As stated earlier, it is highly unlikely that performance gamers will be satisfied with any sort of integrated 3D video solution. Intel seems to recognize this and is positioning the i845G graphics component as a solution for business and price-conscious home users. Some may also look at the i845G as an inexpensive way of adding a second Pentium 4 network system and possibly use the integrated video portion while saving for a video card upgrade. Whatever the rationale, we need to know how fast the i845G 3D video is, as well as running it through a few real-world performance tests.
The Quake 3 scores really aren't that bad for an integrated 3D video solution. Keeping the detail levels to Normal and resolutions at or below 1024x768 and Quake 3 is actually smooth enough to play. Any higher on the detail or resolution scale and it can be simply too much for the i845G to handle.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein performance has the same overall result structure, but it starts out at lower resolutions and makes just about any High Quality setting very difficult to play. The old adage of sticking with "Normal" detail levels is true here as well, though anything above 800x600 starts turning into a slide show.
The 3DMark 2001SE benchmark results are certainly not as high as we have seen with new, dedicated AGP cards, but neither is it really that bad. We're still talking scores with a powerful Pentium 4-2.4B processor, so this may actually be near the top-end of i845G integrated video performance.