes yes yes yes
Chipset Intel 845 VIA P4X333 VIA P4X266 VIA P4X266A
Introduction July 2001 May 2002 August 2001 December 2001
Processor Platform Socket 423/478 Socket 478 Socket 423/478 Socket 478
Supported CPU Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium 4
Chipset Northbridge Intel 82845 VIA P4X333 VIA VT8753 VIA P4X266A
Chipset Southbridge Intel 82801 BA VIA VT8233A VIA VT8233 VIA VT8233A
Front Side Bus Clock 66/100/133 MHz 100/133 MHz 100 MHz 100 MHz
Memory Clock 100/133 MHz 100/133/166 MHz 100/133 MHz 100/133 MHz
Asynchronous Memory Clock yes yes yes yes
FSB Overclocking up to 180 MHz up to 200 MHz up to 180 MHz up to 180 MHz
max. # DIMM-Slots 4 4 4 4
max. Memory 2048 MB 3072 MB 4096 MB 3072 MB
SDRAM Support yes yes yes yes
DDR SDRAM Support no yes yes yes
VC SDRAM Support no yes yes yes
RDRAM Support (Rambus) no no no no
Dual RDRAM Support (Rambus) no no no no
Ultra-DMA/33/66/100 yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes
Ultra-DMA/133 no yes no yes
Max. # USB 6 6 6 6
USB 2.0 yes yes no yes
Max.# PCI Slots 6 5 5 5
Integrated Graphics no no no no
AGP 1x / 2x / 4x yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes yes / yes / yes
AGP 8x no yes no yes
ACPI Features yes yes yes yes

The table above lists all of the chipsets currently available for the Intel Platform (Socket 478). Older chipsets with SDRAM support (e.g., the Intel 845) are not included here, because boards with these chips are no longer produced or haven't been available on the market for a while.

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