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  i845, Performance Bottlenecks? 
  Sep 26, 2001, 08:00am EDT 

Multimedia Benchmarks

By: Sander Sassen

To evaluate how well the i845 handles multimedia tasks such as games and other streaming content we’ll be using Quake III. Although Quake III is becoming a rather old benchmark it is often used to show the performance of the Pentium 4 which is exactly what we’re after in this case.

Fig 8. The benchmark speaks for itself, the i845 is really handicapped by the memory bandwidth of the SDRAM.

One thing is clear by looking at the Quake III benchmarks, the i845 certainly is not the platform you’d want to buy if you’re hoping to get best-of-class multimedia performance, despite the SSE2 and other optimizations found in the Pentium 4 CPU. If we look at the Quake III results once more in terms of % increase, or decrease, in performance we find the following:

Quake III fp/s, 1.5GHz: (i850/i845) x 100% = (210.2/168.2) x 100% = 25%

Quake III fp/s, 2GHz: (i850/i845) x 100% = (247.6/176.4) x 100% = 40%

At 1.5GHz the i850-chipset is 25% faster and at 2GHz this increases to a massive 40%. And again even when using a 2GHz Pentium 4 the i845-chipset isn’t able to come close to a 1.5GHz Pentium 4 running on the i850-chipset with dual channel RDRAM. As before these benchmarks show that the i845 doesn't scale too well with clockspeed. Just look at the following:

Quake III fp/s, i850: (2GHz/1.5GHz) x 100% = (247.5/210.2) x 100% = 18%

Quake III fps/s, i845: (2GHz/1.5GHz) x 100% = (176.4/168.2) x 100% = 5%

The i850 manages to score an 18% improvement with a 500MHz clockspeed increase, whereas the i845 is only able to offer a 5% improvement from the 500Mhz clockspeed increase. I think these numbers speak for themselves. And although other games may paint a less dramatic picture it needs no further explanation that the i845 will have a hard time keeping pace with the i850, even with lesser clockspeed CPUs.

1. Introduction
2. Testing and methodology
3. Memory Benchmarks
4. Office Benchmarks
5. Multimedia Benchmarks
6. Conclusion

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