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    ASUS & Intel 845PE/GE Motherboard Reviews
    By Vince Freeman :  October 7, 2002

    Introduction

    The Intel 845 chipset is certainly a popular model for Intel. After the initial SDRAM-based i845, there have been several revisions, including the popular i845D, i845E and i845G chipsets. These later models served to introduce new and improved features, including support for 533 MHz Pentium 4 processors. Throughout the transition, one key element was left off the drawing board: official support for DDR333. Although many vendors chose to enable their i845G motherboards with this option, it was still not an industry-wide phenomenon, and the powerful i845E was really hamstrung with only DDR266 support.

    Thankfully Intel has addressed this with their newest round of i845-based chipsets, and their i845PE and i845GE products now have full support for 333 MHz DDR. The other new model, the i845GV, still utilizes DDR266, but this is a value-oriented chipset and it's doubtful OEMs would be willing to pay the premium for higher-end DDR in the first place. There are a few other enhancements that we'll be getting to a bit later on, but the main goal of these new chipsets seems to be in providing DDR333 support right out of the box.

    The Intel 845PE and 845GE Chipsets

    The two chipsets we will be concentrating on are the Intel 845PE and 845GE. These are the higher-end desktop models and support both DDR333 and 400/533 MHz Pentium 4 and Celeron processors. The i845GE includes an integrated graphics component, but this time Intel has jacked the clock rate up from 200 MHz to 266 MHz, while keeping the same 350 MHz RAMDAC and 64-MB video memory limit. Both chipsets also keep the 4-bank DDR limit from the previous i845 models.

    At their most basic, these two new models look a lot like upgraded i845E and i845G revisions, as their main features sets remain largely unchanged. Standard features include AGP 4X, ATA-100, USB 2.0, and AC'97 audio. This isn't a revolutionary upgrade like some of the AGP 8X, ATA-133 chipsets from VIA or SiS, but more another slow-and-steady progression for Intel.

    The inclusion of DDR333 support is the main news, but Intel has also added in support for their upcoming Hyper-Threading technology, not to mention letting us know that the previous i845E, i845G and i850E also support this new technology. Hyper-Threading is an interesting technology, and basically creates multiple CPU partitions within the same processor. Given a hyper-threading enabled CPU, the operating system would see the platform as dual processors and react accordingly. Granted we haven't seen this in action, nor have we examined how it works in a non-SMP aware operating system like Windows 98/ME or XP Home, but it's still nice to have the support built-in, if only for potential upgrades. The first Intel CPU to support the hyper-threading technology will be the Pentium 4-3.06 GHz.


  • Page 1 Introduction
    Page 2 The ASUS P4PE Motherboard
    Page 3 The Intel D845PEBT2 Motherboard
    Page 4 The Intel D845GEBV2 Motherboard
    Page 5 Performance and Test Systems
    Page 6 Business / CC Winstone & SANDRA Performance
    Page 7 PCMark 2002, 3DMark 2001SE & Quake 3 Performance
    Page 8 Serious Sam 2, Comanche 4 and RtCW Performance
    Page 9 Jedi Knight II and Unreal Tournament 2003 Performance
    Page 10 Benchmark Analysis and Conclusion

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