Business Winstone 2001
While pure CPU speed is a large part of overall performance, the motherboard chipset is actually the driver for all system data processing and can have a huge impact on overall performance. The Business Winstone 2001 suite from ZD Labs is an application-based PC benchmark that uses common business programs like MS Office 2000, FrontPage 2000, Lotus Notes, and Netscape. New in the 2001 version are tests for file compression, anti-virus scanning and email. These programs are run from a batch script that attempts to accurately emulate a business system load, then supplies a performance rating.
In Business Winstone 2001 testing, we can see virtually no difference in system performance between the i845 with DDR and the i850. The i845 with DDR actually finishes behind the i850 in both Win 98SE and Win 2K, but only by a miniscule 0.1 differential. To quantify this as a victory for the i850 would be silly, so we're calling this particular battle a clear draw.
Content Creation Winstone 2001
Content Creation Winstone 2001 is another benchmark from ZD Labs, but while Business Winstone rates a system's business performance, Content Creation Winstone uses multimedia applications such as Adobe Photoshop & Premiere, Macromedia Director & Dreamweaver, and Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge. These applications are also run somewhat-concurrently, as applications stay active and resident while not in active use. This makes Content Creation Winstone 2001 one of the best application stress tests available, and a very fine judge of overall system performance.
Once again the Content Creation 2001 tests show we've got a pretty tight race between the i845 with DDR and the i850. The i850 does come out the overall winner, and actually increases its previous Business Winstone lead a bit when using the more multimedia-oriented Content Creation tests
BAPCO SysMark 2001
BAPCO's SysMark 2001 is truly a monster of a system benchmark, and is about as close to a "Crusher" equivalent as we'll find in the business world. SysMark 2001 makes heavy use of multimedia and Internet development applications (with many also found in Content Creation 2001) and the benchmark itself is the newest of the bunch. It also nicely separates the Internet and Business Elements into two different scores, along with a final tally.
As with the Content Creation Winstone scores, the i845 with DDR falls a bit behind the i850 in SysMark 2001 testing as well. This 6-point win actually represents the largest margin of victory for the i850 platform, and SysMark 2001 is really the only system benchmark score that demonstrates a clear cut winner between the two. Please also note that the Athlon XP Internet results are under Win 2000 Pro and therefore no AMD SSE patch could be applied.
System Benchmark Analysis
For a business, home or performance PC, the i850/RDRAM platform loses a lot of its high-end appeal and the i845 with DDR looks to be a more cost-effective option that features a very similar level of performance. The Business Winstone scores are too close to call, and point to a perfect match between the i845 with DDR and mainstream office environments. The transition from Content Creation Winstone to SysMark 2001 is a bit more problematic and those requiring Pentium 4 systems for high-end graphics and multimedia use may want not want to discount the i850 just yet.