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  Intel's New Celeron, a Budget Pentium 4? 
  Jul 22, 2002, 07:30am EDT 

i845G, a Budget Motherboard?

By: Sander Sassen

Naturally weíve tested the new Celeron extensively and what better to test it with than the new i845G chipset thatís been specifically designed to offer a cost-effective solution in combination with the new Celeron? This way around youíll have an idea what kind of performance you can expect from the budget PCs thatíll be based on this CPU and chipset combination. Naturally the new Celeron isnít limited to these budget PCs, but most people will still choose a Pentium 4 over the Celeron for anything but a budget PC, although our benchmarks will show that it isnít such a bad performer after all.

i845G Chipset Heatsink

Fig 2. The i845G chipset is hidden underneath this massive heatsink which is directly soldered to the motherboard.

With the introduction of the new 845G chipset Intel has introduced a chipset that will appeal to many and especially those that are looking for an all-round solution. As for the integrated graphics, it doesnít deliver blistering framerates in any of todayís 3D games, nor does it have mind boggling fill-rates. It does however get the job done if you donít turn up the resolution too much or expect to run in true-color settings; for all of your everyday mundane tasks the Intel Extreme Graphics works wonderfully and donít leave much to be desired. The memory subsystem uses DDR SDRAM at either 200 or 266MHz and is similar in performance to the 845D and E chipsets that Intel released previously. But unlike the 845D chipset the 845E and G do support the new 533MHz FSB which means it will also accept the latest batch of Pentium 4s that run at 2.4 and 2.53GHz.

So, how does the new Celeron perform? Upon looking at the SYSmark2002 benchmark scores (see Appendix: Benchmarks) we can clearly see that the Celeron and the Pentium 4 are not too far apart in terms of performance, the Pentium 4 is only 5.7% (148/140) faster. The PCmark2002 scores paint a similar picture, here the Pentium 4 manages to take a 2.2% (4099/4009) lead, again nothing to get excited about. The only benchmark that does show a bigger performance gap between the two CPUs is 3Dmark2001se where the Pentium 4 manages to best the Celeron by 8.9% (1511/1388).

However do take notice that the Intel Extreme Graphics as used in the 845G chipset are not meant to take the 3D performance crown, as evident from the 3Dmark2001se scores and thus using it for that purpose is something we wouldnít advice you to do. This doesnít mean that the Celeron is equally handicapped for more demanding applications and 3D games though, by simply plugging in an AGP graphics card such as ATIís Radeon 8500 or a GeForce Ti4600 youíll quickly turn this mediocre performer into a high-performance machine with 3Dmark2001 scores to boot.

To summarize our findings weíre confident that the new Celeron will offer great value for the money, whether you decide to go the budget route and pick up a 845G motherboard with it or use a 845E or D chipset based motherboard weíre sure it wonít disappoint given the fact you only paid about $100,- for it. The new Celeron gets two thumbs up as it truly offers a great price/performance ratio.

Sander Sassen

1. Celeron, a Budget Pentium 4?
2. i845G, a Budget Motherboard?
3. Appendix: Benchmarks

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